Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Odyssey of Andaman Islands-2011

THE TEAM

SRI SATISH.H
SRI VISWANATH.S
SRI SATEESH.N (MYSELF)
SRI UMESH.UG

DATE : 15TH JAN 2011 TO 26TH JAN 2011

TOUR PROGRAMME:
Day 01-   15th Jan 2011 :  Departure to Chennai by Train



Day 02-  16th Jan 2011 :  Arrival at Chennai
 Departure to Port Blair by   Kingfisher Red Airlines, (Flight Delayed by Technical Reason)
Rescheduled Flight, reached Port Blair


Visit to Jogger Park (Aerial View of Veer Savarkar Airport),Corby's Cove Beach-Sunset
Cellular Jail (Light and Sound Show)

Day 03-   17th Jan 2011 Visit to Three Islands, North Bay, Ross Island and Viper Island


Day 04-   18th Jan 2011
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Jolly Buoy Island, Wandoor Beach, Rubber Plantation


Day 05-   19th Jan 2011
Cellular Jail, Mount Harriet, Chattam Saw Mill, Chidiyatapu (Sunset)


Day 06-   20th Jan 2011
Port Blair to Havelock Island, Visit to Kalapathar Beach, Radhanagar Beach-Halt at Havelock


Day 07-   21st Jan 2011
Visit to Elephant Island, back to Port Blair


Day 08-   22nd Jan 2011
Visit to Baratang, Lime stone Caves, Mudvalcano, Parrot Island- Halt at Baratang


Day 09-   23rd Jan 2011
in and around Baratang, back to Port Blair, Anthropolgical Musuem


Day 10-   24th Jan 2011
Corby's cove beach (Sunrise)- Bird Photography, Samudrika


Day 11-   25th Jan 2011
Corby's cove beach (Sunrise)- Bird Photography- back to Chennai by flight, Arrival at Chennai, Departure Chennai by train


Day 12-   26th Jan 2011
Arrival at Bangalore Railway Station
===================================================================
15th Jan 2011 : Left Bangalore by Chennai Mail


16th Jan 2011 : Reached Chennai by 04-45 am, Vishwa’s Friend Mohan was waiting with Vehicle, and we moved towards his residence, fresh n up and visited Prasad house had tea and came back to Mohan’s residence had idli, vada and they dropped at the Airport, as we checked in the Kingfisher Airline Personnel informed us that there was a delay of flight (actually it was at 10-05 am) rescheduled to 12-00 pm and we got snacks and tea (because of flight delay) and we boarded the Flight and reached Port Blair by 2-00 pm.

Mr. Chadda (Class I Contractor) was waiting with Vehicle and they took us to CPWD Guest House and we had lunch. After lunch we moved towards Joggers Park we had a view of Port Blair Airport’s runway and from there we visited Corbyns’ Cove,


CORBYN'S COVE BEACH

 Corbyn’s Cove is one of the most picturesque sea-beaches in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, ideal for sea bathing and sun-basking. The tourism complex includes Waves Restaurant, The Peerless Resort and the Hornbill Nest Guest House. The entire environ provides a panoramic view of the blue water front. We took some photographs and from there we reached the Cellular Jail


This beach is very nearer to the main city Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Most of the water sport facilities are available here. All kind of arrangements for visitors are also available. A small restaurant and a hotel is available nearby for refreshments and food also. If one wants lunch or dinner, the hotel people are to be informed in advance for menu. Restaurant is available nearer to Government resort. The hotel is approximately 1 Km away. The private resorts are called Ripple resorts. Very good South Indian meal is served in these resorts (sometimes made to order). These resorts are 15Kms away from Port Blair Ariport. If options are available for traveller to stay in these resorts, better consider it seriously. Sun rise at Corbyn cove beach is just unforgettable.


Sunset View at Corbyn's

Cellular Jail

Cellular Jail-Night View
The Cellular Jail located at Port Blair is a massive structure which was built for the solitary confinement of the prisoners (freedom fighters) during the British Rule in India. Completed in 1906, this infamous symbol of colonial oppression was built in such a way that each prisoner would get an individual cell. Designed specially for solitary confinement, it had earned the dreaded name Kala Pani or “Black Waters” reflecting the atrocities that awaited the prisoners.


From 1896 the construction of Cellular Jail was started and it was completed in 1906 with 698 cells. The Jail was constructed with seven wings, spreading out like a seven-petal flower. In its centre it had a tower with a turret. Connected to this were the three storey high seven wings with 698 isolated cells. This is why it is called the Cellular Jail


A part of the jail was destroyed by the Japanese troops during World War II. In 1945 the British recaptured the island and closed the jail. Out of the seven wings laid out around a central watchtower, only three are remaining. The cells are 3 by 3.5 m in size. Daily rations consisted of two cups of water and two cups of rice which were provided to the prisoners.


