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Old 27th July 2009, 12:39   #1
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Default Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna

Just a 2-post photologue of the journey done

July 21 -> Kolkata-Patna [625 km, around 10.5 hours with 3 breaks in between]
July 22 -> Patna-Taregna-Patna [Safari VTT 3rd Servicing done at Patna TASS]
July 23 -> Patna-Kolkata


Eclipse chaser?? - quite fancy term but thats what is the language that is used when you are fascinated by this whole event and would like to be in the exact place from wherever you are. As defined by an experienced chaser -

Quote:
I am an eclipse chaser. That sounds better than eclipse stalker, paparazzi, or voyeur which are more accurate terms. The shadow projected by the moon onto the Earth's surface is moving at such a speed that you would need a very fast aircraft just to keep up. And by fast I mean super-sonic! So you see there really isn't a chase involved except that you need to be in the right spot at the right time and hope the weather cooperates with your plans.
And thats exactly what we [wife, me, our 4 year old son, and Safari 2.2] did so we did have that fancy "chaser" tag.


I have a good friend living in Patna and quite a few months back we talked about going over there to Patna and then to Taregna [around 40 km from Patna] to watch the eclipse. Well work/job front things were becoming hazy day by day and all but the faint urge remained. But then all of a sudden on Monday, July 20, 09, thought like, I will become more mental worrying about the work situation and et al - rather take this as a break and not miss this once event, the journey itself will be give me a few days of escape from the work stress plus meeting the friend and his family after such a long time.

So on Tuesday, July 21, 2009, we set off at 5 am for Patna.

NH2 Jharkhand - majority still not completed but whatever part is there is just so empty and beautiful.

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-jharkhand-roads.jpg

A right turn from Barhi chowk towards Kodarma for Patna. Tilaiya Dam just near Jhumri Tilaiya. Fantastic scenery.

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tilaiya.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tilaiya-2.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tilaiya-dam.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tilaiya-water.jpg

Ghat roads to Kodarma

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-ghat-road-kodarma-2.jpg

And the road to Patna was all smooth and good.
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-towards-patna.jpg


T A R E G N A

Quote:
Taregna: From Aryabhata to left extremism and TSE

A DUSTY sub-divisional village called Taregna, some 30 km south east of state capital Patna witnessed its tryst with 21st Century’s most spectacular and this century’s last celestial event from 5:29 hrs to 7:30 hrs. Astrophysicists say that similar event would occur in 2132 AD, the time when none of us of today’s generation would be alive to watch.

This century’s longest total solar eclipse (TSE) was witnessed by tens of thousands of people including the CM of Bihar Nitish Kumar and hundreds of astronomers, some of them from NASA itself. I was fortunately one in the crowd who could capture this spectacular event in their minds and hearts. The overcast sky also could not deter and dampen enthusiasm and curiosity of overenthusiastic ‘eclipsomaniacs’ who had swamped in this hamlet to see this event across the globe. This place lacks adequate infrastructure and the scientists and government officials virtually kept sleeping away whole night to watch the memorable event inside a government referral hospital here in Taregna. Such was the enthusiasm and such was the zeal.

Taregna and Aryabhata- Taregna, which means ‘counting of stars’ is believed to be the birth place of Aryabhata, the most renowned Indian astronomer who some 1400 years ago discovered that earth is not static and it revolves and moves. Aryabhata, it is said, used to count stars and study celestial bodies from his laboratory, the remains of which still exist here in ruins. This is why this place is named as Taregna, counting of stars.

The history of Taregna can be summarised in one sentence. It is like this from Aryabhata to left extremism (Maoism) and from Maoism to conglomeration of Astro-Tourists and Astro-Scientists. What a contrast indeed!

Taregna and Left extremism- Taregna is locally known as Masaurhi and is said to be the birth place of left extremism in Bihar. The place gained notoriety when one People’s war group (PWG) was formed and caused many massacres in Masaurhi and adjoining districts of Gaya, Aurangabad and Jehanabad like Belchi, Kaila, Kargha, Pipra, parashbigha, Maini Bigha etc; in which thousands of people were killed in dastardly act of violence. Later with the merger of PWG and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), the left extremism in Bihar entered into one of the most notorious and deadly phase in the history of left extremism.

Hundreds of massacres have occurred over two decades and the state is trying hard to shed its stereotype image under the new government under Nitish Kumar. Maoists had given a call of ‘Taregna Bandh’ today also in order to draw attention of national and international media, which had conglomerated here to capture this event. Fortunately they could not create any problems largely due to huge enthusiasm of common people and partly due to unprecedented ‘Police Bandobast’.

