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30 hrs of Astronomy: Certificate Course for Astronomy Enthusiasts
Written by Abhay Deshpande   
Friday, 28 August 2015 09:14

To mark 30 yrs of activism KHAGOL MANDAL is glad to announce Special Course on Astronomy:

30 hrs of Astronomy: Certificate Course for Astronomy Enthusiasts !

This course is aimed at astronomy enthusiasts and beginners.

Date: Every Saturday, 5th September to 28th November 2015

Venue: Khagol Mandal, 5th Floor, Sadhana Vidyalaya, Nr Sion Station, Sion (E)

Charges: Rs. 1500/- per person

Sky Show: Fee for Sky show and excursions if any will be additional. Participation in all such events is optional.

Eligibility: 11th Standard onwards.

Booking process: Please visit link below and complete the booking

Else visit Khagol Mandal at address mentioned above on any WEDNESDAY; 1900 to 2030 hrs.

Contact Details:
Dr. Abhay Deshpande: 902-902-9076
Milind Kale: 98696-10777
Swapnil Jawkar: 96193-96204

Tentative List of lectures and speakers:

  Tentative Topics Speaker Date
1 Star called Sun Dr. Aniket Sule 5th September
2 Solar System Pritesh Ranadive 12th September
3 Astronomical Events -1 Dr. Abhay Deshpande 19th September
4 Astronomical Events -2 Dr. Varsha Shukla 26th September
5 Positional Astronomy
Anurag Shevade 3rd October
6 Time and Coordinates Ameya Gokhale 10th October
7 Stellar Properties
Vinita Navalkar 17th October
8 Stellar Evolution Dr. Sagar Godambe 24th October
9 Binary & Variable Stars
Swapnil Jawkar 31st October
10 Origin & fate of Universe Pradeep Nayak 7th November
  SKY SHOW at NERAL Milind Kale 14th November
11 Life in Universe Dr. Sujata Deshpande 21st November
12 Discussions Panel of experts 28th November

Overnight Sky Show at Neral 10 hrs (Optional)

1. Lectures will be on each Saturday at Sion
2. There will be special interaction session for discussions once or twice during the course
3. Students can choose topic of special interest during first month of course
4. Those interested can opt for Poster / Presentation at the end of the course on the topic chosen
5. There will be an examination at the end of course. Participation in exam will be optional. However it is recommended to appear to the exam for self-appraisal

Last Updated on Friday, 28 August 2015 19:52
Nostalgia Pours In
Written by Mahesh Naik, Ex President   
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 19:01

After publishing news of Khagol mandal completing 30 years on Website and Posting Photographs on Facebook, many of our members communicated their Nostalgic Moments through Phone and WhatsApp. I am sharing few of them along with the names of the members

Ravindra Waghmare : Ex Secretary (1987-1991)

My Nostalgic association goes back to early 1986.. Just coming out from forming stage...
Some events - some personalities - actual field working and interactions with many....it taught us many realities of life...KM provided yet another vibrant platform to perform, excel n progress in our respective profession!

I can write big stories : but due to space constraints - just mentioning some events of pride for all Khagol Mandali :

1. Haley's & Kohutak Comet observations nights from Vangni with 1000+ khagolpremi...to the extetd that Vangni Railway Station Master had to say that all tickets available to Mumbai are sold....

2. Christiania Wilson fm US writing to us and appreciating our Astronomical popularising activities...a new comet was discovered by her, n comet was named after her. Her letter was published in our early "Khagol Varta" printed bi-monthly then!

3. The organisation of many Astronomical events n many parents interaction provided a number of opportunities to then young school going kids - who later acquired PhD in Astronomy or related subjects...and we have over one dozen of them with KM !

4. Similarly, the great flop show of Meteor Shower at Vangni - where over 2000+ Khagol premi had gathered - but thunderstorm n heavy rains ruined the show : but we all volunteers, in the headlights of parked cars - carried some sessions of discussions !

5. Total Solar Eclipse tour of 1995 October @ Hamirpur UP cannot be forgotten for few things - wonderful TSE observations n Diamond Ring / Baily's bids, Corona snaps - the earlier nightmare of Dacoites Attack - choked up toilets in the morning n villagers participation in the event was just simply memorable.

6. My Annular Solar Eclipse photographs from Kanyakumari in 2009 without tripod were well appreciated.

7. But, TSE 1999 from Bhuj was another flop show due to whether - but a learning curve for us !

8. Nostalgic memories goes back in 1986, when the Khagol Varta was first Cyclostyled, stapled n posted after affixing Stamps...it was a weekend full day programme forcfew of us !
Then remember the type set edition n later only e-version !

