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Baratang Island

Baratang Island

Baratang Island is a gateway to North & Middle Andaman District of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This District is quite unexplored from the tourism point of view. This is one of best part of your trip to Andaman Islands because of its virgin beauty and natural wonders. In Baratang Island you can see Mud Volcano, mangrove and tropical forests, Limestone Caves, Parrot Island and one nice deserted beach at Baludera. Other offbeat beaches are also accessible from Baratang such as Merk Bay Beach in North Passage Island, Lalaji Bay Beach etc.

Get In

It is about 90 km away from Port Blair. Regular bus services are available from STS Bus Terminal, Aberdeen Bazar. Journey takes about 2 hrs and 30 minutes from Port Blair to Middle Strait and the fare is for the government bus is Rs 80. The journey is in 2 phases – P.Blair to Jirkatang (40 kms, 1 hr 15 mins) and then Jirkatang to Baratang (49 kms, 1 hr 15 mins, no overtake zone through Jarwa Reserve Forest). From Nilambur Jetty. services are available for Baratang Island. Ferry takes about 15 minutes to reach Baratang from Nilambur Jetty.

Apart from Government operated bus services for local islanders private AC Coaches to Baratang Island are available. This comes inclusive of lunch. These buses picks you up from respective hotels and resorts. Note that these buses does not provide pick from far away hotels such as Fortune Resort Bay Island, Peerless Sarovar Portico, Sea Princess resort, Rose valley resort and many more. The bus takes it route from Goalghar->Delanipur->Phoenix bay->Aberdeen Bazaar->MG Road->Goal Ghar->Junglighat->Dairy Farm->Lambaline->School Line. If your hotel does not fall close to this locality then you will need to reach the bus by yourself. Depending upon the number of travelers sometimes the bus operators provide pick up even from far localities. Bus tickets in AC coaches can be booked online through local operators at [2]. These buses comes inclusive of Mangrove boat rides and all necessary entry tickets. Experience Andamans is one local operator who provide travel assistance for such trips. The third way to reach Baratang Island is to hire a private cab for yourself. Depending upon the number of travelers visiting Baratang island you can opt for either shared bus service or private vehicles.

It is advisable to take a conducted tour of the Baratang islands, if you want to return on the same day. In that case you will miss seeing Parrot Islands. Once you start from Port Blair early morning at around 4 am, the first halt is at Jirkatang (40 kms from Port Blair on road).  From here starts a stretch of 49kms forest (Jarwah Reserve Forest), where you cannot halt your vehicle or walk on foot or take snaps/video. On the other end of the Jarwah Reserve forest is Middle strait jetty. The jetty will take you to the other side of the strait in about 15 minutes. Here you have reached Baratang islands.

This is one of the most exciting part of journey, where you will see the tribes (Jarwah). (This is a shocking example of the human safaris that take place in the Andamans, where tourists drive through the Jarawa’s forest trying to ‘spot’ them, like animals in a safari park. It is illegal to advertise these safaris, but they still go on every day. India’s supreme court ordered the road through the Jarawa’s reserve (the Andaman Trunk Road) to be closed in 2002. Sadly it remains open and the human safaris still continue.) The Jarawa are a self sufficient hunter-gatherer people, who show no sign of wanting to join the mainstream.

Interacting with the Jarawa risks passing on diseases to which the tribe may have no immunity and is strictly prohibited, as is taking their snaps.

The vehicles have to leave in convoys. There are 4 convoys throughout the day from Jirkatang (6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 2.30 pm). So please take care of the timings. You cannot cross the forest unless you are in one of the convoys. At Jirkatang check post there is a toilet/bathroom with all facilities. So if you have left from you hotel/lodge at around 4am you will reach there by 5.15 am and you can get fresh and alight your bus/vehicle by 6.30 am before the 1st convoy leaves for Baratang. In the convoy 2 wheelers/bicycles are not allowed. Only 4 wheelers are allowed. The 1st vehicle in the convoy is always a bus, with 1-2 policemen.

This is the only road connecting to North Andaman to places like Kadamtala (28 kms from Baratang jetty), Rangat (71 kms from Baratang jetty), Mayabunder (141 kms from Baratang jetty), Diglipur (203 kms from Baratang jetty). Here it is interesting to see how buses/vehicles alight the jetty to reach either side of the middle strait

Places to see

  • Mud Volcano
  • Limestone Caves
  • Parrot Island
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