Thus the history in Bihar entered into a new phase, a phase of hope, resilience and resurgence. Hopefully this celestial event many be the harbinger of prosperity and development in this poor state. It may be a coincidence that just before this TSE, monsoon rained heavily in many parts of the state, which people were desperately waiting for. The cloud may have despaired some to watch this spectacular event, but it has certainly filled joys in the eyes of millions of farmers who were looking at sky for rains.
Very early morning we along with my friend left for Taregna and anyhow found out a place to park among all the crowds. Huge crowds gathered from all over the places. We perched ourselves over a building just below which I parked the Safari VTT.
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-img_4049.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-coming-train.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-crowds-coming-train.jpg

Last edited by adc : 27th July 2009 at 12:54.
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Old 27th July 2009, 13:30   #2
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Default Continuing...

Huge crowds pour into Taregna's narrow dusty roads. The crowd strength was more than 1 lakh per news reports.
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tarenga-patna-1.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tarenga-patna2.jpg

Quote:
“It’s not rained here in weeks. We could certainly live without rain for a day more,” said Pradip Kumar, a shopkeeper. They certainly could. After all it will be 370 years before a repeat show here.
But then there were clouds that day... We missed the diamond ring and the disc, but the western side was clear and the that part of the sky lit up with stars, a fantastic experience nonetheless. Later the clouds cleared up a little and we could watch the partial portion of the eclipse.

And then suddenly at around 630 am the total eclipse starts and darkness all around. A few stars were visible towards the western side and it was amazing feeling to see the stars appear suddenly in the day.

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-img_4046.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-img_4045.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-total-eclipse-darkness-tarenga-2.jpg
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PS: The actual solar photos are from Patna daily website [http://www.patnadaily.com/features/solareclipse2009/solar_eclipse_2009.html] as seen in Taregna. I concentrated more on the spectacle through the glasses rather than on photography as was worried would lose those few clear minutes that day in an otherwise cloudy morning.

Then as it ended, there was almost a stampede with crowd control whatsoever - tens of thousands of people [men, women and children] all trying to go out immediately.

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-img_4051.jpg

And they came crashing on to the parked Safari 2.2 VTT, luckily it was a little inside otherwise sure would have lost the side mirrors or the bumper would have given up. Latter found out lost some letters of the word "Safari" at the back - it is now like "Safa"

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tarenga-patna-3-huge-crowd-crashing-safari.jpg
Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-tarenga-patna-3-huge-crowd-crashing-safari-2.jpg

And these foreigners were so jammed up, its sure has been more than an pleasant experience for them..

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-foreign-couple-jam.jpg


We waited on the roof top of the house for an 1 hour or so for the huge crowds to thin and then dropped off the Safari to Patna TASS for the 3rd servicing as by the time would have gone to Kolkata, it would have been more than 1000 km above the limit.

Servicing done, next day, july 23, left Patna around 430 am and safely back to Kolkata in around 11 hrs. As we near Kolkata dark clouds and beautiful rain...

Chasing Solar Eclipse, Taregna, 22/09 -->> Kol-Kodarma-Patna-Tarenga-Patna-back-towards-kolkata-durgapur-expressway.jpg


So, just a few days of escape and though we did not see the sun in total eclipse stage, we were not disappointed - the journey through ghat roads, reaching Taregna, the darkness that evolved and stars that we saw, watching the mind boggling crowd from the roof top, and the back journey - all in all it was quite a good 3 days.

End

Last edited by adc : 27th July 2009 at 13:39.
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Old 27th July 2009, 15:50   #3
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@ Anirban - awesome "two posts photologue"

that was a very bad way to travel by train - they are just few inches below the live wire.
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Old 28th July 2009, 14:09   #4
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Originally Posted by planet_rocker View Post
@ Anirban - awesome "two posts photologue"

that was a very bad way to travel by train - they are just few inches below the live wire.
Sure it is too short to be even a photologue!

The crowd was like mind boggling to say the least and those buggers definitely were close to the electric wire. There was almost a stampede while all started to go out altogether when the spectacle ended.
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Old 28th July 2009, 16:27   #5
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man that surely is some crowd gathered, you surely know how well to utilise your beast to the fullest capacity.congrats for that and your upcoming journeys too, always love to hear from you.Keep it coming.
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Old 28th July 2009, 17:32   #6
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The Bihar's road/Scenic is really looking very good.
However did you able to have a view of the Full Eclipse as I heard it was cloudy...

