All About India’s First Astro Tourism Campaign Launched By Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board

All About India’s First Astro Tourism Campaign Launched By Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board


Nakshatra Sabha: The travel and tourism industry is constantly evolving, with people eager to explore unseen sides and aspects of the planet. ‘Astro tourism’ has now emerged a new attraction where tourists travel to a destination for star-gazing and observe other astro events. The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board has come up with this new campaign, ‘Nakshatra Sabha’, which aims to bring the state on the global map of astro tourism. With an astro tourism company, ‘Starscape’, as its partner, the Uttarakhand tourism department has launched this campaign to attract astronomy enthusiasts, adventure lovers, and travellers who prefer to explore the majestic sky.

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All About Uttarakhand Nakshatra Sabha

With its majestic mountains, waterfalls, and several other attractions, Uttarakhand is already a leading state when it comes to tourism. Now, to make the state the first choice among star-gazers, the Uttarakhand Tourism Board has launched ‘Nakshatra Sabha’. This campaign aims to provide breathtaking views of the sky and also educate people about light pollution and dark sky preserves.

The initiative is set to commence in the first week of June from the George Everest Peak of Mussoorie and will run till mid-2025. Later, it will also cover other locations including Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Nainital and Chamoli districts.

Uttarakhand Tourism Board to boost the Astro-Tourism in the state. (Image Source: Canva)

 

This campaign is designed for travellers who seek experiences of the night sky, special solar observations, astrophotography, and adventures such as camping under a starlit canopy.

This programme also seeks to identify potential dark sky sites within the state and educate the local community through a range of seminars and webinars. Technical training on how to use this platform to boost the local economy will also be provided. Additionally, efforts towards creating dark sky preserves and advocate for the formation of a dark sky preservation policy will also be made.

What Is A Dark Sky Preserve?

A dark sky preserve is a designated area that is protected from light pollution to preserve the natural night environment. These areas are specifically managed to maintain dark skies, allowing for better visibility of celestial objects such as stars, planets, and galaxies. The primary goals of dark sky preserves are to protect night environment and prevent skyglow and other forms of light pollution by minimising artificial light sources.

These sites also aim to provide optimal conditions for astronomers to observe the night sky, raise awareness about the negative impacts of light pollution on ecosystems, and human health, and helping nocturnal wildlife and plants that rely on natural darkness for their life cycles and activities.

Dark sky preserves often include guidelines and regulations on lighting, such as using shielded fixtures, reducing light intensity, and using lighting only when necessary. 

In India, the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) is the first dark-sky preserve. Operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, the IAO is a high-altitude astronomy station in Hanle (Ladakh) in the Western Himalayas.

In January this year, the Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra became India’s first dark sky park.

Nakshatra Sabha: All About India's First Astro Tourism Campaign Launched By Uttarakhand Tourism
Nakshatra Sabha is India’s first-ever year-long Astro tourism campaign. (Image Source: Starscape)

 

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How To Book Tickets For Nakshatra Sabha

All those who want to participate can register themselves on the official website of Starscapes company at starscapes.zone/nakshatra-sabha-2024. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Visit the official website of Starscapes
  • Enter all details as asked and click on submit. 
  • Pay the online registration fee which amounts to INR 799/- after which, you will receive a confirmation email and text message with every detail. 
  • Take a printout of the confirmation copy. 

 

What To Expect At Nakshatra Sabha

The campaign offers a number of activities.

1. Participants will have access to ample astronomy equipment and trainers to guide them with their use and celestial observation.

2. They will get a chance to interact with astronomy experts through engaging seminars where they can get the answers to all their questions about the mysteries of the universe.

3. Photography enthusiasts can participate in an astrophotography contest and win awards.

4. Participants can take part in a special solar observation and exploration aligned with the sun’s activity and the active Aditya Mission.

5. A Dark Sky Preservation campaign will offer locals with an opportunity to sustainably enhance their economy. It aims to raise awareness and educate people about preserving dark skies. Additionally, it will discuss the significance of implementing the Dark Sky preservation policy.

(Image Source: Canva)
(Image Source: Canva)

 

Other Must-Visit Places For Stargazing In India

In the past few years, stargazing has become quite popular in India. Here are a few must-visit places in India where people flock to for stargazing:

  • Ladakh 
  • Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
  • Kanatal, Uttarakhand
  • Chamba, Himachal Pradesh
  • Pin Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh
  • Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
  • Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
  • Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

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