What if we told you, you could find serenity away from most of India’s population, while still being in the country? We wouldn’t be lying, because Baratang Islands in the Bay of Bengal makes it possible! Forming an integral part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Baratang Islands is India’s well-kept secret, with a tranquillity that soothes your senses and untouched appeal that transports you into a whole new world.
Also referred to as Ranchiwala Island, Baratang belongs to the Great Andaman Chain and lies 100 kilometres north of Port Blair. The entire island stretches for barely 250 sq. km. and houses a population of approximately 6000 locals. Yes. that’s it! Although an island, tucked away, getting to Baratang is pretty easy. You could take a flight to Port Blair and then either drive to Baratang, or head there by the locally operated buses. The route includes a ferry ride from the tip of Port Blair to Baratang, which is quite an enjoyable ride!
Check out best places to visit in Andaman for the most amazing trip.
There may not be a lot to see and do at Baratang Island, but all that’s there are sights worth marvelling at! There are beaches, mangrove creeks, limestone caves and Mud Volcanoes, which are probably the only Mud Volcanoes in India. These are of historical importance as they have been erupting sporadically ever since they existed. With a few tea stalls, food joints and guesthouses making up this charming island, spending a day or two here is a must! Especially if you’re visiting Port Blair and Havelock, make it a full-fledged trip and add Baratang Island to your holiday package too. You certainly don’t want to miss this beauty!
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How to reach Baratang Islands?
From Port Blair
Port Blair is approximately 100 kilometres from Baratang Islands and getting there is fairly simple.
By Road and Ferry
You begin your journey from Port Blair by road and travel via NH4 for approximately 2 hours. Then, take the Great Andaman Trunk Road Ferry at Middle Strait and you will shortly find yourself entering Baratang. Once there, travel by road and get to Baratang Island in 10 minutes. The complete journey should take you approximately 2.5 hours.
By Boat and Ferry
You can alternatively choose the waterway entirely. Take a boat from Phoenix Bay Jetty that operates twice a day. The complete journey duration would be approximately 3 hours.
From Havelock Island
Havelock Island is located some distance away from Port Blair and Baratang, but there’s no easy way to get there without making a detour to Port Blair. While on the island, take the road route and drive along SH4. Then, take a ferry which will drop you off to Port Blair in around 2.5 hours. Once at Port Blair, you can opt for the road-ferry route or the boat-ferry route and enter Baratang.
Note: The cost per boat ride is Rs. 850 for adults and Rs. 100 for children. This will most likely be included in your Baratang Island Package, but if you’re travelling individually, make sure to account for it.
Best time to visit Baratang Islands
Summers - March to May
Summers in Baratang are extremely pleasant with soft breezes blowing and a mild warmth in the air. The bright sunshine by day and cool moonlit nights make for a great time to get around the island and enjoy sightseeing to the maximum. This is also a good time to try out water activities, as the sea is relatively calm. Temperatures range between 25°C and 37°C.
Monsoons - June to September
Though a lot of visitors flock the island in the monsoons, for this is when it is most scenic, Baratang also experiences very heavy rainfall owing to which travel is uncertain and water-sports are usually inaccessible. Temperatures range between 22°C and 35°C.
Winters - October to February
Winters are a great time to visit Baratang! The temperatures range from 20°C to 30°C and being locked by the sea, the islands are never really chilly, but always pleasant.
We recommend: Being an island, Baratang is always pleasant, and tourists from all across the globe love visiting it all year-round. However, we’d suggest visiting the Andaman Nicobar Islands from November to May and giving it a miss during the monsoons. Although scenic with lush greenery, the high tides, incessant rains and strong winds, make travelling to and from the island, extremely difficult.
Places to visit in and near Baratang Island
These may seem like basic caves formed naturally with limestone, but when you talk a walk through the rock formations you’re sure to be left awestruck. The light brown limestone structures change gradually with erosion and have naturally created some interesting shapes.
One of the most alluring sights in Baratang, the Mud Volcanoes are a unique sight, present only in this part of India. Mud Volcanoes primarily release methane, CO2 and nitrogen along with liquids. This might seem basic, but if you love Mother Earth’s natural wonders, this is definitely worth your time!
A glimpse of the orange sunset, parrots, parakeets, and a host of other vibrant birds chirping in unison, spreading their wings and flying around. Seems like a scene out of a fairytale, right? Parrot Island is a wonder to watch! Choose an overnight stay in Baratang, just for this spot! You won’t be disappointed.
Although isolated from the other tourist spots, Baludera Beach with its glistening sands and calm waters is delightful for an evening stroll or a picnic with your loved one!
