India’s First Dark Sky Park:
The Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has been designated as India’s first Dark Sky Park and the fifth in Asia, protecting the night sky and preventing light pollution.
- The Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra is India’s first Dark Sky Park within a tiger reserve for earmarking areas around the park that restrict light pollution for stargazers to access pristine dark skies.
- Dark Sky Place certification focuses on lighting policy, dark sky-friendly retrofits, outreach and education, and monitoring the night sky.
- This designation positions PTR as a sanctuary where tourists can witness celestial spectacles, shielded from the intrusion of artificial light pollution.
- PTR became the fifth such park in Asia.
- The certification was given by the International Dark-Sky Association, a global dark-sky movement to promote astronomy.
Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR):
- The Reserve is located in the southern reaches of the Satpura hills in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh and continues in Nagpur district in Maharashtra as a separate Sanctuary.
- It is named after the Pench River, which flows from north to south through the Reserve.