Best planetariums in India to introduce your kids to astronomy
If you are inclined toward space exploration and astronomy, then planetariums or taramandals are a must-visit for you. You can know more about the universe, space, planets, stars, and other celestial bodies in these curved ceiling buildings representing the night sky. India houses several spectacular planetariums featuring some latest technologies. Here are the five best planetariums in the country.
Also called taramandal, Kolkata's MP Birla Planetarium was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963. It is the world's second-largest planetarium and the largest in Asia. It is designed like a Buddhist stupa and can accommodate 680 people. It houses an astronomical gallery that highlights celestial models of astronomers and a huge collection of paintings. It has an observatory featuring over 100 astronomical projects.
Situated in Mumbai's Worli region, the Nehru Planetarium was commissioned in 1977 with the motive of boosting scientific minds through education and entertainment. The planetarium features a dome-shaped structure and is a center for astronomical entertainment and education. Scientists and scholars also meet here periodically during various astronomical events for lectures and discussions. This popular tourist attraction is a great place for kids.
The only astronomical research center in the entire northeastern region of India, the Guwahati Planetarium has a distinct dome with sloping walls. The Japanese Goto GX instrument is used in the planetarium which includes a GX starfield projector, the sky theater's sound system, and 60 special effect projectors. It also has a unique hybrid projection system along with an Astro-van and astronomical gallery.
Set in Patna's Indira Gandhi Science Complex, this planetarium was founded in 1989 by the then Bihar Chief Minister Shri Satyendra Narayan Sinha. One of the largest planetariums in Asia, it can accommodate around 276 people. It houses exhibition halls, workshop areas, and an auditorium equipped with modern technologies. It also organizes various cosmic shows, regular workshops, exhibitions, and seminars on astronomical subjects.
Built in 1964 in the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Nehru Planetarium is one of the oldest in India and was established with the objective of promoting astronomy education and knowledge of space among students. The planetarium organizes several astronomical shows, each running for 30-40 minutes along with workshops and observing activities. It also organizes art competitions and astronomy quizzes in February and August.