Barren Island is situated in the Andaman Sea. Barren Volcano, the only confirmed active volcano in South Asia is situated here. This volcano is part of the chain of volcanoes from Sumatra to Myanmar. It is part of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian union territory. It is at a distance of around 38 kilometers northeast of Port Blair, the capital of the union territory. Barren Island is also called Barren Islands.
This volcano has erupted more than ten times. First recorded eruption dates back to 1787. The last time this active volcano erupted was in 2017.
Ar-Ar dating of Barren Island volcano proved that the oldest sub-aerial lava flow occurred 1.6 million years back. This volcano is located on an oceanic crust, which is approximately 106 million year old.
This island’s highest point is 354 meters (1,161 feet) above sea level. The most of the primitive volcano is now situated underwater (on the seafloor 2,250 meters or 7,380 feet below sea level). The island is 3 kilometers in diameter, with a total surface area of 8.34 square kilometers.
The island is uninhabited, though some fauna exists. These include Goats, birds, bats like flying foxes and rodent species like rats. There is hardly any flora in the island.
Indians can go to the Barren islands on chartered boats, after getting prior approval from the forest department office. Landing ashore is prohibited for foreigners.
Tourism around Barren Islands
The area surrounding Barren Island is considered as one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Manta rays swim teams prefer this area for the large number of Manta rays here. Basalt formations are another specialty of the area. It has a fast growing coral gardens. Past lava flows are another attraction for tourists to the area around Barren Islands.
How Do I Go to Barren Island for Scuba diving?
Scuba operators are based in the Havelock Island, another island which is also part of the Union territory of Andaman & Nicobar islands. From there, Scuba operators take you abroad ships or chartered boats to the scuba diving areas near to Barren Island.