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Images from our last Lunar Eclipse Tour to Majkhali in the Himalayas 15 June 2011.

Questions? Reg. Form Itinerary

Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour - 10th December 2011

On a long winter night when the silver Full Moon rises high,

Over the snow-white Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, Trisul,

It will be lounging in the Earth's shadow.

Quite leisurely the moon will saunter inside the shadow,

And turn from argent to copper.

It's a beautiful and tranquil happening, reminding you of the rhythmic motions of Sun, Moon and Earth.

(A lunar eclipse is beautiful to the eyes of a scientist, artist, mathematician, adult and children alike.)


Event .................. Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus Constellation

Tour Dates........... 9th - 11th December 2011, (Fri - Sun)
Participants .......... Maximum Twenty
Venue .................

Majkhali in the Himalayas

Ranikhet, Almora, Uttarakhand

29 40' 58" North,

79 30' 02 East,


Satellite Map Woodsvilla


Aperture Telescopes invites you to see the Total Lunar Eclipse of 10th December 2011 from Majkhali in the Himalayas. The rhythmic celestial mechanics will line up Sun, Earth and the Moon in an almost straight trajectory. The Moon will pass through the shadow cast by the Earth, producing a beautiful spectacle in the sky. As the Moon slips into the Earth's shadow, it will slowly turn crimson, over the snow capped Nanda Devi (the highest Himalayan peak in India). The scene of this Lunar Eclipse is the Winter Hexagon, right in between the horns of Taurus. Star clusters Hyades and Pleiades will become visible close to crimson eclipsed moon. The venue for this tour is just 80 kms away from Nanda Devi. The December Himalayan skies are blue and clear.


Download Tour Itinerary

Participation: On the observation terrace at Majkhali you will rub shoulders with some great eclipse chasers from around the world. A few famous 'Eclipse Personalities' who have already paid-up for the tour are: Mr. Eclipse himself - Fred Espenak (USA), Extreme eclipse chaser Xavier Jubier (France), THE Eclipse Meteorologist Jay Anderson (Canada), Rocket Scientist Sheridan Williams & Frances Donovan (United Kingdom), Mr. Black Sun - Kris Delcourte (Belgium), Georg Lenzen (Switzerland), Aaron Brown (USA), Rob Lucas & Helen Robinson (Australia).

A maximum of 20 participants will be registered for the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour. We request you to register early as the 20 spots will get booked quickly. This is a Astronomical Vacation tour. We invite families with children on the tour. The resort area and accommodation is quite child friendly. Families will enjoy their stay at the resort.

Solar Eclipse Conference Participants (SEC-11) are welcome to join the tour. Do let us know if you have any special requirements. It will be quite a tremendous experience to join this Himalayan Tour. There is a reduced participation fee for all confirmed speakers of the Solar Eclipse Conference. (Nothing official about this tour!, not connected to S P A C E, the organisers of SEC-11)

Telescopes available on the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour:

Tour participants will have several large telescopes at their disposal on the Majkhali Terrace to view the Total Lunar Eclipse. We will have the telescope/participant ratio to about 1 telescope per 5 participants, so participants are comfortable watching the eclipse and there is absolutely no rush and no question of a queue forming before each instrument.

USB, Largest Mobile Telescope in India, 20inch: A humongous 20inch diameter telescope will show the lunar eclipse with all its fine details.

Binocular Telescope, 16inch:  A 16inch diameter telescope will be fitted with a binocular viewer, unlike typical telescopes, where you use only one eye to see the sky objects, you can comfortably use both your eyes.

Light Bucket Telescope, 12inch:  A 12inch diameter telescope is a large telescope, but it is so easy to handle that even new participants will be able to handle it on their own. This telescope will be fitted with the 13mm Ethos eyepiece, which has a very wide field of view.

'Orange', 8inch:  This 8inch telescope is a serious telescope with very sharp views, but amazingly can be handled by a 7-8 year old child. Children will be allowed to use this telescope on their own, point it towards the eclipsed moon, discover amazing deep sky object on their own. The clear skies of Majkhali combined with the darkness of a Lunar Eclipse Night will make a beautiful night to wander among the Milky way lanes using this telescope.

25 X 100 Binocular on Parallelogram Stand:  The 25 x 100 is considered a large binocular by amateur astronomers. This large binocular will be placed on a very versatile stand for wide angle views of the eclipse and the sky. The best part of this binocular stand is that it can be easily brought down to children's level and still pointing at the same object in the sky. In the last Lunar Eclipse this was the instrument of desire to watch the shadow moving across the Moon.

Meade 12inch, Automatic GOTO Telescope: Another large aperture telescope, 12inch from Meade, will be used to view the eclipse. The telescope will follow the moon continuously, automatically throughout the eclipse. No need to move the telescope manually.

