Info-paedia : India's First Dark Sky Reserve

Info-paedia : India's First Dark Sky Reserve

Why in News?

  • Recently, the government announced that India’s first-ever Hanle Dark Sky Reserve (HDSR) in Ladakh will be completed in a month.

About HDSR

  • Set up by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under Ministry of Science & Technology.
  • It will be a part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS).
    • At an altitude of 4,500 meters, CWS is a perfect host for telescopes.
    • Ideal conditions are found: Clear nights, Minimal light pollution, extremely dry atmospheric condition, uninterrupted monsoon.


  • Enhance Astro-tourism in the region giving a boost to local tourism and economy through science.
  • One of the world's highest sites for optical, infrared and gamma- ray telescopes.
  • Preservation of the night sky from unwanted light pollution and illumination.
  • Help in observing a range of cosmic phenomena and investigate the mysteries of the universe.

Dark Sky Reserve

  • International Dark sky Reserve is a designation given to a place with-
    • At least 700 km2 area with distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment.
    • Specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage and/or public enjoyment.
  • International Dark-Sky Association (IDSA), a U.S.-based non-profit organization accredits IDSRs since 1988.
  • There are 20 dark sky reserves worldwide.
  • The UK has the highest (7) in a single country.