We all know the skies around Karjat are clear, the clean air makes it a fabulous place for star gazers. But wouldn't it be even better to watch the stars and learn about the constellations and their movements.
Thanks to a group known as the Khagol Mandal, a group of sky observers that have been conducting observation programs for over 20 years at Vangani. The group has also been educating teachers for nearly 25 years, hoping the information will be handed down to the school children.
If you are up for an all night sky gazing adventure, this is what your crash course in Astronomy is like:
1) 6.00 pm - 6.30 pm - Registration for the program
2) 6.30 pm - 7.30 pm - Introduction to telescopes
3) 7.30 pm - 8.30 pm - First session about the evening sky.
4) 8.30 pm - 9.00 pm - Observations through telescopes
5) 9.00 pm - 10.00pm - DINNER BREAK
6) 10.00pm - 11.30pm - Second session about the Sky
7) 11.30pm - 12.00 - Observations through telescopes
8) 12.00 - 12.30am - First Tea Break
9) 12.30am - 2.30 am - Slide Show, Quiz, Question Answer session
10) 2.30am - 3.00 am - Second Tea Break
11) 3.00am - 4.30 am - Third session about the sky
12) 4.30am - 5.00 am - Observations through telescopes
Any one from the age of 10 to 65 can attend this session, the cost is approximately Rs 100 and for members its much lesser.
Things to Carry!
Khagol Mandal provides you with two cups of tea, so you need to carry a mug, your own dinner, a mat to sit on the open ground, warm clothes and gloves, a water bottle as well as a small torch covered with red paper.
How to Get There?
Its a 7 minute walk from Vangani station, you can take a train at 4pm from CST, please refer to the Karjat Train Time Table and be there before 6pm. Ask the locals for "Tarangan Marg" and it shouldn't be a problem.
When does it happen?
The program is usually arranged on a Saturday Night nearest to New Moon Day as the stars are visible more clearly with less moon light. The schedule is generally put up on the Khagol Mandal website, or you can also try contacting them on the email address provided there.