Weirdly the talk about myriad things ended in volcanoes. Yesterday, we had a family members’ reunion at Bangalore. We were happily yapping about this and that when we realized a sudden silence forced to us stare at each other. The question was, “is there a volcano in India?” Surprisingly, none of us knew the answer.
I quickly tapped Google and asked it and it obediently answered. Yes, there is a volcano in India though not on mainland but in one of the islands of Andaman and Nicobar which was part of India.
You know what volcanoes are?
Imagine a mountain where the peak opens inwards and the gap is all the way down to the earth and way down below. Deep inside, there is a molten rock called ‘hot lava’. Such mountains are called volcano that have two states:
‘Active’ means one can see the hot lava spewing fire, ash and molten rocks from the mountain top opening. It is said to be erupting.
‘Dormant’ means, nothing is happening at the mouth of the mountain. It would be like a harmless mountain but it can erupt anytime or whenever the crust of the earth breaks or may not show action at all. Based on proper examination by the geologists, it would be declared extinct.
Let us leave it at that and visit the active volcano in the Andamans.
Active volcano in Barren Islands (what a misnomer), Andaman.
When people visit the volcanoes (from a safe distance of course), they can only see the flying ash but during the late evening, when darkness sets in, you can see the angry mountain spewing fire from the crater and the hot lava can be seen sliding the slopes of the mountain in fiery red.
Google enhanced my knowledge that there are five more volcanoes in India but the only active volcano at present is the one in Barren Island.
The Barren Island volcano is located 140-km from Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar.
Quick facts about Barren Island
- Uninhabited by humans
- Some of the animals who brave the molten rocks live there are flying foxes, and goats.
- In the year 1993, the only light house in Barren Island was destroyed by the volcano.
I guess many would refrain from visiting an erupting volcanoes due to the risk involved. Nevertheless, I would like to see it from a safe distance of about 500 meters. However, my precaution would be to clearly mark the path to run in case of emergency.
There are volcanoes whose lava was thrown away as far as 50 kms from the crater. In that case, I would only see it on television.
The frequency of eruptions:
It won’t keep erupting all the time; it would be in bouts only and each may last about 2 to 3 minutes.
Other Volcanoes in India
Below are 5 other volcanoes in India but all of them are dormant at present.
- Haryana – Dhosi Hill (in the Aravalli mountain range)
- Andaman – Baratang
- Gujarat – Dhinodhar Hills
- Andaman – Narcondam
- Maharashtra – Deccan Traps
Since these volcanoes are now extinct, they have become popular tourist spot. I think it would be as exciting to see a dormant volcanoes as seeing it live, erupting hot lava and ash.