Baratang Island lies 90 kilometres from the capital city, Port Blair. Grand Andaman Trunk Road is the gateway to enter Northern Andamans, and one can reach the island via the same. The 2.5-hour-long journey splits into two phases- Port Blair to Jirkatang and Jirkatang to Bartang. Travellers can either choose government/private buses from the terminal or hire a taxi from the airport. The journey incorporates one short vehicle-ferry connection among the islands. The road cuts through a jungle that is home to the indigenous Jarawa tribe when travelling to Baratang from Jirkatang hence the vehicles are required to leave in convoys. A stretch of 49-kilometre of Jarawa Reserve Forest leads to Middle strait jetty which transports one to the other side of the strait, which then leads to Baratang.
What's Noteworthy -
Getting around Baratang is accessible for most as there are limited but enough means of transport. In the absence of tuk-tuks/auto-rickshaws, and no scooter or bike rentals possible, travel within the island can be in following ways.
What's Noteworthy -
It is not easy to grasp what primarily constitutes Baratang Island. As soon as you fall for its beaches and mangrove creeks, limestone infested caves divert your awe. These caves, marsh woods, beaches, mud volcanoes, and what have you, Baratang is a massive island that has long been a favourite amongst travellers. How to Reach Baratang Island from Port Blair? Nestled between Middle and South Andaman, Baratang is the first gateway up north from Port Blair, the capital city which lies 100 kilometres away. The island sprawls over an area of 243 square kilometres and has everything to set your holiday mood. Despite its popularity as a one-day trip destination, Baratang offers umpteen experiences for travellers.
Locally known as Ranchiwalas Island, Baratang Island got the name when a group of people from Ranchi migrated here and settled in. The island, however, is home to the local Jarawa tribes who were the primary inhabitants followed by Ranchi settlers. The major attractions that draw tourists to Baratang continue to be the Limestone Caves and the Mud Volcano. With fascinating opportunities such as sea walk, a boat ride through the mangroves, limestone cave trekking, hiking the mud volcano and more, Baratang is an emerging destination to quench your thirst for adventure.
Andamans being a beach destination draws imagery of the landscape painted in hues of blue, adding places to visit in Baratang Island to the itinerary brings a fresh and perhaps greener version of Andamans to light. Those who choose to spend a night or two in the island can revel upon the virgin beaches, rare bird watching opportunities, a rural way of life on an island, adventurous boat rides and plenty of inexpensive authentic local dishes. From trekking and hiking to underwater expeditions, Baratang Island is a treat for a gipsy soul! Not yet developed into a commercial tourist destination like its neighbours, Baratang is a natural delight.
Sightseeing spots in Baratang Island are beyond what you ever imagined. Did you ever imagine yourself surrounded by volcanoes? Well, in Baratang you can even hike around these volcanoes that do not emit molten lava, but instead, natural gases like methane. Did you ever imagine yourself taking a casual stroll underwater? Well, in Baratang you can walk with the schools of fishes. What felt like a dream once can now be a reality. To top it all, a half an hour boat ride through mangrove creeks and a one and a half kilometre walk through the forest leads to caves with sedimentary limestone formations hanging from the top and growing on the ground. The exquisite limestone caves of Baratang island feels like stepping into the magical realm of Alice in Wonderland.
And that is not all. Tourist attractions in Baratang Island also have some alluring beaches that are perfect for sitting by and taking in the view of the sun painting the skies crimson, or go traversing the land like the traveller you are. And if you want to get adventurous, then one can try canoeing, snorkelling, swimming or the epic sea walking. If your idea of paradise is serene and postcard-perfect landscape, then Baratang Island is the answer to all your prayers.
It lies 90 kilometres from the capital city, Port Blair. You can take a government or private bus from Mohanpura Bus Terminal at Aberdeen Bazaar. Or else, you could book a private cab. Remember that two-wheelers do not have permission to go the whole way.
Visiting the island in the late winter and early summer months from November to February would work best for you. The low chances of rainfall make it a safe choice to see around with no worries in mind. Additionally, these months are not just favourites of tourists but also the locals.
Let's say that the tropical Limestone Caves, the fascinating Mud Volcanoes, the majestic Parrot Island and the serene Baludera Beach are among the few highlights, enough to keep you engaged and yet craving for more.
You need at least a day or two to enjoy all that the island has to offer. You also need to keep a day handy to allow improvisation in the itinerary due to the strict time restrictions be it transport-related or entry-related.
The outsiders no longer require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) in the wake of the recent decision by the Indian government as a step forward to promote tourism in not only 11 uninhabited but also 29 inhabited islands in the Andamans. We would still urge you to avoid any interactions with the tribals on your part.
You can reach Port Blair, the capital city, to avail any medical services. There you would find various medical stores and hospitals. To name, the affordable and the most reputed hospital in the city, G.B. Pant Hospital is known to provide effective treatments to the patients. You would get access to ambulances, X-ray machines and captive power generators as a result of modernization in medical services. Few homoeopathy dispensaries are also an option available.
Honestly, the cellular networks are a matter of concern on the island. The inconsistent mobile signal causes frequent call drops. Patchy network hinders the mobile data usage resulting in download-upload errors. Barring BSNL almost all networks have bad connectivity and the ones that don't, make up for it by only providing very basic services. We would highly recommend that you either buy or carry extra BSNL SIM cards in addition to taking the help of a tour operator to avoid any risks. Though the Internet is available in some areas yet the slow connection makes it difficult to work with it. However, we would like to add that there is a hope of improvement in the upcoming season.
Yes, a few, which are replenished with cash in four to five days. Nevertheless, we advise you to carry enough or at least a decent amount of cash with you. Unlike the island, the capital city, Port Blair, has various ATMs at your disposal.