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Located about 135 kilometres to the northeast of Port Blair, Barren Island is situated at the intersection of the seismically active Indian and Burmese plates and is 1.8 million years old and is home to the only active volcano in the Indian subcontinent. As the name suggests, the island is largely uninhabited, thanks to the volcano eruptions that take place here at frequent intervals. Although sightseeing around the island is not that common, you can obtain permissions from the local forest department to do so. There are a number of ferries and boats that can take you around to visit the island. However, due to the unpredictability of the volcanic eruptions, visitors are not permitted to land on the shores and are offered a view from the sea, which is quite breathtaking.
The crater of the Barren Island volcano is about half a kilometre away from the shore. The black bedrock of the island lends the sand on the beach a deep purple-black hue that contrasts beautifully with the vibrant blue of the ocean and underwater vibrant marine life. What is interesting is that even though the existence of this volcano is not a hidden fact, and has been known since centuries; owing to little-publicised research with restricted and limited access, the island continues to remain an unexplored mystery.
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