Hanle, Ladakh opens doors for foreign tourists to stay overnight

In a recent update, the Tourism Department of the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh has made an exciting announcement allowing foreign tourists to enjoy overnight stays at Hanle village. This is a significant change as until recently, Hanle was restricted to domestic tourists only. The village, nestled at a high altitude, is renowned for housing the Hanle Observatory.

Situated in the remote and lofty Changthang Plateau of Ladakh, Hanle village is approximately 270 km away from Leh. Hanle village has been officially designated as a Dark Sky Reserve by the Wildlife Department of the Ladakh UT Administration. This recognition holds immense potential as Dark Sky tourism gains popularity. Opening up Hanle to both domestic and international tourists is expected to boost tourism in the region substantially.

This development stems from a proposal by the Tourism Department to allow foreign tourists to experience night stays in Hanle, aiming to position the village as a premier astro-tourism destination on both national and global scales. The Ministry of Home Affairs granted approval to this proposal on September 14, 2023.

Tourists from across the globe, as well as within the country, can enjoy the opportunity to spend the night in Hanle and engage themselves in the natural wonders and vibrant culture of the region.

In addition to the exciting news about the Dark Sky Reserve, the Department of Tourism is planning to open up Martsemik and Sko Valley in Ladakh for tourism, focusing especially on adventure tourism. These areas are highly regarded for their trekking adventures.

From being home to the sole Indian Astronomical Observatory a few years ago, Hanle has now proudly earned the distinction of being India’s first Dark Sky Reserve. The combination of its isolated location, minimal light pollution, and high altitude renders Hanle’s night sky perfect for stargazing.

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