A few experiences in life are so overwhelming that you feel connected to some unknown energy. In a world where air pollution is actually a thing you cannot avoid, it can be a challenge to find a place away from the city, where you can explore the night sky. Fascinating and enthralling to our eyes, we have put together a guide to witness the infinite beauty and the ineffable vastness of the galaxy that we share with the stars. Not many know this, but India has a whole lot of destinations that offer astonishing views of clear skies which are perfect for star gazing. So here we have 8 places to stargaze in India, which will leave you spellbound:
Neil Island, Andaman Nicobar island -
Located 40 km northeast of Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Neil Island is famous for its gorgeous beaches, underwater wonders, tranquil vibe and secluded location. The sky turns all blue instead of going complete black at night, and that hint of blue will surely have your heart! The destination is visited by star gazers from various parts of the world, who mostly come here to witness the blue-hued surroundings. It is surreal to see the waterline transform into a shimmering sea of stars, mirroring the starlit velvet sky above.
Rann of Kutch, Gujarat -
Spending a night in the harsh yet breath-taking Rann of Kutch is nothing less than an adventure. Stars shine down here in all their glory! For stargazers, this unique setting with its unending stretches of white earth, clear skies and a blanket of stars is an unforgettable experience. All you need to do is lie down on your back in the white desert, and observe the glittering mystical creation of God.
Turuk Village, Nubra Valley, Ladakh, Jammu Kashmir -
Surrounded by starkly beautiful slopes, boulder fields and harsh arid mountains, Turtuk Village in Nubra valley is one of the best places for stargazing in India. Located on the banks of the Shyok river, and with absolutely no pollution in the region, the beautiful Turuk Village, offers brilliant opportunities to the stargazers. You look above, and see the Moon playing games with twinkling little stars and clouds all the time. The best way to witness this magic is through camping. Choose to stay in open tents so that you’ll be able to gaze throughout the night.
Matheran , Maharashtra -
Being a no-vehicle destination, Matheran is one of the most unpolluted places in India and offers a clear and stunning view of the night sky. Viewpoints like the Echo Point and Hart Point give a spectacular and unhindered view of the sky for stargazers.
Coorg, Karnataka -
You can spend several nights in Coorg just stargazing, it’s so beautiful out there! One of the best spots in India to soothe your eyes with sparkling stars, Coorg showers many opportunities to peacefully enjoy the night under the grand canopy of a starry sky. Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine the stars peeking from behind the picture-perfect mountain peaks, the sound of gushing waterfall, the sweet fragrance of coffee beans filling your nose. Make sure you carry a tent with open roof when you go camping in the woods in Coorg!
Mt Katao, Yumthang Valley, Sikkim -
One of the Sikkim’s best-kept travel secrets, Katao in the Yumthang Valley is an epitome of serenity. With its lofty snow clad peaks, emerald slopes and quaint villages dotted with multi-hued prayer flags, this traveller’s paradise is a great option for people who wish to go on a stargazing trip.
Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh, Jammu Kashmir -
Fulfill your stargazing dreams with unparalleled views of the night sky at the enchantingly beautiful Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh. At this highland lake, the starry night sky outlines the natural starkness of the landscape making it a stunning display that almost makes you want to grab a star and put it in your pocket. The place has been identified as one of the predominant spots in the country to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way. There’s nothing between you and the stars here, apart from the Himalayas.
Spiti Valley, Himanchal Pradesh -
When the infinite stars takes over the vast sky only to become a glittering spectacle, all you want to do is close your eyes and save this picture forever in the labyrinth of your mind! The Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh gives you the opportunity to live this dream with its clear sky and zero pollution. People who have been lucky enough to have this experience swear by the beauty of the night and stars. A number of stargazers and photographers visit the place, and stay up whole night for that perfect moment to capture a shooting star or the Milky Way.
Some tips before you plan to Stargaze
Weather condition -
Do some weather research before you embark on your stargazing journey. Clear sky, without cloud, wind or mist, is an essential. So, make sure that weather is perfect or else you might get disappointed.
Equipment / travel accessories-
If possible carry an open-roof tent if you wish to experience something as glorious as starry sky. Carry a DSLR camera with preferably fisheye lens, some winter clothes as per the temperature, torch and food. Remember, go far high and away from cities or any source of artificial light if you have astro-photography on your mind.
Some research: Get a little familiar with the stars and constellations. The best time to stargaze is around New Moon; research and visit the place around then.
Mobile apps -
There are various mobile apps that you can download to understand planets, stars and how the universe works. This might help you in getting a better understanding of the starry movements above.