About Mount Harriet National Park
Mount Harriet is the second highest peak in the Andaman Islands, 365m high. During the British reign, Mount Harriet used to be the headquarters of the chief commissioner. Nowadays there is a National park with lovely views on a clear day of Port Blair, nearby Ross Island and Havelock. The view to North Bay and the lighthouse features on a 20 Indian Rupee banknote and if you visit the park with a guide they will show you the exact location where the photo was taken. One can drive almost all the way up, but for the adventurous ones, there are plenty of trekking trails available. If you get bored of the beaches this is a perfect spot close to Port Blair where you can enjoy nature, bird, and wildlife watch. The mountain is entwined with different paths allowing different difficulty level treks. The shortest trek is to Kala Pathar rocks, it is an easy and short trek of 3km from Mt. Harriet. There is another trek up to Kala Pathar from Hope Town, which is around 4km. The trek itself is easy but the views there are nothing special.
For the adventurists, there are trek routes from Mannarghat to Madhuban Beach, around 10km long and the longest one is from Madhuban Beach to the Rest House up in the park around 16km. The long treks follow the peninsula and are leading down the shore. Near Madhuban, there was an old elephant training camp but it is pretty forlorn nowadays. There are some signs but mainly the paths are not very well taken care of since only a few people do them. However if one decides to do the long treks it is best to make a request to the Forest Department Office at the check post where you can pick your permit. However at least a day before your visit it is advisable to make a call to the warden’s office and request a guide. That will save you some trouble of getting lost.
To reach there it is about an hour drive from Port Blair or if you take a ferry from Chatham Jetty to Bamboo Flat the trip shortens from 55km to 15km. Madhuban beach is reachable only by boat or by trekking trails.
How to Reach Mount Harriet National Park?
Mount Harriet can be reached from Port Blair via land or sea. While the sea route is more convenient and shorter (11kms and 45mins) from the city centre, the longer land route goes via Ferrargunj and takes about 2 hours (48kms).
To take the shorter route you must reach Chatham Jetty via car/autorickshaw or a 2-wheeler. Busses are an option too but not very comfortable. From here one can take a vehicle ferry and enjoy the sea view while inside. The drop point is Bamboo Flat Jetty, from where Mount Harriet is 6kms away.
Word of precaution about Mount Harriet National Park
If you decide to do the long jungle trek come prepared. Wear long pants and long sleeves, comfortable shoes, and lots of mosquito repellent. Don’t forget to bring enough water supply and some snacks – trekking in such humid and hot conditions is extremely tiresome. Respect nature and collect your trash while trekking.
Also keep in mind that the jungle is full of animals, especially insects and wild birds. Snakes, spiders, and giant land crabs are the ones you will see the most. The best time for observation in the early morning. Jungle trekking is best in the dry season as in the wet season all the insects and reptiles come out of their hiding spots.
- Buy Mount Harriet National Park Entry Tickets
- Book Guided Tours of Mount Harriet National Park
- Book Sightseeing Tour of Port Blair