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 kilometers (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 work. 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.

It was an unmanned station, set up using indigenous Indian equipment, powered by Solar energy. The station was entirely computerized 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, a 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 the 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 the generation of wind energy and solar energy. 2000 philatelic covers were canceled, while videos were taken on the station. An electrified garage to store snow vehicles and skidoos were 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.

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

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