Have you ever seen a live volcano? That too in India? If you are wondering where and whether it does exist, visit the Barren Island. The Barren Island is a part of the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands. It is the only place in India where you can see a live volcano, in fact, a few of them.
The Barren Island
This island is located on the Bay of Bengal around 140 kms away from Port Blair. The island is hardly 3 m in diameter. The volcanoes date back to 1787 and till date has erupted more than 10 times. Studies have revealed that the most part of the volcanoes are hidden below the sea level while hardly only one-third is visible above the sea-level. The 2004 Tsunami and earthquake made considerable damage to the island and the lighthouse which stood here. The frequent volcanic eruptions have also endangered many of the birds and animals living here.
How to reach here?
From Port Blair and Havelock islands there are boat services to the Barren Island for the tourists. It is closed when the sea is really rough during the monsoons. The tourists can also enjoy a seaplane ride to visit this one of a kind island. The sea-route to the Barren Island is more affordable than the seaplane. But the seaplane gives you an amazing aerial view of the volcanoes and the entire island. You can also enjoy a bird’s eye view of the beautiful turquoise sea surrounding the island. Ships and boats ply regularly to the island to take tourists and scuba divers.
What to enjoy at the Barren Island?
Since there are live volcanoes on the island, no one is allowed to get down on the land. Instead, the tourists can enjoy either the aerial view or watch the area from a safe distance. They will be able to see some rare birds and a handful of species of animals that survive in the island. Despite the negative conditions, some mountain goat, species of foxes and rodents have managed to survive in the island. There are some beautiful and rare birds also found in the Barren Island.
Scuba Diving at Barren Island
Photo by jennifrog
The sea around the Barren Island is considered the best for scuba diving. It is one of world’s best destinations for scuba divers. Since they cannot stay on the island, they have to come by ship, an anchor it somewhere around the island. With the base ship, they can enjoy scuba diving in the area. The coral formed by the molten lava makes the sea more beautiful around here. Moreover, since the island is uninhabited, the sea around is also crystal clear and pollution-free. The Manta rays in the area also attract the tourists who come for scuba diving.
Latest at Barren Island
The Barren Island is now a popular tourist attraction to those who can afford the travel. Though the sea-route is more affordable, the rough sea tends to make the tourists sick and people prefer the seaplane. The volcano erupted recently in February 2017 first spewing ashes and then lava that flowed into the sea. The scientists have taken down the samples for further studies on the volcano.
The best time to visit the Barren Island is from November to February when the climate is pleasant. There are no government ferries available to the Barren Island. If the tourists want to visit the island, they have to arrange a private ferry which costs up to 2 lakhs. The ferries will offer all the luxuries and amenities for the best holiday experience here. You can travel in a group of 6 to 8 people to enjoy an unforgettable trip to Barren Island.