We all dream of wild adventures under a sky full of stars, but how often do we get to live it up in cities full of smog and dust? Well, during my trip the Stargate observatory at the Alwarbagh resort by Aamod near Sariska National Park i ticked off one pending adventure from my bucket list — to party under the starry skies and brush up my planetary skills from school once again.
Indulge in cosmic wonders: If you are a space nerd or generally inquisitive about planets and constellations, a weekend exploring the Stargate Observatory could be a memorable experience for you.
Stargate is India’s first private observatory chain which NUOS Electronics proposes to build across India, giving fillip to theme-based tourism and to promote amateur astronomy as a hobby. Stargate Observatories are run by a team of experienced astronomers, science communicators and educators. The team includes internationally-acclaimed astrophotographer Atish Aman, Ramashish Ray, who has held top positions in various multinational companies and veteran science communicators like Pradeep Bhattacharya and Y S Gill.
Stargate has also been conducting astrophotography/astronomy event tours at remote dark sky locations like Spiti and Uttarakhand hills. The Stargate Observatory and Space & Astronomy Museum at Kausani, Uttarakhand is a big tourist attraction. Students from different schools visit the observatory for stargazing and student research projects. For someone like me, a self-proclaimed stargazer, watching planets like Saturn with its beautiful rings, Jupiter with its four Galilean moons, Mars as a red ball and Venus in the evening and morning star phases was an absolute delight. Other than watching planets and moon, we even go to observe the outer solar system, galaxies, nebulas and star clusters several light years away. After sunset, one can watch craters, mountains, terrain and other surface features on the moon with an 8 inch GOTO telescope. To know more, log on to https://www.stargateindia.com/
When to visit the observatory? : Check out the calendar of special space events such as meteor showers, full-moon nights and planetary alignments in advance before you plan a trip to the observatory for the best experience. Whereas, if you are a wildlife enthusiast then the best time to visit the Sariska National Park is throughout the year. If you want to avoid the scorching heat, it is advised to visit it during the months of October to March. The park is open to the public from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM but stays closed on most national holidays. Although, the place is operational all throughout the year, it is best to avoid monsoon season as the skies are mostly cloudy and visual observation becomes difficult.
The Aamod Experience:
The observatory at Sariska, Rajasthan, is located at Alwar Bagh by Aamod, a unit of Aamod Resorts. The resort welcomed us with open arms and we got to experience some wonderful nature trails, short walks to the foothills of Aravallis and a memorable Jungle safari at Sariska National Park. From enjoying wonderful starry sessions as part of the Space & Astronomy museum to experiencing interactive sessions early morning — this trip reminded me an educational school camp, and the best part was that it we had some awesome local Rajasthani food to relish and party under the shinning stars.
Speaking about the observatory, Mr. Gaurav Jain, MD, Aamod Resorts mentions, “It has always been our endeavor to offer a number of unique experiences to our guests at Alwar Bagh by Aamod, Sariska. We have been fortunate to find a partner in Stargate, who are the pioneers in their field of astronomy. Just a few hours’ drive from NCR and the clear skies at Sariska allow you to gaze at stars, moon, clusters, constellations in a completely exciting and an out-of-the-world experience. ”
Place of interest around Alwar and Sariska: There are monuments named after the ‘Pandavas’ which still exist around Sariska, and around Alwar once can find ancient temples, medieval forts, palaces, and gardens. There are many places of interest apart from the Sariska National Park which is home to a different variety of birds and animals. Alwar- once known to be the gateway of the Rajputana, and a visit to the historical city means going back into time. Alwar has been amongst the oldest cities in Rajasthan and it’s prehistoric as well as historic existence is an archaeological delight. The presence of the Aravalli mountain range also provides Alwar with a lot of picturesque locations- deep valleys and a deep forest cover, where you can spot several species birds and animals.
How to reach the property? The Stargate observatory is situated at the Alwarbagh resort, which can be easily located between Sariska Tiger Reserve and Alwar city on Alwar Jaipur road. It is just four hours away from Delhi NCR (approx 180 kms) as the beautiful Aamod property is located out of the Alwar city. A short cab ride from the Alwar railway station, and you’ll be there in no time.