Government is planning to bring Diglipur on tourism map as well like Port Blair and other islands. The work on expansion of 200 + kms of Andman Grand Trunk is in full swing and looks like in 2/3 years, it will be completed. Also an air strip is getting ready for domestic aircrafts to get tourists flow to this North side as well.
Next day morning, I had decided to go for Saddle Peak trek alone. All the reviews said, it requires anywhere between 7 hours to 10 hours. Taking into account early sunrise and sun set, I had to start by 5/5.30 in the morning.
Saddle Peak, an intriguing trek:
A very well marked trek route, so chances of getting lost were very miniscule, but host had cautioned me of calling him once I reach top as he was worried of me being alone. He packed some parathas to have it on the way. After making the register entries at entry point, I started my long walk, yes it was a long walk as even after crossing 6 kms at the base, there was no sign of route climbing upwards. I was happy that I decided to go for this trek because entire 6 kms of flat trek was full of small springs crossings to meet ocean on the left. Yes, the entire base trek has sea as a company on left and jungle with tree trunks as huge as an Amazon forest trees. Finally, ascent started with nice indigenous steps made of small bamboos to stop skidding on slope. For a Sahyadri mountaineer who is used of slippery routes, this was a boon. Those steps were kind of route markings baring very few places. With consistent speed managed to reach the top which a breathtaking sight. Top was covered with clouds and glimpses of surrounding vast expanse of Andaman Sea till horizon with the feel of an ocean is kneeling at the mountain’s feet but with a gracious glory and saying you have a height but I have an expanse, so we are equals and mountain returning the gratitude with the same respect by sending fresh water to add in its expanse...
This was truly an intriguing trek with a salt water at just few meters away and mountain springs full of heavenly refreshing sweet water.
At the entrance, the sign of various animals or birds residing in the forest, but couldn’t find any.
On the whole trek, I was the only human besides few forest guards at the base. It was entering in a trance mode in a company with most of the elements of nature present except fire.
Without a trace of pollution, I could breath pure air.
Some facts about reaching Diglipur.
How to reach:
By air: From anywhere in India, you can fly down to Port Blair which has Andman’s only airport. Couple of years down the line, Diglipur airport will also be functional.
By Road: Buses ply thrice a week from Port Blair to Diglipur. It’s a 9/10 hours treacherous journey because of ongoing work on Andaman’s only highway which is more than 200 + kms.
You can rent a car, but its too costly as you have to rent a car for multiple days.
By sea: There are ships available once in a week from Port Blair.
Where to stay: There are couple of guest houses at Saddle Peak base.
Food: Mainly rice and fish. Majority of Diglipur locals are from Eastern side of India.
Precautions on trek: If you are not a regular trekker, you should hire guide services. Wear footwear which doesn’t sleep on a wet surface. Full clothes as a protection from mosquitoes. Carry snacks and water.