Discover natural beauty at its best in the serene island of Baratang in Andaman. Know more on things to do and how to reach Baratang Island.
Baratang Island is located 90 km away from Port Blair between Middle and South Andaman. The place is known for its untouched natural beauty and a variety of natural wonders; it is the only place in India where you can see mud volcanoes. Apart from mud volcanoes, the Baratang Island is also famous for its limestone caves, dense mangrove cowered creeks, tidal swamp forests, and the vast variety of birds. Since the island is quite far away from Port Blair, it is visited by relatively less number of tourists. As a result the tourist infrastructure at Baratang Island is very basic. Barring a Forest guest house and PWD guest house, which are booked months in advance, there is only one private resort on the whole island. There are no swanky restaurants but only small eateries and there are no facilities for water sports or under water activities. The upside of this is that the island’s virgin beauty is still intact in its pristine form.
Things to Do On Baratang Island
Baratang Island is a nature lover’s delight and there are quite a few things that you will find here, which you won’t find anywhere else in India. Mud Volcano is one such thing. It’s one of its only kind in India. Some people find it amazing and marvel at this natural wonder, other find it to be a small bubbling puddle and question all the hype associated with it.
For bird lovers Parrot Island is a must-visit. The island witnesses amazing phenomena in the evening when thousand of parrots return to their nests after the sun set. It is a sight to behold and the one that you will not forget for the rest of your life. Limestone caves are another marvel of the nature that you can see at Baratang Island. The caves with their impressive stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations are a geomorphologists’ delight. The caves change their shape during the monsoon season. You can reach the limestone caves by taking a boat from Baratang Jetty. The boat journey is very scenic and passes through dense mangrove forests. Beach lovers can savor the pristine beauty of Baludera beach. It is an unspoilt beach, which is not so crowded and is known for its clear azure waters.
How to Reach Baratang Island
Baratang Island is located around 90 km from Port Blair. To reach the island, first one has to go to Nilambur Jetty by road and from Nilambur Jetty regular ferry service to Baratang Island is available. Buses to Nilambur Jetty are available from STS Bus Terminal and Aberdeen Bazaar. Alternatively, you can also hire a cab to reach Nilambur Jetty. The road journey can be divided into two phases – Port Blair to Jirkatang (40 km) and Jirkatang to Nilambur Jetty (50 km).
The route from Jiraktang to Nilambur Jetty passes through dense Jarawah Reserve Forests and during the entire journey you cannot halt your vehicle, walk on foot or shoot photographs or video. Violating any of these guidelines is a punishable offence. Jarawa is one of tribes found in Andamans, which is of short height, black complexion and reddish eyes. The tribe is an endangered species and still lives in a primitive way. They feed on roasted pigs, fish and fruit. Interacting and offering food to Jarawa tribals is strictly prohibited. The body system of these tribals is not accustomed to digest fried and spicy food and there have been instances of their deaths in the past when they ate such food. Make sure to maintain safe distance from Jarwah tribals as they have been known to attack people from outside world.
The vehicles from Jirkatang to Baratang leave in convoys. Bikes are not allowed in the convoy only four wheelers are allowed. These convoys are led by 1-2 policemen. Four such convoys pass during the whole day. Their timings are: 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 2.30 pm.
It is advisable not to plan a day trip to Baratang Island. To truly admire and enjoy the natural beauty of the island you should at least stay for one night at the island. Only then can you witness the amazing natural phenomena at the Parrot Island.