Scores of Hindu devotees took a holy dip in the river Ganges early on Friday morning (April 26), following last night's lunar eclipse, in order to cleanse their souls and achieve salvation.

Crowds also gathered on the river's banks at the temple city of Varanasi in northern Uttar Pradesh to worship the sun god and to perform religious rituals.

According to belief, taking a bath in the river on the occasion of the eclipse helps people to wash away their sins.

According to Hindu belief, an eclipse occurs because a demon named Rahu occasionally gobbles up the sun or the moon before letting them off after a certain period.

This period is considered very ominous by devout Hindus, and prayers and chants are performed by them. Once the eclipse is over, they bathe or take a holy dip in rivers like the Ganges.

Locals and people from across the country were also crowding up the Ganges river banks in Allahabad city.

Sky gazers from all over India were delighted by the partial lunar eclipse that was visible from most parts of the country.

Friday's lunar event was the third shortest of the century so far, lasting only a period of about 27 minutes.

Presented by Adam Justice