The Vainu Bappu Observatory

The Vainu Bappu Observatory (VBO) is located in the picturesque neighbourhood of the village of Kavalur in the Javadi Hills, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Established in the 1970s, VBO hosts the 1m Carl Zeiss Telescope, the 1.3m J.C. Bhattacharya Telescope (JCBT) and the 2.3m Vainu Bappu Telescope (VBT)



Observing Proposals

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Proposals are invited for telescope time on the 2.3m VBT (National) and the 1m Zeiss telescope (IIA only). On the 1.3m JCBT, 20% time is available for non-IIA proposals. The observing cycles are for a 4-month period, and proposals are invited three times a year. The three cycle periods and their corresponding deadlines are given below.

  • Proposals
  • Cycle Periods Deadlines


    November 1


    March 1


    July 1

Proposal forms for VBT (download the tex file)

Proposal forms for 1.3 m JCBT (download the tex file)

Proposal forms for 1.0m telescope (download the tex file)

Detector details for 1.3 m JCBT (download the pdf file)

Proposals to be submitted to

Guidelines for VBT time allocation and Data Policy

VBO Schedule for 2016 Cycle 2 (2016 May - August)
VBO Shuttle Schedule for 2016 May - August)


Location Of VBO

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The Vainu Bappu Observatory is located about 175 km south-east of Bangalore, and about 200 km south-west of Chennai (formerly Madras).

Latitude : 12° 34'

Longitude : +78° 50'

Altitude : ~700m

Local Time : Indian Standard Time (IST) : IST = GMT + 05 30hrs


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Vainu Bappu Observatory
Indian Institute of Astrophysics
Kavalur Alangayam 635701
Vellore District Tamil Nadu
Tel : +91 4174 203119, 203118, 203117

Mobile : +91 9787462052
E-Mail :

Observing Conditions

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  • Weather

Peninsular India is usually hit by two monsoons in a year - the southwest monsoon starting around the beginning of June, and the northeast monsoon which settles in around the end of October. The peak observing season is January - April or May.

  • Seeing

The telescope seeing at the Zeiss 1m telescope is very close to the site seeing and is in the range of ~0".8-2" (FWHM), 1.5" being typical. The dome + mirror seeing at the Vainu Bappu Telescope (VBT) is somewhat worse; the range is ~1"-3" (FWHM), with ~2".5 being the typical value.

Reaching VBO

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  • Air Connection

The nearest airport to VBO is Bangalore, which besides being an international airport, is connected by direct flights to Chennai (formerly Madras), Mumbai (formerly Bombay), New Delhi and Kolkata.

  • Rail Connection

The nearest train stations are Vaniyambadi (29km from VBO) and Jolarpettai (46km from VBO), which have connections from Bangalore, Chennai , Mumbai and New Delhi.

  • Road Connection

The VBO, located near the village of Kavalur, may be reached by road from Bangalore, via Hosur-Krishnagiri-Vaniyambadi-Alangayam-Kavalur.

  • Information for the Public

The night sky can be seen through the 15cm telescope on every Saturday from 7 PM to 10 PM, if the sky is clear.

Vainu Bappu Observatory is 11 Kms from Alangayam, which is 18 Kms from Vaniyambadi. Vaniyambadi is on the Vellore-Bangalore highway.

Last updated on: November 2, 2017