Home Mussoorie Astro tourism will develop multi-dimensional tourism in the state: Dhami

Astro tourism will develop multi-dimensional tourism in the state: Dhami


India’s first astro tourism campaign “Nakshatra Sabha” inaugurated in Mussoorie

By Our Staff Reporter

Mussoorie, 1 Jun: India’s first ever astro-tourism campaign was inaugurated today by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at George Everest Mussoorie. This campaign has been titled, ‘Nakshatra Sabha’ and has been hosted by Uttarakhand Tourism Department in collaboration with Astro Tourism Company. This is aimed to boost multi-dimensional tourism in Uttarakhand.

This is a different kind of event in itself, for the first time in the country ‘Nakshatra Sabha’ has been organised on the theme of Astro Tourism. This two day event will run till tomorrow. In line with the vision of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the Tourism Department has taken this initiative to promote multi-dimensional tourism activities in the state besides religious tourism. Chief Minister Dhami has congratulated the successful organisation of “Nakshatra Sabha” by the Tourism Department. Dhami said that in view of multidimensional tourism in the state, the government is also developing other resources. Chief Minister Dhami said that the government is making various efforts to promote green tourism. The Chief Minister said that apart from religious tourism, special attention is being paid to adventure tourism, wellness tourism as well as astro tourism in the state. He said that the government is also in the process of setting up Astro Village at various places in the state.

Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj said that the government is trying to ensure that all the tourists who come to the state get a better experience. He said that emphasis is being laid on developing new tourist destinations in the state. The inaugural ceremony of the event was held at George Everest Estate in Mussoorie in the presence of Dr Dipankar Banerjee, Director, Aryabhatta Observational Science Research Institute, Dr Prabhas Pandey, Professor, Delhi University, Akash Sinha, Assistant Professor, Practice, School of Engineering, Shiv Nadar University, Dr TV Venkateswaran, Vigyan Prasar, and Ramashish Ray, Founder of Starscapes.

The selection of George Everest peak as the venue for the event holds important historical significance. Named after the famous British surveyor Sir George Everest, the peak was the centre of the Trigonometrical Survey of India, which was important for the accurate mapping of the country. Pt Nain Singh Rawat collaborated extensively with Sir George Everest in the survey of the Himalayan region. Recently, the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Council had also inaugurated the country’s first cartography museum at Sir George Everest Estate.

‘Nakshatra Sabha’ offers a holistic astro tourism experience with many activities like stargazing through special equipment, special solar observations, astrophotography competition, camping under the stars. Nakshatra Sabha will be organised by mid-2025, offering a series of intensive programs at various locations across Uttarakhand. It will cover dark sky potential sites in Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Nainital, Chamoli districts, apart from seminars and webinars with experts. The initiative aims to bring astronomy enthusiasts together to witness the beauty of the universe.

The campaign claims that it will provide training and skill development opportunities to local youth, creating new employment opportunities for them. Apart from this, it is also advocating for the conservation of dark skies by fostering a community of ambassadors dedicated to promoting dark sky conservation efforts in Uttarakhand. This includes the formulation of a dark sky conservation policy and its implementation across the region throughout the year. The Starscapes team intends to actively engage with local communities, travel and tourism partners as well as homestay communities and provide training and ongoing support to ensure the successful implementation of Nakshatra Sabha.

Sachin Kurve, Secretary Tourism/CEO, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Council said that with the launch of Nakshatra Sabha, the department aims at putting Uttarakhand at the forefront of astro tourism. This unique initiative has been launched in collaboration with ‘Starscapes’. Uttarakhand with its vast forest area, nature-based tourism and homestays is uniquely positioned to become the choice of astro tourists. This campaign is another step in that direction. The objective is to invite visitors from across the world. The government looks forward to hosting many more such campaigns to ensure a glimpse of Uttarakhand’s unique heritage as well as an experience of the magic of the universe that can put Uttarakhand on the global astro tourism map.

Ramashish Ray, Founder, Starscapes said that for the past several years, Starscapes has been hosting several Astro Tourism camps in collaboration with Uttarakhand Tourism Development Council, which have received a good response. Starscapes is fortunate to be associated with this annual Astro Tourism campaign of the Department of Tourism – ‘Nakshatra Sabha’. The concept of this campaign is to establish Uttarakhand as an ideal Astro Tourism destination and provide employment opportunities to the local communities by connecting them with Astro Tourism.