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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.


GS III: Environment and Ecology 

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. India’s First Dark Sky Park: Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR)
  2. Key Facts about PTR

India’s First Dark Sky Park: Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR)

Certification Overview:

  • PTR in Maharashtra is designated as India’s first Dark Sky Park within a tiger reserve.
  • Focuses on restricting light pollution for stargazing and preserving pristine dark skies.

Certification Criteria:

  • Dark Sky Place certification involves lighting policy, dark sky-friendly retrofits, outreach and education, and night sky monitoring.

Tourist Sanctuary:

  • Designation allows PTR to be a sanctuary for tourists to experience celestial spectacles without artificial light pollution.
  • Certified by the International Dark-Sky Association, a global movement promoting astronomy.

Asian Recognition:

  • PTR becomes the fifth Dark Sky Park in Asia.

Key Facts about PTR:

  • Location: Southern reaches of Satpura hills, spanning Seoni and Chhindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur district in Maharashtra.
  • Components: Includes Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park, Pench Mowgli Sanctuary, and a buffer zone.
  • Terrain: Undulating with small hills and steep slopes, supporting diverse vegetation.
  • Flora: Rich in teak, saag, mahua, and various grasses and shrubs.
  • Fauna: Home to a variety of wildlife, including tiger, leopard, wild dogs, Indian bison, and diverse bird species.
Cultural Reference:
  • PTR’s landscape inspired Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”
Conservation Significance:
  • Preserving dark skies aligns with PTR’s commitment to ecological conservation.
  • Enhances opportunities for astronomical observation and tourism.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024