Mangove Canopy Walk
Enchanting world that awaited us at the end of a 105 kilometer drive down the Andaman Trunk Road from Port Blair, followed by a short ferry ride from Middle Strait to Baratang Island and another half-an-hour ride on a ‘speedboat’. As the speedboat knifed its way through the waters of the Baratang Creek, tiny islands and endless stretches of massive, primordial tropical forests bordered by mangrove swamps bobbed into view on either side.
When the boat operator belonging to the Baratang Forest Division eased the boat into a tiny jety at Nayadera Creek and climb the few steps to the landing, a board “Mangrove Canopy Walk”, it announced.
The Mangrove Canopy Walk itself is a tribute to the ingenuity of the staff of the Baratang Forest Division, of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration. The “walk” begins on a narrow bamboo bridge 240 metres long, winding its way through thick mangroves.
The information on a board instruction “Mangrove canopy walkway is designed in such a way that neither any mangrove branch was pruned nor any tree felled during the construction of the path. One can get well acquainted with various aspects of mangroves, its morphology, salt water adaptations and its services while walking on this path.” According to another hoarding, “the free services” rendered by mangrove swamps were “flood control, trapping of silt, storm breakers and coastal protection barriers”.
The mangrove canopy walk, the information boards in Hindi and English, eco huts, sit-outs and chairs formed part of ‘an open interpretation centre to provide information on mangroves.
Lime Stone Cave is around 8 km from Baratang Jetty via boats. These natural growing caves are made up of lime stone surrounding beautiful green jungle.