Meade 8inch, Automatic GOTO Telescope: This telescope will follow the Lunar Eclipse automatically, throughout the night and will be fitted with a camera capturing each and every moment of the lunar eclipse.

Enjoy the eclipse on the Pine Terrace at Majkhali, while lounging in a musical atmosphere and feasting an exotic buffet with a variety of Indian teas, coffees,  cookies, cheese and crackers.

Reg. Form

What’s included in the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour?

  • Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis, for two nights at Woodsvilla Resort, 9th & 10th December, 2011. Hotel check-in and check-out time is 12 noon.
  • ALL meals at the hotel are included. Starting from Lunch on 9th December to Breakfast on 11th December. Mineral water bottles will be provided in rooms as well on the Ranikhet tour.
  • Hi-Tea party will be arranged among the pines at the sunset spot near the resort for participants on 9th December at sunset and twilight.
  • A special 3-4 hour tour of - the 800 year old Sun Temple at Katarmal; the beautiful vista of the Army Golf Course and Ranikhet will be arranged on 9th December in cars.
  • A 90 minute presentation will be held in the conference room on 10th December evening. The presentation will explain the timings, circumstances of the Lunar Eclipse and how to photograph the Lunar Eclipse. Participants' cameras will be explained and questions will be answered. Please bring a tripod along with the camera to photograph the Lunar Eclipse.
  • One large telescope/binocular/instrument will be available per 5-6 adult participants to view the Total Lunar Eclipse on the night of 10th December.
  • The largest mobile telescope in India will be on location for participants’ use.
  • The use of all visual telescopes, will be provided to all participants during the Lunar Eclipse Night on 10th December.
  • The large resort terrace will be converted into a open air lounge with comfortable seating all around, to relax and enjoy the Lunar Eclipse along with eclipse music.
  • On the Lunar Eclipse night an unforgettable sky buffet will run till late night near the Pine Terrace, containing exotic snacks, selection of teas and coffees like green tea, cappuccino and much more.

What’s not included?

  1. Travelling to and from Ranikhet from your residence or any other place is not included in the participation fee. If any participant is arriving by public transportation till Ranikhet, we will be able to provide a car pick up from Ranikhet main market. This pick up will be available only from Ranikhet, but not any other location.
  2. Any food & beverages, ordered in your room which is chargeable by the hotel, or any other chargeable activity offered by the hotel and availed by the participant will be paid by the participant at the time of checkout on their own.
  3. Accommodation before and beyond the tour dates will have to be arranged beforehand, and will be extra on actual rate charged by the hotel.
  4. Reimbursement, refund of fee or rescheduling of the tour is not possible in case of bad weather, clouds, rain or any other natural cause because of which we are not able to see the Lunar Eclipse, partly or wholly.

Participation Fee:

  1. Registration on or before 10 November 2011: Rs. 15,900/- only.
  2. Registration after 15 November 2011: Rs. 16,400/- only.
  3. Children below 5 years accompanied with 2 adults - complimentary
  4. Children 5 - 12 years accompanied with 2 adults - @ 50% of adult participation fee
  5. Please call/mail us for children accompanied with a single adult

Full payment as well as registration form must reach us on or before the last dates. The participation fee includes accommodation, all boarding at Woodsvilla Resort, but not the travel to and from Ranikhet. Please go through the ‘What’s included’ and ‘What’s not included’ paragraphs carefully.

Reg. Form    To register send email to Aperture Telescopes

Payment methods:

  1. Pay cash at our administrative office at the following address: Aperture Telescopes, B49, Vijay Rattan Vihar, Sector 15-II, Gurgaon – 122001, Haryana.
  2. Send us a cheque or demand draft favouring ‘Aperture Telescopes’ payable at Gurgaon at the above address.
  3. Direct cash/cheque deposit at any ICICI bank across the country, ‘Aperture Telescopes’ Current Account No. 103105000425, Branch - Sector 15, Gurgaon.
  4. Online bank transfer to our ‘Aperture Telescopes’ ICICI bank, Current Account No. 103105000425, Branch - Sector 15, Gurgaon RTGS/NEFT/IFSC Code - ICIC0001031.
  5. Send Participation Fee through Paypal to (paypal available for foreign participants only).

Cancellations & Refunds:

  1. Cancellation of participation on or before 10th November 2011 will attract a 10% handling charge on the participation fee paid by you.
  2. Cancellation after 10th November 2011 will attract a 25% handling charge on the participation fee paid by you.
  3. We regret that no refund of the participation fee will be possible if you cancel on or after 3rd December 2011, i.e. one week before the Lunar Eclipse.
  4. Reimbursement or rescheduling of the workshop is not possible in case of bad weather, clouds, rain or any other natural cause beyond our control, because of which we are not able to see the entire Lunar Eclipse or part of it.