9. Likewise, first publications of Astronomical books written by our Pradeep Nayak n Mahesh Naik... Dr Jayant Narlikar, Dr Rawal, Dr Apte n many great Astronomy Subject experts supporting us n KM...

10. RCF donating a large telescope to late Mangala Tai supporting our activities...

KM not only helped popularise Astronomy n became iconic on its activities : but also helped many young minds to gain n grow in their profession !

All varied professions coming together n selflessly contributing in the success of the organisation, lies in the basics laid down so strongly then by Dilip Joshi, Raju Citnis, Late Sudhakar Lele and alike cannot be overlooked !

All my best wishes for Khagol Mandal to soon celebrate Golden Jubilee !

Santosh Mhaskar :

मी पनवेलचा. 1988 मध्ये मंडळाचा सदस्य झालो (स.क्र.442). तेव्हा साधना विद्यालयात दर बुधवारी खगोल मंडळींना भेटायला यायला खुप आनंद व उत्साह वाटायचा. मग हळुहळू मंडळाचं पनवेलमधलं काम आणि सदस्य संख्या वाढायला लागल्यावर स्वतंत्र पनवेल विभागाची स्थापना झाली.

मंडळाच्या पनवेल विभागानी पनवेल परिसरात खगोलशास्त्राच्या प्रचार व प्रसारासाठी अनेक कार्यक्रम केले. त्यात विशेष उल्लेखनिय कार्यक्रम पुढिल प्रमाणे.

1] पनवेलच्या V.K Highschool व K.V. कन्याविद्यालय या शाळात खगोलशास्त्र विषयी प्रदर्शन.

2] पनवेल च्या माध्यमिक शाळांसाठी खगोलप्रश्नमुंजुषेचे आयोजन. यामध्ये 8 शाळा सहभागी झाल्या (त्यात 2 इंग्लीश, 1 उर्दू, 1 गुजराथी शाळा सुद्धा होत्या)

3] युथ हॉस्टेल पनवेल च्या साथीनी श्री. दा. कृ. सोमणांचा खगोलशास्त्रावरील व्याख्यानाचा कार्यक्रम.

4] 24 ऑक्टोबर 1995 च्या सुर्यग्रहणा आधी वेगवेगळ्या ठिकाणी खग्रास सुर्यग्रहणावर 15 ठिकाणी कार्यक्रम.

5] पनवेल जवळील चिंचवली येथील वनवासी कल्याण आश्रमात पनवेलच्या खगोलप्रेमींसाठी ह्याकुताके धुमकेतूदर्शनाचा कार्यक्रम.

6] पनवेल जवळील चिंचवली येथील वनवासी कल्याण आश्रमात पनवेलच्या खगोलप्रेमींसाठी सिंह राशीमधुन होणार्‍या उल्कावर्षावाच्या दर्शनाचा कार्यक्रम.

7] 11 ऑगस्ट 1999 च्या सुर्यग्रहणा निमित्त अनेक ठिकाणी कार्यक्रम.


Pradeep Nayak:

Khagol Mandal is a unique organization in the sense that it is run not by a single person, but by volunteers. There is no godfather of the organisation. Many times people ask me, whose organisation is this, Khagol Mandal? My answer to this question is that it is volunteers's organisation. In the last three decades every committee had different office bearers. Isn't that unique? Very few organisations in India might be like this.

In an organization which is basically Scientific, you will find people from all walks of life; from physicists, astronomers to chartered accountants. Everyone is bonded to the organisation by a common thread that is humanity. Even though from our organization's platform we discuss astronomy; at individual level, we discuss politics, history, biology, evolution, life and all sorts of things. It has enriched our lives so much that it is beyond the words to express my gratitude.
Being a part of this organisation is the best thing that has ever happened to me.


Mrinalini Nayak:

For me, Khagol Mandal has been an inseparable part of life since last 30 years. Apart from learning astronomy, I learned how to talk in front of a crowd, about explaining difficult concepts in simple language suitable for various media, how to think about various things, and the most important got many very close friends, who have such bonding with each other without the need of friendship bands!!

This institute has created many scientists, amateur astronomers till now. But it has also created very nice human beings. I think that is what is unique and most important thing about this group. Very very proud to be a part of such a group.

Sameer Kadam:

खगोल मंडळात कार्यकर्ता म्हणुन काम करता करता विविध तारकासमुह, ग्रह, नक्षत्रांसोबतच माणसांचे विविध पैलुही अभ्यासता आले. १९९५ चे खग्रास सुर्यग्रहण असो वा सिंह राशितील विशेष उल्कावर्षाव असो. व्यवस्थापनाचे विविध धडे अश्याप्रकारच्या वेगवेगळ्या खगोलीय घटनांच्या निमिंत्ताने गिरवता आहे. हौशी खगोल शास्राच्या अभ्यासासाठी या सारखे दुसरे मुक्त व्यासपिठ नाही. खगोल मंडळाची व्याप्ती मुंबई पुरती मर्यांदीत न राहता प्रथम महाराष्ट्रात व संपुर्ण देशभरात व्हावी हीच या वर्धापन दिनी सदिच्छा ! प्रत्येकाने आपापला क्षमते प्रमाणे कार्य सहभाग संस्थेकरिता दिला तर हे उद्दीष्ट सहज शक्य आहे.

