Sunday, July 22, 2012

Excursion along the Andaman Trunk Road – Baratang again (Mud Volcano & Parrot Island)

Andaman & Nicobar - The Enchanting Coral Islands of India
(Excursion along the Andaman Trunk Road)
Part-III – Baratang again (Mud Volcano & Parrot Island)

Sunrise over Baratang

Day 3 (Day 6 since we arrived in Andaman)
            The next day, we again started early as we had to reach Baratang by afternoon, since we were scheduled to visit the Parrot islands during the evening.  As per our pre-decided plan, we again went to Danapur near Mayabunder and had a sumptuous Breakfast of Aloo Paranthas (stuffed potato fried Indian bread), made with actual desi ghee (clarified butter), which he charged @ Rs.25/- per parantha, maybe he got smarter overnight.  The driver disappeared for quite some time and I could make out that he had some prior appointment at the place and thus, had been insisting upon visiting Mayabunder during the return leg.  Having stuffed ourselves well we headed for the long journey ahead, we embarked upon the 200 Kms. plus journey back to Baratang.  We broke the journey at first at Rangat, where we had some cold drinks and thereafter, a forced one at Kadamtala, waiting for the ferry and again had some delectable Pineapples there.  After crossing over to Batuktala we made a run upto Baratang and before going towards the jetty side, we headed for the Mud Volcano.

The hoarding at Mud Volcano in Baratang

The scene of the actual site of Mud Volcano in Baratang

            The road leading upto the Mud Volcano is in very bad shape and only bigger vehicles and jeeps can navigate, with difficulty across the terrain.  One has to further trudge another 500 odd meters, 200 of which is upwards to reach the Mud Volcano through some muddy & slipper slush.  The Mud volcano at Baratang came into being on 18th February, 2003 when an explosion at night with fire & mud spews being ejected from the earth, accompanied by minor tremors shook the region.  At present, the Mud Volcano covers an area of about 1000 sq. meters, with a central semi circular dome of about 30 sq. meter diameter and is about 2 meters high.  The main crater now appears to be submerged under a mass of grey colored clay, that is intermittently being ejected alongwith some odorless gasses, at a very slow pace.  However, for a person who is not well conversant with geological presentations, this place does not offer any spectacular views.   Having trudged back to the vehicle, we headed towards Baratang as we were booked at the forest Rest House for the night.  This Rest House was the best one I had seen or lived in during my stay in Andaman’s and the staff too was very courteous and prompt.

On the way back  - spotted a Black Serpent Eagle

The Elephant and Mahout - in the jungle

            We had reached the Forest Rest House at around 3.00 P.M and as we were considerably late, we could not have lunch, but the aloo paranthas that we have had in the morning saved the day for us.  We ordered some Coffee and pakoras (fried snacks) and after partaking these, took a short power nap to rejuvenate ourselves for our evening jaunt.   At around 4.00 P.M. we headed for the Nilambur jetty and boarded the boat that was to take us to the famed Parrot Island.  Parrot Island is another of the famous tourist destinations in Baratang, it takes about 30-40 minutes to reach these Islands by outboard engine fitted boats and cost @ Rs.400/- per round trip per person or Rs.2500/- for full boat.  The boats take off after 4.00 P.M and pass through very deep sea with mangrove forest bearing islands all around.  The Parrot Island is quite distinct from others and the resident Parrots having trimmed off the mangrove forest tops with precision, the entire island appears to have been trimmed by human hands.  The boats drop anchor about 200 odd meters from the shore line and the boats drifts continuously in the sea water, thus, taking long shots (through telephoto) becomes quite a difficult task, because of the instability.  The boatmen carry their fishing lines with them and utilize the free time at their disposal catching some fish for themselves, while the tourists gorge in at the spectacle that unfolds at the Parrot Island.  The Parrots, numbering in thousands, start homing in just after the sun set, first in small groups and then their numbers gradually swell and they roost for the night in these islands.  Due to low light conditions, coupled with continuous swaying movement, it is very difficult to photograph them.  According to my estimation, the number of Parrots is way upward of 7000 and apparently come in from all directions, so it can be conceived that they come in from all the surrounding Islands of Andaman’s, within a diameter of 25 odd Kms. or so.  After the birds had roosted for the night, the overboard engines were started and by this time everything had gone pitch black, only the boatmen knew as to how they navigated their boats during the night & in pitch dark conditions.  It is a spectacle that one watches but rarely in his life and having gorged in copious amounts of natural beauty, we bid adieu to Baratang Islands the next morning.

Parrot Island - on the right hand side - tree tops trimmed like professionals


Parrots roosting on the island



  1. hi, Can you give us the tourist agent with the help of whom you booked the forest rest house in baratang.Please. My email id is

  2. For exclusive tours to Parrot Island book andaman packages here

    1. Go to this link to book tours to parrot Island