Baratang Island has located about 100 km from Port Blair and if you take it from the tourism point of view, then this island is an unexplored gem filled with pure beauty and natural wonders. This must-visit destination slouches with verdant green meadows and thick mangrove forests. Incredible yet overlooked place Baratang Island houses some unique and fascinating attractions like the impressive limestone caves and interesting mud volcanoes. The limestone caves in Baratang is a sedimentary rock formed and compressed over millions of years by the continuous deposits of many components and elements such as seashells, marine life, corals, and skeletons. Soon after you enter the caves, you are bound to start rubbernecking as you will find limestone formations hanging from the top and bottom. Besides, these caves are regularly emerging and growing in shapes and sizes. Another such attraction in Baratang Island that is visited by many tourists is the Mud Volcano. It so happens that the mud is pushed upward by a natural gas emitting from underneath created by decaying organic matter from underground. In addition to that, Parrot Island is also a must visit attraction located near Baratang Jetty. This beautiful place is best visited in the evening to witness thousands of parrots that fly around and roost. Baratang Island can be considered as a one-day trip destination but if you happen to dwell in its peaceful surroundings, then the Island provides accommodations like Forest and PWD guesthouses. You can also avail private accommodation in Baratang Island.
How to Reach?
The best and most convenient way to reach Baratang is by hiring a private vehicle/car or a private AC bus. If you are looking to reach Baratang in the most cost-effective way, taking a government bus from Port Blair is your best bet. Two wheelers are not allowed to go all the way to Baratang. You will have to travel through the ‘Andaman Trunk Road’ (ATR) and move in a convoy with one short vehicle-ferry connection among the islands. This is a four-hour bumpy ride but the lush jungles and blue waters can make the drive quite interesting.
Dos and Don’ts
Traveling to Baratang Island is not an easy task as you pass by a tribal zone that is protected by the government. Here are few dos and don’ts to follow while visiting Baratang islands:
- The vehicles have to leave in convoys. Do not miss the convoy timing or there are chances that you might be stuck. (Timings: 6:30, 07:00, 07:30, 08:00, 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30).
- Offering food items to tribal people is strictly prohibited, as it is fatal to their health.
- Interacting or taking pictures of the tribes is strictly prohibited.
- Carry sunscreen lotion and mosquito replant lotions.
- Wear something in cotton and loosely fit as the weather is humid and you might have to climb up or down huge stairs.
- Wear good walking shoes as it involves a good amount of walking around the island.
- Carry an umbrella with you.
- There are toilets with all facilities at Jirkatang check post.
- For night halt, a special permit is needed from the UT Administration.
Sightseeing in Baratang-
1. Limestone Caves-
The Limestone cave formations at Nayadera and the vast mangrove covered creeks are the main attractions for tourists in Baratang. The island is known for limestones, which deposit itself either above the soil or under the ground forming interesting formations and layers.
2. Mud Volcano-
These small muddy craters are created by natural gases emitted by decaying organic matter underground that push mud upwards. Please note that this is not a visually stunning sight, as most of the times there is just a pile of dried or small bubbling puddles of mud.
3. Parrot Island-
Parrot Island in Baratang is a flat island, covered with lush green trees and mangroves. The trees are home to a large number of parrots that can be observed returning to their nests, as the sun begins to set.
4. Baludera beach-
Baludera Beach is a pristine beach that is usually never crowded. You can enjoy a swim all by yourself and splash across a kilometer in low tide.