WATER SPORTS AT BARATANG ISLAND
Baratang Island: A general overview
“Heaven on Earth… Haven on Earth, where I want a permanent Berth.”
Out of the way and deep inside the unfrequented suburb of one of the most beautiful island chains on the planet, Andaman and Nicobar Islands (to which the above quote is dedicated), is the small island of Baratang.
It literally is a beauty pageant put up by nature, which is custom-tailored for all nature fanatics, travellers, explorers, and scenic photographers. With its immaculate beaches, idiosyncratic and unique species of corals, hypnotic aquamarine waters and above all seclusion from the hustle-bustle of regular life, Baratang is one of the few places on Earth that offers absolute peace of mind.
Baratang Island is located in the North and Middle district of Andaman, in the Bay of Bengal. The island encompasses an area of just 242.6 km2, which confirms the old saying “Size doesn’t matter”, in this case, size doesn’t matter where ‘blues and sands’ are concerned. It is about 150 km away from the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Island, Port Blair.
The island is only accessible from the capital and the round trip takes about 6-7 hours on a steamer and about 2.5 hours on a bus. As the island remains a tad bit less developed unlike others like Havelock Islands, getting hands on good accommodation can become a complication. Thus, Baratang is a one-day trip, even more so for time-constrained travellers.
Although, one may be able to find a good place to stay through local channels in Port Blair or after reaching the island.
Apart from the Baludera Beach, Baratang has a horde of other hotspots in the queue for tourists.
Some of the island’s prime attractions include the Mangrove Creeks where people have to ride a row-boat through a mangrove tunnel, Prehistoric Caves made of pure Limestone, a whole island home to varieties of parrots, an island that is shaped like a guitar and the only Volcanoes in India that don’t spew molten lava but mud!
Apart from these, there are several Baratang island watersports to enjoy.
The top beaches in Baratang Island
Baratang may not be as developed as its siblings, but its beach has already acquired the peak position in beach evolution. The Baludera beach at Baratang is special in its own way and has got its own story to tell.
Baludera Beach is a much-favored addition to the tranquil environment that Baratang offers. Those who want to escape the throng and take advantage of an isolated space should consider visiting this beach as it is one of the most unspoiled and less crowded beaches in Andaman and Nicobar.
The beach is situated at the eastern side of Baratang, is accessible via road from the main island and is at a distance of 9 km from Nilambur Jetty. It is completely uninhabited and is therefore an ideal place for those who want to take long walks beside the sea. Watching the sun rise as well as set here is also quite an experience to have.
Swimming in Baratang island is the most popular activity as the water here is not so deep, making it perfect for swimming where even children can enjoy rejuvenating dips in the sea. Other activities include elephant rides along the beach and staying in eco-friendly tree-top huts, both of which are must-have experiences for all kinds of travellers.
Why try out water sports?
Imagine observing beautiful and rare corals, speeding across the turquoise waters of an archipelago, interacting with unique marine creatures, swimming in clear waters under the sun, feeling weightless all the time!
Heart throbbing like crazy? Excitement taking over your body? Adrenaline rushing through your veins?
In Baratang, one can enjoy casual swimming, rowing, kayaking and speed boating. Moreover, the ‘pretty as a picture’ and reposeful environment of Baratang, with clear waters and superlative weather, makes it the perfect destination for these activities.
The best opportunities for water sports at Baratang Island
Some of the Baratang Island water sports to enjoy are as follows:
Baratang Island Swimming
Swimming is the most basic and amateur form of water sport that does not require any training. Adults and children alike can enjoy swimming in the unspoiled waters of Barantang. Those who can’t swim or suffer from some form of hydrophobia can acquire life-jackets from rental stores.
The most popular swimming in Baratang hotspot is the Baludera beach. Baludera, which is considered as one of the safest and completely unspoiled beaches in Andaman, is the idle destination if you want to take a dip under the sun and revitalize your spirit.
Rowing and Kayaking in Baratang
The mangrove creek, one of the attractions in Baratang, is a hidden yet enigmatic spot that is definitely worth a visit. Apart from witnessing the lush evergreen mangrove island, people can also enjoy Baratang Island Rowing through the creek or even opt for kayaking.
As this place is only accessible through boats and kayaks, the boat safari entailing the visit to Mangrove creek is surely a “once in a lifetime” experience. The natural waterway to the main mangrove island is quite narrow, which makes rowing through it that much fun and adventurous. You can opt for a traditional boat (for a group), or a rowboat, or a kayak.
Baratang Island Speed boating
Most of the tourist destinations in Baratang are not on the main island. As a result, sightseers have to take speed boat rides to reach various places like Mangrove Creek Island, Parrot Island, Limestone Caves, etc.
Basically, speed boating in Baratang is a means to reach the tourist hotspots, the ride itself is enticing and pretty entertaining, provided that all safety precautions, like wearing life-jackets, are followed. The sight of the ocean water churning beneath the powerful motors of the speed boat and the feeling of water splashing all over your face is a thrill that all adventurers have to experience.
People, who suffer from tachophobia or want calming boat rides, can go for glass-bottom boats in lieu of speed boats. These boats have see-through glass in place of the metallic bottom which allows people, onboard the boat, to see the marine life beneath the boat.