Travelling to Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour Venue, Majkhali Ranikhet: As a special service to the foreign delegates of Solar Eclipse Conference, SEC-11, Aperture Telescopes can arrange transportation from New Delhi to the tour venue - Woodsvilla Resort. There are two methods to reach Majkhali.

  1. From Old Delhi Railway Station to Kathgodam by train. Train journey on Ranikhet Express can be reserved. Departure from Delhi is at 22:40 at night and Arrival Kathgodam at 05:10 next morning. Booking open 90 days before the travelling date, i.e. 9th September 2011. Train reservations vanish in 10-15 days after opening. The rates are First A/C- Rs. 900, Second A/C- Rs. 600, Third A/C- Rs. 400. Kathgodam is the last railway station before the mountains. Further journey must be made by road. Shared cabs are easily available at Kathgodam station and cost about Rs 300 to the venue. The Hill journey takes about 3 hours. The return journey will be by same train on 11th December evening from Kathgodam, reaching Delhi next morning.

  2. From Delhi to Majkhali by minivan (Toyota Innova). The minivan can accommodate 4 persons comfortably and a maximum of 6 persons. The driver always comes along with the car hire. The entire journey from Delhi to Majkhali takes about 10 hours. It is best to start at 4:00 in the morning. Starting from Delhi later will add two hours while leaving Delhi. The entire cost of car hire from Delhi back to Delhi for three days (i.e. start on 9th morning and reach back on 11th December before midnight) comes to about Rs 10,000. The cost can be divided by the number of participants travelling. The vehicle will be available with you at all times during the tour.

Please email us if you would like us to arrange transportation to Majkhali, Ranikhet by any of the above two methods.

Location About 10 kms from Ranikhet, on the road which leads towards the famous Golf Course of Ranikhet, continue onwards and you will reach Woodsvilla Resort. It has an open terrace overlooking the Himalayas and wide open to the beautiful night skies. Absolutely no light pollution here, stars above the horizon and little twinkling village lights below the horizon. Faint stars are visible as soon as they pop out from behind the Himalayan peaks. You could carry your camera & tripod around for stunning views of the pine, deodars and the Milky Way, on the Ranikhet Golf Course. Make a time lapse movie of the stars rising above Trishul peaks and the few vehicles moving below in the valleys.

Ranikhet is known for its towering view of the Himalayas as it is close to the base of the mountains. The view of the majestic 26500 feet high Trishul takes one’s breath away. The Trishul view changes dramatically at sunrise, afternoon and sunset, as the angle of the sun rays changes.

About 15 kms from Majkhali, at Katarmal, there is a 800 year old Sun temple. You could also travel to Sitlakhet, and easily trek to the top of the peak for even more astounding views of the Himalayas.

Woodsvilla Our location Woodsvilla Resort is ideal for astronomy, negligible light pollution, observation terrace just above the rooms, so anytime you feel like a little rest, just come down to the comfort of your bed, rest for an hour and be back on the observation terrace. A large terrace for astronomy, conference hall, all this in the middle of a small Himalayan pine village ...... an ideal place for the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour. The hotel also conducts trekking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities & section with Burma bridges, pool, Table Tennis and the restaurant is named 'Cloud 9'!

Accomodation: The hotel has large, clean rooms, with bay windows overlooking the Himalayas. All the rooms have twin beds as well as an extra bed installed beside the bay window. Accommodation will be on twin room sharing for Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour participants. The hotel has provided us with all inclusive plan, all the meals are on the house. You may order your breakfast in your room with ample time flexibility. Lunch and Dinner will be according to the hotel timings in the restaurant only. Anything extra ordered in the room will be paid by the participants themselves at checkout.

Lunar Eclipse Presentation & Discussion:  A detailed 90 minute presentation will be held for the participants explaining the circumstances of the eclipse and how to photograph it successfully with your own camera. Support for photographing and processing will also be available before and after the eclipse through email.

What to Bring: Expected temperature, at night, will be between 5-10° C, but prepare for weather that is at least 5° degrees colder. Wear layered clothing, and carry ear and head protection. A hooded jacket is very useful on windy nights. Make and use a check list to see that you don't leave home without something you need, such as your red flashlight as well as extra batteries. Bring a thermos, and something for a late night snack. Even better, bring along some goodies to share with your friends around you. Being active late at night makes most people hungry. Chocolates are an instant energy provider and will also better your vision with the increased blood flow. Wear sturdy and closed footwear, such as running shoes or hiking boots.

You are welcome to bring along your camera, or any other equipment. If you let us know in advance that you are getting a telescope we’ll earmark a suitable location for you to setup your own station, provide electricity and a table.

Questions? Reg. Form Itinerary