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Pench Tiger Reserve Becomes India’s First Dark Sky Park

Good news for nature and star lovers! Pench Tiger Reserve is now India’s first Dark Sky Park (DSP), making it the fifth one in Asia. A Dark Sky Park is an area that limits artificial light pollution, letting visitors enjoy celestial wonders. This idea came to promote astronomy, and now, Pench’s Deputy Director, Prabhu Nath Shukla, says it will inspire stargazers to explore and understand the universe.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) sees a starry night as a valuable natural and cultural resource. To protect it, the Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society Working Group suggested creating ‘Dark Sky Oasis.’ Pench’s DSP certification focuses on lighting policies, dark sky-friendly changes, education, and monitoring. It also encourages communities in protected areas globally to preserve dark sites.

This certification not only gives national recognition to Pench but also puts it on the world map. They’ve used district funds to open a night observatory and set up a telescope in Wagholi, just 3 km from the buffer in Sillari, which already has an observatory.

To reduce light pollution, over 100 lights in Wagholi, Pipariya, Sillari, and Khapa villages have been replaced, facing the ground. This isn’t just good news for nature lovers; it’s also a chance for people nationwide to learn about the stars. So, if you’re into stargazing, Pench Tiger Reserve is now your go-to spot for a celestial spectacle!

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