“For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream,” famously said the painter, Vincent Van Gogh. It is also too common a phenomenon for people to look at stars and begin to realise how little a piece they are of the cosmos, and how negligible their problems.

It is always a good idea to plan a night to stay up and be mesmerised by this sight becoming rarer and rarer as the world turns urban. However, here are seven places where you can look at a sky full of stars.

  1. Matheran, Maharashtra

So close to the hustle and bustle of one of the biggest metropolitans of the country is the serene sky of Matheran. So close to the city known for its traffic is this no-vehicle, no-pollution hill station. If you reside in Mumbai, you can drive the 80 km between the two places to see only the stars at night and be back by the next morning. The architecture of the place is well preserved and can give you a lot to do in the day when the stars are nowhere to be seen.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Madan Gaurav Arts (@madangauravarts)

  1. Coorg, Karnataka

This place, which is a coffee plantation by day, is home to a sky full of stars like you have never witnessed before. It is not just the coffee you can smell as you look at the stars, you can hear waterfalls and feel the mountains surround you; the experience is like no other. It is best to go in cooler weather, and lots to do! Plan your days in advance if you are planning to visit Coorg.

  1. Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh

The place is known to be one of the predominant spots in the country to catch a sight of the Milky Way. There’s nothing between you and the stars here, apart, of course, from the Himalayas. You can head there in the winters to walk over the snow as you gaze at stars. The astronomically inclined can make a whole road trip; a few hours’ drive away is the Indian Astronomical Observatory.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by RazeenMutazah (@razeenmutazah)

  1. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

The sight of a full, clear sky and an unending, unforgiving, yet spectacular white desert is special on its own. What makes it more special is a phenomenon you can experience around the area. Cheer batti, or ghost light, is reported in the Banni grasslands, a seasonal marshy wetland and adjoining desert of the Rann of Kutch. It is an unexplained light occurring on dark nights as bright as a mercury lamp that changes its colour to blue, red and yellow and resembles a moving ball of fire, moving at unpredictable speeds. Local villagers refer to the light as Chir Batti in the Kutchhi-Sindhi language and a lot of interesting folklore also has its mention.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Piyush Basutkar (@piyushbas)

  1. Neil island, Andaman and Nicobar

Located about 40 km northeast of Port Blair, the capital of the Islands, Neil Island is famous for its gorgeous beaches, underwater wonders, but more importantly, the tranquillity of being relatively void of the tourists. Even better is to see the waters turn into a mirror to the stars above it as the night falls.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Auditya Venkatesh (@audiphotography)

  1. Roopkund, Uttarakhand

After a mesmerizing trek, you can sit next to the water, surrounded by mountains, to watch the stars take over the sky. This lake, towering 5,000 meters over the earth’s face, is surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains and will take your breath away, both with the trek and then with the view after.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by जी़त ⚖️ (@abhiammkar)

  1. The Sundarbans

The reserves forest, known for the variety of wildlife you can observe here, is a surprisingly powerful sight to stargaze. Not only are shooting stars more common an occurrence here, the water is said to contain bioluminescent bacteria which gives it a unique glow. Some say you feel like you are under the sky as well as sailing over it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Arati Kumar-Rao (@aratikumarrao)

However, there are few key things you would have to keep in mind to be able to have a good time.

  • The weather. Goes without saying, if it cloudy, you won’t be getting a view of the stars.
  • Also, consider the Lunar cycle. The closer you are to the New Moon, the better the stars are able to shine undeterred.
  • Make sure you are headed for an environment with no lights and such. For example, it is common in deserts and cooler places to light bonfires. That may not count for much but can be a hindrance if the visibility is already low due to other factors.

You can also download apps and familiarise yourself with the night sky. Google Sky, Star Tracker and Skyview are just some of the many, many options available.

Also Read; How Caravan Tourism Is Taking Over Slow Travel