The food that was given was not fit for human consumption. There were worms when you opened the bread and wild grass was boiled and served in lieu of vegetables. Rain drinking water was full of insects and worms. The 13' X 6' cells were dark and damp and dingy thickly coated with moss. There were no toilets. There were no lights, no reading material. Prisoners were not allowed to meet with each other. This puce-colored building, now a national memorial is visited widely by tourists from across the globe. It remains one of the most prominent landmarks of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.


There is also a Museum, an Art gallery, and a Photo gallery, which are open on all days except Monday from 9.00 AM to 12 Noon and 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.


We had a show of Light and Sound at 6-45 pm to 7-45 pm, it was a nice one to know the the freedom fighters of Indian Independece, from there we reached the guest house and discussed the tour programme with Mr. Suresh (Chadda’s Driver) along with local man Mr. Lawrence who owns a vehicle and finally we chalked out the programme and the final deal for full program we fixed at amount Rs. 14000/- had Dinner and gone to sleep about next day programme

Light and Audio show


At 6-45 pm, the light and audio show (Hindi) started. It had narration of the story of Kaalapani. It was narrated keeping clock tower as one of the character and a witness to the entire happenings, the voice was of Om Puri. There was a brief introduction about Andaman's, its name, and when it was geographically plotted etc. Then story of Veer Savarkar, Sher Ali were also narrated. The show was very informative but was boring in patches. In spite of authorities warning people not to click snaps, some people did.

17th Jan 2011


Programme : Three Islands - North Bay, Ross Island and Viper Island
Boat Ride Charges per head Rs 400 including lunch (Association of Tourist Boat Operators, City Office: Shailendra Singh Complex, Prem Nagar, Port Blair 744102
03192-212056 Cell:9434295477,9933285893,9434261037
Tsunami Memorial at Aberdeen Jetty
From Aberdeen Jetty:
North Bay, Ross Island and Viper Island (Boat Charges :Rs. 400 including lunch)


Our boat name was ML Vijay, we enquired about where he was taking the first, he informed first Northbay, then Ross an finally viper Island, enroute we had a nice photo shoot. Reached Northbay by 10-15 am, the time allotted here till 12-30 pm, those who need have a fun the beach island, Snorkeling and on the glass boat we had a fine views of underwater corals.The place is famous for corals. It can be seen using two ways, one by snorkeling and other by glass boat.



Enroute to North Bay Island on MV Vijay
First we were showed a trailer in a glass boat which took us to shores of North Bay, we had to wait for our turn for snorkeling., we got our turn. the view got better and I was able see the corals. After this activity we took the ride of glass boat. I expected the boat to be some transparent coracle. Actually it was a normal canoe with 8 feet X 1 feet glass framing at the bottom. Anyway corals were visible from it. the experience was better than that of snorkeling.
 

Enroute Cruise on the way to North Bay Island





North Bay Island View



Ross Island




Once the seat of British power and capital of these Islands, it stands now as a ruin of the bygone days with the old structure almost in debris. The island houses the ruins of old buildings like Ballroom, Chief Commissioner’s House, Govt. House, Church, Hospital, Bakery, Press, Swimming Pool and Troop Barracks, all are in an abandoned condition.



View of Ross Island from Boat


Ruined Printing Press, Ross Island

Bakery, Ross Island


A view from Ross Island

Ruined Church at Ross Island


Cactus Teeth, Ross Island


Ferrari Beach, Ross Island

Japanese Bunker, Ross Island


Viper Island


The British used to imprison convicts here. The first jail was constructed here which was abandoned after the construction of Cellular Jail. It has a gallows atop a hillock, where condemned prisoners were hanged. Sher Ali, who killed Lord Mayo, the Viceroy of India in 1872, was also hanged here.





Today it is a popular site for tourists who visit the island to have a glimpse of the British colonial era. Tourists can reach the spot from Port Blair by using waterways. The sailing provides a panoramic view of different point around the island. Only daytime visit is allowed to the site.






Speed Boat Ride at Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex
Putting Waste Plastic Cups into Sea-Ashamed !!!!!


