Baratang island is located between South and Middle Andaman. The island is blessed with the natural wonders- dense mangrove forests, mud volcano and limestone cave. Not only that, to reach this island you have to traverse through the Jarawa Reserve Forest Area - the abode of most primitive tribes of Andaman and if you are lucky, you can spot one or many of them during the journey. If you are in Andaman, you should never miss this trip.
Who did I go with ?
It’s a one day trip from Port Blair to Port Blair conducted in a shared AC coach or private cab. You can book this trip with any island based travel agency or can go on your own. The permit is required for this trip. If you book with travel agency, they will take care of everything. I booked this trip in a shared AC bus with ‘onlineandaman.com.’ conducted by ‘Monica Travels’. The seat number would be provided just a day before the trip.
When & where to be picked up ?
I was supposed to be picked up near Clock Tower, Aberdeen Market by 3. 30 am. Although it was a 5 minutes walk from my hotel, still the thought of walking alone down the empty road of Port Blair at that hour of night made me get little scared. The hotel staffs had assured me that there was nothing to worry as Port Blair is a peaceful place.
I woke up as early as 2 am and got ready. I stepped out on the road around 3.25 am. The hotel staff who had opened the main gate for me, accompanied me a few steps on my request.
Then, I started walking alone along the empty but well -lighted street of Port Blair and soon I reached Aberdeen Market. It was then 3.30 by the Clock Tower. The shops were all closed. There was no soul around. The bustling market is now silent and lonely. Unlike the roads, only the dim street lights lit up the market area. As I was looking around, I saw a bright light came out of an open door. I went there and saw an elevated platform by the door. Sitting on it, I was waiting for the bus while watching the surroundings. After a while, a lone passer-by walked past across the road. One or two bikes passed by at full speed. It was quite thrilling.
The journey began !
After 10 minutes’ wait, the bus came and I borded. After giving a short tour in Port Blair for picking up other tourists waiting at different points, the bus started moving speedily through empty Andaman Trunk Road which connects Port Blair to Middle Andaman. The driver provided all of us the necessary forms that need to be filled – in and handed over to him for getting permit. Road was good and initially, the journey was comfortable.
The journey to Baratang takes place in two phases : Port Blair to Jirkatang and then Jirkatang to Baratang.
Portblair to Jirkatang ( 40 km)
The dawn broke slowly. We got to see a clear view of the route around 5 am. We were going through the tropical forest area of Andaman. Soon we reached at Jirkatang Check- post- the gateway to Jarawa Tribe area.