Parrots arriving at the Island

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Time Required : October - March

Parrot Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands Overview

Parrot Island, a peculiar sort of home to thousands of fluttering parrots, looks like a whole new empire of wilderness born out of the salty waters of the Indian Ocean. Every day, hosts of green parrots arrive at the island as a part of their daily ritual, which is a spectacle to behold. Once in a while, we come across something so beautiful yet bizarre, exquisite yet inexplicable, that we find no words to quite describe it. Parrot Island is one such unparalleled destination, nestled quietly amidst the group of Baratang Islands of Andaman and Nicobar. This small island is part of a larger archipelago, all of which are laced with dense tropical forests and mangrove vegetation. 

Parrots arriving at the Island
Parrot Island
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Most of the islands in Baratang are restricted to the public without prior permission and only to be visited escorted by a convoy of forest rangers and officials. Many of them are inhabited by Jarawas, which means there are even stricter rules about public admission. However, Parrot Island is one which is completely uninhabited and thus only to be enjoyed from your ride. From the Baratang jetty, there are small boats, locally called Dunghi, to take you to the shores of the beautiful, lush green Parrot Island some 30 minutes away to enjoy the homecoming of the parrots.

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Parrot Island
Parrot Island

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What is Parrot Island all about?

After crossing different islands covered with an eclectic range of forests, starting from tall tropical trees to swampy lowlands, your destination will finally emerge on the serene waters. Even from far, one can tell the difference Parrot Island has from the others. Over here, the forest of mangrove trees looks like someone has taken a lot of care and effort to manicure it, and keep it neat and immaculate, as if it was someone’s home or a spot of recreation. Uncanny as it sounds, that is exactly what happens here at Parrot Island. Instead of humans, it is parrots here who have taken up the responsibility of keeping their space spick and span. The island stands out as a perfectly maintained patch of green amidst the vast wilderness of Baratang. Your boatman will stop the ride around 500 metres away from the shore, and you will have to wait now for the real reason you are here. As the sun sets beyond the horizon, there will be five birds flying to the island, and then leaving after a while. The locals believe that these five parrots come to inspect the island every day before the rest of them come here to roost, to make sure the island is safe and secure for their lot. Within ten minutes you will see hosts of parrots coming from all directions and settling down on the branches of the mangroves in the island to roost. Once in a while, these birds use their beaks to crop and prune the mangroves, keeping them in excellent shape – but nobody knows why they choose this particular island, or why they care to maintain it like it is their garden.

Things to do in Parrot Island

Parrot Island is mostly all about enjoying the stunning natural beauty and birdwatching. The journey through the ocean to the island from Baratang Jetty is a spectacular one. But the real thrill is in waiting for the birds. You will be waiting with great anticipation when the first five birds will show up, and then wait for the whole group. Gazing up at above, and seeing such a vast number of parrots flying over across the blue sky and landing on the island, is without a doubt one of the most mesmerising experiences you will ever have. If you are someone who finds happiness and beauty in the simple yet complicated ways that nature works, then a trip to Parrot Island will be a once in a lifetime thing to do.

Best Time to Visit Parrot Island

The weather in the Andaman is most trustworthy during winter, through October to March-April. Once the summer starts, there is always a risk of tropical storms which will make boat trips inconvenient and soon impossible. To see the homecoming of the parakeets, visit during the afternoon. The boats from Nayadera leave at around 3:30 pm and from 5 pm you should be able to see the birds coming to the island. The beautiful sunset comes as a lovely bonus added to the trip, on the calm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Places to See Nearby

To visit Parrot Island, you have to stay overnight at Baratang Island. Two other important places to see from there are Mud Volcano, Limestone Caves and Jarawa Tribal Reserve. Visitors are not allowed to visit the tribal area without proper permission and authority-led convoy, because the Jarawas are one of the last of the untouched, protected tribes of the world. In reserve, visitors can see the tribal people carrying on with their lives, but at no point is anyone allowed to communicate with them. The mud volcanoes are one of a kind in India, and they last erupted in 2005 which is believed to be in connection to the 2004 Tsunami. Limestone caves are eerie caverns with age-old stalactites and stalagmites inside.

How to Reach Parrot Island

To reach Parrot Island, you will first have to reach Baratang Island from Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar. It is located at a distance of 100 kilometres from the capital city and can be accessed via STS buses with a break at Jirkartang in between. You can also reach Baratang via waterway from Middle Strait Ferry to Baratang’s gateway Nilambur Jetty – a journey that barely takes 15-20 minutes and offers beautiful scenes along the journey. From there, there is another boat ride to Nayadera Jetty, where you will see the famous Mud Volcano and Limestone Caves, and also the Jarawa Tribal Reserve, before heading towards Parrot Island from Nayadera in small Dunghi boats. Even before you reach the islands, the journey through the saltwater is quite an arresting experience in itself.

Tips

1. Do carry a camera to capture the astounding scene of all the birds flying in flocks. You can even make videos if you wish to record how the cacophony of the birds tears through the idyllic silence of the island within a few seconds of their arrival. 2. While going to Parrot Island, do not try to coerce the boatmen to go on different routes or to take you to other islands. They are veterans and know their way around the water.

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