18th Jan 2011 :



Entrance-Gate MGM National Park

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park


Jolly Buoy Island and Red Skin Island (any one can visit both will open each 6 months once- our turn was this time Jolly buoy, and Red Skin Island is closed for this season.
Charges Forest Permit (Wandoor) per head Rs. 50]
Boat Ride Charges per head Rs 550 (Association of Tourist Boat Operators, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Wandoor City Office: Shailendra Singh Complex, Prem Nagar, Port Blair 744102

Enroute to Jolly Buoy Island

(03192-212056 )
Cell:9434295477,9933285893,9434261037


Timings : 9-00am, 9-30 am and 10-00 am [only limited persons- 150 from Port Blair and 75 from Wandoor
 
JOLLY BUOY ISLAND

Left early morning at 8-00 am, it was a 30 mts drive from Port Blair with Lawrence Vehicle reached Wandoor (via Botha Basti, Siphighat, Charakarma) by 8-45 am our boat (Wave Rider) was 9-30 am we had an early morning here no plastics i.e polythene bags related to this are not allowed it was strictly followed here they will all the bags before entering the Ship, after checking we had started a 45 mts Boat Ride to reach Jolly buoy Island



White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)



The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor is only 29 Km from Port Blair. Covering an area of 281.5 sq. km, it includes myriad bays, coral reefs, lagoons, rainforests and mangrove creeks. Most of the islands are protected and are therefore inaccessible. The only islands that allow visits are Jolly Buoy Island, which is ideal for snorkeling. The park suffered widespread destruction of coral reefs during the 2004 tsunami.








Snorkeling



One can enjoy the under-water marine life and view the rarest varieties of corals by snorkeling in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Corbyn's Cove Tourism Complex, Havelock and other islands on all days from dawn to dusk depending on the weather



Underwater Corals View - Jolly Buoy Is




A Beach View from Jolly Buoy Island


Tourists Enjoying in the Jolly Buoy Island
Wandoor beach


The beautiful Wandoor beach is situated at Mahatma Gandhi marine national park, around 30 Kms from Port Blair. For travelling to Jolly buoy and Red skin islands, people have to reach this place by road and board the ship (port charter boats).


Nearly 15 islands are located surrounding this stretch of pristine coastline. The Mahatma Gandhi National Marine part stretches about 282 Sq.Km. Small ships (port charter boats) start from this Wandoor beach towards Jollybuoy and Red Skin islands.

While return from Wandoor you can see the Rubber Plantation ( how to make Rubber, Plant of Black Paper, Long, Dalchini, Sapota, etc.




19th Jan 2011

Cellular Jail (Day)

Reached the Cellular Jail by 10-00 am, first we visited the museum, there were photographs of Subash Chandra Bose's visit to Cellular jail. The model of actual cellular jail, uniform of prison staff were also on display. There was also series of photographs of various Indian president’s visit to cellular jail. We were also allowed inside the prison into bowel house, Veer Savarkar’s cell and prison’s tower
 

Inside View of Cellular Jail
Veer Savarkar Cell
Sateesh at Cellular Jail
Watch Tower, Cellular Jail



Mount Harriet (Forest)

Enroute to Mount Harriet

We reached there at 11.20 am and bought tickets for 11.30 am ferry. The ferry ride of 15 minutes took us to Bamboo flat. we proceeded towards Mount Harriet. The ride was initially through civilized area, after half way we entered into reserved forest area. A km before the peak, Lawrence (driver) stopped at the forest department checkpost. We had pay them Rs. 120 totally(Rs. 25X4 for entry, Vehicle Rs.20)

Enroute Lawrence the driver stopped at aerial view point of North Bay Island, and informed that on the twenty rupees note the pic of North Bay Island. We wondered what the viewpoint has to do with twenty rupees. Then driver clearly said that the landscape view of ‘North Bay’ from that point is on the back side of twenty rupees note. We were very delighted that we were at the viewpoint of such significance.

At 12.20 pm, we were atop Mount Harriet. The place was just like a normal park and we were supposed to spend one hour. Looking here and there we came across a board in which details of Mount Hariet were given. In it a 1.6 km trekking route to Kalapathar was mentioned. took some snaps from the watch tower and came down to reach Chattam.

Then we went to Government Saw Mill at Chattam Island. This is one of the oldest and largest wood factories. There is nothing much see in this place, except a museum of wooden items, in which items made at Chattam were kept on display.
Chatam Saw Mill

Chatam (15 mins by bus from STS Bus terminal, private buses available Rs 6 per person). A saw mill, oldest in Asia. Also the Chattam jetty is where ships from Calcutta/Chennai loaded with goods enter Port Blair. From the jetty passenger jetty is available for Bamboo flat and Dundus Point.


Aberdeen Bazaar


CHIDIYATAPU

Situated in South Andaman Island (25 km from Port Blair), this small fishing village is an hour’s drive from Port Blair. Its white beaches, skirting a large bay, make it an ideal day trip with visitors.



Chidiyatapu Forest Guest House


The surrounding forest is a birdwatcher’s delight. A vast variety of species including rare sunbirds, kingfishers, woodpeckers and eagles are found throughout the year.


