After traversing over 2,350 km in nine days, India's first
scientific expedition team to the South Pole planted the Indian
flag at the earth's southernmost point Monday afternoon.
The eight-member team reached South Pole at 4 p.m. Monday India
"The Indian flag has been hoisted at the South Pole," the director
of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research and leader
of the expedition, Rasik Ravindran told reporters over phone.
"It is snow outside everywhere. We are feeling good and feel at
the top of the world, through geographically we are at the bottom
of the world," he said, adding the outside temperature was minus
70 degrees Celsius, much colder than expected.
The team, consisting of a geologist, glaciologist, geophysicist
and a meteorologist as well as vehicle engineers, had left Maitri,
India's second permanent research station on the Antarctica, on
The expedition travelled on four specialised arctic truck
vehicles, which did face slight problems due to the intense cold
temperatures. "We had a little problem with radiators and axles of
the vehicles, which we replaced on the way," said 62-year-old
Each of these vehicle, besides its human baggage, carried special
gears, emergency medical kit, frozen food, and navigational and
A fuel dump at 83 degrees south latitude was used for refuelling
The scientists conducted five experiments during the journey. "All
five experiments which were designed for this expedition have been
performed well," said Ravindran.
The secretary, ministry of earth sciences, Shailesh Nayak said
Monday that the expedition was essential to establish correlation
between the Indian Ocean and its cold and warm areas, which are
controlled by the Antarctic region. "This is important because it
affects our monsoon," he said.