Home To India’s Only Active Volcano, Take A Trip To The Barren Island Of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

by Tejashee Kashyap
Home To India’s Only Active Volcano, Take A Trip To The Barren Island Of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Located in the Bay Of Bengal, Barren Island is a small, uninhabited island that holds the distinction of being India’s only active volcano. Situated northeast of Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this volcanic island is a geological marvel.

The Awe-Inspiring Barren Islands

At first glance, Barren Island appears to live up to its name, with a rugged and desolate landscape. The island stretches over an area of about 10 square kilometres and is mostly composed of volcanic rocks. Its highest point rises to form a distinctive cone-shaped profile. Since the late 18th century, volcanic activity has been recorded here. This makes the place one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

The primary attraction of Barren Island is undoubtedly its volcanic eruptions. Beyond its volcanic activities, the island also harbours a unique ecosystem that thrives in this extreme environment. It supports a diverse range of flora and fauna, which have adapted to the harsh conditions of the volcanic landscape. Various species of birds, such as the frigatebird and the white-bellied sea eagle, can be found nesting on the cliffs. The surrounding waters are home to a rich marine life. There are coral reefs and numerous species of fish, providing an excellent opportunity for diving enthusiasts.

Historically, Barren Island has played a significant role in the maritime trade routes of the region. While it may seem barren at first glance, the island’s volcanic activity and diverse wildlife make it a fascinating destination for explorers.

Also Read: 6 Dreamiest, Bluest Islands Of Andaman That You Gotta Visit Before Commercialisation Kills Its Charm

Getting To The Island

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, or a scientific explorer, here’s a guide to help you make the most of your visit to Barren Island.

  • Start your journey from Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair is well-connected by air and sea, with regular flights and ferry services available from mainland India. Arrange for a charter boat or join a guided tour to reach Barren Island. It is advisable to book in advance, as the number of visitors to the island is limited.
  • Engage the services of a knowledgeable guide or join a guided tour to enhance your understanding of the volcanic activity, the island’s history, and its unique ecosystem.
  • The highlight of your visit to Barren Island is witnessing the volcanic eruptions. The eruptions are unpredictable, but you can observe the volcanic activity from a safe distance. The glowing lava flows, plumes of smoke, and ash columns create a mesmerisng sight that will leave you in awe.
  • However, due to the fragile ecosystem of the island and safety of visitors, no passengers are allowed to set foot on the island.

Before planning your trip, it’s important to know the safety concerns associated with the volcanic activity on Barren Island. As the island falls under a restricted zone, you will need to obtain proper permission from the authorities to visit Barren Island. Ensure that you have all the necessary permits.

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons