Finally we arrived at Baratang Island, which is between the South and Middle Andaman. Baratang is known for its beautiful beaches, mangrove creeks, mud-volcanoes and the limestone caves. The Andaman Trunk Road to Rangat and Mayabunder goes through this island. It was around 9 AM in the morning and we decided to go to the limestone caves.
There is a small jetty named Nilambur jetty from where we should get the permission from the forest officials to explore the limestone caves and an official guide can also be hired here. From the jetty, the lime stone caves are half an hour boat ride through a wide creek which leads to Nayadera Jetty. The speed boat soon came to life and we slipped into our life jackets. The wide sea covered with mangroves on both sides of it is a picturesque scene.
The sea way leading to the Nayadera Jetty becomes narrower and mangroves denser while approaching close to it. The boat ride through these mangroves is magnificent and is an experience in itself. But one should be cautious enough as it is said that there are frequent sightings of crocodiles here. Once out of the boat, there is a broad-way winding its way through the mangroves and opens into a small hamlet where the local people sell some eateries and nimbu-pani (Sweet lime juice) for the tourists visiting the limestone caves. A further 2 kms trek from here through the tropical forest leaves us at the massive sedimentary limestone caves.
There is no way of light to penetrate into these caves. We are awestruck looking at their size; they were so massive and dark. Our guide carried a torch with him which was powerful enough to show us every nook and corner of the caves. This is one of those rare caves that have both stalactites and stalagmites existing in the same caves unlike popularly known fact that these can’t coexist. Lemme just give a brief about them.
Stalagmites are the formations found on the floor of the caves, reaching upward to touch the stalactites hanging from the ceiling. And yet another interesting fact about these caves is that the lime stone structures have been formed over ages and have not been traversed or exploited in any ways. It is still one of those sites that remained untouched by humans 🙂
There are several other interesting things about these caves. The several deposits of the layers of lime formed stones in different shapes and provides different shades to a single massive rock. These caves are like a true break from those beaches, bathing and water sports and a must visit for all the nature lovers. And especially if you are a lover of geography, don’t ever miss visiting these caves.
There are few benches made of bamboo under thatched roofs on the way leading to these caves. One can simply sit and get lost in the wilderness of nature after finishing off the walk through these amazing structures in middle of the mangroves and tropical forests 🙂 🙂
Stay tuned.. My journey for the day isn’t completed yet 😉