Ladakh is regarded as India’s unspoiled hidden jewel. The union territory is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, highest mountain passes, exhilarating adventure activities, clear skies, festivals, and Buddhist monasteries. The pristine natural beauty of Ladakh draws millions of tourists each year, and now there’s even more of a reason for them to go there. For all the travel freaks, there is good news that the seculed place is ready to have India’s first dark sky reserve in Hanle.
Known as The Little Tibet, it is poised to become the first Dark Sky Reserve in the country, months after preparations to start a special project to promote astrotourism were reported. The Ladakh UT administration is seen taking deliberate steps to preserve the night sky. On October 31, Radha Krishna Mathur, the lieutenant governor of Ladakh, will officially open the facility.
The Dark Sky Reserve is part of the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary and is situated in Hanle, which is around 300 kilometres from Ladakh. Hanle is one of the most tranquil and captivating places on earth. About 1,000 people reside in the small village, which is situated in the Hanle River valley. 24 astro ambassadors have been chosen as part of the initiative from a group of five villages near the Indian Astronomical Observatory.
The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council will fund the purchase of 8-inch Dobsonian telescopes for the astro ambassadors, who will use them to observe the universe and open up a new source of income. The ambassadors will assist travellers coming to Hanle in order to obtain a glimpse of the Milky Way galaxy.
The local economy has already benefited from the establishment of the Dark Sky Reserve. To accommodate astro-tourists travelling to Hanle to see the universe, several homestays have shown up in the villages near the observatory. As the opening date draws closer, more tourists from around the world are anticipated in the Ladakh region.