Yes, for sure. We do have Dr. Abdul Kalam Island and it is off the coast of Odisha. It was earlier named after an officer in the army of the English East India Company, Sir Hugh Wheeler. The island was renamed on September 4, 2015 to honour Dr. Kalam. It is around 150 kilometres from Odisha’s capital Bhubaneshwar.

We have an Integrated Test Range to test missiles here. Many missiles such as Akash, Agni, Astra, BrahMos, Nirbhay, Prahaar, Prithvi, Shaurya Missile, Advanced Air Defence, Prithvi Air Defence and ASAT missiles were tested here. It is one of the key missile testing facilities in India.

Abdul Kalam Island is close to the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary. This is the world’s largest rookery of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle. Turtles love to nest on these sandy beaches. But the bright lights at the missile testing facility misguided some baby turtles! Attracted by the lights they could not find their way to the sea. Some of them died. So, all the lights at the facility are dimmed during nesting season. Missile testing is also cut down during the turtles’ nesting and breeding season.

Picture Credit : Google 

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