Though the islands in Andaman are pretty famous, the talks about Nicobar Island are rarely heard and thus the real beauty of many of the pristine islands in Nicobar archipelago is a mystery for the outer world. One of the less explored islands in Nicobar archipelago is Katchal Island which used to be known as Tihanyu. To stop these islands getting exploited by the outsiders, the Government has declared the islands in Nicobar as an Aboriginal Tribal Reserve Area.
Hence, now, Indians also need special tribal pass to visit these islands. Except from the Government employees, none is permitted to stay on the island of Katchal. During the Tsunami happened in 2004, Katchal Island was affected hugely and a lot of inhabitants were missing. It devastated the island and diminished its socio-economic achievements. The area of Katchal is 146.5 sq.km and it is located around 305 kms south to the capital city of Port Blair.
Highlights: The major peak on the island is the one with a height of 835 feet above sea level. The abundance of calcareous sandstone and marble slates make the hills of Katchal so shining and important. There is a superb, dense tropical forest where you can find an enormous collection of pythons, black monkeys etc and Katchal is simply overshadowing every other island in Nicobar.
The vast beaches where the astonishing sunrise and sunset can be viewed from, the prosperous jungles, the auspicious natural spectacle and much more are there to give away Katchal a special place. There are a lot of schools, primary and secondary health centres, police station, power station, jetty etc which make the island second to none.
Activities: Since there are plenty of jungles and tropical rainforests, trekking would offer you an adventurous moment. The hills may give you plenty of opportunities to do hiking and the beaches will send to you the best space to relax.
Distance from Port Blair: The Katchal Island is lying south to Port Blair, about 305 kms away.
Soothing environs and unexploited beauty is what defines Katchal Island. Previously known as the ‘Tihanyu’, this piece of charm is a delight for travelers looking for quaint destinations. Reaching out to this Island is not a piece of cake, and even the Indian Nationals need a special pass to access this place. In the olden days, the outsiders repetitively exploited the locals and this was a major point of concern for the government, which lead to the declaration of Andaman & Nicobar Island as an Aboriginal Tribal Reserve Area. Not only this, but a tribal pass is also a necessity.
This island has a unique topology and extends a combination of tranquility and serenity. If you are looking for a destination which is not at all packed with a number of tourists then this is your place to be. The beauty of the island will truly bewitch you and will make you fall in love with its picture-perfect backdrops. Sprawling over an area of 146.5 square meters this destination is gaining importance with every proceeding day. In 2004 this Island was majorly affected by Tsunami while the land got deteriorated even the people were missing, but this island survived and its lure was not at all affected.
Planning a trip to Andaman? Checkout our best Andaman tour packages now
Located 305 km away from Port Blair this Island of Andaman is easily accessible from there. The entire region is covered with dense trails of tropical rainforests and that makes it an excellent site for trekking. From the basic facilities to the luxury hotels, this place has almost everything to mark its place in the vacationers' paradise. Apart from the trails of lush green forests here, you can also relax at the beaches. Each one of the beaches is pristine and the fresh serene water adds up to its charm.
The weather of the quarter is forever enticing and you can truly plan a trip anytime. Be it a trip with your bunch of buddies or a family holiday or if you are a newly wedded couple then you should look for the best Andaman and Nicobar honeymoon package. This place has no dearth of excellent options for you and welcomes all sorts of travelers. So, leave back the ordinary explored destinations and explore the undaunted excellence of Katchal Island.
Find here a list of the best things to do in Andaman and Nicobar island.
How to reach Katchal Island
From Port Blair:
The easiest and the most convenient way to reach out to Katchal Island is from the capital city Port Blair as it is also easily accessible. You can take a direct flight to Port Blair and from there you can either take the Government ferry which will take about 8 hours but if this is not what you are looking for then you can take the private ferries as well, which will charge you a little more but will cut short the voyage to 6 hours. Also, the seats are really comfortable and are available in several variants.
Do more rather than tasting seafood and relaxing at the island. Try scuba diving in Andaman and Nicobar island.
From Havelock Island:
The best way to reach out to the beautiful Havelock Island is by the ferry services by various operators. From there you can take a catamaran ferry which will almost take another 6-10 hours to reach out to the Katchal Island. The seats are really comfortable but you need to be sure of the timings and make the bookings in advance as at times it might get a little difficult. Another way is to fly from here, that is you can opt for the helicopter service which is a little costlier affair. The distance is 447 km and this could be easily covered by water and air alike.
Thinking to stay for some time at Havelock island? find here a list of beach resorts in havelock island.
Best time to visit Katchal Island
Summers: Speaking of the summers at Katchal Island, you will be delighted to know that they are not at all harsh and are pretty mild. The weather is pleasant and you can enjoy water sports as well as trekking to the trails at its best. While the temperature ranges between 24 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius.
Monsoons: With the onset of months from July comes the Monsoons to the region. The outbreak of monsoons changes the picture of the entire region and the land turns all green. But this also leads to high sea waves due to which the water sports become inaccessible and the adventure lovers will have to wait for the waves to settle down. The temperature ranges from 22 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius which is quite mild and good for vacations.
Winters: Lastly, the ends months are of winters which are indeed the best time to visit the island as the weather is pretty good and there are no chilling breezes here. Though the temperature may go high up to 30-degree Celsius, but the nights are soothing with a mercury meter of 20-degree Celsius.
Also, find here the best time to visit Andaman and Nicobar.
