Volcanoes have always created a sense of mystery around them. For centuries, man has been trying to preempt volcanic activity, but always meeting less or no success. After all, this is nature’s own way of showing their superiority!
A super volcanic eruption is an unstoppable force of nature that the world is never prepared for. No life exists on top of a volcano. No vegetation; even birds avoid flying on top lest the eruptions hurt them. The only sight is sulphur pits and rivers of lava flowing down to reach civilization.
Ever wondered if India has an active volcano. Infact, interestingly, India is home to the only active volcano is the whole of South Asia. Barren Island, one of the most easterly of the Andaman Islands, is the coveted location. It lies approx 135 kms northeast of the territory’s capital, Port Blair.
All you want to know about Barren Islands –
Barren Island is located in the Andaman Islands. After a gap of 150 years, the volcano first erupted in 1991 and then in 1995. The island is uninhabited by humans and the only animals present here are flying foxes and goats.
In the year 1993, the only light house on the island was destroyed by the volcano.
Want to visit the island! Here’s what you can do –
With the permission of the Forest Department, boats can be chartered to visit Barren island but setting foot onshore is not allowed. Foreign nationals are also restricted from visiting the island.
Sea-planes can also be chartered from Port-Blair and Havelock Island for an aerial tour of the volcanic island.
Another way to visit Barren Island is on a dive boat. The surrounding area is well known for its diving space and is a hit with tourists, professional and amateur divers. The underlying lava formations from historic eruptions make for mesmerizing underwater topography.
The Neil Island in the Andamans happens to be among the cheapest places in the world to get certified as a scuba diver.
The other locations in India that have volcanic activity but are now dormant and extinct –
Haryana – Dhosi Hill (in the Aravalli mountain range)
Andaman – Baratang
Gujarat – Dhinodhar Hills
Andaman – Narcondam
Maharashtra – Deccan Traps
So this time, as you trek Andaman & Nicobar island or go deep sea diving, don’t forget to get a view of this historic island that houses the only active volcano in this part of the world. Watch the lava trails and feel the volcanic disruptions in your imagination. Its worth the effort.