We have already talked about how great of an adventure Diglipur is and how it is gaining popularity among tourists these days. Now, we will be exploring some of the best places that you can visit in Diglipur and also probably in the entire Andamans. Diglipur is a very wholesome experience which is probably the reason why the tourists who have already been to Diglipur come back often craving more fun and adventure from these places.
Saddle peak is extremely popular for the thrill and adventure it provides among the daredevils always looking to go that extra mile everywhere they visit. At a height of 732 metres, Saddle Peak is the highest peak in the entire archipelago in Bay of Bengal and has rich biodiversity with dense jungles spread all over the peak providing home to at least 36 indigenous species of insects, 13 indigenous species of birds, and 6 different species of trees. Because of the rich heritage, the forests of Saddle peak are now declared a national park. Saddle peak provides an unobstructed and amazing aerial view of the other islands to those who actually manage the tough climb which can exhaust even the best trekkers. The climb is some 8 km long and extremely steep which makes it so difficult to climb. It is very important to start very early on the climb and also to hire a guide who will help you get through the correct path. While trekking all along, you can also quench your thirst with the water of the Kalpong river flowing through the forest (Yes! The water is still drinkable). It is one of the most popular places to visit in Diglipur.
In order to visit or climb the Saddle peak, you will have to take permission from the forest department since it is a protected area and also pay a certain permit charge (Rs. 25 for Indians and Rs. 250 for foreign tourists, reported as of December 2019). You also need to return before sunset which happens quite early in this part of Andaman- between 5 to 5:30 pm.
Ross and Smith Island
Ross and Smith are two interesting islands just a boat ride away from the Aerial Bay jetty in Diglipur. They are interesting because they are somewhat connected and you can walk up from one island to the other through the azure ocean water. If you are wondering how is that ever possible then let me tell you that these islands are connected via a 35-meter sand bar only visible during the time of low tides. During high tide, the sand bar vanishes under the water and you see two separate islands just close to each other. Ross Island has an amazing beach where you can have a nice time just lazing around on the beach with eco-huts, changing rooms, toilets and many other facilities. Smith Island is not as comfortable as Ross island because there are no tourism facilities available there. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Diglipur.
The area of Smith island has recently been declared a Marine sanctuary so you can’t help but explore the treasures underwater. However, since it is a protected area with dense vegetation, you also need to take permission from the administration to visit the island and pay the permission cost (Rs. 50 for Indians and Rs. 500 for foreign tourists). The permission can be obtained on all days except for Sunday between 6 am and 2 pm. Smith island is the more comfortable one with opportunities of swimming in clear water. And if it irks you a lot, you also go snorkelling here but you have to bring your own protective gear and equipment since there are no service providers on the island. To maintain the beauty of the pristine beaches, commercial activities are not introduced in Diglipur.
Kalipur beach is very famous and is one of the few beaches where as many as four species of sea turtles come every mating season to lay eggs here. If you happen to visit Diglipur in the months between December and April, it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to see the turtles nesting and hatching out from the eggs on the Kalipur beach. The beach is protected by security officials who help provide a comfortable environment for the turtles coming to lay eggs here and the baby turtles hatching out of the eggs. They also help release baby turtles back to the sea. It is very important you hire a guide for spotting turtles and their babies because it will be very difficult to spot them as they come to lay their eggs at night and the baby turtles are released in the sea early in the morning. You are also advised not to go too close to the turtles or else you might either scare them or invite some strict action from the security officials there. Kalipur beach with volcanic gey sand and crystal clear water is also perfect for swimming and snorkelling provided you bring your own equipment. You can also see dead corals all around the beach.
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The Kalipur beach is nearly 8 km away from the Aerial Bay jetty and 15 km away from Diglipur. You can either hire an auto-rickshaw or a taxi there or take buses that ply every thirty minutes to the beach. It is one of the most fantastic places to visit in Diglipur.
Ramnagar beach is another beach with a very soothing environment of contrasting colours of blue, green and the glittery white sand of the Andamans. Ramnagar beach is around 35 km away from Diglipur and you have to extend your visit to Diglipur if you wish to spend some time at this beach just as is the case for Kalipur beach. This beach is also famous for being a popular turtle nesting ground. However, most tourists who are short of ti,e visit only the Kalipur beach and the beaches at the Ross and Smith islands and do not generally include Ramnagar beach in their itinerary. Ramnagar beach is quite close to the Alfred Caves and these two can be explored alongside. The beach is equipped with amenities like log sofas, eco-huts, and seating to make the beach comfortable for a stay. Ramnagar beach can be reached vis roadway only as no boats currently operate to the beach.
Alfred Caves, a cluster of 41 amazing caves is also a very popular attraction situated almost 35 kilometres away from Diglipur near Ramnagar beach. If you have ever visited the Limestone Caves of Baratang, you can say that the Alfred Caves are a parent version of the Limestone Caves in Baratang. The caves fall under the restricted zone so you need to take a permit from the Forest Office if you want to visit the caves and hiring a guide or requesting a forest official to guide is a must when before you enter these caves. These caves have a narrow entrance which then leads to many other interconnected caves both large and small. The caves are home to Swiftlets and fruit-eating bats and they are not harmful but you need a guide to stay alert as he best knows how to keep you safe and on the correct track. You should start early and come back by evening when you visit the Alfred Caves which is a rule set by the officials to ensure your safety.
So these were some of the most amazing places that you can visit in Diglipur. Since you also have to explore other most exotic places in Andamans visiting these places would help cut your trip to Diglipur short. But there are also many other places like the Pathi level beach, the Lamia bay beach at the foot of the Saddle Peak, Kalpong Hydroelectric power plant, Craggy island etc that you can visit but some of these places require you to take permits from the officials beforehand. Hope that your trip to Andamans yields a lot of amazing and happy soulful memories and Diglipur does play its part in delivering you that.
Feature Image Credits: tourtravelworld