Ashish Karnik:

Before it sprouted in Huge families !! I still remember lunching at Minakshi's place. Late night tea prepared by Ajit when we were sticking addresses and stamps on Varta and it never felt we were doing any efforts. More than anything I remember chiding & compliments we got from all the elders. Mainly chidings for me and compliments for others

Vibha Joshi:

Wednesdays at Sion and Saturday's at Vangni were always so exciting. Then the various akashdarshan programs we conducted.
Bestest was the journey back from Vangni...Nandu used to be the star..
I think the whole team motivated us to put in whole hearted honest sincere efforts in anything we did. Be it the varta work or the pain-sticking map work. We enjoyed every moment.

Minakshi Yardi Kulkarni:

I remember the tea-coffee preparation inside the bungalow. Music sessions with Pradeep n Ajit n Mukund. We used to eagerly wait for Pradeep n Ajit for some interesting food. Also remember hw the gang of girls cracked into tears at Kutch TSE(1999). 

Personal benefits to definitely include- stage confidence. Remember the slide shows at vangani n sion.Above the all it was Dilip who was thick spinning wheel who kept all the diverse personalities woven together.

Nandu Walve:

Man:puravak dhanyawad. My art (caligraphy) remained live or rather flourished while working for Khagol Warta. We do not believe in word Nashib but sometimes felt like it while looking back in journey. Or we can say in rational words meeting all khagol mandali was a very good coincidence.

Rajesh Nayak:

In very first year of joining KM...in 1987...in one of the Vangani program..Raju Chitnis asked me to give information of telescope....that was..I feeled real honored.....further he gave me moral support..." Don't worry..I am there"..This gave me real boost...and ad minakshi told...KM stood like a big brother..behind every one....Thanks a lot KM...you shaped our life...!!



Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 July 2015 19:58
Khagol Mandal Completes 30 Years on 6th July 2015
Written by Mahesh Naik, Ex President   
Monday, 06 July 2015 00:55

We are proudly celebrating 30 years of our young organization. It is the organization of youngsters, it is the organization of scientifically oriented minds, it is the organization of zealous minds whose quest for knowing the secrets of the universe and, in that sense, it the organization of all younger minds.

(For Photographs, Please visit Khagol Mandal's Facebook Page)

In the year 1985, month Feb, Lokvidnyan Sanghatana organized a Basic Course in Astronomy. From the attendees of this Basic Course, few like minded people decided to meet again to do some constrctive work. Them met number of times and the result of these frequent meetings was birth of a new organization devoted entirely to Astronomy.

All the knowledge was then available in English Books, and in order to popularize astronomy amongst people, it was necessary to make it available to all in their own language. Hence it was decided to work towards popularizing astronomy in MARATHI, the mother toungue of Maharashtrians. The first meeting for formation of this new organization was held on 6th July 1985, at the Karachi Maharashtra Mandal's School at Wadia Estate, Kurla (West). Amongst the first few members were Mr (Late) Sudhakar Lele, Hemant Dhamorikar, Dr. Rajiv Chitnis, Mr. Jagdish Kabre and Mr. Dilip Joshi, who was the convener of this meeting and is an active member even today. The meeting laid the foundation for the formation of Khagol Mandal which was then Registered as Organization with Charity Commissioner. Mr. Jagdish Kabre with its first president and Mr. Hemant Dhamorikar as First Secretary.

The first donation of rs. 100/- came from Mr. Anant Chittal, who on the 25th Aniversary againt donated Rs. 50,000/- to Khagol Mandal. The Organization grew in volunteers and donors as the years passed by. Late Mrs. Mangalatai Abhyakar was one of the notable consistent donor, who in her will left a sum of Rs 2,00,000/- for Khagol Mandal. Mr. Pravin Herlekar, Mr. Sharad Bhide and Mr. Abhir Joshi are few other notable names in the big list of donors.
Sadhana Vidyalaya Sion helped Khagol Mandal by giving space of one Classroom right from the beginning. Mandal's Sky Observation programs form 1985 were supported by Late Mrs Durgatai Patole, who gave her farm-house at Vangani, for Khagol Mandal. Mandal will always be indebted to such personalities who helped us to grow in quality and quantity. The first anniversary was also celebrated at Sadhana Vidyalaya's hall in presence of the then noted astronomer Mr. Sudhkar Bhalerao.
In the journey of last 30 years, Mandal has many feathers in its cap. Khagol Mandal has been conducting Night Sky Observation programs at Vangni consistently for last 30 years. It started a monthly Marathi magazine "Khagol Warta" for its members and ran it for about 25 years, even in PDF format for last few months of its tenure.

