India is launching its first Night Sky Sanctuary in Ladakh to boost Astro tourism

India is launching its first Night Sky Sanctuary in Ladakh to boost Astro tourism
  • The Department of Science & Technology (DST) is working on launching India's first Night Sky Sanctuary in Ladakh.
  • The sanctuary is expected to be ready in the next three months.
  • The sanctuary will be a part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.
One of India’s most attractive tourist attractions, Ladakh is closer to bringing the country’s first Night Sky Sanctuary. The sanctuary will be set up in the famous historic village called Hanle as a part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary work is in progress and expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The officials are assuming that this development will bring a boost to Astro tourism. It will be the world’s highest-located site. Dr Jitendra Singh said that all the stakeholders would jointly work toward preserving the night sky from unwanted light pollution and illumination, which seriously threatens scientific observations and natural sky conditions.

Why is it being developed in Hanle?
Hanle is considered the most suitable area for this because of its cold desert region. Being the highest-located site, Hanle is far away from populated areas, human disturbance or pollution. Minister also stated that the region is best suited because of the year-long clear sky and dry weather conditions.

Also, Hanle is the hub spot for telescopes like the Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT), High Energy Gamma Ray telescope (HAGAR), the Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Experiment Telescope (MACE) and GROWTH-India telescopes.

Dr Annapurni Subramaniam, Director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, told The Hindu, “There would be some restrictions during the evening and night to vehicles and headlights. There will be delineators on roads like you do outside observatories. People can come, park, observe the sky and stay in homestays”.


Introducing Night Sky Sanctuary will be a great initiative to provide occupation opportunities for people living in Hanle village. The main idea of this development is to promote an environment-friendly area for conducting astronomical observations without any distractions. Also, this new idea will preserve the natural light of the sky.

The first Night Sky Sanctuary development will attract tourists from various regions, leading to economic growth.
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