Andaman and Nicobar Islands have several mud volcanoes spread all over the group of islands. Out of the 11 mud volcanoes, 9 are located on Baratang Island, about 90 kilometres from Port Blair. At first sight, it may look like tiny holes in the earth with mud bubbling all over them. But for the curious soul, the science behind these volcanoes is fascinating, and since they are the only group of mud volcanoes all over India, they are worth a visit.
The volcanoes are created when microorganisms release various juices to break down the organic matter underneath the earth’s surface. As a result, organic matter breaks down and releases various gases. These gases then rise to the surface and create small craters of bubbling mud, called mud volcanoes.
The volcanoes are not pretty, or even remotely appealing visually, but if you are interested in scientific exploration, this will be a worthy visit for you. They are nature’s wonderful play, with average temperature at any active volcano ranging 100 degrees centigrade to as low as 2 degrees. Some people also use the volcanoes for a mud bath, especially the ones in lower temperature range.
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How to reach Mud Volcanoes
- From Port Blair:
Mud volcanoes are located on Baratang island, which is about 90 kilometres away from Port Blair city. There are several ways to get to Mud Volcanoes from Port Blair.
You can take a bus from STS Bus Terminal in Aberdeen Bazaar, and it will take you about 2 and a half hours to reach your destination. The first half is from Port Blair to Jirkatang, which is stretched over 40 kilometres, and the second lag of the journey is from Jirkatang to Baratang, which is 49 kilometres long.
Nilambur Jetty services can also be used to get to Mud Volcanoes, and it only takes 15 minutes for the entire journey. Apart from government buses and ferries, private bus and ferry services are also available. These are generally more expensive.
- From Havelock Island:
Mud Volcanoes are nearly 170 kilometres away from and there is no direct service from Havelock island to the volcanoes. However, there are daily ferry services to Port Blair, from where you can easily take a boat to Baratang. It will take 3 hours to reach Port Blair from Havelock, and since ferry services to Bartang are only available until 1 pm, it is advisable to leave Havelock early. Otherwise, you will be stranded at Port Blair for the night.
You can also check the travel guide from Port Blair to Havelock island.
1. Places to visit near Mud Volcanoes
Chidiya Tapu - witness the sheer variety of indigenous and migratory birds at this lonesome island, enjoy seclusion and serenity like never before, and explore the lush green forests. Hang out by the beach, watch emerald doves sailing through the skies.
Limestone Caves - witness the fascinating formation of Limestone Caves just a few kilometres from Mud Volcanoes. The distinct floral patterns are mesmerizing, and patterns are spread all over the walls and ceilings, lending the place a striking beauty.
Cellular Jail - A historical landmark that is a must-visit destination in andaman not only because of its significance in India’s struggle for independence but also because of its serene environs.
Check out some more places to see in Port Blair.
2. Things/ Activities to do near Mud Volcanoes
Bird watching - Baratang Island hosts birds of all varieties around the year. From red-breasted parakeets to white-bellied sea eagles, imperial green pigeons and scarlet minivets, this place is rife with exciting fauna, a haven for nature lovers.
Hiking: Baratang Island is famous for its lush green forests, stunning vistas, and mesmerizing views of the ocean. One of the most popular ways of getting close to nature here is hiking. There are plenty of trails that go through emerald forests that will take your breath away.
Explore the mangrove forests - the green blanket covering the island is unique in its beauty and will make your mind and soul rejuvenated like never before. A ride through the mangrove forests is truly life-changing.
Explore the list of things to do in Andaman and Nicobar.
3. Places to eat near Mud Volcanoes
There are no big and fancy restaurants or hotels at Baratang Island, but there are plenty of eateries and food stalls here where you can enjoy the local delicacies and hygienic food.There are a few food stalls near Nilambur jetty area where you can find South Indian and Bengali food at pocket-friendly costs. It is hot, tasty, and served with love. You can also find snack bars and chai points near Mud Volcanoes where you can buy almost any kind of refreshment. Don’t forget to try some coconut water and spiced buttermilk, if you want to beat the heat.
4. Places to stay near Mud Volcanoes
There are not many places offering accommodation near Mud Volcanoes. Baratang is an untouched island, and there are slim to none luxury properties here.The three government guesthouses are only open to government officials, however, you can get a room here if you book your accommodation several months in advance. There is only one private resort on the entire island, and that is Dew Dale. Although the resort is a little far from Mud Volcanoes and the city centre, the rooms are clean and airy here. Don't forget to book a room before you come here.
5. Best Time to visit Mud Volcanoes
Mud Volcanoes are best visited during the winter season, which is from November to February. In summers, it gets too hot at the island to go sightseeing, and the scorching heat will limit your exploration. During monsoons, harsh weather may cause flight cancellations and you may get stranded.
6. Travellers' Tip before visiting Mud Volcanoes
Get a permit to visit the Baratang Island, before you leave for Mud Volcanoes.You should also carry essential medication because medical facilities in Baratang are not top shelf. The island is inhabited by Jarawa Tribe, and the government forbids from interacting with the tribesmen or taking their photos.
7. Entry Fee and Photography allowed in Mud Volcanoes
There is no entry fee to visit Mud Volcanoes, as it is a publicly owned destination. Photography is also allowed here, and there are no extra charges you have to pay to carry a camera. In fact, the only money you will be spending is the ferry ticket.
8. Visiting Time & Duration for Mud Volcanoes
Mud Volcanoes are open to the public 24 hours. However, it is not advisable to stay out in the wild after dark. This is because the island is home to one of the most dangerous tribes in the world, and it is better to finish sightseeing before dusk. It will take you 1-2 hours to finish exploring Mud Volcanoes.
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