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In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair

Baratang Island

lies in the Middle Andaman’s. Island is very less explored as many tourist are not really aware of this. This was the best part of my trip and is highly recommended to anyone going. Island is characterized by virgin beauty and natural wonders.

How to Reach

One can do a days trip to Baratang island. Island itself is nearly 100kms from Port Blair. It is preferable to take a cab from Port Blair itself. Bus service is also available but frequency is  less.  The journey is in 2 parts

– Port Blair to Jirkatang nearly 40 kms by road
– Jirkatang to Baratang nearly 60 kms (Through Jarwah Reserve Forest)

Second part of journey is through a dense tropical rain forest. Inhabited by tribal people called Jarawahs. Vehicles are allowed to cross on specific times only through this part. All vehicles are made to move in convoys. First and probably last vehicles are local police jeeps. This is a strict no stopping and no overtake zone through Jarwah Reserve Forest. Cab/bus drops you to Nilambur. From Nilambur Jetty at middle strait, ferry services are available for Baratang Island. Ferry takes about 15 – 20 minutes to reach Baratang from Nilambur Jetty.

These tropical rain forest are so dense that roads remains mostly dark even in day time. And it rains very frequently. If you are lucky you may spot a few Jarawahs roaming around road side. We spotted a few adults and a kid crossing the roads. Cab driver slowed a bit but by the time we took out our camera they disappeared. These tribal people are very shy and interacting with them can be dangerous.
In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair
Roads through dense forests

Video – Jarawa, In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair

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Pictures and Video of tribal shared by my guide. Not clicked by me.

From Baratag island we have to take a small motor boat. This motor boat will take us around the Mangroves. Mangroves were very dense and at times scary because your boat will pass right under the dense web of Mangroves.

In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port BlairForest officer

In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair

Boat ride amongst Mangroves

In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair
 Motor boat to Limestone caves

Limestone Caves

This boat will take us to Limestone caves. Very intrinsic work by nature. Some shapes resemble like Conch Shell (Shankh in Hindi), Lord Ganesha, rose etc so I should its upto your imagination. Local tourism has installed small light bulbs inside the caves, as its pretty dark inside. Water keeps seeping inside these caves so nature is still working on its big 3D canvas.

In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair

Bamboo bridge over sea marshes, in mid of mangroves.

In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair

Lime Stone Caves

Environment is very humid due to frequent rain showers and dense forests. Be prepared to get wet and soil your shoes. Bamboo trees can also be found in abundance on this island. Coconut water is pretty cheap and easy way of keeping hydrated. It costed not more than 7-8 INR (Same costs 3.5SGD = 168INR in Singapore)

Mud Volcano

Next we went to Mud volcano. The way to mud volcano passes again through dense forest. Thankfully there is a marked trail, though we had guide with us. We got to see some mud/sand erupting out from volcano. Its did not look fierce though.

There are few road side make shift stalls for food and water. After having plain rice with curry over banana leaves we left back for Port Blair.

In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair

Mud Volcano

3 thoughts on “In the Land of Tribals, Baratang, Port Blair

  1. Andapo

    Seems far from Port Blair… those tribals look dangerous, like ash people… its quite a journey though that reserved forest, then boat to the island and mangrooves…. looks like its just the feel of atmosphere filled with nature… well I saw a movie called After Earth where decendants of earth people landed on a inhospitable planet and it turned out to be earth(: … the boy goes to take some beacon to get power to start ship or something and what a walk through it was of place… forests with angrier monkeys, huge fallen trees so wide its wide you can walk on it, spders and colourful poisonus insect… then plunge down the magnificant water falls and a giant eagle kidnaps the boy and he wakes up on its nest with the eagle babies nibbling his ears… then a ancient looking wilder tiger up on the tree paws the nest… then boating on a forest lake… I realised that’s how ancient earth must have been(:… I guess the outside is pretty flavourful but we or atleast me very inbound to know the wonders outside, I mean that sort of outside… pretty camly adventurous, raw but pure… strange anyway. This thich foresty stuff made me recall the scenes from the movie.

    1. Ankur Post author

      Hi Maria,
      These tribals have been recently introduced to civilizations so they are getting accustomed to outside world.
      Baratang is quite far but people can do a day trip, as i did.
      I am happy to know this post was able to invoke some emotions. Its good to know how you felt after reading this post as I also felt how wonderful this outside world is (rather has been). Unfortunately we live in times where we are destroying our surrounding in pursuit of comfort.

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