Himadri station, Ny-Ålesund
March; April; May; June; July; August; September
Himadri is operated by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR).
Himadri is located centrally in Ny-Ålseund Research Station, on the shores of Kongsfjorden on the west coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago.
Ny-Ålesund is surrounded by tundra vegetation and river plains, on the otherwise mountainous Brøgger peninsula. The areas to the south, east and north of Ny-Ålesund are glaciated. Reindeer and foxes are frequently seen in the area, which is also visited by large number of migratory birds during the summer season. Polar bears are infrequent visitors, while seals, walrus and beluga whales may be seen in the fjord.
Ny-Ålesund was a mining settlement until the 1960's, after which it became an international hub for scientific research. Himadri 'the abode of snow' is India’s first research facility in Ny-Ålesund and was inaugurated on the 1st July, 2008 by Shri. KapilSibal, the then Hon. Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. Himadri provides extensive field and laboratory support required for pursuing research activities in the Arctic. Kings Bay AS owns and manages the facilities in Ny-Ålesund, and provides additional accommodation, food, laboratories and workshops, equipment hire, safety training and runs a small shop and post office. High speed broadband internet is available, but Ny-Ålesund is a radio silent area so mobile phones, WiFi and bluetooth are not allowed.
India’s Arctic programme aims to contribute to the development, consolidation and dissemination of the current understanding of climate change, its impacts and adaptations in Svalbard. Research includes atmospheric, biological, marine and earth sciences and glaciological studies. The atmospheric research encompasses investigations into aerosols and precursor gases with respect to their radiative, physical-chemical and optical properties and studies of the effects of space weather on the auroral ionosphere. Biological studies include sea-ice microbial communities; and in marine research, phytoplankton pigments, nutrients, pH, DO, sea-water salinity and other ecological parameters have been investigated. Earth sciences and glaciological observations include studies of snow-pack production of carbon monoxide and its diurnal variability. Data are accessible via the National Polar Data Centre: npdc.ncaor.gov.in/npdc/homepage.action
Around 30 people live permanently in Ny-Ålesund and keep the research station running all year. The population increases to its peak in spring and summer time, with around 100-150 researchers and technicians coming for short or long stays. There are no inhabitants not affiliated with research activity, and visits from those not linked with research are strictly regulated. Tourists visit the settlement by boat during the summer, but are not permitted to stay in Ny-Ålesund.
Ny-Ålesund has a small airport with a regular flight connection with Longyearbyen (2 flights per week). The flight takes 20-30 minutes and has space for 14-16 passengers. It is also possible to charter flights between Ny-Ålesund and Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen airport has regular flights to and from the Norwegian mainland (Oslo and Tromsø). It is also possible to arrive in Ny-Ålseund by ship, normally between May and October depending on ice conditions. There is no regular boat transport, but tour companies based in Longyearbyen can provide boat transport by request.
National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research
National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research
78° 55' 30'' N
11° 55' 50'' E
Snow and Rain
Annual temperature based on average between 1961 to 1990
May; June; July; August; September; October
Bird colonies; Clear air zone; Coast; Fauna; Fjord; Ice cap or glacier; Lake; Melt streams; Mountain; Rivers; Sea; Sea ice; Snow; Tundra
Atmospheric chemistry and physics; Atmospheric sciences; Biology; Earth and atmospheric sciences–other; Glaciology; Marine biology; Oceanography
The first human settlement was established in 1916 when the first coal mine was opened by Kings Bay Kull Compani AS. Coal mining continued to be the main activity in the area until the final mine was closed in 1963 after a series of tragic accidents. The first satellite telemetry station in Ny-Ålesund operated between 1967 and 1974. In the 1990's the area became increasingly attractive for international researchers, and institutions from several countries established a permanent presence during this time.
Marine biology, oceanography, glaciology
Snowmobile, car (around the settlement only)
Mechanical; Metal workshop; Wood workshop
Computer; E-mail; Internet; Printer; Satellite phone; Scanner; Telephone; VHF
Air; Land; Sea
Aircraft landing facilities
Airport for small aircraft
Transport and freight
Airplane; Helicopter; Ship
April; May; June; July; August; September; October; November; December
January; February; March; April; May; June; July; August; September; October; November; December
Access To The Facility
Various permits may be required depending on the nature of the work.
Himadri in winter (Credit: C Hübner)