Its beaches, especially Munde Pahar Beach, are excellent for snorkeling and there is good camping facility as well. The forests department has recently set up a biological park to house the animals from Port Blair’s zoo




Sunset View from Chidiyatapu


Moonrise from Chidiyatapu




20th Jan 2011

Havelock Island
Long awaited visit to the Emerald Islands- HAVE LOCK . One of the most beautiful and a Must for any tourist is a Visit to Have lock islands. It is 28kms from Port Blair and the Govt boat ( A/c – chages Rs. 250 one way) takes 3 hours journey to reach the island, where as a private Cruise called MAKRUZZ  takes 2 hour to reach ( full A/c. coach- charges Rs.650. 750 and 850). We left Port Blair at 6.45 and reached Havelock at 9-45 a.m.  Checked into MS resorts by the sea and close to Jetty. It has a nice view of the sea and has Hammock for relaxing. After a light break fast, we hired a taxi to visit Kala pathar and Radha nagar beach. We were exactly at 11 in Kala pathar beach , which is not all that good, but just o.k. Here one can find Elaphant camp of the forest dept, where Elephants are trained. Returned back to Radhanagar beach at 1 p.m. Had Lunch at a local hotel.  Relaxed for some time under the shelter of beautiful trees. The Radha Nagar Beach is considered as one of the top 5 Best Beaches in Asia by Times Magazine.  It has a vast Beach line, which is also very wide. The Beach is more beautiful because of the lovely Trees which so tall. The place is in the forest and hence, it has lot of trees growing over 300ft. Most people come here for relaxing, long beach walk and of course for Photography. The sun set here is good as well.  We stayed here till sun set and left for the hotel. This day was full moon day and enjoyed the moon light as well.

MV North Passage


On the Deck- MV My NorthPassage, Satish H, Umesh and Vishwa
Honeymoon Couples enjoying on the Deck
Sateesh on the Deck- MV My North Passage



Port Blair to Havelock Island

Captain with Crew

Havelock Island is a very small Island and most of the population are Bengali settlers. The distance between Port Blair and Havelock Island is 30 kilometers.


Havelock Island


Kingfihser at Havelock Island
Beaches of Havelock Island
Radhanagar beach also called as Beach No. 7
Vijay nagar beach also called as Beach No. 5
Govind nagar beach also called as Beach No. 3
Radha nagar beach which is also called as Beach No. 7 has been rated as the Asia's best beach by Times Magazine and Elephanta Beach are the beaches in Havelock Island

Kalapathar Beach
 







Andaman Kalapathar Beach Crab

Changing Room-Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island

Radhanagar Beach



Radhanagar Beach

Activities in Havelock Island

Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, fishing, spending time on the beach, spending time with your soul mate, walk around the Island, bike around the Island, relaxing, drinking beer, reading books or spending a lazy day are the activities available in Havelock Island.


Don't miss to drink the fresh tender coconuts available throughout the Island.

How to reach Havelock Island?
Daily three ferries are available for Havelock Island from Port Blair or vice versa. Approximate on way sailing time is two and half hours for the speed ferry and four and half hours for the slow ferry. Government and Private (MACCRUISE)

Budget Resort at Havelock Island
The only resort in Havelock Island which has got air - conditioned cottages with a price band of Rs. 1000 - Rs. 2000 per night is The Dolphin Resort which is owned the Tourism Department of Andaman & Nicobar administration.
This resort is located in Vijay Nagar Beach which is also called as beach number 5 and also got a restaurant. Food is served on the restaurant with prior order and on the fixed timings. Few rooms are sea facing rooms and also there is a beach in this resort.

Resorts of Havelock Island

There are few beach resorts in Havelock Island in a price range of Rs. 3000 - Rs. 12000 per night. Some of the resorts have different price band for different seasons. Following beach resorts are available in Havelock Island.
Barefoot Resort located at Radha Nagar Nagar Beach which is also called as Beach number 7, Sea Shell Resort located at Govind Nagar Beach which is also called as beach number 2, Silver Sand Beach Resort located at Vijay Nagar Beach which is also called as Beach number 5, Symphony Palms Resort located at Govind Nagar Beach which is also called as Beach number 2 and The Wild Orchid Resort located at Vijay Nagar Beach which is also called as Beach number 5.


















