Table of Content

About Baratang

Natural Lime Stone Caves

The Pristine Baludera Beach 

Mud Volcano, The Only Known Kind in India

Parrot Island, Home to Thousands of Colorful Parrots

Baratang is famous for its natural wonders; from impressive Limestone Caves and dense mangrove creeks. There are tidal swamp forests and small but fascinating Mud Volcanoes. It is the first gateway up north from the capital city, located between the Middle and South of Andaman. Due to its distance from Port Blair (approximately 100 km), it is a popular one-day trip destination, especially for those who come with limited time on hand.

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Unlike Havelock Island, Baratang remains slightly less developed. One must not expect a major tourist hub as there are almost no tourist facilities, fancy restaurants, or luxury accommodation facilities here. Most locals do not speak English. The place, however, is still a natural delight!

Those who do decide to stay for a night or two will be rewarded with virgin beaches, some interesting bird-watching opportunities, a rural way of life, adventure mangrove boat rides, and plenty of cheap authentic Indian dishes. If you are a nature explorer or a wildlife fan, (or both) you should definitely pay a visit to this diverse island.

How to Reach Baratang?

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.

One point to note here is that one can spot a few Jarawas on the way. The ATR cuts through the jungle that is home to the indigenous Jarawa tribe and many tribals people wait on the sides of the road to cross to the other side. Interacting with them, giving them food, gifts, or even clicking their pictures is NOT allowed. One can be fined and imprisoned for the same.

Getting Around Baratang

Getting around Baratang is easy for most as they come in Private Taxi/Cabs booked from Port Blair. Traveling in Baratang is possible in the following ways:

1. Private Jeeps

Private Jeeps cost about Rs 100 per person or Rs 400 per vehicle to a place like Mud Volcano from the Baratang Jetty. (prices as in 2016)

2. Government Bus

Government Buses that can take you to the Mud Volcano attraction, as well as to the beautiful Baludera Beach. Do ask for exact timings, as there are only a few rides per day. Also, take note of the driver’s number in case you get lost.

3. Private Cars

Private Cars are more expensive but the most convenient. They drive you from Port Blair, around Baratang, and back. It costs you about Rs 6000 per day for the entire car.

There are no scooter or bike rentals possible and there are no auto-rickshaws available on the island.

Top Things to do in Baratang

Baratang is a perfect destination for nature lovers as it offers magnificent natural sights and diverse wildlife scenery.

  • The impressive Limestone Caves are one of a kind with their glamorous stalactites, stalagmites, and rock formations.
  • Parrot Island is another fine attraction worth your attention if you are fond of bird watching. Thousands of colorful parrots can be spotted (and heard) returning to their nests in the evening time, with a perfect background as the sun sets behind the island.
  • The least attractive, but a famous sight nonetheless, is the Mud Volcano, the only known kind in India. It is nothing but a small bubbling puddle of mud. Though many find it a waste of time, some marvel at the science and marvels of nature when they go here.
  • 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.

Things to do in Baratang

1. Visit 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 themselves either above the soil or under the ground forming interesting formations and layers.

You can easily get a boat at the Nilambur jetty, which will take you to the famous caves. On the way, you can admire scenic coastline covered with mangrove forests and you even pass through mangrove-covered canals making the ride more exciting.

Once you reach the wooden jetty at Nayadera you will have to walk down for about 1.2kms to view this beauty of nature. The walls of caves here are covered with massive formations dangling from the ceiling like chandeliers. The water is constantly dripping from the ceiling making the stalactites and stalagmites shine and glow.

The sad part of this site is that people visiting the caves are destroying these wonders of nature by littering and signing names on the ancient formations.

2. See the Mud Volcano

A short ride from the Nilambur jetty and another 160 meters walk up a rocky path are what it takes to reach the mud volcanoes. 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 time there is just a pile of dried or small bubbling puddles of mud. However, Andaman is one of the few places in the world where these Volcanoes are found and you may thus want to give it a visit.

Eleven mud volcanoes have been reported in the Andaman group of islands, of which eight are located in Baratang and Middle Andaman. The other three you can find in North Andaman.

How to get there: No special permits are required for visiting the mud volcano. But if you do decide to visit this attraction and you are not on a tight schedule try to catch a local bus from the jetty in direction of Baludera beach – it will save you money. The public jeep however will be faster and will cost you around 200 per person.

3. Take a trip to Parrot Island

The sight of thousands of parrots returning home before sunset is an experience that draws nature lovers to Parrot Island.

Visiting this small island is an interesting escapade that combines bird watching, boat rides, and a view of a beautiful sunset.

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. Though the experience is enchanting, one needs to halt for a night at Baratang to be able to see this.

The boats for Parrot Island leave no sooner than 4.15 pm and by that time they get back, there are no return buses left for Port Blair. The whole trip lasts for about 2.5 hours.

4. Spend some time at Baludera Beach

Only 9km from the Nilambur jetty, this serene beach is hidden away from the crowd. Once you are here you will see a lovely curved sand bay entwined with mangrove trees on one side and fallen old trees on the other side.

The water is warm and after and perfect to cool down after a busy day of site seeing. Most of the time you’ll have the beach all by yourself as few tourists end up here and the locals come only on weekends to have picnics. There are limited facilities and only a small shop at the bus stand.

Do bring snacks and some food if you are planning to stay for a while.

Hotels and Resorts in Baratang

Finding accommodation in Baratang can be tricky and very expensive. There are three governmental guesthouses scattered around the jetty area, but they are all reserved for governmental officials or locals. It is possible to stay there but one has to book months in advance from Port Blair. Walk-ins are usually not welcomed.

There used to be a private resort called ‘Dew Dale Resort’ which is not shut.

Restaurants in Baratang

There aren’t any fancy restaurants in Baratang, but for sure you won’t stay hungry here. A couple of food stalls and small eateries are dotted around the Nilambur jetty, where they serve mainly South-Indian and Bengali dishes.

You can find refreshments, snacks, and chai almost on every corner. Dishes are served with a smile and are very pocket-friendly. For deserts, it’s best to buy cookies or chocolate bars in the small shops, as they don’t serve any sweet dishes.

Important Information About Baratang

Baratang is known for its natural sights so there are some trekking options and interesting bird watching opportunities.

Interesting boat ride trips are possible through mangrove-fringed creeks and canals heading to Limestone Caves or Parrot Island. Many do not know, but Baratang also has a hidden beach gem named Baludera Beach. At this serene sandy beach, one can indulge in swimming and snorkeling in the warm green and blue waters. However, bear in mind that Baratang has little tourist infrastructure and is not really a typical overnight tourism place.

There are no dive centers nor snorkel rental places, so if you feel like snorkeling bring your own gear. Sunbathing is not recommended, as there are sandflies.

Important emergency contacts:

  • Baratang Hospital:  03192-279533
  • Baratang Police Station: 03192-279503

More Resources on Baratang

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