HYDERABAD: Major Hindu temples were closed for pilgrims on account of solar eclipse while Muslims offered special prayers in mosques on Thursday.
The famous Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh was closed around 11 p.m. on Wednesday on the eve of the solar eclipse. The temple will re-open after the end of the solar eclipse on Thursday afternoon.
According to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the richest temple, the abode of Lord Venkateswara was closed nine hours before the beginning of the solar eclipse. Several rituals scheduled at the temple were also cancelled.
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Other temples under TTD were also shut on the account of the celestial event. Ancient temples of Goddess Padmavati at Tiruchanoor, Lord Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple at Srinivasa Mangapuram and other TTD temples in and around Tirupati were closed.
TTD officials said the temples would reopen at 2 p.m. on Thursday after the conduct of rituals for purification.
Meanwhile, Muslims offered special 'namaz' called 'Salat-ul-Kusoof' on the occasion of solar eclipse. While the majority of men and women offered the prayers individually at homes, prayers were also offered in congregations at few mosques.
Several people offered prayers at Masjid-e-Mohammedia and Masjid Islamic Centre in Hyderabad.
The 'imams' who led the prayers quoted the saying of the Prophet Muhammad that solar and lunar eclipses are among numerous signs of Allah, which He uses to remind His servants so that they can return to Him in repentance.