Built-in 1971, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre has brought India to the world stage in space exploration. It has sent space probes like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Chandrayaan-2, and Chandrayaan-3, most of which are successful. Not only that, India is known for creating and launching rockets at a low cost.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The climate of Sriharikota is tropical wet and dry. Sriharikota has hot summers and mild winters. Summers can reach up to 38 degrees Celsius, while winters can reach down to 20 degrees Celsius. Due to the proximity to Chennai, its climate is similar to that of Chennai. Refer to the city's climate section for more information.
Sullurpeta is the nearest town to Sriharikota and is 20 km (12 mi) away from the island. Sullurpeta is fairly well-connected to Chennai by bus and train, which is 80 km (50 mi) away.
From Chennai, get to the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) and take a bus to Sullurpeta. Buses to Nellore, Tada etc. will most probably take you to Sullurpeta. You will find most of these buses on Platform 3 (Bus Bay No. 18, 19). The travel time from CMBT to Sullurpeta is about 2 hours.
You could take a suburban train from MGR Chennai Central to 1 . This would work out cheaper than the bus and is more comfortable. The travel time is around 2 to 2.5 hours by train.
By terrain vehicle
Although bus services to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre are available, getting into a terrain vehicle or a share-auto would be the best way to get there. A word of caution here, you might have to stand on the footboard in the rear end of the terrain vehicle or sit in the driver's seat and yet not drive the terrain vehicle! The terrain vehicle drive would cost ₹10 per person and the share auto even lesser. The drive is extremely beautiful with the Pulicat Lake on both sides of the road.
Local cabs, usually Ambassador or Indica cars, would charge you about ₹250 for SDSC-SHAR.
Fees and permits
Typically, without permission, one cannot enter the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR) in Sriharikota.
You need prior permission to get around SDSC-SHAR. Knowing an employee at the centre might help.
See and do
On being permitted to enter the centre, one could tour the whole place and have a look at the launch vehicles and pads from up-close. If you are planning to get to Sriharikota to watch a rocket launch and do not know anybody working at SDSC-SHAR, never mind. You could still watch the launch, although from outside the entrance of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The launch will be visible fairly well, and also audible more than fairly well.
- 1 Launch View Gallery. The gallery faces the two launch pads and can accommodate 5,000 people. The gallery allows you to watch rockets soaring into the sky.
- 2 Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. Pulicat Lake is another destination close by which can be visited for backwaters, migratory birds and boating. If lucky, you might spot some pelicans there.
- Space Museum.
Rocket models, posters, fresh, yummy and cheap seafood from local fishermen, and that's all you can get here.
Eat and drink
There is a canteen outside SDSC-SHAR where you will get water, soft drinks, biscuits, etc. However, it is suggested that you carry your stuff from the nearest town Sullurupeta. The canteen is sometimes closed and all you can get is only water from the CISF personnel manning the entrance gate to SDSC-SHAR.
Sriharikota has two guest houses for accommodation, Aryabhatta Guest Hose and Narmada Guest House. However, in all probability will not offer any place to sleep. Knowing an employee working at SHAR would help as they can accommodate you in a cheap guest house or hostel.
You may also find boarding and lodging at Sullurpeta.