Varanasi, Aug 1 : A large number of devotees today took a holy dip in the river Ganges during the occurrence of a partial solar eclipse to ward off 'evil effects' of the rare celestial phenomenon .
"It is our belief, be it material belief or spiritual belief, we believe that these rituals are for the benefit of the mankind. These rituals are not just for the benefit of the individual, this will be beneficial for the entire world," said Geeta Prasad Pandey, a devotee.
Devotees offered water to the sun god, took dip in Ganges River, as they believe prayers on this day would help the mankind.
"We pray to Lord Shiva during eclipse. We consider that eclipse means a bad omen. That is why people from across the country come here on the day of solar eclipse," said Kushal Pandey, another devotee.
People for ages have been considering eclipses especially solar eclipses as bad omen. The belief still prevails among a large section of Indians despite awareness of the phenomenon.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the path between the earth and the sun causing a shadow on earth.