Stars in the velvet black skies have always fascinated people since time immemorial. Stargazing was not just a pastime but a guide to cross the continents, and navigate the seas and even the constellations were thought of as charting fates. This was the time when there was nothing called astronomy. Now, crystal clear skies and the beauty of the night is a rare occurrence in big cities like Jaipur where twinkling stars fade behind pale pollution as the sky looks dull at night and the moon loses its shine to the fumes in the atmosphere. Astro tourism in Jaipur came as a boon to sky gazers giving them a chance to see through outer space and watch night skies at their ease. Stargazing in Jaipur allows seeing stars from close while being footed firmly on earth giving a breathtakingly beautiful sight that takes you in awe.
Night tourism and stargazing in Jaipur have gained immense popularity since Starscapes, a chain of observatories, established a mobile astronomical observatory in Jaipur. If you have interest in constellations and stargazing, this information talks about what you should know.
Jaipur Permanent Observatory
Astro tourism in Jaipur is ready to get a boost after gaining momentum for Astro Tourism in Pink City. Starscapes, a chain of observatories, has set up a Mobile Stargazing Observatory in the city. As a part of this endeavour, Starscapes is soon to establish an astronomical observatory in Rajasthan’s Jaipur to help tourists delve deep into a world outside their world. For stargazing in Jaipur, the observatory would regularly host numerous sessions around stargazing.
Starscape’s permanent observatories have a high-end motorized Go-To telescope of 8-inch or 11-inch. Those interested in reading the stars can watch the moon, night sky, stars, and planets closely through this telescope. This telescope hoists on a fixed plinth inside a solid structure with a moveable cover. There will also be other equipment to entice stargazers such as high-end DSLR cameras, planetary cameras and special photographic mounts that will help astrophotography. There will be a souvenir store and a museum-cum-experience centre too.
Wildlife safaris, nature walks, treks and water activities have been happening for a while now, but exploring the skies is still a very budding hobby because of a lack of opportunities. Astro tourism will be a new start of a unique opportunity for people to experience nature like never before.
You can also read : Jantar Mantar Jaipur – An Artful Astronomical Observatory
Features of Starscapes Jaipur Observatory
The Starscapes Jaipur observatory would regularly host several sessions around stargazing. The Night Sky Tourism involves astronomy narrations by pros of the science department. Their insights, knowledge and understanding of the field will be a valuable experience for the viewers. Among them are the following activities:
- Stargazing sessions: A guided session by experts to gain insight into the universe.
- Sun Observation: The observatory offers safe viewing of the sun to discover some fascinating aspects of the Sun.
- Experiential Science Activities: Visitors get an access to Science activities for an insight into the working knowledge of things like cameras, rockets and their journey to space, etc.
- Star parties: This session aims to offer things like a stargazing safari and astrophotography.
- Visitors get to click a Selfie with the stars against a backdrop of stars.
Prices of Astro tourism in Jaipur
For stargazing, visitors can take part in various activities during the day, which includes experiential science activities. The price for this activity may be a minimum of Rs. 200, and the time limit is half an hour to one hour.
For sun observation, there are sessions and workshops around the sun and shows in the night sky. The cost will be ranging from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000 and will last for 45 minutes to an hour.
There is also merchandise that you can buy ranging from Rs. 100 for a DIY telescope to mid-range telescopes at Rs. 50,000.
Things to consider when visiting Jaipur Starscapes Observatory
When visiting Jaipur Starscapes Observatory, keep in mind that it will get chilly, so dress accordingly. If you plan to visit during the day, make sure you stay nearby. However, it would be good to stay till the evening, since the night sky is always the main attraction. If you visit at night, do follow the weather forecast to avoid clouds. Moreover, plan your visit after contacting the observatory as there are different objects visible at different times in the sky. You can contact to learn about what is visible at what time.
Why Jaipur for Astro tourism?
Jaipur is the exclusive area in India for stargazing because of its ideal geographical location, with on-looking shady skies and the tiniest light pollution. On the measurement ranking of light pollution, Jaipur comes in the class 5 category on a scale of 9, making it one of the prime locations for stargazing.
The theory behind
To understand this you have to first know the theory of measurement. Well, there are two major deterrents to stargazing which are “clouds” and “light pollution”. The cloud in the sky depends totally on the weather conditions and can be detected by following the weather forecast.
While light pollution is caused entirely by artificial lights from homes, streetlights, vehicles etc. These artificial lights get reflected off the dust in the climate, producing a visible fog of light in the sky. This fog or mist is referred to as light pollution.
Now, as we know the stars vary in size and distance from the earth, both the reasons affect the clarity with which we can see them. This fog in the sky which appears due to light pollution hinders our view of the stars and celestial objects. The higher the light pollution, the dimmer the stars look. They have to be brighter to be easily visible.
Bortle scale measurement
The amount of light pollution is measured through the Bortle Scale. When the Bortle scale is a 9-point it indicates the brightness of the sky. Generally, the cities count 8 or 9 on the Bortle Scale, where only the brightest stars, the Moon, and the planets can be seen in the constellation. Sometimes, even the brightest stars are hardly observable.
On the other hand, 1-point on the Bortle scale usually comes in the extreme places or the natural places which are miles away from any abode such as in the interior of the forest, open seas, big lakes, deep in the mountains, etc. So, when selecting the location for setting up the observatory the darkness of the skies need to be in balance. This highly depends on the remoteness of the location as well as the accessibility. So, the chosen location may be closer to towns but proportionally increasing light pollution as well.
Jaipur the ideal location
This location chosen in Jaipur affords a Class 4 sky and is just 30 minutes from Jaipur and around 3.5 to 4 hours from the national capital. In terms of accessibility, the observatory will be accessible the whole year, unlike those in mountains which are off during severe winters. Secondly, it has resorts and farmhouses in the vicinity, which bring with them food and stay facilities. Hence Jaipur is the ideal destination in every aspect.
Pink City is the ideal destination for Astro tourism
Jaipur adds to the star gazing thrills against the backdrop of starry nights. It is the ideal destination to witness the magical scenes in the sky as watching shooting stars spread showers of light in the sky or discovering constellations come to you innately in the pink city. The city definitely beckons you for a gaze at the wonders of celestial bodies standing in the dark and feeling overwhelmed by the vast star-studded sky. It is an enthralling experience that Astro tourism offers.
Jaipur is the perfect place for stargazing being a tourist attraction. The astronomical observatory nestles near prime tourist locations of Jaipur such as Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh Fort and Jal Mahal. Also, there are many popular resorts near the observatory making it a great place for a unique stargazing event.
Take a moment to marvel at the stars in the night sky and enjoy the sense of being close to the cosmos where “Stars smile down on you”. Looking at the stars and watching them glitter can even be more fun if we are with our loved ones or our friends.