Looking up to see a sky full of stars is a much-coveted luxury in the dust-laden metro cities that most of us find ourselves in. In order to combat this, we have bought home telescopes and designed numerous apps to recreate a fraction of the experience from our rooms, but nothing compares to the satisfaction of stargazing out in the open. So we curated a list of some of the 6 best places tucked away in the mountains of India where you can lie down under the sky and stare at the endless web of stars glistening above you.
Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Located about 140km from Leh, you must head out to the Shanti Stupa, an excellent spot for stargazing. Apart from the stars, you can also enjoy the picturesque views and go for Bactrian Camel rides during the day.
A slightly more offbeat destination, not many know of this place as a spot for stargazing. All the more reason why you should spend a night here! Away from the hustle and bustle of the main city, and often surrounded by snow, it is the ideal location for a serene, undisturbed night studying the stars.
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Spiti Valley is known for its Kibber town which is the highest motorable village in the world. Located at approximately 14,000 feet, this town is a great favourite with space enthusiasts because of its night sky shimmering with stars.
Sonmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
An ideal place for camping, Sonmarg at night is often a hub of astronomers all of whom gather in this meadow of gold to observe the stars sprawling out above them. Perched at an altitude of 2,800 m above sea level, this beautiful meadow surrounded by lush forests is a sight to behold at night.
Kuari Pass, Uttarakhand
Another lesser known destination on the list, Kuari Pass, which is also often known as the Curzon Trail, is an excellent spot for stargazing. Trekkers camping in the area are in for a stunning night here with the starry skies scattered around the peaks of the Himalayas.
Indian Astronomical Observatory, Ladakh
Operated by the Indian Institute for Astrophysics and standing at 4,500 m above sea level, this place is the second highest observatory in the world. A 10-hour drive from Leh, this observatory is very popular among astronomers, scientists and researchers. It has two main telescopes – the Himalayan Chandra Telescope and the High-Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope. Owing to this and the numerous other spots for stargazing scattered across Ladakh, it is often hailed as India’s “Moonland.”