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Top places to stargaze in India

Top places to stargaze in India

Stargazing is an activity that has fascinated people for centuries. The vastness of the universe and the beauty of the night sky have always held a special place in human imagination. India is a country with a rich history of astronomy, and there are many places where one can experience the magic of stargazing thanks to its low light pollution, clear skies, and high altitudes.

Whether you are an amateur astronomer, a romantic soul, or just curious about the cosmos, you will find a place in India that will take your breath away with its stellar beauty. Here are some of the top places for stargazing in India that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

01. Ladakh

Ladakh is a region in the northernmost part of India, bordering Tibet and Pakistan. It is known for its rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and Buddhist culture. But it is also a paradise for stargazers, as it has some of the highest and darkest skies in the world.

Ladakh has several observatories and star parties where you can observe the stars, planets, galaxies, and even the Milky Way with telescopes and binoculars. You can also camp under the stars and enjoy the silence and solitude of this remote land.

02. Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley is a cold desert valley in the Himalayas, located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the least populated and most isolated regions in India, making it ideal for stargazing. Spiti Valley has a clear and unpolluted sky that offers a spectacular view of the stars and constellations.

You can also witness some of the rare celestial phenomena such as meteor showers, comets, and eclipses in this valley. Spiti Valley has several homestays and campsites where you can stay overnight and gaze at the stars.

03. Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh in the Thar Desert, located in the state of Gujarat. It is one of the largest salt deserts in the world, covering an area of about 10,000 square kilometers. Rann of Kutch is famous for its white salt flats that reflect the moonlight and create a surreal landscape.

But it is also a great place to stargaze, as it has a flat and open horizon that allows you to see the stars from all directions. You can also enjoy the cultural festivities and folk music of the local people during the Rann Utsav festival that takes place every year from November to February.

04. Coorg

Coorg is a hill station in the Western Ghats, located in the state of Karnataka. It is renowned for its waterfalls, wildlife, and coffee plantations. But it is also a hidden gem for stargazing, as it has a clear and cloudless sky that reveals the stars in all their glory. Coorg has several resorts and homestays that offer star gazing packages and activities. You can also join a guided night walk or a star gazing workshop to learn more about the stars and constellations.

The best time to visit Coorg for stargazing is during the winter months when the skies are at their clearest.

05. Neil Island-Andaman Islands

Neil Island is one of the best places in Andaman and Nicobar for star gazing. The island has clear skies, low light pollution, and a serene atmosphere. You can enjoy the spectacular views of the Milky Way, constellations, planets, and shooting stars from the beach or from a hilltop. The best time to visit Neil Island for star gazing is between November and February when the weather is pleasant and the sky is clear.

06. Sonmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

Sonmarg has historical significance since it serves as the entry point to the historic Silk Road, a high-altitude mountain route that connects Kashmir with China. Due to the stunning, snow-covered landscapes, it is a popular destination for travellers and campers.

Additionally, due to the lack of pollution and noise in this area, the night sky is a translucent tint with millions of sparkling stars. During the summer, you can take a car from Srinagar to Sonmarg, a well-known location on the road to Leh.

07. Jaisalmer

People travel to the well-known tourist destination of Jaisalmer Fort in the Thar Desert for desert camping, camel safaris, and car safaris. Furthermore, stargazing is a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed in the serene desert environment.

When photographing breathtaking nighttime scenes, such as sand dunes bathed in a sparkling canopy, a pollution-free environment is essential. You can hire a self-drive car to go here from Jodhpur during the winter, which is the greatest time for travellers to visit.

08. Mount Katao-Sikkim

Mount Katao is a popular destination for star gazing in Sikkim, India. It is located at an altitude of about 4,500 meters and offers a clear view of the night sky. The best time to visit Mount Katao is from October to March, when the weather is dry and the sky is dark. Visitors can enjoy the sight of various constellations, planets, and shooting stars. Mount Katao is also a good place for camping and trekking.

09. Sariska- Rajasthan

The first Astro-resort in India and a literal dream come true for everyone who loves to sleep under the stars, Astroport in Sariska is a one-stop shop for all astrophiles. Sariska, known for its tiger reserve, offers visitors the chance to see some rare, unusual, and endangered kinds of plants and animals that have been magnificently maintained in the area’s vast forest that is located in the Aravalli Mountains.

Sariska is considered to be the second-darkest location in India after Ladakh, making it a fantastic location for astronomy. Some of the best things to do in Sariska include exploring the local animals during the day and getting the best photos of the night sky.

10. Kodaikanal- Tamil Nadu

Kodaikanal, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, is a hill station known for its natural beauty and cool climate. The region is also home to the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, which is run by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. The observatory hosts stargazing sessions for visitors, and its high altitude and clear skies make it an excellent place to observe the night sky.

FAQs

Q.1-Best stargazing places in Maharashtra

  • Kasarsai Dam: Hinjewadi, Pune
  • Naneghat: Malshej Ghat,
  • Dehene Village: Near Matheran,
  • Vaitarna: Nashik, Maharashtra
  • Torna Fort: Velhe Taluka, Pune.

Q.2- Best stargazing places in world

Here are some of the best stargazing places in the world:

  • Namib Rand Nature Reserve, Namibia
  • Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand
  • Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming
  • Death Valley National Park, California
  • Atacama Desert, Chile
  • Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania
  • Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, United States
  • Mauna Kea, Hawaii, United States

Q.3- Best places to see milky way in India

  • Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, Tamil Nadu
  • Lonar Crater, Maharashtra
  • Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar

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