Now tourists to Rajasthan’s capital city Jaipur have an added attraction - night sky tourism.
Jaipur is known for its astronomical marvel, the Jantar Mantar which was built in 1734 by Sawai Jai Singh II. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Now, the new Night Sky Tourism will add on to that and provide an opportunity to city-dwellers, students, researchers and tourists to observe the night sky with the help of a telescope and other astronomy equipment, said Mugdha Sinha, secretary, department of science and technology.
Events will be organised each month at different locations across the city, according to the placement of the celestial bodies in the sky.
Night Sky Tourism was officially launched at a small ceremony at the secretariat lawns on Thursday night.
Dr BD Kalla, minister of art and culture said that Night Sky Tourism will give a fillip to night tourism in the state.
“It is indeed a heartening step as the pandemic wanes and tourism activities pick up again. The visiting tourists, both foreign and domestic will benefit from this facility,” he said after observing the sky through the telescope.
Chief Secretary Niranjan Arya said, “With advancement in equipment including high-powered telescopes, it is now possible for the visitors to admire the heavenly bodies from earth. People should make use of this opportunity."
Sinha said that the state government has taken the initiative to start up night tourism after the lockdown.
“Using new astronomical technology the people of Jaipur have the opportunity to see the night sky, stars, planets, the moon and much more. This initiative will ensure that Jaipur becomes known for science and technological advancements along with history and heritage.”
On February 11, visitors can see the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Venus and from the Jantar Mantar.
On March 5, visitors can see the conjunction of Venus and Mercury from the Albert Hall museum. On May 17, visitors can see Mercury from Amer Fort while on May 26 there will be a moon sighting from Amer Fort. On July 3, visitors will get to see Venus from the Albert Hall museum and on August 2, sightings of the moon transiting Saturn will be done while it will be the moon transiting Jupiter on August 20.
On September 4, visitors can see Neptune and the moon from the City Palace while on October 4, Jupiter and on October 29 Venus can be sighted. On November 4, the planet Uranus in conjunction with the moon can be seen.