Places to visit in and near Katchal Island
The archaeology of the Andamans is quite fascinating and here you can not only visit Katchal Island but also the nearby Islands. Each one of them has something unique of its own and awaits to be unveiled.
The list of places which you may visit are:
Ross Island: This piece of beauty belongs to the southern part of Andamans and is also known as the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island. The views here are always fantastic and its proximity of Port Blair makes it a frequently visited isle.
Neil Island: Something which makes this Island a must visit is the formation of the Howrah bridge on it! This place is near the Neil Kendra village and boasts with jaw-dropping sunsets and sunrises.
Havelock Island: Being a part of Ritchie’s archeology, this is one of the best places to visit in Andamans and has the crescent-shaped beach the Radhanagar beach.
North Bay Island: Settle along the Bay of Bengal this Island of the Andamans is known because of the Bharatpur beach, which is further famed for the ever fantastic coral reefs and seashells.
Viper Island: This Island can also be traced as it lies close to Katchal Island and is one of the best places for the honeymoon goers. Be it a family vacation or a honeymoon, this place will never disappoint you with its picture-perfect beaches and trails.
Ross & Smith Island: Located on the Aerial Bay this piece of beauty will cast a spell on you. The picture-perfect views along with the crystal clear water make it the best destination for the honeymooners.
Radhanagar beach: If you are looking for adventures then you should head straight to the Radhanagar beach where you can enjoy a whole wide platter of activities like Banana boating, parasailing, and a whole lot more. When here, you can visit the peaks and beaches this place is known for.
Kalapathar beach: As the name suggests this place has quite a lot of black stones contrasting with the sparkling golden sands, which is the reason why this beach is called the Kalapathar beach.
Elephant Island: If adventure is your agenda of vacations then the Elephantis for you. Here you can enjoy a whole lot of water sports like the banana boating along with scuba diving and snorkeling. Jet-skiing is also an option for you.
Looking for more places? check out the list of best places to visit in port blair.
Things/activities to do in Katchal Island
When we hear the word beaches and lush green trails, then it definitely calls for the aqua adventures along with trekking and this what this place is known for. Some of the must-try activities are:
Strolling along the pristine beaches like the Radhanagar beach which is in its vicinity.
Capturing images with the backdrops of the beaches and peaks.
Trekking at the arduous trails.
Parasailing at the beaches.
Shopping at the local markets
Scuba diving at the Bay of Bengal.
Snorkeling and more such water adventures at the beaches.
Also, check out things to do in Andaman and nicobar.
Places to stay in Katchal Island
If you are planning to visit Katchan Island, then this place owns a whole wide platter of stay options for you. Ranging from the basic hotels to the ultra-luxury resorts there is no dearth of options here.
Some of the best ones are:
Sinclairs Bayview Port Blair: This is an excellent stay option which provides the views of the beaches along with a beachfront.
J Hotel: Apart from these, here you can also stay at J hotel which is one of the budget-friendly hotels where you need not give a lot of money and still you can witness a lot of amenities.
Hotel Sentinel: If you are looking for a touch of serenity along with a substantial budget then this is your place to be.
Hotel Shompen: Located on the Marine hill this is one of the best properties of the region
Seashell Resort: This place extends a combination of ultra-luxury with calm aura.
Hornbill Nest Resort: From the modern amenities to the well-fitted rooms, everything is catered at this luxury abode
Have a look on the list of more hotels in port blair.
1. What is the traveling mode on the island?
Traveling on the Island is not at all a difficult task and you can either hire a taxi or a private two-wheeler for yourself. You can also trace the nearby places on foot as the area of the Island is not much and everything lies close to each other. Another way which is the less expensive one is local autos and buses.
2. What is the condition of mobile connectivity?
The preferred mobile connections here are Airtel and Vodafone as the rest of them don’t work properly. When, here you should not expect good 4G/3G services as there are not many towers in the region, so the internet connectivity is very low. Nowadays, the best service provider is Vodafone and provides the clearest signal.
3. What are the places to eat on the Island?
The street food is the best here and you can give your taste buds delight with the local cuisine. The fresh seafood is the major thing which you must not miss out when here. Apart from that, the local curries are also known for the aroma and unique taste.
Also, find more places to eat and stay in port blair.
4. What is the condition of medical facilities on the Island?
For the basic medical facilities, you can visit the medical centers and in case of major emergencies, you can visit the hospitals. There are also some health centers where you can go for basic medications. Also, there are pharmacies all over the place where you can buy ordinary medicines.
5. How much time duration I need to visit the whole of Katchal Island?
If you wish to trace each and every corner of the Island along with the adventures it offers then you need at least 3-4 days as one day will definitely go in trekking and rest could be taken up to explore the bounties it holds.
6. How far is Katchal Island from Port Blair?
Port Blair and Katchal Island are located at a distance of almost 305 km away from each other. The distance between the two is not at all an issue as this can be covered by the ferry services and one can even opt for the helicopter service to save time, but that is a costly affair.
7. Is there any emergency help service in the Island in case of an emergency?
In case of an emergency, you can look for aid at the hospitals, police stations, and control centers. Each one of them is for the public and are easily accessible from every corner of the Island.
8. Any travel tip before visiting Katchal Island?
Before you plan a trip to the Katchal Island you should make sure sure that you have the tribal pass as without that you can not travel in the Island. Apart from that, make sure that you plan your trip in the best months as good weather is indeed a priority. Also, make all the bookings in advance to enjoy hassle-free holidays.
To know more about your Andaman tour, have a look on our travel guide on Andaman and Nicobar island.