National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), the US space research and exploration agency, has declared after 20 years of research that this nondescript town, 25 km south of Patna, is the best location on earth to watch the largest solar eclipse of the century on July 22.NASA has also listed it among the best places from which to observe the stars.
Aryabhatta (476-550 AD) had figured this out a long time ago. The famous 6th Century astronomer-mathematician from India’s Golden Age — who first proposed that the earth rotates on its axis and developed the concept of zero — had located his observatory at the sun temple that existed in Taregana (literally, song of the stars) then. “Tare-gana” means counting of stars. It was here that the sixth century astronomer-mathematician Aryabhatta camped here here for his studies.
Following unknowingly in his footsteps, scientists, tourists and eclipse chasers from across the world suddenly want to visit Taregana. The problem: Taregana does not have hotels or other facilities to receive so many guests.
The solution: The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation will put up tents and temporary cottages to cope with the rush. The July 22 eclipse, which will begin at 5.29 a.m., will be the longest in the 21st century and last 6 minutes and 39 seconds. It will not be surpassed in duration till July 13, 2132, ie, 123 years from now.