Another View of Radhanagar Beach
in and around Radhanagar Beach
in and around Radhanagar Beach

 






Sun Set at Radhanagar Beach

21st Jan 2011



Elephant Island


3 Idiots (HSA, SV and UGU) at Elephant Island

A View of Elephant Island, Havelock


3 idiots - resting at Elephant Island

Red Whiskered Bul Bul-Elephant Island
MACCRUISE- Private Ship Operating from PB to Havelock and Back



Golden Rays while coming back from Havelock to PB
Back to Port Blair

22nd Jan 2011
4-00 AM Left for Baratang
Jarwa Reserve Forest
Lime Stone Caves
Mud Valcano
Parrot Island
Halt – Forest Guest House Baratang

We got up at 3.30 am to leave for Baratang Island. The Tata sumo came at 4.a.m. and reached Jarki tang, a check post at 5.45a.m. Here we have to under go checking of vehicles and all the vehicles will be sent with a convoy of Police, since this is a Jarawa Tribe area. The jarawas are the original tribes of Andaman’s and are still in their primitive stage. The govt is providing those clothes and food. They seldom wear clothes. Ladies are still dress primitively and roam across the high way. The Tourists are banned from talking to them and photographing them. Any body seen taking their pictures, will be arrested and their cameras will be snatched. Hence nobody takes risk. We can see them along the high way here and there. At 6.30 a.m the gates at Check post opened and all vehicles followed each other at a constant speed of 40km/hr. We can over take or run over the Jarawas, and hence the speed control. The jarawas are endangered and are highly protected. We reached Baratang at 8.30 a.m. and a launcher was waiting for us to take to the other side of the creek. We had break fast and the motor boats will in turn take us to Caves, through Mangrove forest. The Stalagmite caves are in the deep jungle. The caves are very small and we have to carry the torch to see the interiors of the cave. We reached the caves at almost 10.30 a.m. after an hours visit, we are brought back to Baratang and we stayed in a forest guest house at a beautiful hill top. The food was great. In the evening at 4.30 p.m, we hired a boat separately and visited Parrot Island, which is at about 25 minutes distance. On the way we could take pictures of the rare Salt water crocodile, found only among the mangroves. It allowed us quite close and shot some nice pictures. At about 5.pm. we were in Parrot Island, where according to the locals, lot of Parrots (Parakeets) will descend on this island after sunset. We could only see them, could not photograph as it was getting dark.



Notes
Baratang Island
Baratang Island is part of the Andaman and Nicobar group off the coast of India.

This is one of best part of your trip to Andaman Islands. Here you get to see the wild nature as well as its beauty. Andaman trip will be incomplete without a trip to Baratang and Jirkatang.

It is about 90 km away from Port Blair. Regular bus services are available from STS Bus Terminal, Aberdeen Bazar. Journey takes about 2 hrs and 30 minutes from Port Blair to Middle Strait and the fare is just Rs. 45. The journey is in 2 phases - P.Blair to Jirkatang (40 kms, 1 hr 15 mins) and then Jirkatang to Baratang (49 kms, 1 hr 15 mins, no overtake zone through Jarwa Reserve Forest). From Nilambur Jetty at middle strait ferry.

Jetty services are available for Baratang Island. Ferry fare is only Rs. 3/- and it takes about 15 minutes to reach Baratang from Nilambur Jetty.

It is advisable to take a conducted tour of the Baratang islands, if you want to return on the same day. In that case you will miss seeing Parrot Islands. Once you start from Port Blair early morning at around 4 am, the first halt is at Jirkatang (40 kms from Port Blair on road). At Jirkatang you will get a forest/police check post.

Just opposite to the check post on the other side of the road is a temple (just for a landmark
Check Post at JIRKATANG
From here starts a stretch of 49kms forest (Jarwah Reserve Forest), where you cannot halt your vehicle or walk on foot or take snaps/video. On the other end of the Jarwah Reserve forest is Middle strait jetty. The jetty will take you to the other side of the strait in about 15 minutes. Here you have reached Baratang islands.

The vehicles have to leave in convoys. There are 8 convoy throughout the day from Jirkatang (6.30 am, 7am, 7.30 am, 8 am, 9.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm). [1] So please take care of the timings. You cannot cross the forest unless you are in one of the convoys. At Jirkatang check post there is a toilet/bathroom with all facilities. So if you have left from you hotel/lodge at around 4am you will reach there by 5.15 am and you can get fresh and alight your bus/vehicle by 6.30 am before the 1st convoy leaves for Baratang. In the convoy 2 wheelers/bicycles are not allowed. Only 4 wheelers are allowed. The 1st vehicle in the convoy is always a bus, with 1-2 gunned policemen. And the Jarwahs do fear the forest police. Police though does not have shoot order from government of India. Once again if you are an Indian tourist, you will find enough reasons to be proud to be so. Its is simply amazing to see how two worlds (civilized and uncivilized) coexist in this reserve forest with some amount of discipline. Hats off to the Andaman Adi Janjati Samiti.


