We arrived at Astroport Sariska at 2:00 pm( afternoon)and were welcomed by a man with big Mustaches and a beautiful Rajasthani turban, who greeted us with "Khamma Ghani"- hello in Rajasthani. I was awestruck by the landscapes and the surrounding mountain range. The serene environment that has taken my heart already, filled me with happiness. Check-in was quick and smooth, we were briefed about our schedule and activities and efficiently escorted to my tent - "GALAXIA" - A tented family cottage that accommodates a family of 4 adults and 2 kids with an attached bathroom and toilet. I noticed that they had another room type are named "NEBULAE" - rooms which accommodate 8 adults with attached bathrooms & toilets.
I took rest for half an hour and went for taking Lunch in the "ORBIT" - the dining area, We were served with delicious and sumptuous buffet with veg and non-veg delicacies. Post Lunch, I was taken to a hilltop overlooking a DAM - called Mangalsar - a reservoir for rainwater harvesting. On a small hill beside the dam gallantly stood an ancient fort named TEHLA Fort which looks like the crown of the Astroport. The escorting education Officer was highly informative and fun. We were shown different species of birds and shared a story about the Tehla Fort. From the top of the hill, one notices the Organic farm, Greenhouse, shed, cattle farm within the Astroport premises. It is good to be served with organic food and in house dairy.
By evening I was enthralled, eagerly waiting for the dusk to happen. After all, it was not called Astroport for no reason. It was the darkest site near Delhi for star gazing and hunting planets and deep-sky objects. Finally, the very first star peeped out to us, I was given a few hints to name it but could not correct. I was amused to know that it was "VENUS" a planet not a star. It was a perfect kick start to charge me to dive into exploring the Universe, What a feeling it was! I was in the lap of mountains, gazing at the sky and getting introduced to the heavenly planets and galaxies, so excited to know more and more so like a kid I kept asking questions after questions.
I particularly appreciated the patience of the Education Officer for 100s 0f questions pouring out from here and there. He satisfies our curiosity so intelligently and interestingly. After the sky tour ended we were introduced to different types of Telescopes. I saw Moon with an 8-inch telescope and I was awe-struck... every crater was so clear, I can swear, if you have not seen the moon through a telescope you are missing something. I was told each crater has a unique name and they are there for thousands of years, which made me more amused. I was helped to take a few photos on my Mobile through telescope.
We waited for the moon to set a little and to my amazement as the moon set the real show began. The sky seemed to fill with more stars. I was asked if I am ready to dive deep down into our own Galaxy "MILKYWAY". How could I be not? OH My GOD! Milky Way was visible naked eyed. That Night I got to know about so many stars, planets, Galaxies, deep sky object like Orion Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy. In just 1 night I was reborn, I was given a new vision, it was such a beautiful experience that I re-discovering myself. I think stars will be my friends forever now.