Andaman Tourism Opens: The Andaman & Nicobar administration has announced that all tourist spots in the South Andaman district will be opened for tourism activities with immediate effect 8 Feb 2022.
The tourists are allowed to visit Baratang/North & Middle Andaman on production of double dose covid certificate/ All other passengers viz. unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers (those who have taken only 1S1 dose of COVID vaccine) shall have to produce RT-PCR negative test report
A negative RT PCR report has to be presented by all passengers on arrival.
General Guidelines defined for traveling to Andaman Islands during COVID :
What are the guidelines for testing for tourists coming to Andaman after August 03 2021?
On arrival at Port Blair :
1. The tourists need to carry COVID-19 negative test report from mainland based 1CMR approved lab using Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR). However, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to starting the journey from the origin station. (For e.g. if the tourist takes a flight from Delhi at 0600 hrs. on 1st September, 2021, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken not before 0600 hrs. on 30th August, 2021).
2. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in
institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&N Administration, on rates as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid-19 care centre on case-to-case basis.
3. Tourists may also have to undergo random Rapid Antigen Test conducted from time to time on payment basis as prescribed by A8N Administration.
What if the tourists test positive after arriving at the Andaman Islands?
If the tourists tests positive during their stay in the Islands, he/she will need to undergo institutional isolation as per existing health protocols. The
cost of such isolation for govt. facility will be paid by the tourists as fixed by the administration from time to time.
If the patient wants to stay at hotels, he/she can stay in the hotels if all the conditions below are met:
a) Patients are not symptomatic and not more than 60 years old.
b) Request/ undertaking is made by patient in writing.
c)lf allowed by doctors.
Hotels will make necessary arrangements to designate a part of their rooms for institutional isolation for this purpose.
We all picture ourselves in a heavenly land, surrounded by the natural exquisiteness of the most precious flora and fauna alongside a waterfall who’s gushing droplets fall on our faces, illuminating up our mood and faces. Well, your daydream can turn into reality when you visit Rangat Island which is situated in Middle Andaman Islands. It is almost 200 km away from the capital city-Port Blair. This island is an unexplored thing of beauty which is quite less popular amongst the tourists, but has its own inimitable feature which can swept you off your feet. This island, having an area of about 1070 sq. km, is the second largest in Andaman Islands and offers some of the best experiences of beaches and volcanic rocks spread over the immaculate sand where turtle nest during the months of December and January. The never-ending trails are amongst the longest in the mangrove forests of India where one can embrace the walks of life. The picturesque waterfalls will thrill you and please you at the same time where you can store the memories on your cameras.
The immense spice plantations is one of the core features of this island which separates this island from the rest of the isles. This beach is considered idyllic for sun-bathing and enjoying some water sports like snorkelling and scuba diving. The wide stretched shorelines playing with the sparkling water under the sun surround by the shades of dense green forests is truly a mesmerising location to leave your heart at. Rangat Island falls on your way when you travel to Mayabunder, Long Island or Diglipur from Port Blair by road so many tourists try to explore the locations of this island during their travel journey. This island is known for promoting eco-tourism through eco-friendly structures like eco huts and groves that excites the urban population with the local and aesthetic vibes.
Best Time to Visit Rangat Island:
Like every other island of Andaman, this island is best explored during the winter season from December to March but you can add a slight twist to your itinerary if you want to enjoy the phenomenal natural waterfalls of this island. You can visit it during the monsoon season to witness the enormously attractive falls with your family and friends. Though there could be difficulty in walking the trails but it would be worth the trouble to experience something so soothing to the eyes.
How to Reach Rangat Island:
Travelling is the most beautiful part of the trip as it’s when you hold on to your horses to witness what lies in the destination but still appreciates the dawdling span of travel. To reach a destination there are endless ways and the same is applied for Rangat Island. The tourists can choose whichever option they feel comfortable in to reach the Island with their desired level of content. There are 2 major routes to reach Rangat Island- via Port Blair and via Havelock Island. The ways to commute to Rangat Island are: Roadways, Seaways and Airways.