Kagol Mandal Family also spread its wings in nearby areas in the form of local units in places like Dombivali, Panvel, Nashik, Thane, Badlapur etc where we have still many active members. These units also independently conducted Sky Observation Programs. Various members contributed to Local Newspapers, Radio and Television programs and also participations in innumerable number of Astro Conferences. Dombivali Unit was active with Sarang Oak, Shirish Phade, Anand Acharya whereas Rajesh Nayak, Hemant Mekade, Santosh Mhaskar, Srirang Karve actively ran Panvel Unit. Sujata and Milind Babar are still actively working as Nashik Unit where Prof Shymkant Acharya and Prof Pradeep Devi were once active. Ashutosh Lotlikar helped setting up Thane Unit with Abhijit Tamhane Whereas Praveen Herlekar and Sanjay Deshpande started Badlapur Unit. 

Astronomical Events like Total Solar Eclipse , Comet Watch, Meteor Shower helped to induce curiosity in common man and Mandal's membership started growing. More and more students started getting attracted towards Mandal and its program and the flow still continues. Khagol Mandal conducted Solar Eclipse tours in 1995/1999/2009/2010 in various parts of the country and aroused interest of local by giving lectures and presentations to the locals and local press. Many dignities attended Khagol Mandal Programs, which included names like Dr. Jayant Naralikar, Dr. Govind Swaroop (in Hamirpur, UP), Dr Shashikumar Chitre, Prof Mohan Apte , to name a few. Members of Mandal organized street plays, songs based on themes of Eclipse , local skywatch etc during these tours.

As the Family grew in Size and Technology, a generation of Astrophotographers came to fore. Sameer Thakur, Nikhil Tungare, Nilesh Desai and many others took captivating photographs and helped others to learn astrophotography.

Khagol Mandal has organized many Basic and Advanced courses of Astronomy, Telescope making workshops, Model making workshops and exhibitions, Astrophotography workshops during its journey. In 2007, Khagol Mandal was chosen as associate organization by the International Astronomy Olympiad body for conducting its Sky Observation Examination where many of our volunteers helped as examiners, to the IAO body under the leadership of Pradeep Nayak.
Mandal has many many films on astronomical places and personalities. Lonar Crater, Bhaskaracharya's birthplace, Total Solar Eclipse are few to name.
In the year 2005, Mandal decorated Noted Scholar Prof. Mohan Apte, with its first and only "Bhaskar Puraskar", given for his natable contribution in Popularization of Astronomy amongst common man.

Mandal's members are now spread across the globe and are connected electronically via email, website and Facebook. They have participated in many programs in places like USA, UK and even conducted one of its program in Qatar.

Dilip Joshi, the founder member of Khagol Mandal has alwys been its forte. His enthusiasm and art of connecting people has helped Mandal to grow. Milind Kale conducted innumerable outdoor programs during his period of more than 25 years. Pradeep Nayak lead the team of students for past over 25 years. Dr. Rajiv Chitnis, is also one of the ever supporting founder members. Amongst notable contributors during this journey, I can recollect few names like Mr. (Late) Sudhakar lele, Mr.(Late) Vittal taiwade, Dr. rajiv Chitnis, Mr. Ravindra Waghmare who as secretary of Khagol Mandal between 1987-1991, Ravindra Kadam (Ex- President), Nandkumar Walve, Sagar Kerkar (Ex President and Present Secretary), Milind Kale (Ex-President) Minakshi Yardi Kulkarni, Vibha Shukla, Praveen Herlekar,Dr. Abhay deshpande, Dr. Varsha Shukla, Mrinalini Nayak, Madhuri Katti, Gauri Dabholkar, Dr. Aniket Sule, Sameer kadam, Shailesh Sansare, . There are many of my colleagues which volunteered from time to time to make Khagol Mandal a huge success.

In this journey the list of Credit is much bigger than to fit into my mortal memory. I apologise for those who actively participated in many activities but are not mentioned here.

Today , at 30, Mandal has many assets in its stride which includes a land and building at Umbroli, a small village near suburb of Badlapur, Mumbai. Many Members have expressed their wish to convert it into a Astro-Science park. Apart from this constant streak of volunteers has been its biggest asset. With the change in global situation of education and jobs in last 30 years, the nature of interaction of these members have changed, but the bond is same.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 July 2015 20:07
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