Introducing Astro Homestays
The high altitude and dry climate of Ladakh result in wonderful night skies where you can identify numerous stellar objects. This makes it a region perfect for astronomy. The project identified this clear night sky as a resource available to the locals that has a huge potential for creating opportunities for livelihood.
It has created Astro-Homestays in various villages of Ladakh by installing high-end sophisticated telescopes. The local women running these homestays are not just trained in hospitality but also in operating the telescopes and reading the night sky.
The village communities have shown a lot of enthusiasm for this new development and have already started attracting tourists with their knowledge of the stellar objects and constellations. The local folklore about the stars and planets also play an important part in the traveller experience.
The long term impact of this new development is immense. Apart from the additional income for village women and community, looking at the night sky opens up the minds and increase their appetite for science. Who knows the future astrophysicists are from Ladakh and they are taking their inspiration in these villages.