-   Eclipse Home

Trips to see the Eclipse

  -  Eclipse Tales

  -  For Your Eyes Only!

  -  BG Sidharth on the

  -  Eclipse Map

  -  Travel Home



Trips to See the Eclipse

It is a unique commercial adventure. Quick-to-the-buck tour companies all over Europe will clean up tidy sums of money, by August 11, taking goggle-eyed tourists to see the eclipse.

Ocean liners will probably pause mid-Mediterranean to allow cruise-wallahs gaze skywards as they listen to sound bytes from 'expert lecturers' as part of a scheme for travel with an 'enrichment lecture programme'. Voyages to totality is what they are called. And the cruise only fares to run to US $ 3,205 per head; the admission to the eclipse tutorials is extra.

Smart cookie tour operators have booked out hotels in destinations as diverse as Bavaria, Turkey and Romania, where it is believed weather and planetary conditions will be ideal for eclipse viewing, for 'hole in the sky tours'. And the paint is probably still drying in the English town of Cornwall which is preparing itself for hordes it expects to arrive by August 11.

There are a few interesting spots in India where one can combine a spot of leisure travel with a darshan of the eclipse. Rediff selects a few ideal spots:

Bhuj, Gujarat

A place that the 20th century overlooked, not much has changed in the walled town of Bhuj since the days when it was ruled by the Jadeja Rajputs. Very much a medieval Kutchi township, its winding narrow alleyways and cluttered bazaars reflect a Gujarat of yesterday. Camels still amble through the market place. Cows lounge mid-road. And locals, wearing traditional Kutchi clothes, go about their business at a leisurely pace.

Tempting this description? Bhuj has our first vote as the ultimate travel destination for an eclipse holiday.

Fast Facts

Jalgaon, Maharashtra

Jalgaon is not the most romantic place in the world to watch the moon flirt with the sun. A small highway town, it is the jumping off point for the Ajanta and Ellora. And that is precisely the reason why one should head there. Why not combine homage to the eclipse with a pilgrimage to India's famous caves?

Fast Facts

Akola, Maharashtra

Akola, a market centre of the cotton growing belt, has a few decent hotels, good roads, prosperity, but no charm. Nevertheless, this town of 400,000, 99 km away from Nagpur, does offer a ringside seat for the heavenly spectacle. To make the trip worthwhile, you could console yourself with a few side trips to Chikhaldhara (awesomely pretty at this time of year) or to Bhusaval to see the grave of Robert Gill, who was responsible for much of the restoration work of the Ajanta paintings.

Fast Facts

Baroda, Gujarat

One of the larger cities of Gujarat. Bustling, noisy and humid, cosmopolitan Baroda is the most accessible spot to watch the century's last eclipse. You are assured of quick flight connections, excellent accommodation, three square meals and perhaps the opportunity to watch a good late night movie after the celestial show is over.

Do check Rediff's feature on Baroda, A river running by...

Fast Facts

Koraput, Orissa

While the eastern regions of India do not promise the best views of the eclipse, or at least rather short-lived views, if you happen to be in remote eastern Orissa head for Jeypore for an interesting eclipse holiday. Koraput is nearby and Jeypore makes a good base.

Southwestern Orissa is in fact virgin territory. Tourists seldom stray into the colourful tribal country around Koraput. But Orissa tourism has been making serious attempts to open this scenic area up. Koraput, Taptapani and environs around offer a wonderful holiday.

This is a very traditional Adivasi belt... Sal forests... rice fields... tribal women clad in traditional costume and stunning jewellery... tiny villages that are merely clusters of mud huts... more sal.

Fast Facts

Jagdalpur, Madhya Pradesh

The elliptical path of the eclipse slices right through the rump of Madhya Pradesh -- Chhattisgarh. Ideal holiday destinations in this very rural and remote area of the state are few. But why not try Jagdalpur? A district centre, it is one of the few outposts of civilisation in this forested, rustic tribal belt, that once formed part of the ancient settlement of South Kosala.

Eight hours from Raipur, Jagdalpur has one or two decent hotels and a government rest house. In its vicinity are several notable temples and waterfalls. Chitrakote falls is 38 km from Jagdalpur and is the point where the river Indravati falls of 96 ft. Tirathgarh Falls, also about 40 km from Jagdalpur, is 100 ft high. Nearby too are Kutumsar caves, whose stalactite and stalagmite columns are worth a look.

Fast Facts

Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh

What could be more apt than to spend a solar eclipse at a sun temple? Try Srikakulam in eastern Andhra Pradesh. Shri Suryanarayana Swamy temple, located three km from here at Arasavalli, is one of the prominent sun temples in the eastern India and has always attracted hordes of tourists. Srikakulam is 105 kilometres from Vishakapatnam and a trip to the holy town may be just accomplishable in a day.

Fast Facts

Tell us what you think of this feature