This is one of the most exciting part of journey, where you will see the tribes (Jarwah). They are short height, black in complexion, with reddish eyes. They feed on roasted pig meat mainly. Fish and fruits being the other part of their diet. Civilization has not yet touched this part of the world, and the Government of India has taken every steps to ensure that no one interferes with their freedom. Offering food items to Zarawah is strictly prohibited, once when they were offered food (generally fried and spicy as we normally eat), some of the people in the tribe started dying. Forest department (Andaman Adi Janjati Samiti) also provides them with clothes. On your way to Middle strait jetty you might still find a lot of people among the tribes particular young men asking for food. Please do not pay any heed. Always speak to your driver before doing anything.

Interacting with the Jarwahs is strictly prohibited as is taking their snaps. There are stories as well as facts of tribes attacking tourists/convoy with bows and arrows and harassing trespassers. So please keep away from them and enjoy the experience.

This is the only road connecting to North Andaman to places like Kadamtala (28 kms from Baratang jetty), Rangat (71 kms from Baratang jetty), Mayabunder (141 kms from Baratang jetty), Diglipur (203 kms from Baratang jetty). Here it is interesting to see how buses/vehicles alight the jetty to reach either side of the middle strait.
BARATANG JETTY
Directions to different places at Baratang Jetty

LIMESTONE CAVES
Limestone Caves: These ancient caves are located about 50 minutes (by sea) away from Baratang Jetty. The fare of boat is Rs. 400/- per head for both ways. It includes speed boat fare also which is required to reach Limestone Caves. The boat journey through the heart of dense mangrove forest is simply breathtaking. The boat ride here is a lifetime experience for some. Its something you get to see only in channels like NatGeo or Discovery otherwise. At the limestone caves remember to carry a torchlight, its very dark inside.








Mud Volcano

Mud Volcano at Baratang which is about 4 km away from the jetty. To reach there you can hire a shared taxi @ Rs. 20/- per head to and fro. From Baratang, regular boat services are available
video

Parrot IslandAnother must-see attraction is Parrot Island. The experience at Parrot Island at sunset, when all the parrots are returning home is indeed a mesmerizing experience. For this a night's stay is required at Baratang.
Parrot Island turned out to be a very small piece of mangrove right in the middle of nowhere! We could see that this particular patch of mangrove had been neatly pruned by the birds and looked close to a just plucked, tea garden! Why just this patch? Only questions no answers! Maybe some other day, we will be back to see the Parakeets roost. That would certainly be a sight to watch! (Courtesy : Vijay Kavale)


Salt Water Crocodile

video                          


Enroute Parrot Island we found a crocodile under mangroove




Another View of Sunset at Parrot Island, Baratang
 Some points to note :

• Do not waste time in visiting everything what the locals – other tourists – travel guide trumpets. Covering each of the points is a long journey either by boat or road – in whichever the case the journey can be extremely time and energy consuming.

• The places like limestone caves, mud volcano are boring and disappointing. Unless you have specific interest in it, do not bother to waste a long day which would start at 3:40AM while you plan to visit these two places.

At the same time visiting Baratang can be more memorable if the trip is taken with a night stay at Baratang. The early morning journey which generally starts at 3:40AM in the morning can easily be avoided. The main reason for any tourist opting for the early morning hectic trip is only because of improper guidance from the Port Blair tour operators. There are regular bus services to Baratang. Book your seat in any bus with your convenient timings and visit Baratang Island. APWD guest House, Forest guest House and Panchayat Guest house are some of the places for the night halt. The only good private property at Baratang is Dew Dale Resorts. By doing so you can also add Parrot Island trip at Baratang in your itinerary, which is really a breathtaking experience. Do visit Baratang Island which is one of the most beautiful parts of Andaman & Nicobar Islands but only with a night halt to avoid the hectic 3:40AM trips.

Eat
Please carry your food items. At Baratang jetty there are 2-3 restaurants, food is okay. You will get fish fry (Mackarel fish) mostly here.

There is one bar and restaurant at Baratang jetty.

• Dew Dale Resorts, ☎ 09434280628, 03192-243677/244930 (dewdale.resorts@gmail.com), [2]. A new property with cottage-type accommodations, four rooms in a cottage. The architecture, layout, ambience of this resort is unique to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. There are 16 rooms in all, with an open multi-cuisine restaurant

• Crossroads, (located 6 km from the jetty and by the NH). The setting is rural, isolated, and far from the madding crowd. All rooms at this resort are double bedded. Cable TV and running cold/hot water are available 24 hrs. AC rooms Rs 3,990, non-AC rooms Rs 2,790. 

• Hornbill Nest Resort, Carbyn's Cove, ☎ 229130. edit

The Middle strait jetty is infested with salt water crocodiles.

Other places where you can visit -

• Kadamtala (28 kms from Baratang jetty)
• Rangat (71 kms from Baratang jetty)
• Mayabunder (141 kms from Baratang jetty)
• Diglipur (203 kms from Baratang jetty).

