Nakshatra Vedh Shala (Observatory) – ESTD. in the Year 1946

Nakshatra Vedh Shala (Observatory) – ESTD. in the Year 1946

I read about Nakshatra Vedh Shala (Observatory) well written in a blog by a foreign tourist and the day I decided to visit. I hire a Scooty from Rishikesh and reached Devprayag – 70 Kms approx. distance.

Once you cross Motel Dev (right-hand side) at Devprayag on the left-hand side of National Highway 58 there is a path that goes towards PWD Dak Bungalow. Follow the left road – This is the first road of Garhwal that ends at Bungalow. In the year 1935, the first bus came to this road only.

Near the entrance gate of Dak Bungalow are the steps that will take you to the observatory up on the hill. Ask anyone. Everybody knows the house. Few meters of the steep climb.

During the visit, we were welcomed and offered tea and snacks by the family members and then I met Shri Prabhakar Joshi son of renowned astrologer Late Shri Acharya Pandit Chakradhar Joshi – Director of The Himalayan Astrological Research Institute also known as Nakshatra Ved Shala (observatory).

Shri Prabhakar Joshi is a press reporter. His younger brother Acharya Bhaskar Joshi is a sadhak (one who does meditation).

On the way to the observatory, Prabhakar Ji showed us more than 40 years old two big Christmas trees, and a Golden fish pond existing since his father’s days.

Maybe for some astrological reasons? Maybe – a thought within as I walk further.

Established 1946, Latitude 30°,08′ 45″ 74′ L, Longitude 78°,35′ 44″ 94′ L, Height from Sea-Level – 674 meters (2123 feet) written on an old display board.

We open our shoes and enter the observatory and had a seat on the floor. This is the location where Shri Acharya Pandit Chakradhar Joshi ji used to sit.

Upon the query, Shri Prabhakar Joshi enhanced our knowledge:

‘Joshi’ is the surname because it is said people who were into astrological studies i.e., Jyotish Vidhya named Joshi. They arrive at Devprayag for the first time in the 8th Century with Shri Adi Shankaracharya from South India and later in the 15th Century and settled down in Uttarakhand.

Their family was also in astrological studies since their father, grandfather, and great-great-grandfather time.

Shri Acharya Pandit Chakradhar Joshi was one of the most renowned astrologers in India mostly staying at Altamount Road, Mumbai.

In the year 1946, in August month he selected and established an observatory and a library for astrological studies. The distance of the observatory is equal from all four directions in Devprayag.

Shri Acharya Pandit Chakradhar Joshi was also having sound knowledge of Sanskrit, Vastu, and many other subjects.

He also stayed at Shantiniketan with Shri Rabindranath Tagore. Later he meditated in the Himalayas and at Charan Paduka, Badrinath. His photos during meditation were clicked by one of his disciples Vidyavrata – a great photographer and a follower from Pondicherry.

A box full of photographs is another story.

Shri Acharya Pandit Chakradhar Joshi also helped to establish many schools and colleges.

He traveled all over India and collected rare manuscripts, Granth, Yantra, and paintings for the observatory.

This is the only astrological institute in Uttarakhand having the maximum number of rare manuscripts. The oldest one ‘Bhakth Shiromani’ is from the year 1620. There are more than 3,000 manuscripts and 25,000 Granth on different subjects available in the library.

Tadpatra Granth written in the Telugu language is also present.

The only Ramayan written in Uttarakhand known as ‘Ramayan Pradip’ written by Shri Meghadhar Shastri during the rule of King Pradip Shah is from the 17th century also available.

Not only Granth and Manuscript there is one page handwritten 18 chapters of ‘Bhagavad Gita‘ 300 years old present in the library and ‘Durgasaptasati‘ written on Chakra by Shri Anand Thapliyal in the year 1763.

Bhrigu Samhita, How to Make Gold, Books related to mercury (para), rare Tantra-Mantra, Ayurveda, Jyotish, pre-independence newspapers, and magazines are also present.

Prabhakar Ji was very young when his father died 32 years ago. He and his brother have an immense interest in saving history for the future generation trying their best despite termites, and dampness in the house area.

A telescope from England with Carl Zeiss lens – 1903 make.

Another telescope from Germany – 1950 make to watch Moon and Stars.

And glasses from Brazil to watch the eclipse.

Surya Ghati, which forecasts current time as per shadow, Jal Ghati to watch time in night hours, Dhruv Ghati with 12 planets to tell Ghati, Pal, and Rashi. All these are Uttarakhand make.

And a photo resembling Agni Devi (God of Fire).

‘Sampurna Gandhi Vangmay’ – 67 volumes.

First Encyclopedia by Nagendra Nath Basu in the year 1914.

And many eminent personalities visited the observatory such as Late Shri Jaidev visited in the year 1975 and stayed for 2-3 days and gifted the HMV record of ‘Madhushala‘ by Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan sung by Manna Dey.

Photos of Shri Acharya Pandit Chakradhar Joshi with Swami Muktananda Paramahansa, Hari Om Sharan, Naushad, Jairaj, and Ravi.

And he will tell you about his landline number 32 in those days which was only two numbers.

Prabhakar Ji also enhances our knowledge about the old route of Badri-Kedar and also about the much older route from Shivpuri from the era of Tulsidas.

A fruitful visit. I was happy about visiting the observatory to know how rich our astrological science is and how good we are at astrology.

Before we leave he requested us for ‘Prasad‘. Home-made food was offered. Donations I kept in front of the house temple.

And then he came with another surprise by donating a book to read:

‘Acharya Charkradhar Joshi Smriti-Granth’

I was more than happy. Thank you. I wish for more donations for the observatory to save knowledge for future generations. I have to say if you are visiting Rishikesh or Devprayag or passing via Devprayag you should visit Nakshatra Vedh Shala.


  1. jitendra prasad

    have covered very comprehensively in a short stay. Vedhshala is the landmark of Devaprayag. Preservation of this rare and unique manuscripts and literature is a big challange

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