At the far tip of India, south of Port Blair, lies the picturesque Rutland Island, a heaven for Thalassophiles, commonly called sea lovers. The island makes up the South Andaman district and comprises six villages, namely the Rutland Village, R.M. Point Village, Bamboo Nallah, Kichad Nallah, Bada Jhari and Dani Nallah.
Out of all these, the Dani Nallah is the most popular for the memorable marine life and turtle breeding experience it offers, that's truly one you'll never forget! Rutland Island is barely 110 sq. kms and is home to around 350 inhabitants belonging to the Jangil Tribe. Yes, that's it. That's fewer people than you'd find in a city auditorium.
But what the island may lack in size or population, it makes up for with its impeccable views of beaches and rich marine life that are worth a visit! You can go fishing at Chidiya Tapu and get a glimpse of the coral reefs at the Cinque Islands. An enthralling open-sea diving experience awaits at the beaches where you can also take a dip or enjoy some snorkelling. Travel to Jolly Buoy for a glass-bottom boat ride and walk along the Red Skin Island beaches, with the waves lapping at your feet.
Visiting Rutland Island on a day trip from Port Blair or Havelock Island is one of the best options. You can extend your stay if you want to get trained in open-water diving, but note that the island has no telephone service or electricity, and scarce availability of food. Accomodation too, is rare, with simply one resort comprising bamboo huts that is equipped enough for a comfortable stay. You can choose a day tour package, especially with a group, to ensure that everything is well taken care of.
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Rutland Island is a wonderful place to explore for a day if you're vacationing in the Andaman and Nicobar. It's the perfect amalgamation of thrill and tranquility. One that you ought to see to believe!
How to reach Rutland Island
- From Port Blair
Rutland Island lies 20 kms south of Port Blair. If you're within Port Blair, take the road route to the jetty point, then take a boat from Port Blair to reach the island.
Also, check out the list of activities in Port Blair that you can take part in.
- From Havelock Island
While traveling from Havelock to Rutland Island, you need to first head to Port Blair by ferry which will take approximately 2.5 hours. Once in Port Blair, claim your Restricted Area Permit and complete the necessary formalities required to tour through Rutland Island. Then travel to Rutland from Port Blair by boat.
Best time to visit Rutland Island
Rutland Island, lying in South Andaman, experiences three major seasons namely summer, monsoon, and winter.
Summers extend from April to June when temperatures are between 24°C to 37°C. This is the most preferred time to visit the island because the waters are just the right temperature allowing tourists to partake in watersports like snorkelling, and diving. Also, since it isn't holiday season in a lot of countries, prices are low during summers.
The monsoons from May to September aren't as favoured as the other seasons. That's because most of the island is damp and heavy rains, along with choppy waters, makes travel and sightseeing dangerous and inaccessible. Since Rutland Island doesn't have many indoor activities, traveling in this season is almost pointless.
Winters again, from December to February are very pleasant. Water transport is easily accessible and walking around or trekking is a delight in the good weather. Temperatures are relatively low, ranging between 20°C - 30°C and this is when you'll find most tourists flocking the island, in spite of accommodation prices being steep.
We definitely recommend a winter or summer visit to Rutland Island, so that you enjoy your day to the fullest!
Also, if you want to know about the time to visit Andaman then check here the best time to visit Andaman & Nicobar.
Places to visit in and near Rutland Island
The sights on Rutland Island worth visiting are Jahaji Beach, Bada Balu, Photo Nallah and Dani Nallah which is known for its water activities, photostops, or simply a point to relax at and soak in the natural beauty! Apart from these, you can travel around Rutland Island to check out other sights like the Red Skin Island. Also known as Coral Island, this is a secluded area with crystal clear water and glistening sands.
Head to Chidiya Tapu for a fine fishing experience and to enjoy the breathtaking sunset. On your way here, stop by the Munda Pahad Beach for the picturesque views and to enjoy swimming in the cool waters.
Don't miss out on the Cinque Island to explore the enormous coral reefs, seaweed, fish, salt-water crocodiles and water snakes. This is an ideal spot for deep-sea diving and viewing the exotic marine life.
If you extend your stay, plan a trip to Jolly Buoy, where you can go on a glass-bottom boat ride and admire the dense mangroves on either side. There's also 10 free minutes of snorkelling here!
Also, Discover more places to visit in port blair to make your vacation amazing.
