Dakshin Gangotri

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Dakshin Gangotri Station
Location of Dakshin Gangotri Station in Antarctica
Location of Dakshin Gangotri Station in Antarctica
Dakshin Gangotri Station
Location of Dakshin Gangotri Station in Antarctica
Coordinates: 70°45′S 11°35′E / 70.750°S 11.583°E / -70.750; 11.583Coordinates: 70°45′S 11°35′E / 70.750°S 11.583°E / -70.750; 11.583
Country India
Administered byIndian Antarctic Program
Established26 January 1984 (1984-01-26)
Decommissioned25 February 1990 (1990-02-25)
WebsiteNational Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)
Mohammed Ghous uzzaman, a member of 7th Indian Antarctic Expedition Team at Dakshin Gangotri. (26 January 1988)
Mohammed Ghous uzzaman, a member of 7th Indian Antarctic Expedition Team at Dakshin Gangotri. (26 January 1988)

Dakshin Gangotri was the first scientific base station of India situated in Antarctica, part of the Indian Antarctic Programme. It is located at a distance of 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) from the South Pole.[1] It is currently being used as a supply base and transit camp.[2] The base is named after Dakshin Gangotri Glacier.

It was established during the third Indian expedition to Antarctica in 1983–84. This was the first time an Indian team spent a winter in Antarctica to carry out scientific works. The station was built in eight weeks by an 81-member team that included geologist Sudipta Sengupta.[3][4][5] Construction was completed late into January 1984 with help from the Indian army and Indian Republic Day was celebrated at the station along with the Soviets and East Germans.[1]


It was an unmanned station, set up using indigenous Indian equipment, powered by Solar energy. The station was entirely computerised to record all data that was researched.[6] It was built using pre-fabricated timber, and was intended as a permanent station. It had an Inmarsat communication terminal, as well as an amateur radio station.[1]

The station was divided into two sections, Blocks A and B. Block A contained generators, fuel supply and workshops while Block B was home to laboratories, radio rooms and other facilities.[7]

An automatic weather recording station, powered by solar energy was set up at the Dakshin Gangotri. Apart from this, the station was used to conduct tests on radio waves in Antarctica.[6] Other functions of the Dakshin Gangotri included observations of physical oceanography, the chemistry of the freshwater lakes around, biological traits of the land, biological traits of the water, geology, glaciology and geomagnetism of the area.[6]

In 1984, site for a new runway was identified at a distance of 2 km from the station. Along with this, 2000 philatelic covers were marked with Dakshin Gangotri. Later, in the same year, a small field station was set up in the hills, to allow direct communication over a high frequency satellite link between Indian mainland and the station.[1]

In 1985, instruments such as the Automatic Picture Transmission Receiver, and the Radio Metre Sonde were set up to calculate wind velocities and solar intensities to determine the feasibility of generation of wind energy and solar energy. 2000 philatelic covers were cancelled, while videos were taken on the station. An electrified garage to store snow vehicles and skidoos was constructed as well as a repair workshop for them was constructed along with three cottages made with pre-fabricated material, built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.The Indian Navy helped set up the communications system for wireless transmission to India.[8]

In 1984, The first Indian post office in Antarctica was established at Dakshin Gangotri and Meteorologist G. Sudhakar Rao was named as the first Indian postmaster in Antarctica in 1988.[9][10][11]

Conversion to supply base and replacement[edit]

It was abandoned in 1988–1989 after it was submerged in ice. It was succeeded by the Maitri research station, which was set up in a moderate climatic zone at a distance of 90 km and made operational in 1990.[12] Dakshin Gangotri was finally decommissioned on 25 February 1990[13] and subsequently turned into a supply base.[14][15]

In 1991, the eleventh Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica conducted geomagnetic observations simultaneously at Dakshin Gangotri and Maitri.[16]

In 2008, India set up its first permanent research base on the Arctic Ocean, Himadri.[17]

In 2012, a third research station, the Bharati was made operational, although only for testing.[12]

In 2014, the second Arctic research station, a moored obersvatory named IndARC was commissioned.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 1984-1985" (PDF). Ministry of Earth Sciences (PDF). Department of Ocean Development. 1985 [1985]. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-25. Retrieved Apr 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "English Releases".
  3. ^ "Programme to celebrate India's Antartic [sic] mission". Panaji. The Hindu. 3 December 2013. Retrieved Apr 13, 2014.
  4. ^ Srinivasan, Madhumitha (3 February 2014). "Lab on ice". Chennai. The Hindu. Retrieved Apr 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "India's Antarctica station at par with world: Geologist Sudipta Sengupta (Interview)"
  6. ^ a b c "Annual Report 1983-1984" (PDF). Ministry of Earth Sciences (PDF). Department of Ocean Development. 1984 [1984]. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-25. Retrieved Apr 14, 2014.
  7. ^ Sharma, Satya (2001). "Dakshin Gangotri". Breaking The Ice in Antarctica. New Age International. pp. 103–105. ISBN 9788122412901. Retrieved Apr 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Annual Report 1985-1986" (PDF). Ministry of Earth Sciences (PDF). Department of Ocean Development. 1986 [1986]. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-25. Retrieved Apr 14, 2014.
  9. ^ ScoopWhoop (2016-03-04). "Did You Know India Once Had A Post Office At The Antarctic Circle? It Was A Gorgeous Sight To Behold". ScoopWhoop. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  10. ^ "Indian Post Office Away From India". Mintage World. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  11. ^ "From a Spiti Hamlet to Antarctica: Here's Are India's Most Unusual Post Offices". The Better India. 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  12. ^ a b c "India to start building new Antarctia base in January". New Delhi. The Hindu. 26 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2013-11-22. Retrieved Apr 13, 2014.
  13. ^ Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani. Transition to Guardianship: The Indian Navy 1991–2000. Lancer Publications LLC. ISBN 9781935501664.
  14. ^ "Weather Maitri". Indian Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 2013-10-09. Retrieved Apr 13, 2014.
  15. ^ "Indian Antarctica Scientific Expedition". Indian Institute of Geomagnetism. Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved Apr 13, 2014.
  16. ^ "ANTARCTIC RESEARCH PROGRAMME- Eleventh Expedition". Ministry of Earth Sciences. 1993 [1992]. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved Apr 13, 2014.
  17. ^ "India sets up permanent research base at North Pole". New Delhi. The Economic Times. 2 July 2008. Retrieved Apr 14, 2014.

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