To reach the above mentioned places you have to cross another strait between Gandhi Ghat jetty and Uttara jetty (similar to what you found at Middle Strait jetty and Baratang jetty).

Information about Jarwa


[for more details about Jarwa People please follow the link:
http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/jarawa]

Total Population : 200-300 (estimate)
Regions with significant Population :
  Western Side of South Andaman and Middle Andaman Islands
Languages : Jarawa, classified in the Ongan branch of Andamanese languages
Relegion :indigenous beliefs, details unknown

Prehistory and origins

Along with other indigenous Andamanese peoples, they have inhabited the islands for at least several thousand years, and most likely a great deal longer. The Andaman Islands have been known to outsiders since antiquity; however, until quite recent times they were infrequently visited, and such contacts were predominantly sporadic and temporary. For the greater portion of their history their only significant contact has been with other Andamanese groups; the experience of such a lengthy period of isolation almost completely lacking in external cultural influences is equaled by few other groups in the world.

There is some indication that the Jarawa regarded the now-extinct Jangil tribe as a parent tribe from which they split centuries or millennia ago, even though the Jarawa outnumbered (and eventually out-survived) the Jangil. The Jangil (also called the Rutland Island Aka Bea) were presumed extinct by 1931, sixteen years prior to Indian independence

A major problem is the volume of sightseeing tours that are operated by private companies, where tourists view, photograph or otherwise attempt interactions with Jarawas, who are often begging by the highway. These are illegal under Indian law, and in March 2008, the Tourism Department of the Andaman and Nicobar administration issued a fresh warning to tour operators that attempting contact with Jarawas, photographing them, stopping vehicles while transiting through their land or offering them rides were prohibited under the Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation, 1956, and would be prosecuted under a strict interpretation of the statute. It has been alleged, however, that these rules are openly being flouted with over 500 tourists being taken to view Jarawas daily by private tour operators, while technically being shown as transiting to legitimate destinations and resulting in continuing daily interaction between the Jarawa and day tourists inside the reserve area.

In 2006, the Indian travel company Barefoot had established a resort 3 km distant from the Jarawa reserve. The development was the subject of a recent court case brought by a small section of Andaman authorities who wanted to stop the resort, and appealed against a Calcutta High Court ruling allowing it to continue. The case and the attempt to deflect attention from the core issues and instead single out and target a legal business operation rather than address wider problems was the subject of much debate. Barefoot won the case on firm legal grounds and because the case against it had very little popular support.

The Light of Andamans editorialised an accusation of hypocrisy on the part of international and local NGOs in this and other related issues as ultimately unhelpful, and highlighted Survival International for procuring and using alleged contraband images of the Jarawa for fund raising for themselves, in violation of the very ideals they claim to campaign for

The ancestors of the Jarawa and the other tribes of the Andaman Islands are thought to have been part of the first successful human migrations out of Africa. Several hundred thousand Indian settlers now live on the islands, vastly outnumbering the tribes.

How do they live?

The Jarawa hunt pig and monitor lizard, fish with bows and arrows, and gather seeds, berries and honey. They are nomadic, living in bands of 40-50 people. In 1998, some Jarawa started coming out of their forest to visit nearby towns and settlements for the first time.

What problems do they face?

The principal threat to the Jarawa’s existence comes from encroachment onto their land, which was sparked by the building of a highway through their forest in the 1970s. The road brings settlers, poachers and loggers into the heart of their land.

This encroachment risks exposing the Jarawa to diseases to which they have no immunity, and creating a dependency on outsiders. Poachers steal the game the Jarawa rely on, and there are reports of sexual exploitation of Jarawa women.

Tourism is also a threat to the Jarawa, with tour operators driving tourists along the road through the reserve every day in the hope of ‘spotting’ members of the tribe. Despite prohibitions, tourists often stop to make contact with the Jarawa. A luxury tourist resort has been opened near the Jarawa reserve by the Indian travel company Barefoot, which will expose the tribe to further contact with outsiders.

Poachers threaten survival of Jarawa tribe

The Jarawa chose to resist contact with all outsiders until 1998. Now, they are under serious threat. Poachers are camping for days at a time in their forest, and local authorities have defied an order from India’s supreme court to close the road that cuts through the Jarawa’s reserve.

In 1999 and 2006, the Jarawa suffered outbreaks of measles – a disease that has wiped out many tribes worldwide following contact with outsiders

23rd Jan 2011

We left Baratang after Break fast at 9.a.m. and reached Port Blair at 1.p.m. thius day we did not go anywhere in the city

24th Jan 2011Free day for us. We visited Corbyn's Cove, for sun rise pictures. The sun rises at 5.20 and we have to reach the place before this. But got delayed and we went there at 6. The place is beautiful for sun rise pictures and people fishing etc. Also this place is good for Birds. We got Stark billed King fisher, Brown shrike, Collared King fisher, Pacific golden Plover and some Swallows. Corbyn cove Beach-Sunrise

Visited Sagarika emporium and also anthropological museum. Returned for lunch at 12.P.m. In the evening we went to Water sports complex to take pictures of Water scooter in action. But to our dismay, today being Monday, it is closed. Most of the Museums and others are closed on Mondays. We satisfied taking pictures of the park and city illuminated Rajiv Gandhi Water Sport Complex.



