The Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra has been marked as India’s first Dark Sky Park.


  • This is the fifth such park in Asia for protecting the night sky and preventing light pollution, making the facility ideal for astronomy enthusiasts.

What is a Dark Sky Park (DSP)?

  • A dark-sky preserve is an area, usually surrounding a park or observatory, that restricts artificial light pollution. The purpose of the dark-sky movement is generally to promote astronomy.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) emphasises on the recognition of the intrinsic value of the night sky as a natural, cultural, and historical resource. 

The Dark Sky Place certification focuses on: 

  • lighting policy, 
  • dark sky-friendly retrofits, 
  • outreach and education, and 
  • monitoring the night sky.

Need of DSP

  • To preserve natural darkness for the sake of nature conservation, ecological integrity in protected areas, and the well-being of communities in healthy cities.
  • The escalating global threat of light pollution poses a substantial risk to this invaluable resource, he stated in a release.

India’s dark-sky preserve

  • The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), a high-altitude astronomy station located in Hanle, and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, is India’s first dark-sky preserve. 
  • Situated in the Western Himalayas at an elevation of 4,500 meters (14,764 ft), the IAO is one of the world’s highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.

About Pench Tiger Reserve

  • Pench Tiger Reserve or Pench National Park is one of the premier tiger reserves of India and the first one to straddle across two states – Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. 
  • It is named after the Pench River, which flows through the reserve from north to south. The reserve is made up of three parts: the Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park, the Pench Mowgli Sanctuary, and a buffer zone.
  • The Pench Tiger Reserve is famous for its stunning scenery and its wide variety of wildlife. The terrain is undulating, with hills, valleys, and forests. The vegetation is also varied, with dry deciduous forests, grasslands, and wetlands.
  • The reserve is home to a large number of animals, including tigers, leopards, wild dogs, wolves, deer, wild boar, and birds. The most famous animals in the reserve are the tigers.
  • In addition to its wildlife, the Pench Tiger Reserve is also home to a number of plant species. The most common trees in the reserve are teak, saag, and mahua. There are also a variety of grasses and shrubs.

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