Hingol Mud Volcanoes (Urdu: ہنگول مٹی کے آتش فشاں)

The land of Pakistan is full of wonders. Aside from the well-known diversity of the atmosphere, terrain, and climate, Pakistan is also home to nature’s wonders you might not find elsewhere. Mud volcanoes are among the most notable rarities. These volcanoes are present in the Balochistan province’s Lasbela district, precisely at Pakistan’s largest national park, the Hingol National Park.

Mud volcanoes exist due to subduction, a geological event associated with tectonic plates, one of which is present along the coastline of Pakistan. While a typical volcano spews ash, lava, and sulfur oxide, mud volcanoes behave differently. They release mud and methane gas. Sometimes, the gas plumes passing out of these volcanoes ignite without an apparent reason, shooting flames high in the sky.

A few years ago, these natural attractions were away from the world’s attention due to the lack of communication and no transportation infrastructure. But the inauguration of the Makran Coastal Highway has made this place more accessible. The distance between the highway and the volcano complex is around 10 kilometers.

You may acquire guidance from locals who will guide you to the exact location of the volcanoes. This area is also identifiable by an important landmark, the SSGC installation.

There are about ten volcanoes present in the Hingol area. The most notable of these volcanoes are Chandragup and Khandewari volcanoes. The three major mud volcanoes in this area are Chandragup 1, Chandragup 2, and Chndragup 3.

Chandragup Volcanoes

The Chandragup complex is a group of mud volcanoes present in the Hingol area. The tallest of these volcanoes is Chandragup 1, which is about 330 feet high. The diameter of its opening is 49 feet, and there is a mud lake in its crater that sometimes overflows. The northwestern flanks of this volcano have become dark-colored due to the overflows. Another crater exists among the southern flanks but is not active at the moment.

Chandragup 1 is famous as it holds a significant religious value for Hindus of the region. They consider it a pilgrimage site and an embodiment of Shiva. They call this place Baba Chandragup.

Another volcano in the area is Chandragup 2, which is on the northeast side of Chandragup 1. It is the second largest volcano in the area, with a height of 150 feet. It also has a mud lake.

Hazards and Directions

Trekking from the Makran Coastal Highway to the Chandragup volcano complex is generally not advised, mainly due to the long distance between the two sites. Another reason to shun the idea of walking this distance is the risk of sand fly bites, which can be pretty hazardous. The bites of these flies can leave a red bump on the skin that can turn itchy over time.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to be well-prepared for this journey. From clothing to transportation to other survival equipment, ensure that you have everything ready for this trip.

Still a Great Tourist Spot

While the thought of hazards and other journey-related hardships might prevent you from traveling to these mud volcanoes, you won’t regret your decision to set off for this trip once you reach the destination. The view of the land from the top of the volcano is worth the extensive preparation you make for this expedition. The top of the volcano is a vantage point from which you can have a nice view of the Arabian Sea and the coastal highway. This place has every potential to give you an experience of a lifetime.

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