The Geminid meteor shower will be reaching its maximum rate of activity on 14 December 2018, As Some shooting stars associated with the shower will be visible each night from 7 December to 17 December.
If you’ve ever spent a clear, dark night lying under the (real) night sky, watching bunch of stars twinkling above and spotting shooting stars. The joy of stargazing is to travel to a place that is away from – pollution, lights, clouds, noise and chaos of city life to feel your insignificance under a shimmering sky.Personally, I think that anyone who has admired the Milky Way in the night sky recognises the need to go off the grid once in a while, dark spaces and avoid our materialistic greed.
This post goes out to all my fellow stargazing enthusiasts – as well as those who are yet to experience its magnificence.
Where to watch Geminid meteor shower :
Nag Tibba and Raithal – Uttarakhand
Living without electricity in different parts of Uttarakhand totally made me question why we need it at all. Days are meant to be spent outdoors and nights under dark shimmering skies. As I lay under thousands of stars, I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood days in Himachal, when during long power cuts at night, we would sleep out in the outside, in the breeze and under the stars! These days, nights in most Households are for television, internet and air conditioning. For all we know, it’s time to reconsider what “development” really is.
Practical tips for spotting geminid meteor/shooting stars in Uttarakhand:
- Stay: The Goat Villages https://booki.ng/2UApWnl , set up with a goal to encourage the reverse migration of Himalayan farmers, are experiences unto themselves – the fact that they don’t have electricity means that you can see incredibly dark skies right from the terrace!
- Getting there: The Goat Villages near Nag Tibba and Uttarkashi are 3 and 7 hours from Dehradun respectively, accessible by shared taxi.
- When to go: The skies are clear year-round except the monsoon months from July to early September.
Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
Pachmarhi – Madhya Pradesh’s only “hill station” – Find yourself under an incredible night spotting geminid meteor under sky Lodge. Grasp the constellations and hear rustling in the bushes – this is tiger territory after all!
Practical tips for stargazing in Madhya Pradesh:
- Stay: Club a trip to Pachmarhi https://booki.ng/2UApWnl with a visit to Satpura National Park, Stay at the eco-friendly Places – home to gorgeous dark night skies as well. Witness geminid meteor in Pachmarhi with one of their naturalists and preferred guide from Pachmarhi for an immersive wildlife and stargazing experience.
- How to reach: The closest airport is Nagpur, from where Satpura National Park is a 3-4 hour drive. Pachmarhi is a 2-3 hour drive.
- When to go: Winter months from October to March are the best months when the weather is cooler and the skies clearer. Pachmarhi is hill station, So carry some warm clothes.
Havelock and Mayabunder – Andaman & Nicobar
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands offer much more than dreamy beaches; Well, appreciate and thanks to their remote location and little light pollution, the night skies in Havelock are stupendous for both stargazing and creating Astro time-lapse videos. Lay on the open helipad on Havelock Island for geminid meteor trip, on a tropical night, for a sky full of stars in your eyes and the waves of the Indian Ocean in your ears. Or go extreme off the beaten track (or path) to Mayabunder, to live with a tribal Karen family, so far away from city lights that as the sky above fills with thousands of twinkling stars.
Possible tips for spotting shooting stars in Andaman & Nicobar Islands:
- Stay: Properties to stay in Havelock https://booki.ng/2zSFbPE
- Getting there: Take the 2-hour ferry trip from Port Blair (the capital) to Havelock Island, or a bus from Port Blair to Mayabunder.
- When to go : November to January is best for clear skies.
Jaisalmer and Churu – Rajasthan
Imagine if you can. I made a mad dash with my partner to seek clear skies in desert capital, Rajasthan. We did reach Churu close to midnight and drive out to the place, malji ka kamra, where they’ve laid out khatiyas to sleep on. With a bottle of rum to keep warm! We experienced 5 Perseid meteors in literally the first 15 minutes – bluish, more sluggish, closer to earth than shooting stars. Then the moon rises higher and fills the sky with light and the cool breeze put me into a deep slumber. Sleeping outside is so underrated!
Further out in the Thar Desert, accessible via Jaisalmer, One can experience his/her first Gemenid Meteor Shower, on the Windward and leeward side of a sand dune in Jaisalmer. There’s no delight of happiness like seeing the Milky Way in the vast expanse of a desert sky, as large green meteors streak through the sky.
Possible tips for catching the geminid Meteor Shower in Rajasthan:
- Stay: Malji Ka Kamrahttps://booki.ng/2EonJql was the base of our meteor shower adventures in Churu – clubbed with discovering crumbling old havelis that have stood the test of time.
- Getting there: Churu is a 5-6 hour drive from Delhi, while Jaisalmer is a long overnight train ride away.
- When to go: The winter months from November to February are best for clear skies and relatively cooler desert weather. Nights get chilly in winter, so keep carrying warm clothes!
Pin Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Although all of Spiti is heavenly for stargazers and astrophotographers, I felt like there was a different kind of magic to stargazing amid the stark mountains, effusive Spiti river and pin drop silence of Pin Valley! Be fully aware of sharing this territory with snow leopards somewhere in the mountains above and red fox somewhere in the valley below even jumped at a glowing pair of eyes in the far distance once!
Possible tips for spotting geminid meteor/shooting stars in Himachal Pradesh:
- Stay: Zostel https://booki.ng/2BktJN1 in spiti is tucked away deep in the heart of Pin Valley. A heartwarming experience with crystal clear night skies.
- Getting there: Pin Valley is a 2-3 hour drive from Kaza, the administrative capital of Spiti – Travel by hrtc (ordinary) bus to reach Kaza from delhi for a 23 hrs bus journey.
Gunopur – Punjab
The rural countryside of Gurdaspur district, especially the village of Gunopur, home to mustard fields and (mostly) friendly farmers, offers chilly winter nights with little light and air pollution, which meant I could lay out on a charpoy on the terrace and gaze into the twinkling infinity. The sky clarity in Punjab doesn’t compare to that of Gujarat or Spiti and you can’t see the Milky Way, but it’s a fulfilling experience nonetheless.
Practical tips for stargazing in Punjab:
- Stay: I would suggest to stay at Punjabiyat https://booki.ng/2EfzcaT, sandwiched between the villages of Saidowal and Gunopur, in the Gurdaspur District.
- Getting there: The nearest airport and train station are in Amritsar, only over an hour away.
- When to go: The winter months from November to February are best for clear skies and blooming mustard fields.
Bomdila and Tawang – Arunachal Pradesh
Although this the place I haven’t traveled yet but it truly deserves to be on the list as well as my wishlist. Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India, offers incredible night skies across but the best places to embrace the cold and take in the stars are the tiny town of Bomdilla and the famous seventeenth-century Tawang Monastery.
Possible tips for seeing the Milky Way in Arunachal Pradesh:
- Stay: There are plenty of options in Bomdila https://booki.ng/2ry3LRy
- Getting there: Take the bus from Guwahati to Bomdila, followed by a shared taxi.
- When to go: March to October are best for clear skies and warmer weather.
The Geminids will peak on Thursday night into early Friday morning, but onlookers should be able to spot plenty of meteors on the nights leading up to the shower’s peak.
In addition to being the most active meteor shower of the year, it is also one of the few showers where meteors are visible during the evening hours.