Trekking in Andaman Islands
When it comes to tourism, Andaman & Nicobar Islands is one of the underrated destinations in India. It is your sure fire getaway from the monotones of mundane life. Off late, it has doubled up as a perfect wedding destination. Andaman is also one of the top honeymoon destinations in India.
Besides being replete with shimmering beaches, the islands pack a lot of history. The iconic cellular jail, Kaala Paani was the prime tourist spot of the past. The graph has changed drastically with the islands offering a slew of adventure activities to attract tourists from all over the world.
What is Trekking?
Trekking is the most flamboyant adventure activity, any time of the year. It helps improve the physical agility of your body and also fills your mind with positivity. When one is trekking, there is hardly any distraction. There is a constant interaction between the human soul and Mother Nature.
In addition, the dynamics of trekking makes your happy hormones to rush in at blitzing speeds. No two steps are the same and the surface is never even. It asks for your body to make micro adjustments every moving minute.
People have more intimate moments with their trek mates than they managed to do so in years. Importantly, a trek mirrors a lifetime journey amidst all struggles, thereby strengthening you for the worldly challenges.
Why trek in Andaman?
Of all places on our blue planet, why trek in the Andaman? The reasons are deep rooted within the geography and linguistic composition of the island.
Firstly, Andaman Island is located hundreds of miles away from the nearest landmass, making it the perfect escape from your busy routine life.
Secondly, the demographic is so diverse that the paradise is equally welcoming of all tourists.
Thirdly, it has got some of the mesmerizing trails to soak in on the maddening beauty of Mother Nature.
The Elephant beach of Havelock Island, lime stone caves leading up to Baratang Island and Saddle Peak in Diglipur Island offer experiences which will be etched in your memories for years to come.
Popular places to trek in Andaman
Owing to the geography of Andaman, there are quite a few places you can trek at to get enraptured by the beauty on display.
Here are a few places that you can trek at Andaman.
Elephant Beach at Havelock Island
• The 2 km trek to the Elephant beach from Radhanagar is through the tallest of ancient trees. The permitted timings are 7 am to 3 pm, after which the beach stays closed.
• Owing to network connectivity issues, you might end up relying on actual maps and markers to get around the trek route. Manoeuvring through the mangroves on the route can get tricky on rainy days. It is best to hire a guide for a hassle free trek experience.
- You will not find any vendors on this trek route, thus it is important you carry enough water in order to stay hydrated during the trek.
Lime Stone Caves at Baratang Island
- Baratang Island is famous for its mangroves, tropical jungles, Jarawa tribe of Andaman, mud volcanoes and of course one of nature’s wonders – the limestone caves.
- The trail travels through a mangrove forest followed by a paddy field, before you set foot in the caves. The trail is both educating and mesmerising owing to the flora and fauna you will encounter on your way. The authorities have taken extreme care of taxonomically naming every significant tree in the path.
- Baratang Island is located about 100 km from Port Blair, you can either take a ferry from Port Blair or cover the distance by road, which might take up to 3 hours.
Saddle Peak National Park
- Being a rich bio reserve, this is a dream come true for nature lovers. It also doubles up as one of the most sought after places for bird watcher.
- Blessed with lush greenery, it is the home to over a dozen different species of birds. Besides that, there are several species of trees and three dozen species of insects. You can enjoy the picturesque views of the Kalpong River.
- Nature lovers simply can’t afford to miss this trail, when visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The park warrants a visit to the Diglipur Island, on its own.
Mount Harriet to Madhuban
- Mount Harriet is the highest peak in all of Andaman. The rocky terrain stretching from Mount Harriet to Madhuban makes up for a challenging trail.
- The 10 mile trek takes you through lush evergreen tropical jungle. It boasts a wild collection of several species flora and fauna.
- Bird watchers will love the captivating sight of the exotic endemic birds. To double your delight, several varieties of butterflies add to the colors of this wilderness trek.
- Make a stop at North Bay Island’s Light House, an iconic location found on the backside of the old 20 Rupee bill.
- The curvy mountain ways of Mount Harriet National Park makes it a perfect trekking destination in Andaman.
Chidiya Tapu to Black Mountain
- Chidiya Tapu delivers on the thrills craved by adventure seekers. This trail brings the perfect blend of wilderness of the jungle and serenity of the coast line together.
- It starts at the beautiful shores of Chidiya Tapu and runs through dense forest before reaching the Kala Pahad aka Black Mountain.
- It’s advisable to travel in large groups or hire a guide for this rough terrain. The stretch of black cliff at Kala Pahad is one of the best places to watch sunset in Andaman. The open seascape makes the entire trip to the island worth it.
No one can ensure your safety better than yourself. Follow these simple precautions for a safe and happy trekking experience.
- For starters, choose the most comfortable pair of shoes for trekking.
- Always wear and carry loose and comfortable clothing.
- Since, it’s hard to come across stalls or vendors, always carry a handy water bottle. Extreme case of dehydration can quickly escalate to life or death situations.
- If you are not experienced, choose easier trails and consider hiring a guide.
- Avoid going through mangrove forest, if the water flow is too high.
- Choose travelling by ferry, if you are accompanied by toddlers or elderly.