Things/activities to do in Rutland Island
In spite of being a small island with barely any population, Rutland Island offers a lot to do. The primary attraction here is the fishing trip you can go on from Chidiya Tapu, a location within Port Blair. It offers exotic views of open seas and untouched islands while you sail over calm waters in a fishing boat, equipped with a fishing rod for getting hold of some aquatic life, including the Yellow Fin Tuna and the Red Snapper. You can also get a glimpse of the mesmerising sunset, here.
On Rutland Island is the village of Dani Nallah which is popular for turtle breeding and marine life. Make sure to take a trip to this quaint village too and head out for an unreal nature walk.Most importantly, Rutland Island is extremely popular as a diving attraction. It is here that divers get trained in open-water diving. Add some adrenaline-pumping activities like snorkelling along the coral reefs there, and you've got yourself a memorable trip!
Also, check out the things to do in Andaman and Nicobar.
Places to stay in Rutland Island
Being a small, remote island, Rutland Island doesn't offer a good amount of accommodation. All that's there is a resort called Totani Resort comprising bamboo huts. Since there is no telephone service on the island, booking in advance isn't an easy task. You have to connect with travel agents around the island who can help you book your stay at the resort.
Also, since it is the only resort on the island, rates are steep for most of the year, especially during winters when it is in heavy demand. That's about it. Totani Resort is pretty much the only option available. The lack of accommodation facilities on the island is why most tour companies recommend a day trip here instead of an overnight one.
Also, Find out more hotels in port blair to have a spacious and comfortable stay.
1. What is the traveling mode in the island?
The island is barely 100 sq. km. and not well-connected by roads. Most locations are connected by water and the best mode of transport is a boat or jetty from one tourist spot to another. Note that if you're travelling with the elderly, this might get inconvenient for them. We'd recommend booking a tour so that everything is well-planned before you get to your destination.
2. What is the condition of mobile connectivity?
Unfortunately, Rutland Island being a remote place, has absolutely no connectivity. Neither will you find any mobile network around, nor are there any landlines in the area. If you're looking for serenity at its best, this is the perfect escape.
3. What are the places to eat in the Island?
While most of the food joints and local eateries can be found at Port Blair and Havelock Island, be aware that Rutland Island has almost no eateries. Being sea-locked, the Jangil tribe that lives on the island survives primarily on seafood cooked in the local Tamilian or Bengali style.
It is wise to carry a substantial amount of food or atleast a whole lot of snacks that'll suffice you for the day, especially if you're a vegetarian. Of course, if you're travelling to Port Blair and Havelock Island for further sightseeing you can grab a bite at the eateries lining the beaches there. Don't miss out on the sweet, refreshing coconut water around the area!
4. What is the condition of medical facilities in the Island?
Owing to the micro-population and small area, Rutland Island doesn't have many hospitals or doctors-on-call, but South Andaman does have an emergency ambulance service. Keep the following contact numbers handy: 232102 / 233473 and make sure you carry a medical kit along, to deal with minor injuries and ailments.
5. How much time duration will I need to visit the whole of Rutland Island?
Ideally, spending a day at Rutland Island is enough. If you're an adventure lover you might want to stay the night to experience all the thrill, but the only accomodation available is Totani Resort that offers bamboo huts with relatively steep prices. Moreover, there is no electricity, phone connectivity or food preferences here, so staying longer might get difficult.
6. How far is Rutland Island from Port Blair?
Rutland Island is approximately 20 kms south of Port Blair. You have to travel the distance by boat from the Port Blair Jetty Point, via Chidiya Tapu and you'll soon arrive at your destination.
7. Is there any emergency help service in the Island in case of any emergency?
South Andaman district does have emergency contact numbers, in the unfortunate event of any problem. Below is a list of numbers you can contact:
Police Control Room - 100
Fire Service - 101
Ambulance - 232102 / 233473
Women Safety - 1091
Child Safety - 1098
Coast Guard - 155211
Disaster Management Control - 1070 / 238881
8. Any travel tip before visiting Rutland Island?
Rutland Island is isolated and is inhabited by tribals. They primarily speak Hindi, Bengali or Tamil, therefore interacting with them might be difficult if you aren't familiar with these languages. It is wise to carry your own snacks for the day, along with a first aid kit for minor mishaps. We'd suggest travelling with a tour so you've got a group along and everything is well taken care of.
Don't forget to check out the best honeymoon packages in Andaman to have the most romantic time with your other half.