Options via Port Blair:
Port Blair- the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands provides ample of option to travel to Rangat Island. Tourists have the feasibility to choose their modes and ways of transportation as per their needs, comfort and convenience.
Roadways: Travelling via road is considered one of the most feasible option where you can encounter and appreciate the travel journey with your family and friends. The lush green trees alongside the roads give a refreshing feel while the air gently touches your face. It would take almost 7-8 hours to cover the route to Rangat Island which is approximately 93 kms from Port Blair. There are 3 modes through which you can travel via roadways, that is, Government Buses, Private Buses and Private Cabs/Taxis.
Government Bus: The Government Buses provide you the most pocket-friendly yet amazing experience as you travel from Port Blair. These buses have different departure timings from Port Blair which can be easily enquired from the ticket counter. It takes approximately 8 hours to reach Rangat from Port Blair through a government bus. The route encompasses the Andaman Grand Trunk Road and drops off the passengers at the Public Bus Stand at Rangat Island. These buses do not offer air-conditioned services but you won’t be disappointed as the natural air does its work very efficiently. The government Bus depot of Port Blair provides the bus tickets which can be a cumbersome process to procure due to long queues. The affordable cost of the buses and the transportation of local people to and fro increases the tickets demand. The boarding location of these government buses is at the Aberdeen Bus Depot. But there are other pick up points on the Andaman Trunk Road too. It is recommended for the tourists to enquire about the pickup point that falls in the proximity to their accommodation location for a better convenience.
Private Buses: The Private Buses offer comfortable journeys from Port Blair to Rangat Island. The departure timings of these buses vary and tourists have ample of boarding options available to reach Rangat. The duration of journeys is 8 hours, same as that of the government buses. These buses have both AC and non AC facilities so tourists can choose as per their convenience and budget. These buses, whether AC or non AC have higher ticket fares in comparison to that the government buses. The tickets can be obtained from their respective reservation offices in Port Blair. The boarding point of these buses is also mostly the Aberdeen Bust Depot but there are option to board from other locations, such as on Andaman Trunk Road as well which has to be enquired beforehand.
Private Cabs/Taxis: This is considered to be the most reliable mode of transportation as this fits in all your schedules and would let you enjoy every location without being anxious about the return schedule and other travelling requirements. You shall not be time restricted and hence would be able to enjoy the serenity of Rangat much better. The driver being a local resident of Andaman would be able to guide you better than anybody else, direct you to some unexplored locations and share facts and testimonies of his experience which can turn out to be an enjoyable talk as you travel.
This option is feasible for the ones who have time restriction and have fixed date schedules and days to explore Rangat Island and other islets of Andaman. The cabs/ taxis have to be booked in advance which can be done both online and offline as per the plans of the tourists, Another advantage of travelling via cabs/taxis is that they would come to pick you up at your accommodation place which would save your time and energy.
Seaways: It is rightly said that the waves of the sea sweeps away all the worries and help you to relax in the middle of water. To reach Rangat Island, you can opt for the seaways to via ferry to calm your brain cells while floating in the water. It is a very convenient and affordable way which could lead to your destination. The island is almost 50 nautical miles by seaways and one has to note that the shipping services are available for 4-5 days in a week so the travelling plans have to be made accordingly. The time taken to cover the route via is about 4-5 hours which can be relishing amongst family and friends.
Government Ferry: The Government operated Ferry makes it much easier to commute from Port Blair to Rangat via the sea route. The duration of the voyage shall be approximately 5-6 Hours in which the route that shall be followed to reach the Rangat would be from Port Blair via Neil Island and Havelock Island. This could be a trouble maker as it depends on the number of passengers and their respective boarding spots and destination spots. The government ferry is not available everyday which is the biggest disadvantage. Also, the tickets of the ferry has to be booked one or two days in advance from the STAR ticket counters in Port Blair. The harbour for Rangat is the Yerrata Jetty. So the government ferry can be an option for the travellers who have no restriction of time.
Airways: The airways can be a less time taking option but the only disadvantage is that it is seasonal so the fares and its availability greatly varies according to the weather and season.
