Vainu Bappu Observatory, Yelagiri

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Located in the picturesque hill station of Yelagiri, the Vainu Bappu Observatory is a must-visit destination for astronomy enthusiasts and stargazers. Named after the famous Indian astronomer Vainu Bappu, the observatory is one of the most prominent astronomical research centers in India.


The Vainu Bappu Observatory was established in 1971 by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. It was named after the renowned Indian astronomer Vainu Bappu, who was known for his contributions to the field of astronomy. The observatory was built with the aim of studying the celestial bodies and phenomena, and has since played a crucial role in astronomical research in India.


The Vainu Bappu Observatory boasts several telescopes and instruments for astronomical research. The main telescope at the observatory is a 93-inch telescope, which is one of the largest telescopes in Asia. The observatory also has several smaller telescopes and instruments for observing different celestial bodies and phenomena.

Apart from the telescopes, the Vainu Bappu Observatory also has a planetarium, which is a popular attraction among visitors. The planetarium offers educational programs and shows for visitors to learn about astronomy and the universe.

Visiting the Observatory

The Vainu Bappu Observatory is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10 AM and 5 PM. Visitors can take a guided tour of the observatory, which includes a visit to the planetarium and an opportunity to observe the celestial bodies through the telescopes. The observatory also offers night sky viewing sessions on select days, which is an unforgettable experience for stargazers.

Travel Tips & FAQs

  1. What is the best time to visit the Vainu Bappu Observatory?

The best time to visit the observatory is from November to February when the weather is pleasant and clear skies are visible.

  1. What are the things to carry while visiting the observatory?

Visitors need to carry warm clothes and comfortable shoes as the temperature can drop at night. Cameras and binoculars are also recommended for a better viewing experience.

  1. Is prior booking required to visit the observatory?

No, prior booking is not required to visit the observatory. However, it is recommended to call and confirm the visiting hours before planning the visit.

Other Tourist Attractions

  1. Jalagamparai Waterfalls: Located near the Vainu Bappu Observatory, Jalagamparai Waterfalls is a beautiful waterfall that offers a mesmerizing view of the surrounding hills.
  2. Punganoor Lake: Punganoor Lake is a popular tourist attraction in Yelagiri. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery and is a perfect spot for boating and picnicking.
  3. Swamimalai Hill: Swamimalai Hill is a famous hill in Yelagiri, known for its panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys. Visitors can trek to the hilltop to enjoy the view.

The Vainu Bappu Observatory is a unique destination that offers a glimpse into the wonders of the universe. With its state-of-the-art telescopes and planetarium, the observatory provides an unforgettable experience for visitors. So, plan your visit to Yelagiri and explore the mysteries of the universe at the Vainu Bappu Observatory.

Travel Tips:

  1. Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Yelagiri is between November and February when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities.
  2. Getting There: Yelagiri is well-connected by road and can be reached easily by bus or car from Bangalore and Chennai. The nearest railway station is Jolarpettai, which is about 21 km away from Yelagiri.
  3. Accommodation: Yelagiri offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Some of the popular resorts in Yelagiri are Sterling Yelagiri, Hotel Landmark, and Zeenath Taj Gardens.
  4. Food: Yelagiri has a mix of North Indian and South Indian cuisine. Some of the popular dishes to try are dosa, idli, vada, biryani, and parotta. You can also try some of the local delicacies like jackfruit biryani and mango pickle.
  5. Safety: Yelagiri is generally safe for tourists, but it’s always advisable to take necessary precautions and avoid venturing out alone at night.


  1. What are the popular outdoor activities to do in Yelagiri? Some of the popular outdoor activities to do in Yelagiri are trekking, hiking, boating, and paragliding.
  2. Is Yelagiri suitable for a family vacation? Yes, Yelagiri is an excellent destination for a family vacation as it offers a variety of activities for people of all ages.
  3. Can we visit Yelagiri during the monsoon season? Yelagiri receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, so it’s not advisable to visit during this time.
  4. What are some of the popular shopping destinations in Yelagiri? Yelagiri doesn’t have many shopping options, but you can find some shops selling local handicrafts and souvenirs near the lake area.
  5. Is it possible to visit Yelagiri on a day trip? Yes, it’s possible to visit Yelagiri on a day trip from Bangalore or Chennai. However, it’s recommended to stay overnight to explore the town thoroughly.
Other Tourist Attractions:
  1. Jalagamparai Waterfalls: A scenic waterfall located about 13 km from Yelagiri, surrounded by lush green forests.
  2. Swamimalai Hill: A popular trekking spot, Swamimalai Hill is the highest point in Yelagiri and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  3. Nature Park: A beautiful park located near the lake area, offering a variety of activities like boating, cycling, and bird-watching.
  4. Punganoor Lake: A serene lake surrounded by hills and greenery, perfect for a peaceful picnic or a boat ride.
  5. Government Herbal Farm: A research center for medicinal plants, the Government Herbal Farm offers guided tours and is an excellent place to learn about the various medicinal plants and herbs grown in the region.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.