We reached Astroport around 12 in the afternoon, after 6 hours of driving from South Delhi. We were welcomed in a traditional Rajasthani manner, with folk music, tika on the forehead and a glass of cool roohafza. It was only March, but it was boiling hot by the time we reached. We were taken straightaway to our tent, but to call it this would not be fair. Yes, it did look like a tent from the outside, albeit a little unorthodox, but from the inside it's furnished just like a deluxe suit in a 5 star hotel. Each tent had two large double beds, a couch, two cupboards, a microwave, a mini-fridge, an electric kettle, two air conditioners, two large standing fans and a huge adjoining bathroom. It was full of luxury and we couldn’t help but just lie in the beds and sleep the tiredness of the drive away. We settled in, took a bath and then were informed that lunch was served. Lunch was a simple vegetarian affair, but delicious. We were told during our lunch that most of the vegetables are grown in their kitchen garden, on premises. After lunch, we retired to our rooms again for a while because it was too hot to do anything else. As soon as the sun started sinking we were taken on a round of the whole property. They have two organic gardens and they grow everything from tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers to bottle gourds and brinjals. After that, we were shown the in-house cow shed. The cows are a source of dairy products consumed in the resort.
After that began the magic of Astroport. As mentioned previously, this camp is built in one of the darkest spots in India and as soon as the sky darkens, you can see millions of stars coming out one by one. And that is what Astroport is all about – STARS! Our first evening started with an introduction to some basic astronomy and how to identify constellations in the sky. Even though I know we were taught these things in school, this was, for sure, not how they taught us. It was fun to just lie in the grass and look up the starry sky, trying to figure out what stars were shaping up to be. We were also given a small lesson on astrophotography. After that the telescopes were brought out and we got to see the moon in full glory. The entire experience was great and made us feel like scientists from NASA exploring space.