Last edited by arin_12 : 28th July 2009 at 17:43.
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Old 28th July 2009, 17:43   #7
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The opening pic reminded me of a shot from Twister and this is great stuff. The crowd is truly mind boggling and nice shots there of eclipse.
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Old 28th July 2009, 17:44   #8
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Nice pictures. did you go for the eclipse or its was just a bahana. You wanted a road trip right??
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:39   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijaythacker View Post
man that surely is some crowd gathered, you surely know how well to utilise your beast to the fullest capacity.congrats for that and your upcoming journeys too, always love to hear from you.Keep it coming.
Quote:
Originally Posted by muralisk View Post
The opening pic reminded me of a shot from Twister and this is great stuff. The crowd is truly mind boggling and nice shots there of eclipse.

Hey thanks, those are great words, thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arin_12 View Post
The Bihar's road/Scenic is really looking very good.
However did you able to have a view of the Full Eclipse as I heard it was cloudy...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbas View Post
Nice pictures. did you go for the eclipse or its was just a bahana. You wanted a road trip right??
That road to Patna via Kodarma is very beautiful. Plus the condition of the road was superb. In fact one can see the difference that has come into Bihar, though it has to go some way. As per my friend, things are definitely improved like night patrolling and police just not being spectators like before. Plus seemed like this part of Bihar is doing quite okay. But it is sad to see the state of Jharkhand - it is like the new Bihar of yesteryears.


As said, we could watch around 85% of the eclipse but since the western sky was clear, could see the stars coming up during the total darkness time - amazing view. And of course I wanted a road trip, meet my friend, and plus this spectacle - things matched up so perfectly!
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Old 12th August 2009, 17:02   #10
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Hi adc, great journey undertaken, You travelled to my hometown.
I am glad to know that the highways have improved a lot and roads are in lot better state than they used to be before. More pics please if you have it.
And certainly , things have been improving in Bihar, hope it continues.
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Old 13th August 2009, 11:10   #11
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Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Hi adc, great journey undertaken, You travelled to my hometown.
I am glad to know that the highways have improved a lot and roads are in lot better state than they used to be before. More pics please if you have it.
And certainly , things have been improving in Bihar, hope it continues.

Hey Fordmnc, thats great to hear. Surely things are improving this side of the Bihar and much better than Jharkhand or even Eastern UP side. Have an idea of going to North Bihar side [Valmiki RF] with the same Patna friend and his wife. Those only are the signficant pictures and the others that is there are more or less repititions.
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Old 13th August 2009, 11:25   #12
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Hey Fordmnc, thats great to hear. Surely things are improving this side of the Bihar and much better than Jharkhand or even Eastern UP side. Have an idea of going to North Bihar side [Valmiki RF] with the same Patna friend and his wife. Those only are the signficant pictures and the others that is there are more or less repititions.
Approximately how many kms of total 625 kms , is in jharkhand , where roads are bad??
I have not driven much in bihar, except for the regular circuits of patna-rajgir-bodhgaya and back and many trips to my village around 100kms from patna.
Do wish to drive down to patna from hyderabad, but lets see when that happens.
Do give us a detailed log of you north bihar trip, whenever you do it.
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Old 13th August 2009, 12:17   #13
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Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Approximately how many kms of total 625 kms , is in jharkhand , where roads are bad?

Do give us a detailed log of you north bihar trip, whenever you do it.

Around may be 150 km was in Jharkhand and that same Isri Bazar spot and its surroundings of the GQ is still incomplete. Surely will try to keep a log for the N bihar trip as and when it materializes.
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Old 13th August 2009, 12:51   #14
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Hi,
Very good snaps of the Solar Eclipse. Adc Thanks mate.
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Old 14th August 2009, 01:34   #15
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Anirban guru, thats amazing information about Taregna. Very good capture of the eclipse as well.

Wow that crowd reminded of 7:02AM Bongaon Local @Dum Dum Cantt, kolkata where me (a Class-1 kid then) would catch to go to school in the next station (Dum Dum Jn.).
Lucky that you only lost R-I of the Safari only. I hope there is no dent or tab anywhere.

BTW, the 2 laner of Bihar (or JH, I should say) was good indeed. Didnt expect that in the first place.

Abhi
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