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Baratang Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands Overview

Baratang Island is a beautiful little island in the North and Middle Andaman Administrative district and is situated about 100 kilometres away from the capital city of Port Blair by road. It is not explored as much as the other islands of this union territory of India and hence, is a delight for the offbeat traveller. Baratang Island if well-known for its mangroves, mud volcanoes and limestone caves. However, you may need to take permission from the Forest Department at Baratang to explore these caves. You can reach Baratang island via the government ferry service that runs between Port Blair city at the Phoenix Bay Jetty.

The Baratang Island is also known as Ranchiwalas Island and is home to India's only Mud Volcano. The Andaman Trunk Road that connects Rangat and Mayabunder pass through the Baratang Island and is paved through the lush green rainforests. The island is home to the Jarawa Tribe who regarded the now non-existent Jangil Tribe as their parent clan.

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Things To Explore at Baratang Island

Mangrove Creeks
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Mangrove Creek 

A boat ride in the beautiful mangrove creek of Baratang Island will calm jittery nerves and offer so much more. The sight of the thick green plantation canopying the creek has a haunting yet enticing character to the location that travellers must experience.


Limestone Cave
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Limestone Cave
 
Nature is breathtakingly beautiful and Baratang Island has landscapes that prove the same. The untouched beaches of Baratang islands are the unmatched beauty of the place, but the limestone caves will mesmerize you to the core. The caves were formed millions of years ago due to the slow deposition of lime on the earth's surface. The caves can be accessed by a 45 minutes boat ride from Baratang via a scenic route through the Andaman Sea. The ride through the mangrove reserves to the wonderful limestone caves is truly an exhilarating experience. 

Mud Volcano
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Mud Volcano
We all surely have heard of the lava volcanoes, but here one can come to see the unique volcanoes that erupt in the mud. The mud volcanoes are sprawled over a huge area of 1000 to 2000 square metre. The first eruption of the mud volcano on the island of Baratang was seen in the year 1983 and the last eruption was seen in 2003. These volcanoes also emit a number of gasses and the eruptions in mud have formed various craters all over the island. The mud volcanoes are truly unique and attract nature lovers and geography enthusiasts from all over the world.

Tips For Visiting

1. While visiting the limestone caves, do not try to make contact with the tribal people.
2. The mud volcano isn't an ideal destination for the children below 10 years.
3. Always stick to your routes and not venture into the restricted areas.

Geography and Demographics

The Baratang Island expands over an area of about 243 square kilometres and is considered as one of the primary islands of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. To the north of the Baratang Island is Middle Andaman; to the east is the archipelago of the Islands of Ritchie and Port Blair lies to the south of the Baratang Island.

The landscape consists of lush green tropical forests, limestone caves, mangrove creeks, pristine beaches, a couple of active volcanoes and a mud volcano. The island consists of three main villages, Nilambur, Adozig and Rangat and has an approximate population of about 5700 inhabitants which mainly include the Jarawa Tribe population. In India, the Jarawa tribe is identified as the Adivasi group who have avoided contact with non-locals to a great extent.

History

By the end of the nineteenth century India, due to a political disturbance in Ranchi, many locals converted to Christianity to seek refuge. India was still under the reign of the British Rule during that time. When the British realised the forests of Andaman and Nicobar had future growth prospects, they decided to send the people who converted to Christianity as labour to cultivate crops on the Baratang Island. The island was therefore also known as the Ranchiwalas Island. The immigrants thus created new lives for themselves on Baratang Island.

How To Reach Baratang Island

Baratang islands are located 100 km from the capital of Port Blair. The government ferry services between Port Blair and Baratang Islands and onward to Havelock Islands start at the Phoenix Bay Jetty at 08:30 AM. You can avail the tickets for the same at the  Single Window, Tourist Information Center at Directorate of I & P, between 09:00 AM to 04:00 PM.

  Arrival  Departure 
Port Blair  --- 05:30AM IST
Baratang  08:30 AM IST 1:00 PM IST
Port Blair  05:00 PM IST  ---

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