Outside normal tourist regime of Port Blair, A & N Islands, at 383 meters above sea level on the South Andaman Island lies the second highest peak of the Andaman islands & third highest peak of A&N Islands: Mount Harriet, with incredible 360º views of the surrounding. On a clear day, one can see the Havelock & Niel Islands from one of the viewing point. Also, if you look on the back side of Indian 20 Rupees note, the landscape was snapped from a location near this peak. And during British Period, Mount Harriet served as the summer capital. So, there is enough reason to visit this place, during your travel to Port Blair.
The peak is a part of Mount Harriet National Park, which comes under forest department and has a small entry fees for the personnel and the vehicles; which one has to pay at the entrance. As of Oct’16, the prices are:
To visit this peak (& the park), one has to take the ferry from Chatam to Bambooflat (15 minutes ferry ride and cost of INR 8 one way), from where one can hire a jeep to go up. The typical fixed price is INR 400 for the complete vehicle. It’s around 9 kms from the jetty and takes around 20 – 30 minutes to reach up. 1 hour waiting time is included in the vehicle cost, which is sufficient to roam around at the top. It takes same amount of time to come down. Make note that, there is no other transport option available between these points and hence, one has to completely rely on the vehicle booked.
If you have possibility, ask your hotel to arrange a cab to visit this place, as it is a bit convenient. But for the explorers, living in your terms is the real deal breakthrough.
While going up, ask your driver of ’20 Rupees landscape’ point. You would have to stop a little before the peak to get one, as it’s not exactly on the peak!
At the top, there are multiple view points from where one can see the complete panoramic views. Make sure you see from all points. Also, there is a place called Kala pathar, which is reachable via a trek route from this peak and is around 2.5 kms. However, the route is open only if weather permits. During rainy season, it’s not allowed/permissible to do this route as it has lot of Leeches. You will get them before you know it!! Check with authorities before you visit and if visiting, let your driver know of the same, so that he waits longer.
A short video of our trip:
For the reference, the highest peak is Saddle peak in North Andaman followed by Mount Thullier in Great Nicobar.
Have you been to A&N Islands yet? And if yes, have you visited Mt Harriet? Let us know.
If you haven’t been to A&N Islands yet, make sure you plan one soon, as it’s one of the true paradise on Earth.
Until next time, keep tasting the travel…….