Andaman and Nicobar Islands is an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Boasting sun-soaked beaches, exotic marine life, and several water activities, Andaman has roughly three hundred islands. Most of the islands are uninhabited, but the ones inhabited are among the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia. One such spectacular Island is Baratang Island. It is a constituent of the North and Middle Andaman administrative district. Also known as Ranchiwalas Island, Baratang is known for its mangrove forests, tidal creeks, swamps, and aquatic life. If you plan for a weekend getaway, nothing shall be better than Baratang Islands. Away from the humdrum of city life, Ranchiwalas Island is where you should plan your next trip.
How to Reach:-
Andaman and Nicobar Island, being an island, is connected with the other cities only through air and water. You can take a flight to the Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair. Chennai, Kolkata, and Vishakhapatnam are the only cities with direct flights to the capital. Other cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore have connecting flights to Veer Savarkar International Airport. After reaching Port Blair, you must take a ferry or catamaran to Baratang Islands. If you want, you can spend a few days on Havelock Island. You can then take a ferry to Ranchiwalas Island.
Best Time to Visit:-
- The summer months between April and June are the ideal time to visit the islands. The temperature ranges between twenty-four degrees Celsius and thirty-seven degrees Celsius. With the average relative humidity of eight percent, you can enjoy a day at the beach without worry. Ranchiwalas Island is known for kayaking. The summer months are ideal for any kind of water sport.
- Monsoon in Andaman and Nicobar Island range from July to September. The islands receive torrential rainfall and experience high tides during this time. You should avoid visiting the island during this time as you shall miss seeing the island’s beauty.
- The winter months range from October to March. The weather is pleasant, and the lowest temperature recorded to twenty degrees Celsius. Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a tropical island; it receives scanty rainfall during this season.
Highlights of Ranchiwalas Island:-
- History: Baratang was the hub of British export and import activities during colonial rule. Activities such as plantations, agriculture, and logging would take place here. This island is also known as Ranchiwalas Island due to a peculiar reason. Ranchi in Jharkhand was facing political upheaval in the nineteenth century. The British had also identified the benefits they would gain from the dense forest of Andaman. Hence, they sent the locals to Baratang as workers. And with time, Baratang came to be known as Ranchiwalas Island. Most Baratang Island tours give you a brief history of the island before starting the tour.
- Limestone Caves: These are located about three to four kilometers from the Nilambur jetty. You must take a speed boat to the caves and then trek through the forest for about fifteen minutes. The speed boat ride to the caves is one of the most exhilarating experiences that you can have. Gliding through the tidal creeks, you reach the limestone deposits above the soil or under the ground. Baratang is famous for its limestone caves.
- Parrot Island: If you are a bird enthusiast, you cannot miss visiting this island. It takes thirty to forty minutes to reach the island from Nilambur jetty. It will be ideal if you visit the island at dusk. The sunset at Parrot Island is one to marvel at. Standing true to its name, the island is home to several thousand parrots. Watching these parrots chirp and fly in a circle all around you at dusk will be one of a kind experience.
- Mud Volcanoes: The Mud Volcano is located in Jarawa Creek. In 1988, the volcano erupted, and the next day an area as large as the football field lay covered in mud. It is not the typical volcano that you have come across in your life. It is a rare geographical phenomenon and is a must-visit when you are in Baratang.
- Kayaking: This is the most popular water sport on the islands. The kayaks are small rafting boats. You go kayaking in the muddy tress amongst the canopy of the mangrove trees, tidal creeks, and swamps. If you stay on the island overnight, you can go fishing with the locals and learn more about the place.
- Baludera Beach: If you are looking for peace and isolation, then this is the perfect place for you. It is situated about nine kilometres away from the Nilambur jetty. The beach has a long stretch of palm and coconut trees. Popular among the locals, the beach remains empty most of the time. You can visit the beach then have your lunch at the Port Canteen in Nilambur jetty. You have to try the macchi suruva and bhaath there.
Baratang or Ranchiwalas Island will help you be in the lap of nature for a few days. So, if you plan your next trip, make sure it is to Baratang!