Helicopter: It takes less than an hour to reach Rangat Island in helicopter. The high altitude and the speedy winds will blow your mind away as you fly. It is seasonal so the plans for having a helicopter ride has to be made accordingly.
Option via Havelock Island and Neil Island:
If you have to visit Rangat Island after you are done exploring Havelock Island or Neil Island then there is only one option available that lead you to Rangat and that is Government Ferry. It is available on alternate days and covers the popular route: Port Port Blair to Rangat via Havelock Island and Neil Island. Thus, the passengers can board from Havelock Island or Neil Island if they aren’t planning to board the ferry from Port Blair. The route of this ferry ends at Long Island, which is yet another magnificent island that can’t be described my mere words.
Transportation in Rangat:
The transportation services here in this island are less as compared to the more commercially developed islands of Andaman group. Tourists have to book private cabs/taxis or take government buses to visit the various awe-inspiring locations here. The richness of this place lies in its deprivation of the intrusion of modernity and technology which is often reflected by the simple means of transportation available here.
Duration of Stay in Havelock:
Tourists would be amazed to explore the natural aura of this island and would be restless to bid adieu to it after their overwhelming experience. Maximum of 2 days can be invested to stay around in this island which shall be sufficient to cover all the major spots and give you a time to relax at the same time. Generally tourists complete their exploration in one day but if you want to give time to yourself in the lap of nature, you should definitely stay for more than one day.
People of Rangat Island:
The land that cherishes the rich verdure of nature is blessed with people who take care of this land with utmost dedication and principles. This island has a dense population of 38815 people as per the Indian census (2011) who reside across 75 villages approximately. It is interesting to note that this island has 14 gram panchayats as well. The residents of this island have diverse linguistic background but they stay together as one community. Most of the locals are the residents of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal. The main occupations of the local people comprise of fisheries, cultivation and stall vendors such that of tea stalls, food stall and market vendors.
Culture of Rangat Island:
The culture of this island takes you back to the primitive living styles which is currently trending. Tourists often escape their city lives to find peace and a technologically free world, and no place can be better than this to shred off the qualms and attain harmony with and in nature. Though the cuisine does not have a big menu but it surely delights the hearts with the delicacies of the sea food and local eateries. So, some of the dishes can even beat the taste of the mouth-watering fancy dishes of the restaurant. The ethnicity is reflected at every part and every panoramic view of this island which makes it complete and beautiful on its own.
Language of Rangat Island:
Since most of the local residents are from Tamil Nadu, Kerela and West Bengal so you may not find it odd to observe people conversing in Tamil and Bengali here. English is not widely spoken here on this island due the low tourist rate and commercialisation. Hindi can be heard from the tourists and guides but still it is not prevalent as a local language due to the linguistic barriers of the local population.
Exploring Rangat Island:
You can’t explore paradise in a lifetime; you need an eternity for that but you can take a sip from the holy bowl and mesmerise yourself with the beauty it offers. This stands same for the Rangat Island as it so much to offer which is yet to be explored by the tourist population. The trails, the amazing natural ambience, the beaches and the transition of the days and nights from dusk and dawn simply can’t be moulded in words. The main attraction of this island can be listed as:
1) Cutbert Bay Beach: One of the most beautiful beaches, located at a distance of 12 kms from Rangat Island, Cutbert Bay Beach enthrals the tourists in its net of wonders by the gleaming golden sand spread across the land with rich flora and fauna blooming alongside the boundaries. The mangroves with the darkest shade of green that combines with the purest shade of blue of the waters paints the delightful location which one can’t even imagine. This beach is also the home to a variety of sea animals which often nest here, which is another USP of this beach. The wildlife sanctuary situated at this beach also observes the seas turtles nesting from December to February which is an unnoticed yet pretty detail to witness. Also, the tourists can enjoy elephant safaris and also visit elephant training camps which is too exciting to witness. The cool and pleasant climates fits well throughout the year for tourists to hang out at this location in Rangat Island. This beach gives you time to make peace and introspect your life in a nutshell, which is the ultimate goal of any travel plan.
