High Altitude field station of IIA

Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle, Ladakh 

By Joshi Milestoner

The Hanle Observatory, officially known as the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), is located in Hanle, Ladakh, India. Situated at a high altitude of about 4,500 meters (14,764 feet) above sea level, it's one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world.  

Indian Astronomical Observatory

The observatory is managed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and hosts various telescopes and instruments used for studying celestial objects across different wavelengths, including visible, infrared, and gamma-ray bands.  

About IIA

Different Telescopes or Observatories at Hanle


2) GROWTH Telescope

3) MACE Telescope

4) HAGAR Observatory


This 2-meter behemoth, named after renowned Indian astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, isn’t just an instrument; it’s a gateway to understanding the universe’s deepest secrets. The HCT can capture stunning images and gather valuable data across a wide range of wavelengths. 

GROWTH Telescope

This fully robotic marvel is part of a global network of telescopes, constantly scanning the night sky for short-lived celestial fireworks. Supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, erupting stars  

MACE Telescope

MACE stands for (Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope) it is Gamma ray Telescope which is installed in Hanle, This telescope is managed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. MACE specializes in detecting a different kind of light – the fleeting, ethereal glow of high-energy gamma rays. 

HAGAR Telescope

HAGAR stands for High Altitude Gamma Ray Observatory where each telescope in HAGAR consist of 07 paraxially mounted parabolic mirrors, it was operational in the year 2008. 

Hanle being the High Altitude region this place is ideal for solar energy as the intensity of sunlight is high, Presently 90KW of peak generation is dedicated to the observatory, 30KW of 3 Units. use a Diesel Generator for backup.

Power source at Hanle Observatory