Pangong Tso, Tibetan for Narrow Lake is a landlocked river basin that is a commonplace of choice for Bollywood dance sequences, including that of King Khan! Pangong Tso can easily boast of being one of the prettiest lit skies in the country in whatever season, the starry skies painted with a mountainous background which is even more beautiful to gaze at in the winters- covered in snow.
Known For : Bactrian Camel Safari Panamik Village Yarab Tso, Sumur
Ladakh is one of the best places for stargazing in India. Fulfil your stargazing dreams with unparalleled views of the night sky at Nubra Valley, Ladakh. Your mornings filled with mesmerizing lakes and beautiful landscapes, and your nights filled with glittery skies. Also, the Shanti Stupa that is just 4 hours away from here is an excellent point to stargaze.
Best Time: June to September
The great Rann of Kutch is the largest salt marsh in the world. Here, one can experience a strange light phenomenon known as Chir Bhatti (Ghost lights) as well as beautiful views of the night sky. A lot of visual astronomy and astrophotography is possible from here, and most who have visited say that they can see nearly 6 magnitude stars with the naked eye. It is one of the best stargazing spots in India.
One of Andaman and Nicobar’s 572 islands, the Neil island is lit up with stars by evening, and its lush forests provide ample wind to caress your cheeks as you lie on its clean and beautiful beaches. There’s so much blue here, and the sky is smeared with stars for miles and miles as far as you can see or attempt to see making it a great place for stargazing in India. Carry a telescope to fulfil your experience.
Known For : Abbey Falls Talakaveri Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Coorg, a popular place for honeymooners and people who want a quick and beautiful break also has a beautiful nightlife- in the sense of the life that’s blown into the skies by the stars in the night time. It provides for a romantic night in the jungle with only the stars to keep one company. Definitely a place worth visiting for stargazing in India.
Best Time: October to March
Known For : Chandratal Lake Key Monastery Kunzum Pass
Spiti is considered to be a paradise for all stargazers. The crystal clear views of the skies makes it one of the perfect places for stargazing in India. Kibber town in Spiti Valley is considered the highest motorable village in the World. Elevated at 14000 feet, it is the ideal spot for stargazing in India and is considered a location that stands out amongst all others.
Best Time: Mid May to Mid Oct
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Known For : Jaisalmer Fort Desert Safari in Jaisalmer Kuldhara Village
Stargazing in India in the desert is always special. Undisturbed by any concrete obstruction. Next time request a safari that stays the night in the desert as well, you will not regret it.
Best Time: October to March
Named the Switzerland of India for a reason more than its appearance in the snow, Katao in Sikkim is a much more offbeat place to choose for stargazing in India. The skies are clear, unpolluted and beautiful and the tourists are on a low.
Mandarmani, also a lesser known spot for stargazing is known as one of the most romantic night skies in India. Around Mahalya (New moon)is the best time to watch the night sky with almost zero pollution, making it a place for stargazing in India.
Most people go to Roopkund to experience one of the most mesmerizing treks in their lives, and this experience is deemed complete with an experience of Roopkund’s night sky after an entire day of toil.
A popular district in Maharashtra for trekking with places like Ajja and Mahuli continuously being the place to hit for trekkers, Shahapur is also a beautiful place for stargazing in India.
Known For : Thajiwas Glacier Zoji La Vishansar Lake
Sonamarg, meaning meadow of Gold has snowy mountains with a backdrop of a cerulean sky. A sky so clear that by night time campers lie dazed under the stars that look like they have come out just to sparkle for Sonamarg and its guests.
Best Time: May to October
A place where Aryabhatta spent a lot of time counting stars, Taregna literally translates to ‘Counting stars.’ A lesser known spot to go about exploring space beyond us.
Known For : Killiyur Falls Lady's Seat Bear's Cave
One of the underrated hill stations in India, Yercaud in the south too offers beautiful opportunities for stargazing in India. Adorned by trees on all sides, it is called the Jewel of the South, maybe because of the strings of stars that appear in the night time.
Best Time: October to June
The Curzon trail, as Kuari pass is popularly known is home to five rivers. It offers a spectacular view of the Himalayas both in time of the sun and the moon. At night time, the peaks of the Himalayas and the starry sky are accentuated leaving the trekker breathless even in his rest time.
More known for its Flora, Fauna, and safaris, Dasada in the night time also becomes an astronomical enthusiast's loveliest memory. The stars and the canopy of trees all welcoming you into their realm.
The Hatu peak in the Narkanda region in India should be a must-have on your itinerary if you ever happen to be by this place. The peak itself is lesser known and requires one to travel by rocky roads. The mountainous region with the stars stretched out above you leave for a picture that stays blissfully in your mind for a long, long time. It is a awe-inspiring place for stargazing in India.
It’s banks serving as a camp site for Fort Rajmachi, Shirota is a convenient spot for stargazing both in terms of its closeness to Mumbai and Pune but as well as its thick forest cover and beautiful bankside. An offbeat location and free from the pollution, it’s an ideal place for stargazing in India.
Known For : Marichjhanpi Ghoramara Island New Moore Island
Lesser known among those who enjoy stargazing even, The Sunderbans offer not only clear skies for stargazing with shooting stars said to be spotted every 10 minutes, but also water containing bioluminescent bacteria which gives the water a unique glow. Some say you will feel like you are under the sky as well as sailing over it. Magical.
Best Time: September to March
Known For : Pangong Lake Magnetic Hill Zanskar Valley
The Indian Astronomical Observatory in Leh-Ladakh operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore has one of the world’s highest sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes. Situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters (14,764 feet ), it is currently the second highest observatory in the world. Also called the Hanle site, this observatory is deemed to be excellent for visible, infrared and sub-millimeter observations throughout the year. It has two telescopes, namely the Himalayan Chandra telescope and the High altitude Gamma-ray telescope. The observatory is at a 10-hour drive from Leh, the district capital of Ladakh and is close to the Chinese border.
Best Time: Jun to Sep
Sambhar Lake is located 64 kms from Ajmer enveloping the Sambhar town, on the National Highway 8 and is the largest saltwater lake in India. Want a view of theMilky Way galaxy without any observatories or telescopes? Sambhar Lake couldn't have been a better place for stargazing in India.
Known For : Kashid Beach Murud Janjira Fort Phansad Bird Sanctuary
A beach town, popular for its white sand and blue seas situated in Konkan region of Maharashtra, Kashid is the perfect destination for stargazing near Mumbai. It is just 4 hours away from Mumbai and is perfect to get away from the madding crowd.
Best Time: October to March
Stargazing in India: Tips Even though stargazing might seem like a simple thing to do, it is important to plan well in ahead so that you can derive the best out of the place you will be visiting keeping in mind your budget, time and who you will travelling with (Not everyone will be in for a quite night under the stars) Here are a few points to keep in mind before you embark upon your journey to find some truth in the shimmery skies that call you. 1. Do your research: Get well acquainted with the Lunar Calendar, find out the best vantage points and do basic research about what you can find if you look out at the sky in the night.(Movements of comets, stars, names, constellations) 2. Weather and Where to go: Make sure the weather is perfect and the skies are clear, the farther away you are from the city or nearest town, the better. Light can pollute your view. 3. Equipment and protection: Carry equipment and adequate measures to protect the equipment be it snow, dew or sand. 4. Technology: Apps like Google Skymap App can help you locate stars, constellations and the pole star among other things. 5. Other preparation: make sure you carry tents, torches, food, water and medicines among other required things. Checklists always help. Now, you’re all set for your stay at a five billion star hotel. Enjoy!