Ladakh is all set to become the first Dark Sky Reserve in India.

Ladakh is all set to become the first Dark Sky Reserve in India.

Ladakh is all set to become the first Dark Sky Reserve in the country, months after preparations to start a special project to promote astrotourism were reported. Radha Krishna Mathur, the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, will virtually inaugurate the facility on October 31. 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 ambassadors will assist travellers coming to Hanle in order to obtain a glimpse of the Milky Way galaxy. The initiative by the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), the Union Territory administration, and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru aims to lower light pollution in the region for better observations and to boost the local economy by harnessing the power of astronomy. 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.