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About Mayabunder

A Beautiful Sunset at Karmatang Beach

A Long Stretch of Grey Volcanic Sand and Shallow Waters at Karmatang Beach

The German Jetty

Mangrove Awareness Centre

Mayabunder is situated in the Northern part of Middle Andaman, around 242 km away from Port Blair, It is a low-key destination with lesser tourist spots compared to other neighboring islands. It is known for its cultural eccentricity due to the presence of Bangladesh and east Pakistani settlers, ex-convicts, and a Burmese hill tribe – Karen – who were relocated here during the British colonial period.

Even though Mayabunder is the administrative headquarters of North and Middle Andaman territory, the town is small with almost no tourist infrastructure. Locals do not readily speak English, so if you do not know Hindi or Bengali, information can mostly be sought only by asking the staff at the hotel you’re staying in.

The shore is fringed with mangroves and the beaches are not as popular as the ones on other islands. Karmatang beach is beautiful, with its long stretch of grey volcanic sand and shallow waters.

If you plan to stay here long, the secluded islands nearby could be worth a look as they offer some jungle experiences and amazing snorkeling opportunities. All in all, Mayabunder is not a general tourist pick. It will appeal to travelers looking for an experience close to nature and away from the crowds.

Getting Around in Mayabunder

Getting around Mayabunder is quite easy as everything in town can be reached on foot. However, Karmatang beach is 13 km away so the best way to get there is by taking a local bus. Do ask for exact timings, as there are limited rides per day.

Some public jeeps and auto-rickshaws are available but can be quite expensive for non-locals. It is advisable to ask the locals about the price before taking the ride especially if you don’t feel like paying too much.

There are no scooter or bike rentals possible but you can rent a jeep at Sea’N’Sand. For boat rides to the nearby islands, it is best to talk to local fishermen or ask the staff at the place you are staying.

How to Reach Mayabunder?

Mayabunder is linked by daily buses from Port Blair heading on Andaman Trunk Road via Baratang and Rangat. The buses leave Port Blair early in the morning (at around 4 am) and are available till 11 am. It’s an exhausting nine to ten hours’ bumpy ride through parts of dense jungle and with ferries linking the islands.

Please Note: You may also spot the Jarawa tribe on the ATR. Make sure you do not click their photographs, give gifts/food, or communicate with them. Any such behavior is legally punishable.

Another and definitely more comfortable option is taking a ferry from Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair to Diglipur (via Mayabunder). The journey takes about eight to nine hours, depending on the weather conditions. There are two weekly ferries, one on Monday and another one on Friday, but do check the timetables online or at the ticket counter as they do often change.

Don’t forget the photocopies of your permit, visa, and passport before getting into the queue. Mayabunder is the only place apart from Port Blair that has the facility of harboring passenger ships from the mainland.

What to Do in Mayabunder?

Karmatang Beach

Mayabunder offers plenty of activities for all nature and adventure lovers. There is a range of day trips to nearby islands where one can go snorkeling, wild animals watching, and even game fishing. These are all accessible by boat.

A jungle trek along the wild Interview Island is recommended for the adventurous soul. Wild elephants live on the island since the 1950s when they were released here after a logging company closed down. Armed guards accompany you in case of elephant attacks, as the huge animals are not ken of humans since their last encounters.

The whole day trip is pricey though and a special permit is needed to visit the island (it can be arranged at the Forest Department office). Other highlights are the trips to Forty-One Caves, where swiftlets nest. And some amazing snorkeling can be found off Avis Island, which is a 20-minute boat ride away from Mayabunder.

There are no dive shops in the area.

Restaurants in Mayabunder?

Food in The Kadai

The Kadai at Sea’N’Sand

Definitely not the culinary capital of Andaman Islands but Mayabunder does offer some low-key eateries that serve the usual Indian fare. The main market is well stocked with a broad selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and there are also shops selling refreshments and some snacks.

The only restaurant with traces of multi-cuisine dishes is Kadai at Sea’N’Sand. It offers homemade Indian food and seafood barbecue in season.

Hotels and Resorts in Mayabunder

Mayabunder is slowly developing so there are limited accommodation options for tourists. However, there are a couple of privately owned guesthouses and a hotel. Sea’N’Sand is easily the best place to stay with simple yet spacious rooms. The owners are friendly and can help you out with information about the place and its hidden attractions.

The Tourism Department runs a resort near the jetty, which provides reasonably decent and comfortable rooms for government officials. There are also cheap and very simple lodges available near the main market but are often full of locals from other islands.

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