One of my most enduring memories is that of getting out of a bus, half dazed with sleep in the wee hours of the night and looking up at the sky. The sky looked like a dazzling black inverted bowl resplendent with silvery stars twinkling with dazzling brightness. I was in the midst of nowhere and the spectacular night sky sent a thrill coursing through my very being. Night skies are the most beautiful of phenomena that Nature has gifted to mankind. One need not go all the way to Iceland or other foreign locations to witness the grandeur of the night skies, there are many places in India that offer amazing night skies to feast your eyes on. Here is a list of places in India where you succumb to the magical beauty of the night skies.
After a trek that will take you to a height of about 16,500 feet, you reach Roopkund which is a lake formed by the melting of glaciers. Roopkund lies in the state of Uttarakhand. The trek to Roopkund is by itself an epic one. Roopkund is also shrouded in a halo of enigma owing to a large number of human skeletons found at the bottom of the lake. Once you reach Roopkund and camp during the night, all your tiredness is sure to evaporate as night sets in and you are dazzled by the brilliant night sky.
Rann of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch is one of the largest salt deserts in the world. It is situated in the western Indian state of Gujarat. As night descends on the arid desert land. The area is transformed into a unique theater of black and white pastels as night descends. The stars twinkle in the sky and cast their rays on seemingly endless stretches of white sand, creating a mesmerizing effect. On a full moonlight, the moon literally seems to have descended on the desert sands in all its silvery glory. A night spent in the Rann of Kutch is something that cannot be easily forgotten.
In the idyllic locales of the Andaman and Nicobar islands lies a small island that was uninhabited till the 1960’s. This island is known as Neil Island and is close to its more illustrious neighbor, Havelock island. One of the major reasons to visit Neil Island is to spend a night of star gazing as this place which offers hypnotic vistas of the sky to get lost in. The beauty of the Milky Way seems to have multiplied manifold when viewed from Neil Island. The night sky seems to resemble an artist’s painting that has somehow been stuck to the skies.
The meadow of Gods or Sonmarg is situated in Kashmir, a veritable paradise on earth. Sonmarg is well known for its natural beauty. Serenaded by the Himalayan peaks and with the river Sindhu meandering mesmerizingly in its vicinity, Sonmarg is a picture perfect place to commune with nature. One fascinating aspect that adds to the beauty of Sonmarg is its spectacular night skies. A trip to Sonmarg would remain incomplete if one were not to feast their eyes on the dazzling night skies. Lying under the sky, watching the stars sparkling like a billion jewels with the looming white shapes of the Himalayan peaks in the background, one can be forgiven for thinking that this is paradise!
The night sky is probably one of the loveliest natural phenomena that is there to experience and cherish. There are so many places in India that one can head out to witness the skies and be spellbound by their beauty. These are only some of them. Just look around and you may find a place that is near to you.