25th Jan 2011
Departure Port Blair to Chennai :
The Andaman tour has come to the end. And today we are leaving this Paradise Island at 12.15 p.m. flight to Chennai. In the morning at 5.30 a.m. we went to Corbyn's Cove, again to take some more shots of Sun rise. As you all know photographers are not satisfied. And today we got the best of the sun rise shots. After the session is over, returned to the guest house to get ready to leave for the Airport. At Port Blair, the airport is very close to the Guest house, which is 10 minutes. The flight was good and Landed at Chennai at 3 p.m. We took the night Bangalore mail at 11-15 p.m. and reached safely our den at 5.30 a.m. on 26th.


Chennai to Bangalore by Train

Corbyn cove Beach-Sunrise
26th Jan 2011
5-00 Arrival at Bangalore

Sincere Thanks
Sri Arunachala Shastry, Bangalore (09448515180)
Sri Rajendra Prasad, Executive Engineer, CPWD, Port Blair
Central Govt Guest House, GPRA Complex, Lamba Line, Port Blair-744103
(03192-241906)

Sri Victor, Manager, CPWD Guest House, Port Blair
Sri Prem, Kitchen In Charge, CPWD Guest House, Port Blair
Sri Raju, Cook,CPWD Guest House, Port Blair (09933227753)
Sri Sushil, CPWD Guest House, Port Blair

Sri Chadda (Class I Contractor)
Sri Lawrence, Driver, Port Blair : (09933254983)
Sri Latha Hegde, ACF, Department of Environment and Forest, Port Blair (09434262102)
Sri Kiran, (Boat Operator, Havelock and Jolly Buoy Island) : (09476036343)
Sri Raja – Havelock (09933297480)
Moon Lit Sands ( MS Guest House, Havelock)-03192-282439 : Sri Joseph :9933220626
Sri Vishwanath(09476037502), Nala's Kingdom, Havelock
Jetty, Govind Nagar, Havelock No.1/Andaman (282233:9434290610)

Sri Rajkumar, Baratang (09474231961)
Mangroove Forest Guest House: Nilambur, Baratang:03192-279583

B.Thambi (Baratang- Parrot Island)-03192-22156691 Mob:09933265975
Sayesh Kumar
Oralkatcha
Khari Basti
Baratang, Middle Andaman

Annapurna Cafetaria (Port Blair) :03192-234199

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LIST OF BIRDS OBSERVED

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) –CORBYN’S COVE
Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting rufigaster) -HAVELOCK
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Halcyon capensis osmastoni) –CORBYN’S COVE
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis saturatior)–CORBYN’S COVE
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris davidsoni)–CORBYN’S COVE
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaultii andamanensis)–CORBYN’S COVE
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea)–CORBYN’S COVE
Vernal Hanging Parrot (Loriculus vernalis)-BARATANG
Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria magnirostris)-BARATANG
Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultia)-–CORBYN’S COVE
White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)-JOLLY BUOY ISLAND
Andaman Serpent Eagle (Spilornis elgini)-HAVELOCK
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)–CORBYN’S COVE
Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)–CORBYN’S COVE
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus lucionensis)–CORBYN’S COVE
Andaman Drongo Dicrurus andamanensis-RADHANAGAR BEACH
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus atiosus)-RADHANAGAR BEACH
Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis andamanensis)-CORBYN’S COVE
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)-MOUNT HARRIET
Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa andamanensis)- MOUNT HARRIET
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus whistleri)- CORBYN’S COVE, HAVELOCK
Olive backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis andamanensis)-CORBYN’S COVE
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)- PORT BLAIR
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)-CORBYN’ COVE
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Over all, the entire trip to these Emerald Islands was Fantastic and we had a great time enjoying the Cool whether and Lovely seascapes. I took nearly  3250 pics (total capture was  25 GB Raw and  6 GB JPG) shot over a period of 9 days.


I hope you enjoy these write up and please do reply me if it interests you


My Sincere Heartly Thanks to Sri Satish.H and Sri Viswanath.S fellow photographers who arranged this trip and they taught me some more interesting facts, things about photography and Sri Umesh for arranging the boarding and lodging at Port Blair.
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SOME GLIMPSES OF PHOTOGRAPHS
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