5 Places To Enjoy Astro Tourism In India
By: Kratika Sun, 24 July 2022 10:06:21
Are you someone who is fascinated by the mystery-filled sky? Do you wake up early during vacations to catch the sunrise or stay up late into the night just to spot the different constellations? Then the latest trend in the tourism industry is just what you have been waiting for.
For many of us residing in the city, dust and smog veil the sky almost all year round. Even with the best equipment, you get to see only a glimmer of the stars on clear nights; spotting constellations being out of the question. This whets your appetite but leaves you wanting for more. So why not travel to a place that gives you a naturally advantageous view of the sky? That’s exactly what we mean by Astro-Tourism.
# Pangong Lake, Ladakh
The Pangong-Tso Lake located in Ladakh has often been the backdrop of popular Bollywood scenes and songs. While most of the Pangong Lake falls under the Tibetian territory, a part of it is shared by India.
The bare mountains along with the tranquil lake offer breath-taking scenery that looks right out of a painting. The lake reflects the sky and changes its hues as the day progresses from golden noon to crimson dusk and finally, star-studded nights.
Given its high elevation and pollution-free conditions, the Pangong-Tso is counted as the best place for your star-gazing adventure. The conditions are clear almost all year round and even a mid-ranged telescope can offer you some unforgettable glimpses of the stars and planets.
# Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
No, the Kutch festival isn’t the only time you can explore this lovely place. It is a fabulous pick for your Astro-tourism itinerary too. The largest salt marsh in the world, Kutch is known for its barren topography with a spare population. So if it’s dark nights with the least artificial lights that you are seeking, this is the perfect place for you. Given that it is situated in a desert region, the sky is usually clear adding to a list of favourable conditions. The region also has ample glamping facilities for the night.
The region is also known to offer the best views for astrophotography. Here you can spot millions of stars and several of the constellations with your naked eyes too.
# Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
If you are acquainted with the Indian version of Romeo and Juliet, then we need not tell you where Mandu is on the map. The backdrop of the famous love story of Baz Bahadur and Rupmati, Mandu today is one of the major tourist attractions of Madhya Pradesh. While earlier people visited Mandu for the various palaces like the Jahaz Mahal and Hindola Mahal, now it is the sky that holds most of the interest.
Covered by natural vegetation across vast stretches, the lighting here is favourable for stargazing. The palace grounds with their elevation and wide arches can easily serve as your observatory. All you need is a telescope and you are ready to catch glimpses of various planets and stars.
# Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
Another location from the Himalayas known both for its scenic beauty as well as Astro-Tourism opportunity is Lahaul and Spiti. Majestic snow-capped mountains surround this sparsely populated region of cold barren land. While you stargaze at night, you can spend your days here paying homage to the Kay monastery and trekking to the Kunzum pass. If you are a travel bug, you may have already come across some amazing pictures of the galaxy taken from here.
Many of the cafes and stay options are already equipped with telescopes for the best sky view at night. You can either check-in to such a hotel or carry your own set of equipment for the best experience.
# Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar
While most of the islands in the Andaman and Nicobar group offer quite a majestic view of the sky, experienced travellers are keen to pick up Neil Island as the top choice. Clear blue skies merge in the horizon with the equally clear and tranquil waters that mirror the celestial sphere. At night, millions of starlight up the island, offering the viewers an otherworldly experience of star-gazing.