At a distance of 98 km from Port Blair and 204 km from Diglipur, Baratang Island is an island located in North & Middle Andaman district of Andamans. This island is situated between South and Middle Andaman Islands. Andaman Trunk Road to Rangat and Mayabunder goes through this island.
Spread an area of approximately 238 sq. km, Baratang is one of the main islands of the Great Andaman group, a closely set archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, adjoining the Andaman Sea. Baratang is home to the rare Limestone Caves in India. The other main attractions are the Parrot Island, the blue beach at Baludera and the Mud Volcano. The resident and origin tribe of Jarawa's also stir curiosity in every traveler. There are other volcanoes in the area - the Barren Island volcano which is the only active volcano in South Asia and the Narcondum volcano which is considered to be a potentially active volcano.
The Limestone Caves are located 50 minutes away by sea from the Baratang Jetty. Visitors can hire small speed boats or fishermen boats to reach Limestone Caves. The boat ride from Baratang Jetty to these caves is magnificent. There are massive sedimentary limestone formations, some of which are hanging from the top, some growing from the ground. These caves are constantly evolving in shape and size. Special permission from the Forest Department at Baratang is needed to visit the caves, which can be obtained from the Baratang jetty. Limestone Caves remain closed on Monday. It is advisable to carry drinking water and food packets while visiting the caves.
Baratang also has an active Mud Volcano that squirts little fountains of mud. The volcano is created by natural gases emitted by decaying organic matter underground. As the mud is pushed upwards by the gas, it deposits and hardens above the ground. Mud Volcano is approachable by road from Nilambur jetty, which is about 7 km from the jetty. One has to reach up to Jarawa Creek by vehicle. From Jarawa Creek, the Mud Volcano is at a walkable distance of 250-300 meters.
Parrot Island is a small uninhabited island located near Baratang Jetty and is a natural habitat for parrots in this region. Thousands of parrots returning home before every sunset is a unique and must see view for all nature lovers. To reach the island, one has to take a fiber boat from Baratang Jetty and cross through a creek.
Regular bus services are available from Port Blair to reach Baratang. Journey takes about 2.5 hours from Port Blair to Middle Strait and the fare is for the government bus is Rs 80. The journey is in 2 phases - Port Blair to Jirkatang (40 km) and then Jirkatang to Nilambur (49 km). From Nilambur Jetty, ferry services are available for Baratang Island and it takes about 15 minutes to reach Baratang from Nilambur Jetty.