2) Panchvati Hills: The Panchvati Hills has gained the attention of the tourists owing to the captivating waterfalls that emerges from a height. It is one of the most exhilarating experience that one could take back home from their vacation from Andaman. These waterfalls are located on outskirts of the Rangat Island which makes entices the tourists more to discover its beauty. Due to the undulating and rough geographical conditions of this place, it is advisable to the tourists to not go very near the waterfall and ensure the safety of themselves. Though people can also enjoy fishing and swimming here with their family and friends in peace in the lap of nature. People are awe-struck by the graceful stream of the waterfall that merges with the river and ultimately to the sea. Do not indulge yourselves in trekking as it can be risky due to the slippery ground. If one misses out on Panchvati hills in Andaman then, the pang in the heart would stay forever so make sure you have added this location in your itinerary and get numerous pictures clicked to save it as memoirs.
3) Ambkunj Beach: This beach marks its identity and popularity amongst the tourists by its fascinating rocky black sand that is seen almost everywhere in this location. It is located in Nmbutala village, almost 8 kms away from main Rangat Island.The crystal clear water reflecting the black sand under the sun is irresistible to take eyes off from. This beach offers a serene and poetic location to the tourists where they can observe lovely oceanic birds, enjoy water sports like snorkelling, swimming and one can also embrace sunbathing and beachcombing on the blissful beach. Another factor that is interesting about this place is the eco-friendly sofa-like sit-outs and huts with proper share and round tables that are comforting to the visitors. The tsunami of 2004 wreced the tree and uprooted them which were then converted into such benches, tables and dustbins to utilise it for the ones who came to find peace here.
4) Dhani Nallah Mangrove and Beach: If you like long nature walks, then the Dhani Nallah Mangrove walk would give you the maximum level of satisfaction. It is 20 km away from Rangat Island and a one km walk along the wooden board which is surrounded by the mangrove creeks leading to the Dhani Nallah Beach. It’s really fun to walk on those pathways with your family and friends as you make amazing memories while chit-chatting. The beach is another thing of beauty for the tourists as it magical effect leaves the tourists speechless. Here too, on ecan notice the nesting ground of the turtles from December to February. One could also observe a tiny eco hut as you walk through the mangroves, which is named after Olive Ridley, the most frequent turtle species of the Dhaninallah Beach. Dhaninallah beach provides facilities for swimming and sun bathing along with eco-friendly sit outs, changing room and washroom facility for the convenience of the tourists.
5) Morice Dera Beach: Situated 8 kms away from Rangat Island, opposite to Ambkunj Bay Beach, this place is perfectly suited for leisure walks and treks. The aroma of the vegetation and the calmness observed here is soothing and relaxing which could be a therapy to the tourists. The twin rock present here is God’s display of artistry which are beautifully moulded into unique rocky figure. The Horizon View Point is another speciality of this place which cannot be observed in any other island. The tourists are made comfortable with the arrangements of sea-facing sit-outs along and around the beach. Here, interestingly one may not find water which is compensated by the freshwater stream which acts as a natural swimming pool for the visitors.
Hotels to Stay in Rangat Island:
The accommodation facilities at this island is very basic and decent, so the tourists should not expect a luxury stay. The amenities are also very plain and simple which can be thoroughly enjoyed as we should have a taste of everything in life. Make sure you do the reservation beforehand as there are less hotels available in comparison to the tourist population. The few hotels we would like to recommend from our part are:
1. Hotel Ross & Smith
2. Hotel UK Nest
3. Hotel Avis
4. Hotel Priya International
5. Hotel Laxmi Villa
Restaurants in Rangat Island:
Since, this location is yet to be commercialised so it does not have big, extravagant places to eat but it sure provide with some good options in food. The small eateries, local restaurants and canteen style of places are prevalent here which serves amazing seafood that can be said no to. The option of Vegetarian food is also available here in order to cater the diet of vegans.The accommodation options above mentioned also provide dining options but like the rest, serves limited menu options. The restaurants that you can try out in Rangat Island are:
1. Bodhi Bengali Restaurant
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