How about some mesmerising shades of green to complement the soft blue hues that paint the skies and waters? Make sure to catch a breathtaking view of the mangroves while travelling from Baratang to the Limestone Caves.
Things to do in Baratang Island
Baratang Islands offers a great deal to see and do. You can go trekking at the Limestone Caves and catch a glimpse of the mangrove forests, on your way there. You can even go jet-skiing and hiking during your visit to the Mud Volcanoes. Admire the pristine beauty of Baratang at the Parrot Island, where you won’t just spot numerous species of beautiful birds, but can also go on a boat ride and watch the dense mangroves, as you pass them by.
When at the Baludera Beach, which is Baratang’s hidden gem, you can ride the elephants, and try your hand at beach-combing and snorkelling. Make sure to carry your swimwear and gear, if you’re keen on checking out the water activities. Finding water-sports gear isn’t easy here.
Also, check out things to do in Andaman and nicobar.
Places to stay in Baratang Islands
Being just a small island in a remote part of Andaman-Nicobar, Baratang Islands don’t offer lots of hotels or resorts. There’s the Dew Dale Resort, located on the Great Andaman Trunk Road. Apart from that, there are guesthouses, namely the APWD Guest House, Forest Guest House and Panchayat Guest House, which are reasonably priced and serve as good options for a basic overnight stay. Ideally, though Baratang offers a great deal to see and do, it’s definitely more of a one-day trip place, than an overnight one.
Click Here to check out the best hotels in Andaman.
1. What is the travelling mode on the island?
Once you reach the island you can opt for the following modes of transport:
Private Jeeps: Around Rs. 100-Rs. 150 per person.
Private Cars: These cost around Rs. 5000 per day. They are the most expensive but also the most convenient.
Government Buses: This is the cheapest option to get around, but there are very few rides each day, so make sure you get the timings right.
2. What is the condition of mobile connectivity?
Most of the landlines in Baratang Islands operate on BSNL. For mobile phones, Airtel and Vodafone are the only two options. The network on both is relatively better than other sim cards. Don’t expect any social networking or video viewing while you’re in Baratang, because 3G and 4G network is still a distant dream for the locals there. You’re sure to get a much needed social media detox here.
3. What are the places to eat at in the islands?
Baratang is known for its local shops and eateries that provide a good fare. There aren’t any fancy restaurants around, but the South-Indian cuisine and Bengali food served by the local joints is definitely worth a try! You are sure to find snacks, chocolates and beverages often, all around the island. Don’t miss out on the sweet coconut water here.
4. What is the condition of medical facilities on the island?
Medical facilities aren’t easily available and it's always safer to carry a basic first-aid and medical kit, in case of any minor illnesses. Unfortunately, if something serious arises, you can call the Baratang Hospital for immediate service.
5. Where to take the mangrove boat ride?
While on your way from Port Blair to Baratang, you will be transferred by ferry to the Baratang Jetty. It is from here that you can get access to the motorboat and get a 30-minute ride to the creek. During this journey, you will experience the spectacular scenic beauty of the mangroves.
6. How far is Baratang Island from Port Blair and Havelock Island?
Baratang Island is at a distance of 100-120 kilometres from Port Blair and the approximate time taken to reach is 3 hours. As for Havelock Island, Baratang is 170 kilometres from Havelock, but it takes 6 odd hours to reach because you have to make a detour and travel via Port Blair back to Baratang.
7. How to reach Mud Volcano in Baratang Islands?
Mud Volcano is located close to the Baratang Jetty Point. You can visit it just as you enter the island since you will be close to the point. If you’re at the island, the best way to get to the Mud Volcano is by road which will take around half an hour.
8. Any travel tips before visiting Baratang Islands?
To begin with, ensure you check the timings of all the ferries and buses so that you don’t miss out on any. Transport is relatively slow on the island. Secondly, carry food, especially if you’re a vegetarian. Lastly, book your stay well in advance. There isn’t a lot of accommodation available here. If you’re going via a Baratang tour package, all of this will be taken care of, but make sure to check on it all while travelling alone.
9. How long will I take to visit the entire island?
Ideally, a day in Baratang Islands is good enough. But if you’re a nature lover or a sports enthusiast, who wants to watch the sunrise or have a go at the water-sports, we’d recommend staying back for a night.
10. Is there any emergency help service in the Island in case of an emergency?
In case any unfortunate event arises, you can contact the Baratang Police Station and the Baratang Hospital. Keep the below numbers handy
Police Station: 03192-279503