Do you believe in aliens? Or are you just a starry-eyed romantic looking for a magical experience? Either way, a visit to the Astronomical Observatory in Nainital is an absolute must-do!
Located on the Manora peak in Beluwakhan, Nainital, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Science (ARIES) boasts some of the most powerful telescopes in the country. You can gaze upon the stars, the moon, and other celestial bodies in all their glory, thanks to these high-tech gadgets imported from foreign lands.
But hold your horses! You need to make an appointment in advance to visit the centre. Don’t be that person who shows up unannounced and ruins everyone’s night with their starry-eyed enthusiasm.
Once you get there, you’ll be amazed by the three telescopes that call the observatory their home: the Sampurnanand Telescope (104cm), the Schmidt Telescope (50cm), and the Solar Telescope (15cm). They’re like the rockstars of the astronomy world, and you’ll feel lucky to be in their presence.
But wait, there’s a catch! You can only visit during 3-4 moonlit nights, which are fixed for special viewing. And even then, you need to book your slot in advance. Check out their website for more details https://www.aries.res.in/outreach/visitrequest.
Despite the logistical hurdles, a visit to the Astronomical Observatory is worth the trouble. The area is clean and properly maintained, and the view from the top is absolutely spectacular. Watching the series of mountains from this height is a treat to the eyes.
However, be warned: your experience may depend purely on luck. The government staff can be lethargic, and you might be left to their mercy. So, cross your fingers and hope for the best!