Situated in the serene Baratang Island of Andaman is the naturally formed trail of Limestone caves. The structures of the caves both descend upward and downward, thus creating a beautiful formation. The naturally formed patterns are hard to believe to have evolved on its own. Baratang Island is home to one of the oldest and dangerous tribes of Andaman- the Jarawa tribe.
If you are lucky enough you might catch a glimpse of the local tribal people. The caves have been evolving for millions of years and taking varied shapes since their existence. Some of the shapes represent famous Hindu deities. Besides being a great sightseeing spot, the locality is blessed with a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Limestones Caves Formation
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, which is found at the bottom of the sea. Limestone caves are formed due to the dissolution of these stones. When rainwater enters the soil, it turns into a weak acid because of carbon dioxide content in it. The acid leads the limestone to dissolve.
With time they get enlarged to take the shape of caves. The varied shapes are due to the presence of dead corals, marine lives and skeletons that undergo natural compression. All of these factors lead to beautiful and unique structures.
Things to do in Limestone Caves
- Sightseeing : Limestones caves are a worthwhile destination for some sightseeing spree. The beautiful creation of nature will surely blow your mind. The patterns formed in the caves are not permanent and keep changing with time.
- Photography : These natural creations surely deserve to be captured for lifetime memories. Despite being lowlight, one can definitely click some beautiful pictures inside the caves.
- Boating : Boat rides are available near the Limestone caves. At a time, around 3-4 members can sit on a boat and enjoy the cool ride on the sea. You can avail these boat services to reach the caves.
- Trek : The trekking trail from Baratng Island to Limestone caves just takes about 10 minutes amidst the dense mangrove forests.
- Mud volcano and Parrot Island : If you are visiting the Limestone caves, then you must not miss your chance to visit the Mud volcano and Parrot Island. If you avail package trips, chances are that these two spots will be involved in your package along with Limestone caves.
Visiting Timing of Limestones Caves
It is recommended to start your journey as early as 4 am in the morning forBaratang is located at a distance of 100km from Port Blair. The government operated convoys that run for the public to reach Baratang Island start early in the morning. This is only time when it is possible to reach there accompanied by forest officials and rangers. It takes about 2hours for a complete trip of the caves as they attract a huge crowd throughout the year.
Entry Fee of Limestones Caves
There is no entry fee for visiting the caves. You will only have to spend on boating and adventure activities, transportation, and fooding.
Best Time to Visit Limestones Caves
The best time to visit Limestones caves, is during the winter season from November to March. During this time the weather is pleasant and the temperature is under a tolerable range, which provides a good experience to the visitors. Some also prefer visiting it during the monsoon to enjoy the stormy seas.
How to Reach Limestones Caves
One must first reach Port Blair to visit the limestone caves situated in Baratang Island. Port Blair can be reached by air, road or water transport. From cities like Chennai, Kolkata, and Vishakhapatnam many passenger ships sail to Port Blair offering scenic beauties throughout the way.
From Port Blair, visitors can take local buses or private taxis to reach Nilambur jetty. The journey is filled with picturesque views and dense forests. From Nilambur Jetty, tourists can avail a ferry ride to reach Nayadera Jetty in Baratang Island. From there, the Limestones caves are just a 10 mins trek away amidst the tropical dense forest.
Tips to visit Limestones Caves
A few tips everyone must keep in mind before visiting the caves are as under:
- The trek consists of a muddy trail. Wear proper walking or running shoes and avoid other footwear.
- Carry water bottles and snacks, basic first aid with you in case of emergencies.
- It is also recommended to carry an extra pair of clothes and a towel for your own convenience.
- Visiting the Baratang Island requires permission from the Government; make sure you avail that before proceeding there.
- It is best to take a guide with you for proper guidance throughout the caves.
- If you happen to come across any local Jarawa tribe people, do not approach them for they are not friendly with outsiders.