More often than not, we find ourselves gazing up into the sky squinting as best we can to spot a single star, only to have an ominous shroud of black nothingness stare right back at us. In a city full of blinding lights scraping the sky, star gazing is a distant dream - a distance of 1,269 kilometers to be precise. Nestled in between the Aravalli range and the Sariska National Park in Rajasthan lies Astroport Sariska, India’s first astronomy resort.
Dubbed as the second darkest sight in India, Astropark Sariska offers up an incredible view of the sky best suited for astronomical observation. They have professional Dub telescopes, cameras and binoculars at hand, ready for you to gaze at more stars than you can imagine, and there is sure to be someone who can help you make sense of what you’re looking up at. Additionally, they can help you make your own telescope and sundial, identify zodiac signs and teach you a thing or two about astro photography. Luckily, not all their activities revolve around the night skies, and being next door to a national park doesn’t hurt. During the day, you can book a jungle safari to track tigers, go on ATV rides, head to the Mansarovar lake just 3 km away, and go on treks to old forts, caves and natural wonders of the desert.
This astropark also has a larger vision in mind, being pioneers within the nation. According to their website, “Astroport in its larger view aims at providing employment or creating entrepreneurs in the field of astronomy. Astroports are fully equipped to execute these trainings and provide certifications that can be used later to earn a livelihood.” It is this vision of theirs that truly sets them apart from any other form of retreat or organization to currently exist in India.
Given that it is a retreat, there are currently two types of accomodation available. Galaxia holds two King size beds fit to accomadate 4-6 people, and comes up to INR 13,000 including all meals. Nebula, the other option, holds 8 Queen size beds and can host upto 10 people at a price of INR 22,000 inclusive of all meals. At the moment, construction is underway for more accomodation options. The space is as environmentally friendly as can be - complete with organic farms, drip irrigation and solar energy.
The next time there’s a bunch of you looking to get away from big city life for a weekend amidst the stars, you know exactly where to go. For more information on Astroport Sariska and to make reservations, please visit their website here.
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