New Astrostays Established At A Buddhist Monastery

astrostays at monastery

The latest Astrostays has been established at the Phyang Monastery in Ladakh, India by OAD’s implementation partner, the Global Himalayan Expedition.

Astrostays utilize astronomy as a tool for community development. Through astro-tourism, they generate economic revenue and other benefits for rural/remote regions with access to clear night skies. As a tourism offering, they engage visitors in astronomy, local culture, stories, and heritage. Astrostays are owned and operated by the local community.

The Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), OAD’s partner in the project, has setup the latest Astrostay at Phyang Monastery in Ladakh, India. Monks at Phyang expressed interest in setting up an Astrostay after a visit to the first Astrostay in Maan in 2019. A team from GHE, along with a local Astrostays coordinator, recently visited the monastery to setup a telescope and train the monks. Currently, the team is deveoping an operational model for the Phyang Astrostay.

The monastery hopes to attract tourists from nearby villages that host travelers in homestays. In addition, the monastery, founded in the 16th century and home to a 900-year-old museum, is itself a tourist attraction. Revenue from Astrostays will go to the monastery as well as broader local development.

GHE, which is a social entreprise that brings clean energy to remote areas through solar power, also installed two solar water heaters at the monastery.

The OAD aims to work with the astronomy community, including research institutions, amateur and professional astronomers, communicators, outreach professionals, as well as tourism players to establish astrotourism projects to benefit communities around the world. Interested individuals and organizations are requested to email info@astro4dev.org.

A few pictures from the newest addition to the Astrostays family:

Our project team helping to setup the telescope at the monastery
solar water heater being setup at the monastery