The immensity of the universe has always been the greatest mysteries of our lives. For people of all ages, the magical cosmos side of life never seems to stop being exquisite. It is a pity then that the polluted cities of the country hardly let you see the moon clearly. Even on the best of nights, the artificial light from cities makes the night canvas of the sky look a less majestic than it should be. It isn’t any surprise then that city-dwellers often find the need to go to far-away places to witness these beautiful elements. While many places across India have been recognised by enthusiasts over the years, South India remains unexplored territory for star-gazing. Whether you want to see the Milky Way or a meteor shower, here are the best places in South India that are sure to leave you awe-struck as you gaze at the skies above.
Tucked away in the middle of rainforests and picture-perfect mountain peaks, you can spend several nights in Coorg just stargazing. With its clear skies, gushing waterfalls and the sweet fragrance of coffee beans all around you, the starry sky seems even more beautiful. The rugged landscape of Coorg offers many opportunities to peacefully enjoy the night under the grand canopy of a starry sky. The best way to enjoy this is by camping out in the woods with an open-roof tent to soothe your eyes with sparkling stars.
Bordering Karnataka, Kasargod is located in the northern end of Kerala. One of the best places for stargazing in India, it is perfect for budding photographers to click some stunning pictures. The region has very less pollution and dust in the atmosphere giving you a crystal clear blue sky. Its abundance in natural beauty and the billions of stars found here have made it a favourite spot for astrophotography. In the recent past, a perfect “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse was also witnessed in the region.
Yercaud, Tamil Nadu
A location far away from the lights and pollution of the main city, Yercaud boasts of clear skies where one can see the magic of the shimmering stars. Nestled among the lush forests of the Shevaroy mountains, this tiny hamlet is a gem of a hill station. It’s of little wonder then why Coorg is such a popular destination with diehard romantics who visit here often to stargaze hand in hand.
This World Heritage Site is located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. With warm tropical temperatures, easy vehicular access and multiple rooftop cafes, it is one of the most comfortable and convenient stargazing destinations. The boulder-strewn landscape of Hampi is a perfect place to camp out at night. Find a perch overlooking the Matanga hill or see the stars reflected in the still water of the Sanapur reservoir.
Located just over an hour’s drive from Bangalore, Skandagiri is a well-known place among trekkers. The path towards this mountain fortress will take you through small villages and narrow roads. After a refreshing trek, once you reach the top, you will be greeted with a beautiful view at the top. With the mountains moving close to you under the starry night skies, you are sure to feel on top of the world!
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Located at the tip of the beautiful Palani Hills, the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is known to have the most extensive collection of solar data, dating way back to the 19th century. With its unique longitudinal position, it is a unique destination for the study of solar behaviour. Ideal geographical conditions along with these attributes have made various parts of Kodaikanal, a favourite destination for stargazing among campers for cosmic observations. Blessed with abundant wildlife and unreal landscapes, you can witness the Milky Way and even hope to capture some shooting stars during your visit here.
Whichever place you choose to do some stargazing, you won’t be disappointed. With so many stars over your heads with the Milky Way, you are sure to be left ‘star-struck’.
‘Curated By Neha Bhise’