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Maitri Antarctica: A Research Station of India

3 mins. read

Ever since India has become independent, it has continued to prove its mettle in various fields such as sports, space, science and more. One such matter of pride for India has been the Indian Antarctic Program. The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-institutional program set under the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.

Since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, the program has gained global acceptance. This program aims at studying the atmospheric, chemical, biological, earth and medical sciences in Antarctica. For research purposes, India had set up its research base named Dakshin Gangotri in 1983. As the years passed and as Dakshin Gangotri was scheduled for closure, a need for having another research base was felt. In the year 1989, a designated team of the Indian Army set out for constructing Maitri. It was to be India's second research base in Antarctica.

The then Prime Minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi had named the station - 'Maitri'. With a capacity of accommodating almost 25 people at a time, Maitri is located in a rocky mountainous region known as Schirmacher Oasis in Queen Maud Land. Maitri is equipped with a GPS station, a seismometer, a station that monitors the weather, a lab for analysis of samples amongst others. The station is made of wooden logs and is equipped with all basic facilities. There are almost 40 lakes in the vicinity of the station. However, the freshwater lake exactly opposite of Maitri, known as Lake Priyadarshini is a source of freshwater for the team deployed at the base. And almost only 5 km away from Maitri, lies Russia's research base known as Novolazarevskaya Station.

The airfield that serves Indian and Russian bases is operated by the Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI). Since the purpose of the station is research and study, tourists are not allowed to visit there. With only a limited number of people staying together and weather conditions being harsh most of the time, you must be wondering how the team keeps itself energised and motivated! Well, the team hosts singing, dancing and poetry recitation programs frequently. These activities keep the atmosphere in the camp very upbeat.

Even with all the amenities, the living conditions in Antarctica can be unforgiving at times. We applaud and salute the efforts of the people who endure such weather conditions and yet continue to work with utmost passion and a smile on their faces. Even though this research station is not a part of the Antarctica Travel Guide, through Veena World's Antarctica Tour Package you can witness the beauty of this unexplored landscape.

December 04, 2021


Ankita Joshi
Ankita Joshi

A history, culture and music enthusiast with tremendous love for travel! My love for writing comes from my love for reading and exploring various topics.

More Blogs by Ankita Joshi

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