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Coorg Tours
  • For astro-newcomers WANTING TO ADVANCE
  • OPEN TO ADULTS, Students, FAMILIES, TEACHERS
  • 2 dayS INTENSIVE indoor presentations
  • 3 NIGHTS under A VERY DARK SKY SITE
  • OBSERVING WITH INSTRUMENTS BY YOURSELF
About The Event

A region of many flavours, one of the most picturesque destinations of India, the exotic locale in Western Ghats of Karnataka is dubbed as the 'Scotland of India', only for reasons distinctly distinguishable.

A district spanning 4100 km² with surreal Nature on display, a place where you will be literally inundated with greenery, it will be quite hard to take in the breath-taking sights at every nook & corner of this expansive territory. Its trademark colourful scenery, undulating landscapes, lush wild forests, endless coffee & spices plantations, cold streamlets & rivulets, verdant wooded slopes, layers of misty hill ranges, quaint villages, cacophony from avi-fauna and critters, are not mere flowery words, but what describes COORG.

While anyone heads to an idyllic destination like Coorg, on one side for its its rich scenic Natural identity, and diverse flora-fauna on the other side – typically for outdoor activities as camping, hiking, photography, etc. – the magnificent starry night skies above this opulent landscape generally remain under-looked. For an astronomer who studies the night sky during their eerie, long, silent vigilance, this is their abode. The scattering of thousands of pin-pricks of stars, our Milky-Way Galaxy's dusty and gassy band spanning across a jet-black, fresh and non-polluted night sky, is where an astronomer gets a peek into the distant marvels of the Universe – very much view-able with the naked-eyes, binoculars and telescopes.; these instruments which are otherwise underestimated in their capacities are brought to ideal potential under such near-perfect observing conditions.

 

This time, we're headed to the southern part of Coorg, to the 181  km² Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary adjacent to the 643 km² Nagarhole National Park. Almost entire parts of Coorg are already very dark and much remote due to sparse populations residing between stretching wooded plantations. Well, our homestay selected is, in fact, an even more special one – it is even more remote & darker than most other homestays; now seek the meaning of isolation here! Located in the extreme wilderness of Brahmagiri forest range adjacent to the border of the dense Nagarhole forest range, near Iruppu Waterfalls, with not even even small towns in vicinity, the – furthermore – best part about this campus is that it is without electricity – two of the dream words for advanced night sky aficionados across countries! Therefore it is pitch dark for 360°, wherein you'll not even see yourself except for by sky glow on a new-Moon night! The sight of countless dotted stars in the sky – if the infamous mist or fog in the evergreen region does not intervene – will be hair-raising and unimagined for today's city dwellers.

 

Few places in India as in the Western Ghats can claim to be, in our expertise with night skies, 'excellent', indicating skies which can keep you doing astronomy for the rest of your life. This place has 'superb' skies, indicating better than excellent skies, skies not just a paradise for seasoned astronomers, but the kind of skies they need to do their advanced observational research! Click this link to check out (on the Light Pollution map) the mind-blowing location our homestay is situated in; it is centered on our homestay's observing ground (gradually zoom in & out and see). [On the Toggle Menu bar on the top right corner, select Overlay year as 2022 and Basemap as Hybrid to get a better view].

Here, you'll be part of simple disconnected living and sleeping in simplicity yet exorbitance under the stars, in the extravagant environment of a very remote homestay nestled in a small valley amidst untamed estates and forests.

On January 11 & 12, 2024, in Bangalore city, will be an indoor day-long (9 am - 6 pm) set of presentations granting to you the knowledge of theory of practical – for once, not only theory again. This ADVANCED workshop is for high school students, college students, adults, family members, teachers, basically anyone who is interested in notching significantly upwards in their knowledge of the Night Sky and what really goes on with Amateur Astronomers who are pursuing this for many years to decades.

On January 13, 14 & 15, 2024, we are headed out to south Coorg for the Night Sky Observing tour. Here, you will apply hands-on the advanced aspects of the night sky picked-up indoors and will keep yourselves engaged in using star-charts / star-atlases and observing through various instruments like small 10x50 binoculars, a large 25x100 binocular on a custom-built parallelogram [p-mount] mount, a manual 8-inch Dobsonian telescope, and a new manual 6-inch Dobsonian telescope [to be purchased only upon optimum registrations].

The aim will be to learn not only the night sky but also how to progress into maneuvering and using small binoculars onto big binoculars onto small telescopes, all by YOURSELF – realizing that ANY sized instrument is a powerful tool, only to be known how to use it at its best to observe objects not estimated can be seen with them. Try to hold your breath for every 'oohs' & 'aahs' rendered for every sighting in the eyepieces, each view leaving you spellbound at the glorious rarely observed heavenly bodies above! The Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) like cometsbinary stars, open star clusters, globular clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and groups of galaxies. Also part of the learning is insights into how advanced amateurs – called 'Hunters' – find these new celestial bodies and make discoveries.

You will also be introduced to the uncommon – and largely unknown – art of "AstroSketching"; drawing and recording what you see in the eyepiece; a gratifying act versus photography and involving your own sense organs in observing and logging the celestial objects in great detail – a direct coordination between the eye-brain-hand.

Now on, not only the stars but even celestial objects will not be mere unknown dots in the sky, but known friends on your life-long nightly journeys. Here forth, you will not merely "star-gaze" but will conduct Observational Astronomy.

