Ladakh just gave us another incredible reason why it should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Ladakh is now home to the Hanle Dark Sky Reserve, India’s first dark sky reserve. Hanle is a small village in the Changthang region, about 270 km southeast of Leh.
Within the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, the six enclaves of Book, Shado, Punguk, Khuldo, Naga, and Tibetan refugee habitat together form a group or an area that is officially notified as Hanle Dark Sky Reserve.
Prior to this, Hanle had only the Indian Astronomical Observatory. Now, a total area of 1,073 km around Hanle is a Dark Sky Reserve, and if you are an astronomy enthusiast, this is the best place for you.
Now that the Hanle Dark Sky Reserve, located at an altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level, has been officially notified, HDSR will come into effect and reduce the effects of artificial light pollution from homes, streetlights, vehicles, and other sources. Will take steps
However, the notification mentions that voluntary efforts should be made by villagers and local government agencies towards reducing artificial light pollution. Along with conserving wildlife, the reserve aims to promote Astro-tourism, spreading awareness and education about astronomy and holistic scientific thinking among youth and tourists.
Do you know what is a Dark Sky Reserve?
The Dark Sky Reserve is an area where light pollution is monitored. Basically, there are many restrictions around the reserve where humans are not allowed near any strong sources of light. So you have total darkness which makes sky observation easier and more fun.
Even if there are settlements around the reserve, they have to follow a set of rules to maintain the idea of minimal to zero light pollution. So for those visiting Hanle, please note, no artificial lights of any kind (including vehicle lights) will be allowed inside the reserved area.
Henley Dark Sky Reserve will now be accessible to the general public throughout the year. Hanle’s cold and dry weather made the Dark Sky Reserve a possibility! So cool.
Most of the local villagers are trained to show astro-tourists the wonders of Hanle’s deep skies.