Patna Planetarium was another place that we visited when at Patna. It is in the middle of the city and is named Indira Gandhi Planetarium, although it is known as Taramandal by the local people. It is one of the best and largest planetariums in Asia and started functioning from 1990. It is in the Indira Gandhi Science Complex, where a number of seminars and exhibitions are held. The planetarium offers four shows daily, one each at 12.30 pm, 2.00 pm, 3.30 pm and 5.00 pm. the ticket fee is Rs.30 per person. Children above 3 years of age need a ticket.
We reached in time for the shoe at 3.00 pm there was a long line in front of the counter and we too joined in the queue. We were lucky enough to get two tickets and went inside. It was very spacious inside and the large dome shaped ceiling was the screen where films on astronomy were shown. The seats were very comfortable and the interior was air conditioned. The theatre could accommodate 276 people at a time. Soon all the seats were occupied and the lights went off. Slowly the screen on top came visible and we all looked up eager to see what was in store for us. It was as if we are looking up at the sky at night and watching the light of the moon and the stars. Soon we could see some stars and the moon on the screen. The show included a study of the evolution of earth and the stars.
The show continued for more than an hour and when the show ended, I was sad that it ended so fast. I was so engrossed in the show that I wanted to watch more of it. We came out and went to visit other parts of the complex. The telescope here was highly sophisticated and we looked through it to the sky. A group of students were also there all excited and eager to look through the telescope.
I really enjoyed my visit to the planetarium and learnt a lot of new things about universe and the stars and galaxy.