This is a rare opportunity for you, the participants, to face-off with such advanced knowledge of amateur astronomy and visual observing not found even by searching in the Indian territory. Your host guide ranks among the ONLY Indians to have seen some of the farthest DSOs with small telescopes and small binoculars, a specialization barely a few Indian amateurs can claim. This is almost like a diploma course being offered; you will NEVER need to attend ANY astro programme after this; this is the summation of nearly everything existing in this field, and anything else is a fraction of this.

The lovely Coorg, its sprawling coffee estates & forests and natural, fresh, pristine dark skies await you. Join Astronomy Journeys – one of India's BEST night sky specialists with a flair for astronomical teaching – to be part of an Indian advanced amateur programme and learn the night sky like how literally no one in India can show it to you – it is NOT a mere hobby or sky-gazing for us, we are VERY well-versed in speaking the language of amateur astronomy for the last 20 years full-time.

Actual photos of the equipment, activity, observing site

Itinerary For January 11, 2024

Time

Activity

09:00 hrs

Arrival at lecture hall in Bangalore

10:00 hrs

Begin indoor sessions

18:00 hrs

Conclude indoor sessions

Itinerary For January 12, 2024

Time

Activity

09:00 hrs

Arrival at lecture hall in Bangalore

10:00 hrs

Begin indoor sessions

18:00 hrs

Conclude indoor sessions

18:30 hrs

Head to Room

23:30 hrs

Overnight departure to Coorg

Itinerary For January 13, 2024

Time

Activity

08:00 hrs

Arrival at Coorg homestay

09:30 hrs

Nature activities

14:00 hrs

Rest / Sleep

17:00 hrs

Prepare for observing session

20:00 hrs

Lights OFF - begin observing # 1

Itinerary For January 14, 2024

Time

Activity

06:00 hrs

Sleep

11:00 hrs

Nature activities

14:00 hrs

Rest / Sleep

17:00 hrs

Prepare for observing session

20:00 hrs

Lights OFF - begin observing # 2

Itinerary For January 15, 2024

Time

Activity

06:00 hrs

Sleep

11:00 hrs

Nature activities

14:00 hrs

Rest / Sleep

17:00 hrs

Prepare for observing session

20:00 hrs

Lights OFF - begin observing # 3

Itinerary For January 16, 2024

Time

Activity

06:00 hrs

Sleep

11:00 hrs

Summary & Discussions

14:00 hrs

Departure from Coorg homestay

17:00 hrs

Sightseeing via Mysore

23:00 hrs

Arrival at Bangalore hotel

Group Size - EACH Batch
  •   Minimum 12

  •  Maximum 33

Subject to availability

Inclusions
  • Pick up & drop from inside city (railway station or city bus stand or nearest point Banashankari by airport bus) to hotel

  • 2 days 2 nights accommodation in B'lore pre-tour (compulsory for even B'lore residents) on sharing basis

  • 1 day 1 night accommodation in B'lore post-tour

  • 2 days hall rent + lunch & dinner

  • 2-way shuttle to Coorg from B'lore for 4D 4N

  • Shuttle driver's all meals at homestay for 4D 4N

  • 1 extra shuttle to carry equipment to Coorg for 4D 4N

  • 1 extra shuttle driver's all meals at homestay for 4D 4N

  • 3 nights stay at remote homestay in shared dorms (no single supplement available)

  • 3 days all meals at homestay (breakfasts + lunches + dinners + snacks)

  • Entrance tickets to selected places & activities

  • Host astronomer's all costs of travel, stay & meals for 6D 5N in B'lore & Coorg

  • Indoor sessions for 2 full days in city

  • Outdoor sessions for 3 nights at homestay

  • Access to instruments for 3 nights: 10x50 binocs, 25x100 binocs on P-Mount, 8-inch scope, a new 6-inch scope

  • Advanced level astronomy kit + original Star Atlas book

Exclusions
  • Arrival to & departure from B'lore to your city

  • Pick up & drop from outside B'lore city (airport) to nearest point (Banashankari) to hotel

  • Single supplement for room stay (for non-sharing participants)

  • Any extra cab cost for commuting single supplement guests from another hotel, if any

  • Any unforeseen changes made by external service providers

  • Any meals snacks not provided in itinerary

  • Any activities or entry tickets not provided in itinerary

  • Any shopping of personal nature

  • Anything extra incurred not
    stated in inclusions

Registration

25% payment – September 25, 2023

50% payment – October 15, 2023

100% payment – November 15, 2023

Full payment instead of installments will guarantee priority seat booking

Cancellation

September 25, 2023 – 25% of cost

October 15, 2023 – 50% of cost

November 15, 2023 – 75% of cost

December 15, 2023 – 90% of cost

Only 10% refund can be given at most

COST

₹ 53,500/per head ONLY

(ages 16-21 / 11th grade to graduation)

₹ 56,000/- per head ONLY

(ages 22-26 / post-graduation & working)

₹ 58,500/- per head ONLY

(ages 27+ / fully working)

  • Calculated for minimum 12 per batch based on minimum shuttle seating

  • Seats per batch to be availed according to shuttle seating12212533
    the homestays' capacity being 34 (17 + 17)

  • Cost to vary for increase or decrease in registrations per batch,
    mainly dependent on shuttle seating, other costs being independent

  • Actual cost payable will be informed at time of registration closing
    based on final booking numbers

Please contact us for making payment; instructions will be provided; 
online payment is not enabled

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