Trekking at Mayabunder Island
Mayabunder Island: A general overview
Whetherit be day hikers looking for romantic get-away with nature or ardent trekkers wanting to go trekking and explore the magnanimous bounties of the mother nature, all can have an experience of a lifetime here at the Mayabunder Islands, Andaman Islands. The beaches here boast of mangrove ecosystem, which is an absolute visual treat not just for the eco-friendly tourists but also for all nature lovers. Anyone having even the slightest eye for natural beauty is bound to have an absolutely great time.
Mayabander island is located 242 km from Port Blair. It is about 3 hours from Rangat and is a perfect destination for a beach holiday. It occupies the northern part of the Middle Andaman Island and is adorned with beautiful isles and enchanting mangrove creeks.
Mayabunder Island falls between Diglipur and Rangat. It comprises around 40 different villages scattered all over, some even with a population of fewer than ten people.
The place has a peculiar cultural amalgamation because of the Burmese and East-Pakistani settlements in the region. As a result, the local people here speak a variety of languages- Bengali, Tamil, Telegu, English and Hindi.
The key attractions of the Mayabunder Island include the ecovillage and the forest museum at the Ray Hills. The mysterious cave with the fresh stream, the wild elephants and the lighthouse at the Interview Islands. Apart from this, one must watch out for the breathtakingly beautiful flora, corals, butterflies, some rare wild animals, birds and the exotic plants in the region. The cherry on the pie is, of course, the abundance of fresh air with complete solitude and a promise of an absolutely rejuvenating experience.
What is Trekking?
Romancing with the beauty of nature while exploring the wilderness of the untamed terrains of this mother Earth on foot is the best way to describe trekking. Trek, ideally, would be for at least a couple of days, if not more. When trekking, one does not really restrict to the hiking trails but explores beyond these through the dirt roads and the feral and the unexplored lands. A lot of people tend to use words hiking and trekking synonymously. Guess the generations are getting lazier and a day’s hiking from the yesteryears is equivalent to trekking today.
Why Trek at Mayabunder Island?
Backpacking or bushwalking or trekking is one of the most sought-after adventures in this region. Apart from this, there is also water sports and a lot of fun-filled beach activities. The region has it all – beautiful endless coastline with turquoise waters, captivating coverts that are home to exotic flora and variety of fauna, amazingly spectacular hillocks, mangrove creeks, and skies boasting of mysterious birds. There is so much for the eyes to absorb that the place truly is a paradise for trekkers.
Popular places for trekking
The popular places for trekking in the Mayabunder islands are Ray Hills and Interview Islands.
Ray Hills boasts of fresh air and breathtakingly spectacular beauty of nature in absolute abundance. Ray Hill has an ecovillage that was developed and is maintained by Andaman and Nicobar Islands Forest & Plantation Development Corporation Ltd. It is indeed a source of pride for the organization and a feather in their cap. They also have eco-friendly guest houses, elephant safari, rock climbing for kids and a library. There is also a Forest Museum here with a lot of useful information about the regions fauna, corals and trees.Interviewislands which are a part of the Mayabunder islands lie about 125 km north of Port Blair. From Mayabunder to reach InterviewIslands, it takes about 3 hours by boat. One can take the traditional wooden boat- locally known as the dongi, which takes one through thick mangroves.
The ride itself is a very exciting and unique experience. These islands were opened to the tourists in 1997. A one-day visit is permitted to the islands. On the western coast of the island, there is evidence of nature’s mystique in the form of a cave below a hill, and the intriguing part is a thick stream of freshest of waters that erupts from this cave. The highest part of this island is a wooden plateau with a rocky pinnacle about 7 m high close to it. It is pretty much an abandoned island with few forest wardens, coastguards, and few policemen to keep poachers away. The island has lots of feral elephants. It has a lighthouse that was destroyed in the 2004 tsunami and was later repaired.
Whether it is someone looking for a great bird watching experience, or a student out to study absolutely exotic plants and vegetation or even butterflies, or someone just out for a great family get-away time, or merely a true adventurer by heart out for a great adventurous trek amidst the beautiful mother nature, this place has something to offer to everyone.
No one goes back disappointed. One would for sure want to come back for more.
Best time to visit
The best time to go trekking in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is during the winter months (November to April). The best months are December and January. It is best to avoid the place in the rainy season.
While trekking around these regions might not be particularly arduous or dangerous in terms of the height of the mountains in the region, it is still good sense to take some of the basic precautions and some basic things that one can ensure before embarking on such a trek.
The following might be helpful:
- It is always advisable to go along with a person who knows his way around, particularly when one wants to go around exploring the wilderness. If that is not possible or not as much fun as it eliminated the adventure bit or kills the privacy, always ensure to let someone back home know where you intend to head
- If not a guide, it is good to have a buddy to go along with
- Never trek without a map of the region
- Check for the weather conditions before setting out. It may be a good idea to be prepared for the kind of weather ahead in terms of the right clothing or any extra accessories one may have to carry. One may want to avoid both scorching heat times or heavy rains
- A sturdy backpack with a tent and sleeping bag (if it is more than a day that you plan to trek for), food, clothes, water and first aid kit
- Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support