Andamans have mesmerised the Indians and foreigners alike for centuries. Cut off from the main land and difficult to reach except for by air, this place has its own charm in its own mystic ways. With the opening up of tourism thanks to liberal travel entitlements for the government employees, there have been an increasingly higher number of people visiting the islands from the mainland. Today I shall be writing about a place which is rarely touched upon even by the locals forget about the tourists. I am sure by the time you are finished reading about it, you will want to come all the way to Andamans just to visit this place!!
Where it is located: It is located across Chatham towards Bamboo Flats near Port Blair and is reachable by both road and by sea through Ferry. The distance from Port Blair Airport to the place by road is about 30 kilometres as it takes a very long route by road and by Ferry from Chatham in Port Blair.
Way to Go: From Port Blair Airport, take a right and then a quick left turn to reach Junglighat. From Goal Ghar Junction at the end of Junglighat market, take a left turn and travel straight for about 7-8 kilometres. Leaving Haddo and Delanipur on the way, take the right turn towards Chatham Island. It is a small Island with a wooden industrial unit and a shipping terminal for smaller commercial ships and Ferry services to Bamboo Flats. At the end of the road is the Ferry Junction. You will need to buy a ticket for a four wheeler for Rs 50/- which you will be required to self drive and load onto the ferry. Individual tickets cost about Rs 20/- per head. The Ferry boat which can accommodate about 6-8 cars, 30 motorbikes and more than 100 people at a time is pretty big and fast and takes about 15 minutes to reach the other side.
The Ferry Ride: The ferry ride gives you some amazing photo opportunities. The Ross Island can be clearly seen from the middle of the channel. You also get to see the city from the sea. Once you reach Bamboo Flats, take the road to the left and go straight for about five kilometres. Cross Wimberly Gunj Main Market and leave a large school and playground to your left. After about 500 metres of that, find a place to park your cars (there aren’t much space available) and take the foot track on the right side of the road deep into the forest. At this juncture, I wish to admit that having a local guide becomes essential at this juncture.
The Waterfalls: It is a waterfall located deep into the forest. The downstream of the same river is crossed three times on the way. The foot track is narrow and offers an amazing glimpse of deep forests and flora all around with a sense of real adventure. At the time of first crossing, one has to wade through the cold running water of the stream and there is also sufficient place to sit and rest. Second crossing comes pretty soon after that. After we reach the river stream for the third time, we have to then go up the stream through it wading through the ankle and sometimes knee deep water. The experience is absolutely thrilling and I bet most of us have never had the chance to do something like this. We went with our kids and my four year old son was just relishing the entire experience.
The trek finally culminates at the waterfall with adequate sitting area and a small lake formed deep enough to swim and play around. The freshness and the taste of the sweet running river water will take away all your tiredness and make you fully energetic again. A bottle of wine or beer along with good food can only make the experience once in a life time as it was for us.