Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Chandragup Mud Volcano, Baluchistan Pakistan

Pakistani Province Baluchistan is gifted with a diverse landscape. Among many geological wonders here, one big attraction is the presence of numerous mud volcanoes. Baluchistan has more than 80 active mud volcanoes in the Miani Hor-Hingol Valley region. Chandragup Mud Volcano is most famous mud volcano, also called Chandar-Gup or Chandrakup. The highest Concentration is just three hours’ drive from Makran Coastal highway towards North in Hingol National Park, Baluchistan, Pakistan. Instead of lava, ash, and sulfur dioxide, these volcanoes spew mud and methane. On rare occasions, the gas plumes spontaneously ignite, shooting flames high into the sky.
The Chandragup Mud Volcano height is between 800 to 1500 feet. Mud volcanoes hold clues to underground mineral resources, not to mention important geological and seismic information. It is considered the holy place of Hindus devotees who like to stay here for pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Devi Hinglaj. This is also a potential tourist attraction for adventure junkie. Another word which locally mentions this group of volcanoes is ‘Chandra coop’ which means Volcanoes of the Moon. Mud volcanoes have roots that go several kilometers underground and act as safety valves for high underground pressure. Mud volcanoes are generally not considered to be hazardous. Azerbaijan has the largest concentration of mud volcanoes in the world.
Scientific studies out in this area and find the presence of huge deposits of methane underneath the surface. Unfortunately, the gas deposits are in a solid form called methane hydrates. Perhaps in the future, the mud volcanoes might answer Pakistan’s energy needs. Dirt tracks leads to Chandragup Mud Volcano, only navigable in 4x4 vehicles. It is extremely hard to track here due to tiny sand flies. Who winged gnats seek exposed skin and their bites leave large, red itchy bumps that may turn into a rash. According to some claims, Chandragup mud volcano in Jhal Jhao tehsil of Balochistan is the largest and highest volcano in the world.
Moreover keep in mind that these sandflies are notorious to carry a host of viruses and people are known to have died from complications arising from sand fly bites. The individual should be fit enough as far as physical condition and vehicles is well equipped. This is extremely remote location and isolated from civilization, so no chance of rescue if required.  Make sure, no mobile service available within 50 kilometers in any direction. Another famous Mud volcano “Jabl-ul-Ghurab” is very close to Chandragup. Moreover, ancient Hindu temple ‘Hinglaj temple’ or ‘Nani Temple’ is also located near to Chandragup Mud Volcano. It is reported that during the infamous 8.1 intensity earthquake of Balochistan which occurred on May 31, 1935 a mud volcano erupted Northwest of Quetta, near the town of Surab and kept spewing out mud for 9 hours continuously.

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