India is definitely not the country which comes to mind quickly when it comes to visit an active volcano. You may not believe but there is an active volcano in India. Barren Island or Barren Volcano is the only active volcano in South Asia. It is the only active volcano between Myanmar and Sumatra regions among other volcanoes. It has definitely been popular over the years.
Volcanic Island is located just around 135 km from Port Blair, which is the capital city of Andaman. The island has a huge crater of a volcano around ½ km from the shore and the island is stretched over 3 km. The crater is around 150 fathoms deep. As the name suggests, Barren Island is actually barren and uninhabited by humans. You can find a few rodent species like rats and bats and birds’ species which can survive in this extreme condition. Read on to know what you should know about this destination for your Andaman holidays.
Facts to Know about Barren Island
It goes without saying that this active volcano is lesser known and less frequented by the tourists. Barren Island is not a touristy destination. Thanks to the recent events and eruptions, this volcano has gained its presence again. It is one of the hottest regions across the Andaman. Here are the things you should consider when planning to visit here –
- This island is just 3 km wide and it is not populated
- This island has a 2-km wide majestic crater with over 250m to 350m high walls of this volcano.
- The island witnessed its major eruption in 1991 despite being dormant for a long time.
- It also witnessed the same eruption in February 2017 when hot lava flew through the sea.
- Due to this recent phenomena, this island suddenly gained popularity among the tourists visiting Andaman Islands.
- The island has been opened for scuba diving as you can explore diverse marine life. It is definitely a great experience that shouldn’t be missed.
- In 2017, some stranded goats were found which were known to be left behind by a steamer in 1891.
You can definitely have a great sight of the solitary guard by nature. Sightseeing is not that common across the island because you need to seek permission from the forest department. You can get around with several water boats and ferries. Night stay is not allowed here. So, you can start your trip from 4am in the morning and get there within 5 hours. You can also get there through seaplane from Port Blair. However, visitors have to get a view from the sea without arriving at the shores because the eruption is quite unpredictable.
When to visit?
You can get to Barren Island from November to February as the weather remains clear and you can easily see the volcano and the island.
Things to See and Do
Scuba Diving – Barren Island is truly a great location to enjoy this activity thanks to its bordering waters. It is truly a remote destination to witness. Its beautiful coral reefs, intriguing formations of basalt, and crystal clear waters are worth checking out.
Watching Active Volcano – As discussed above, you can find the only active volcano here in Barren Island which is not found anywhere in South Asia. In 1787, the first eruption was recorded on this island. The volcano has since appeared 10 times over there. In September 2010, another eruption was recorded which lasted till January 2011.
Explore the isolated and serene island – Barren Island is completely uninhabited and barren. Only a few tourists visit this island but it is really worth visiting. You need permission from forest authorities though. It is a great place to refuge from other tourist destinations.
Nature Photography – You can find a small number of flying foxes, goats and rodent species. Only a few animals are able to survive here in extreme conditions here. The area is covered by serene and blue waters and it is truly a visual treat to behold.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to visit Barren Island?
According to an index in which volcanoes are rated on a scale of 1 to 8 for their strength and amount of eruption, the Volcanic Explosivity Index, Barren Island is listed at lowest. So, Barren Island is marked safe to visit.
What adventure sport can you try at Barren Island?
You cannot enjoy any sport activity over there. But you can enjoy various activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, sea walk etc. on the way if you are getting there by private charter. Waters covering the Barren Island are also known for being one of the best destinations in the world for scuba diving.
Why should you visit Barren Island?
At Barren Island, you can witness one of the most beautiful geographical locations. It is really worth exploring its beauty thanks to its mesmerizing views and it is the only active volcano here in South Asia.
How many times has the eruption happened in Barren Island?
The Barren Island has erupted 6 times since its first eruption happened in 1787. Later on, eruptions were recorded in 1789, 1795, 1803-04, and lastly 1852. The volcano erupted again after around 2 centuries in 1991. The recent eruption was recorded in 2004 because of an earthquake in Indian Ocean.
What kind of volcano can you find in Barren Island?
Barren Island is the only active natural volcano in South Asia at the Volcanic Arc connecting Myanmar and Sumatra. It has a 1.6 km wide crater and is stretched over 3 km. Cinder cone is partly filled here and it is the source of the eruption.
When was the last time when Barren Volcano erupted?
The Barren Island erupted last time in 2017 after 2004.