People have passions and to fulfill it they can do anything for it. Space, stars and astronomy has been a passion for Professor C G Hukkeri who for the passionate love for it started India’s first private planetarium at Ganeshpur, Belgaum at his house.
Named as Asha Kiran Planetarium, School of Astronomy and Audio-Visual Education Research Centre, and it is the first private planetarium in India.
Asha Kiran Planetarium is spread over the top two floors of his four storey’s building in Ganeshpur, where the sky observatory is on the terrace with some dedicated space of R & D as well. Planetarium has the capacity for an audience of 120 persons.
The 40 feet wide sky dome is tilt for a wide angle to look at the sun, moon, stars etc.
Professor C G Hukkeri was a lecturer of Geography and in 1977 when he married to Mrunalini and when on a trip to the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, they both dreamt of a planetarium. Mr.Hukkeri later shifted to US as a lecturer of Geography and on Physics and space. Mr.Hukkeri has put his all-hard earned money into this project, which took little more than 12 years to become a reality. His son Ananad, an electrical engineer has also taken active part in the realization of his parents dream project.
This kind of a venture by a private individual should be encouraged and the govt. should think of giving some kind of sops to the planetarium, which will spread the word ahead and create more awareness amongst citizens.