Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board in association with Starscapes, inaugurated India’s first-ever astrotourism festival in the Queen of Hills. 

In a groundbreaking event for astronomy enthusiasts and stargazers, India’s first-ever astrotourism festival was inaugurated in the picturesque town of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. The festival, held from June 1-3, 2024, attracted thousands of visitors from far and wide. 

Organized by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board in association with Starscapes inaugurated ‘Nakshatra Sabha’, India’s first-ever annual campaign dedicated exclusively to promoting astrotourism. Astrotourism is a unique travel experience that combines astronomy and tourism, allowing visitors to explore and observe celestial phenomena.

Held at George Everest Mussoorie, the event offered a holistic astro tourism experience to the participants who dynamically took part in activities like stargazing, astrophotography contests, special solar observations, and camping under the stars. 

Hosting a series of engaging events across Uttarakhand, the Nakshatra Sabha will span until mid of 2025. This will cover dark sky potential sites in the districts of Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Nainital, and Chamoli. Besides webinars and seminars with experts, this initiative aims to bring together adventurers, travelers, and astronomy enthusiasts from across the globe. 

In addition to this, Nakshatra Sabha aims to offer the residents professional training and skill development opportunities to enhance local economies. Furthermore, it will advocate the preservation of dark skies and will actively collaborate with local communities, travel and tourism partners, and homestays providing training and ongoing support to ensure the successful implementation of the initiative. 

Aiming to position Uttarakhand at the forefront of astro-tourism in India, the success of India's first astrotourism festival in Mussoorie has set a precedent for similar events across the country, promoting a blend of education and tourism. It underscores the growing interest in astronomy and the potential of astrotourism as a niche yet impactful segment of the travel industry.


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