Several parts of the country, including Odisha, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi, are witnessing a solar eclipse on Thursday morning, which is said to the last one of the decade.
The solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, began at around 8:17 am and will continue till 10:57 am today.
It is also being referred to as “ring of fire” and “Surya Grahan” in Hindi.
The solar eclipse also holds religious importance and special prayers are offered on the day. In Hinduism, people avoid eating anything during the eclipse.
The portals of Birla Mandir in the national capital were closed 12 hours before the eclipse after an ‘aarti’ was performed on Wednesday evening. The temple doors will open at 12 pm today, after which devotees can offer prayers.
Meanwhile, hundreds of devotees also reached the Ganga Ghat in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi for a holy dip in the river and offer special prayers during the occasion.
There are three types of solar eclipse — partial, annular and total.
According to experts, people should not look directly at the Sun during the eclipse without proper protection as even it can damage the eyes. Instead, solar filters, pinhole camera or a telescopic projection can be used to see the eclipse.
Besides India, the eclipse is visible in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Indonesia, Singapore, Oman and Guam.