By Sanjeev Devchowdhury*
Whenever we plan for a sea side destination, what do we look for? Beautiful beaches, bluish atmosphere and greenery with lot of silence, isn’t it? Yes, there is one destination which has still not been explored by many.
Located in the northern Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Diglipur is one of the most picturesque destinations with a combo pack of beauty & solitude, where one can relax for hours. Those interested in trekking & wild life also, it is the place which houses the highest peak (Saddle Peak) in the Andaman archipelago. Also famous for its oranges, rice and marine life, Diglipur provides a rare experience for eco friendly tourists. Kalpong is the only river of Andaman which flows here.
The temperature in Diglipur ranges between 31⁰C and 23⁰C throughout the year. Even during summer (March to May) the temperature doesn’t rise much, the humidity because of sea makes the day an exhausting one sometimes. It’s always better to carry adequate water. The rainfall is average in the monsoon (May to September) and those interested in adventure can experience a different Diglipur with wet mud and lush green background. During winter (October to February) weather remains pleasant with the temperature ranges between 15⁰C to 20⁰C. Therefore, the best time to visit Diglipur is anytime between October & May.
Road: By car from Port Blair, one can experience spellbinding sights during this 12-hours journey covering almost 325 kms. Govt & private buses are also available on daily basis from Aberdeen Bazar which departs Port Blair early morning at 4am daily.
Boat: The waterway is another exciting option. Govt Vessels departs Port Blair’s Pheonix Bay Jetty every Monday (at 6am), Wednesday & Saturday (at 7am). Return journey departs from Diglipur’s Aerial Bay Jetty every Tuesday (at 6am), Wednesday & Saturday (at 9pm).
Helicopter & Sea Plane: Pawan Hans Helicopter service is available from Port Blair to Diglipur & back every Tuesday whereas Sea Planes fly daily except Sunday. For enquiry: 03192-233601
In & around Diglipur
Ross & Smith Islands: A pair of beautiful islands connected together by long sand bar. The pair of islands is home to untamed wide virgin beaches, offering shallow swimming area on one side and best dive and snorkeling sites on the other.
Alfred Caves: These mystical connected & separated series of 42 unexplored caves have baffled many explorers. These caves are amongst the least explored and the most beautiful places to see.
Saddle Peak: Rich evergreen primary jungle, it is not only a popular for trekking /nature trail through the rain forest standing 732 meters tall, the highest point in the Andamans. Kalpong, the only river of Andamans flows through this forest. Lamiya Bay Beach is a must visit for it is the base of Saddle Peak.
Mud Volcano: One of nature’s wonder is amusing mud volcano at Shyam Nagar where you can witness both dormant & active mud volcanoes.
Craggy Island: Spread over just half-a-kilometer, Craggy Island is located a swim away from Kalipur Beach. One can have a great time simply sun basking or snorkeling, its crystal clear waters.
Turtle Nesting: Kalipur beach is an ideal Turtle Nesting Ground and is the only beach of its kind, where four species of Sea Turtles, Olive Ridley, Leather Back, Hawks Bill and Green Turtles call their home. The beach is preserved and security guards are present all day & night for the safety of the turtles. A guide is a must at night to actually spot any turtle laying eggs here.
Places to Stay
Govt Turtle Resort at Kalipur and Govt APWD Guest House at Diglipur provide good and comfortable AC & Non-AC rooms. Apart from these accommodations, there are numerous hotels & lodges available in Diglipur & Kalipur.
How many days are required to cover entire Diglipur?
Four to five days are required to cover all points of Diglipur. Since Ross and Smith Islands are the major attractions of Diglipur, so in 3 days one can cover all the major points. Two full days will go on travelling to & fro Diglipur ex-Port Blair. So, one can utilize the remaining two or three days in exploring Diglipur.
Traveller’s Tip before visiting Diglipur
One should carry comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes if he or she is for all the adventure fun. Since one has to cover all the major attraction during the day time, it is therefore advisable to carry lot of water & stay hydrated. Since most of the places are by the sea, anti-tan lotions would also be a necessity
*Sanjeev Devchowdhury is, Tourist Information Officer, India Tourism, Kolkata (courtesy: PIB)