Khagol Mandal is an organization of amateur astronomers in Mumbai, India. Established in 1985 by handful of astronomy enthusiasts, the organization has grown into a membership of 1000+ within past 24 years. Khagol Mandal will be completing 25 years in 2009. The organization was founded and is still based in Mumbai city of Maharashtra state of India.
The organization was founded a few years before the arrival of the Halley’s comet and succeeded in its intent to generate curiosity among the general public about the comet.
Khagol Mandal Star Gazing site at Vangani
Khagol Mandal has been conducting sky observation programmes at Vangani for past ore than 20 years. The overnight programme starts at 6.00 pm (IST) in he eveing and runs upto 5.00 am (IST) next morning thus spanning lmost 11 hours. The general outline of the programme is as follows :
1) 6.00 pm-6.30 pm Registration for the programme
2) 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm – Introduction of Telescopes
3) 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm – First session about eveing sky.
4) 8.30 pm to 9.00 pm – Observations through telescopes
5) 9.00 pm – 10.00 pm – DINNER BREAK
6) 10.00 pm to 11.30 pm – Second session on Sky
7) 11.30 pm – 12.00 midnight – Observations through telescopes
8) 12.00 midnight – 12.30 am – First Tea Break
9) 12.30 am – 2.30 am – Slide Show, Quiz, Question Answer session
10) 2.30 am – 3.00 am – Second Tea Break
11) 3.00 am – 4.30 am – Third session on sky
12) 4.30 am – 5.00 am – Observations through telescopes
These timings are tentetive and may vary slightly depending on seasons and sky condition.
The programmes are attended by students of 10 years to elders upto 65+. Basic toilet facilities are available for gents and ladies. The basic pre-requisite for the prgrammes is your interest in Astronomy. Our experts will guide you through night sky and will teach you all basics throughout the night.
Paraphernalia Required :
You should carry your dinner tiffin, mug for tea, mat for seating on open ground, sweaters, handgloves, water bottle, small torch (covered with red paper).
Location and How to reach :
The observation site is at a walkable distance from Vangani Railway Station ( 5-7 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).
Charges : Rs 70 /- per person for Non Members and Rs. 30/- per person for 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 Kahgol 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.
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.