Khagol Mandal is glad to announce the new season for Overnight Sky Observation programmes at Vangani. We are conducting these sky observation programmes for past 27 years. The overnight programme starts at 7.00 pm (IST) in the evening and runs up to 5.00 am (IST) next morning thus spanning almost 10 hours. The general outline of the programme is as follows:
Tentative Schedule for program:
1830 to 1900 hours: Registration for the programme
1900 to 1915 hours: Introduction of Telescopes
1915 to 2030 hours: First Sky Session
2030 to 2200 hours: Observations through Telescope
2200 to 2300 hours: Dinner Break
2300 to 0100 hours: Interactive Session
0100 to 0130 hours: Tea Break
0130 to 0230 hours: Second Sky Session
0230 to 0430 hours: Observations through Telescope
These timings are tentative and may vary slightly depending on seasons and sky condition.
The programmes are attended by students of 10 years to elders up to 65+. Basic toilet facilities are available for gents and ladies. The basic pre-requisite for the programmes is your interest in Astronomy. Our experts will guide you through night sky and will teach you all basics throughout the night.
You should carry your dinner tiffin, a cup for tea, mattress / chatai for seating on open ground, sweaters, hand gloves, head scarf / muffler, Water bottle, small torch (covered with red cellophane paper).
Please note that we are not able to provide any of the above things at Vangani.
Location and How to reach :
Khagol Mandal Sky Observation Site
Venue:- Chavan Farm House
Next to Vidya Vikas School
Tarangan Marg (Savara Road)Vangani (W)
The observation site is at a walkable distance from Vangani Railway Station ( 7-9 minutes walk), which is on Central Railway of Mumbai Suburb. A 4.00 pm train on Karjat route from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) will take you to Vangani at about 5.50 pm. This is a station next to Badlapur Station. Our volunteers will receive you on programme day. The path going towards our site has been names as "Tarangan Marg" by the villagers of Vangani (shown by green line on the adjoining map).
From Pune : You can come by local train, from Pune - Lonavala route. This is next to Neral -> Shelu fro the other side i.e. Pune.
Programme Schedule : Normally the programmes are arranged on a Saturday Night nearest to New Moon Day (to avoid moonlight). Student examinations, public holidays etc are taken into consideration while scheduling the programmes. Exact dates of the programme will be available to you from our site, from time to time.
Charges : Rs 130 /- per person for Non Members and Rs. 100/- per person for Students below 18 years and Members . The charges are for the upkeep of the place and the rents to be paid. Tea given twice during the programme is complimentary from Khagol Mandal, hence the charges are non-refundable, even if the programmes does not take place, because of incidental heavy rains or for any other reason beyond our control.
Do I need to register for this program?
You don't need pre-registration for this programme. You can register for the programme on the spot on the site.
Who will be the contact person at the Vangani station?
Our volunteers will be on the Vangani station to receive between 6:00 p.m. to7.45 p.m. Kindly meet the volunteers near ticket window (There is single ticket window on the platform). They will guide you up to the field. Observation site is at a walkable distance of 10 min.
Is there a dinner facility on site?
Is there a drinking water facility on site?
Yes. But still it is recommended to get your own bottles of water.
Is there a toilet facility on site?
Is there a car parking facility on site?
No. Park at owner’s risk where ever you get.
Is there any age restriction for the attendee?
There is no age limit for the program. It is an overnight program consisting of two star gazing sessions. The program is designed considering people don't know the basics of astronomy.
Is there a medical facility on site?
No. We have basic first aid kit…but if you have medical issues, then you carry your regular medicines.
Are there mosquitoes on site?
No. The site is open farm house, clean and free from pollution. As such there are no mosquitoes. There might be night insects…if we put on lights. But as sky show needs no light…this is not a problem. Recommended to get Odomos or some repellant on your own.
What are the restrictions on site?
Smoking and drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited. Drunk participants are assisted to railway station from where they can go home.
Due to growing nuisance and repeated complaints….all mobile devices, laptops, Tablets and all light emitting devices, cameras with flashes will have to be SWITCHED OFF during sky observation.
Do I need to have a telescope or binocular to come to the programme?
No. During this overnight program you will able to see many different objects through telescopes arranged by Khagol Mandal. Some open cluster, Globular cluster, Galaxy, binary star, visible planet. We arrange our KM scopes, personal scopes and all instruments for everyone. You get in queue and see the object.
If you have your own binocular, telescope….do get those with you.
How is the Sky condition on day of program?
Use the following link to view satellite images. These images are updated intervals of normally 6 hours. General thumb-rule is if more water vapor seen in image there is likelyhood of cloud formation. http://www.imd.gov.in/section/satmet/dynamic/insatsector-wv.htm
Check the sky on your own…and plan your visit.
What if Sky gets cloudy during program?
We wait and watch!
If sky is clouded to begin with…we wait till 2200 hrs. Then maybe pack up and get back to home.
If the last train is gone, and sky gets cloudy.....then we conduct discussion sessions. Show some slides, astro-movies and keep the show running. Uninterested people can sleep peacefully.
Where do I get train timings?
Check local train timings in time table. Online time table is at www.mumbailifeline.com
How to reach at Vangani programme site by Car?
For Mumbai residents Route is: Route South Mumbai -Fort- Vashi-(Navi Mumbai)-Mahape (Industrial Area)- Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Vangani- Vangani level crossing-Tarangan Marg (Khagol Mandal Site)
Route for Western suburb- up to Andheri - Jogeshwari-Powai link road-Eastern express highway- Vikhroli Mankhurd link road-Vashi-(Navi Mumbai)-Mahape (Industrial Area)- Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Vangani- Vangani level crossing-Tarangan Marg (Khagol Mandal Site)
Route for western suburb beyound Andheri- up to Malad- Arey colony road to Bhandup Sonapur junction- Airoli Flyover- Mahape(Industrial Area)-Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Vangani- Vangani levelcrossing-Tarangan Marg (Khagol Mandal Site)
Route for western suburb beyond Malad- Borivali-Thane link road-Kalawa-old Agra road-Mumbra- Mahape Junction-Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Vangani- Vangani level crossing-Tarangan Marg (Khagol Mandal Site)
Further more questions???
If you still have further questions, we encourage you to post it here, as they can then be added to FAQ's