A combination picture shows the sequence of a total solar eclipse as observed in Central China. The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century began its flight on Wednesday across a narrow path of Asia
Thousands of people gathered in the Indian village of Taregna, 300 miles north-west of Calcutta, as scientists and TV crew raced to the village believed to be the best place to watch the phenomenal solar eclipse a few days ago.
The eclipse - caused when the moon moves directly between the sun and the earth, covering it completely to cast a shadow on earth - lasted almost 4 minutes in India. In some parts of Asia it lasted as long as 6 minutes and 39 seconds.
In Taregna, thousands had gathered a day in advance but thick clouds and overnight rains provided no spectacle, just a cloudy darkness.
'It was still a unique experience with morning turning into night for more than three minutes," said Amitabh Pande, a scientist with India's Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators, who was there.
Still, the rain was welcomed by many in this agricultural area which has seen scant rainfall this monsoon season.
Hindu devotees offer prayers as they take dips in the River Ganges during the solar eclipse in Varanasi, India
A traditional healing routine during solar eclipse practised in India.
Elsewhere, people across Asia were celebrating the day with religious and community rituals. Pictured here (above) are the Hindu devotees taking a bath in Ganges river during the solar eclipse. Also pictured above is a girl, half-buried at the bank of river Indus. Her doctor advised her to stay in sand during the eclipse in the belief that its rays heal the victims
While the more urban society of Seoul, South Korea, were enjoying the phenomenon while gathering in the city centre (below).
South Korean children stare up in wonder at the eclipse from the Seoul National Science Museum. The moon began to cover the sun from around 9:34am in the capital, blocking nearly 80per cent of the sun by 10.50am
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