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
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.
The mesmeric attraction of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is not confined to the golden white sand beaches and shimmering blue sea alone. It also boasts of rich biodiversity in its dense Evergreen and Mangrove forests, which is home to a vibrant treasure trove of flora and fauna, both terrestrial and marine, not to mention the cultural heritage of this ancient archipelago. Comprising around 572 islands, islets and rocky outcrops at the junction of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, it draws visitors from mainland India as well as the world for a tranquil holiday experience. The Andaman Islands are gradually opening up to the outside world, and one such destination, typical of a tropical paradise, yet virgin and pristine is the Baratang Island. It has emerged as a must-visit destination in the Andaman, not only for its attractions of sea and sand but also for its natural wonders of Limestone Cave in the Andaman Islands and the only live Mud Volcano in the country.
Baratang Island is about 100 Kms from the capital city of Port Blair and is considered to be the gateway to the Middle and North Andaman and important destinations like Rangat, Mayabunder, and Diglipur. The road journey to Baratang Island from Port Blair is, in itself, a lifetime experience of exploration running deep within the dense forest designated as Jarawa Reserve. Access is strictly monitored, and passage is regulated only in convoys at a fixed schedule to help preserve the habitat of the exceedingly reclusive ancient Jarawa tribe.
The ethnic composition of the Island is divided into two – the indigenous and the settlers. Abode to six ancient tribes and settlers from outside has created a unique combination of culture and traditions, which juxtaposes with each other in harmonious coexistence. However, the tribes remain aloof from the mainstream, maintaining their cultural purity, sticking to hunting and horticulture for sustenance. The settlers, on the other hand, have taken to agriculture and other occupations. Hinduism is the dominant religion, and Bengali, besides Hindi and Tamil, are the usual spoken languages.
Visitors to the Island in close proximity to the fiercely independent and elusive Jarawa Tribe offers a range of attractions for an invigorating vacation. Places to visit in Baratang Island include shining lures like the Limestone Caves, Mud Volcano, serene Baludera Beach, and Parrot Island, to name a few. Not yet flooded with fancy resorts and restaurants, Baratang Island is a destination with ample scope of being one with nature. Foodies can sample the local predominantly non-vegetarian cuisine, heavily influenced by the Bengali and South Indian settlers, which are delicious and wholesome. Not to be missed to beat the sultry heat is the green coconut juice or the refreshing Lassi and Chhanch, a concoction of fresh curd.
Limestone Caves can be defined as naturally carved cavities under the Earth’s crust. In shape and size, they may range from a few meters to a few miles, where in some cases, even light has not penetrated.
Limestone cave formation is a natural architecture created over millions of years of corrosion, triggered by Carbonic Acid, in a reaction of Carbon Dioxide and Rainwater Cavities or caverns under the earth’s surface are adorned with naturally formed attractive shapes called Stalagmites, Stalactites and Flow stones. These keep changing form due to the continuous deposit of Calcium Carbonate, showcasing an awe-inspiring sight.
Among all the cave formations in the world, some of the best Limestone Caves admired for their beauty are:
Visiting Limestone caves in Baratang Island is a thrilling experience in itself. The magnificence of the insides of the Limestone Cave in Baratang Island creates mixed feelings in the minds of the visitors, who throng the place during the peak months between December and March when the sea is calm and the weather pleasant.
Many tourists take the easy option of a day trip by booking a Baratang Island tour package from Port Blair.
Package tour may be convenient, but the traveler will end in Baratang Island sightseeing, missing out on the opportunity to explore the Island for all its heavenly attractions.
The approach to Baratang Island Limestone Cave site entails a captivating boat ride through the Mangrove canopy, offering the unique opportunity to be a bird watcher and a wildlife enthusiast, rolled into one.
The last part is a short trek to the Baratang Island Limestone Cave site for a view of the ever-changing natural wonder.
Visiting Limestone caves in Baratang Island is an enthralling experience affording excitement to add spice to the otherwise sublime holiday of leisure and relaxation. The sight of the natural spectacle shall remain etched in one’s mind as one of the cherished memories, to recall in future with a tinge of nostalgia, not to forget the close encounters with nature in the once exclusive preserve of the Jarawa people.
One can plan the trip on one’s own by availing a boat ride through the Mangrove and then the short trek to the cave site. A package tour to the Limestone cave is available in plenty. Either way, a visit to the cave is a must activity in Baratang Island, along with the other natural wonders of Mud Volcano and Parrot Island. An overnight stay in Baratang Island is slated to be a highly rewarding experience, considering that it has remained unexplored for so long.
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