Diglipur Island is a prominent eco-tourism destination on the northern Andaman island, covering an expanse of greenery and marine life. The island is mainly known for its beaches like Kalipur Diglipur Beach, Ross & Smith Islands, Ramnagar Beach, and Pathi Level Beach that hosts snorkeling, scuba diving, and trekking. Besides, Diglipur happens to the archipelago's gigantic peaks, which often remain thronged by the trekkers to see its unique wildlife. Do visit Ramnagar Beach and Kalipur Beach to see the turtle nesting. A trek through the 41 clusters of Limestone caves is a must too. The fascinating town of Andaman Diglipur town is the largest in North Andaman Islands yet often goes unnoticed because of its distance from other popular tourist attractions (Havelock and Port Blair). But, perhaps it is this same distance that makes Diglipur such a different and adventurous place! With its rich flora and fauna, natural parks, and lively marine life; There are many options to spend your holidays here actively. From climbing the highest peak in the Bay of Bengal to exploring the breathtaking twin islands of Ross and Smith Island Diglipur, observing an active mud volcano, or witnessing turtles (nesting and hatching) in pristine beaches, Diglipur is a wonder for all.
Situated far up in the North Andaman, Diglipur is around 290km by road and 180km by sea from Port Blair. Tourists can choose to travel by road or by sea.
If you only want to visit Diglipur in the North, the best option would be to take a ship. There are direct government ship services available 3-4 times per week (please check the schedule in advance) from Port Blair. The whole journey takes around 10 hours, and longer but more convenient overnight sails are also available. Tickets can be booked at the Phoenix Bay office or the administration block by 'the Dolphin roundabout' in Diglipur.
One can also travel up north by Andaman Trunk Road, crossing three creeks on the way and the Jarawa tribe area. The journey, however, is exhausting, and it can take up to 12 long hours. There are several early morning buses flying daily from Port Blair to Diglipur. The tickets need to be bought in advance at least a day before the travel date. There are also private AC buses available, offering more comfort but are pricier. Buses are available for the Port Blair Central Bus Stop in Aberdeen Bazaar every day at four in the morning. However, seats are limited and require booking to travel. One can also rent a private AC car. This is highly recommended, especially if you would like to stop on the way to the Diglipur tour package. Places like Baratang, Rangat, and Mayabundar have beautiful beaches and other attractions. Prices from Port Blair to Diglipur start from INR 5000 one way but will increase based on your itinerary.
The Andaman Tourism mentions seaplanes and helicopter facilities that fly between Diglipur and Port Blair. However, this is not true. Seaplanes no longer function. Helicopters do but are only meant for medical emergencies. If extra seats are available, Tourists can book them. These seats are limited and cost about 5000INR (starting) per person.
The Andamans aren't just sea and sand, as most would assume. Impressive natural attractions up north prove that there is so much more to the islands. Diglipur is like an enormous outdoor adventure amusement park specially designed for nature lovers. Here are the top things to do here:
At 732metres, Saddle Peak is the highest point of the archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. The surroundings is a bio-diverse natural paradise as the thick jungle offers a home to over 13 indigenous bird species, 36 indigenous species of insects, and six species of indigenous trees. Due to the richness of the forest territory, it is now made into a National Park, which offers lovey aerial views of the nearby islands for those who do manage the challenging climb. The climb is steep and 8kms long. On a sunny day, it could be a challenge for some of the most experienced trekkers too! Kalimpong, the only river of Andamans, flows through the forest and offers a refreshing freshwater stream where water is still drinkable. How to get there: A permit must be obtained by the Forest Department office at the trailhead. It costs Rs 25 for Indians and Rs 250 for foreign tourists (as of December 2019), and you can buy it from 6 am to 2 pm. Leave early and return before sunset.
The Ross and Smith Island tour packages are a sight to behold. These majestic twin islands are connected by a thin fifty-meter long sand bar. This silky white sand bar descends inside the sea at high tide times and surfaces up again during low tide. The warm waters are crystal clear, and the untamed virgin beaches are one of the most picture-perfect ones you will see on the islands. The best part is that the beach is seldom crowded and most of the time you can cherish the whole sight by yourself. Smith Island has the most facilities; spacious bamboo huts with plenty of shade, changing rooms, and toilets can be found. Ross island is covered with dense forests and can be visited by crossing the sand bar, not many ventures.
If you visit Diglipur Andaman and Nicobar Islands between December and April, the chances are that you will be able to spot turtles nesting and hatching. Kalipur is one of the few beaches globally where four sea turtles (Olive Ridley, Leather Back, Hawksbill, and Green Turtles) come to nest their eggs. For this purpose, the government has built a hatchery there, and if lucky, you can witness both turtles laying their eggs (late at night) or baby turtles being set free into the sea (early morning). The beach has volcanic grey colored sand and crystal clear water. This makes it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Unfortunately, there are sand flies, so sunbathing is not advisable. The beach looks sullen during low tide, with dead corals breaking the surface and some mangrove trees embracing the shore.
The Mud volcanoes in Diglipur are natural wonders hidden amidst dense forest cover. These, like their siblings in Baratang to Diglipur, are small muddy craters created by natural gases emitted by decaying organic matter underground, which slowly push the mud upwards. It is not a spectacular sight, and as most of the time, there is just a pile of dried mud and small bubbling puddles. However, one can wander around 41 active muddy craters, enjoying the surrounding nature and wildlife. The best time to visit it is early in the morning as the temperature is lower and the weather less humid.
At the foot of the saddle peak trekking path and about 2kms from Kalipur beach lies Lamia Bay, AKA pebble beach. This is an excellent place for local fishing and also has a few turtle hatcheries. Not many tourists know about this beach.
There are three more places that are often mentioned when one talks of activities in Diglipur. They are the Kalpong Hydroelectric Power Plant, Craggy island, and Alfred Caves. These require a special permit for entry and are not generally open for tourism (March 2020). Do not venture out here without proper permission.
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