Imagine stepping onto a landscape so untouched and pristine that it feels like a piece of paradise plucked from a dream. Ross and Smith Island, nestled in the tranquil waters of the Andaman Sea, offer exactly that and more.
These twin islands, connected by a natural sandbar, are a captivating masterpiece of nature, tucked away in the northern reaches of the Andaman archipelago. Here, the azure waters meet powdery white sands, and lush tropical forests embrace secluded beaches.
Where is Saddle Peak Located?
Saddle Peak is located near Diglipur on North Andaman Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. It is situated in the Bay of Bengal and is known as the highest point in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, with an elevation of 732 metres (approximately 2,402 feet) above sea level.
How to Reach Saddle Peak?
Reaching Saddle Peak on North Andaman Island involves a combination of sea and land travel. Here’s how to reach Saddle Peak:
- By Air: Start your journey by flying to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. You can take a domestic flight to Veer Savarkar International Airport (Port Blair Airport) from major Indian cities like Chennai, Kolkata, or Delhi. Once in Port Blair, you’ll need to proceed to North Andaman Island.
- By Sea: Most visitors arrive in the Andaman Islands by sea. There are regular passenger ship services that connect Port Blair with the mainland of India. You can take a ship from Chennai, Kolkata, or Visakhapatnam. The journey by sea can take anywhere from 2 to 4 days, depending on the route and type of ship.
- From Port Blair to North Andaman: Once you arrive in Port Blair, you can travel to North Andaman Island by road. There are government-run buses and private taxis available for this journey. The distance between Port Blair and Diglipur, which is the main town near Saddle Peak, is approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles).
- Local Transportation: Upon reaching Diglipur, you can use local transportation options like buses or taxis to get closer to Saddle Peak. Kalipur Beach is a popular starting point for the trek to Saddle Peak, and it’s relatively close to Diglipur.
- Trekking to Saddle Peak: To reach Saddle Peak itself, you’ll need to embark on a trekking adventure. Trekking and hiking trails are available, and you can hire local guides to assist you on the journey. The trek takes you through the lush Saddle Peak National Park, where you can enjoy the rich biodiversity and natural beauty of the region.
Saddle Peak entry fee:
The entry fee for Saddle Peak is ₹50 per person per day for adults, specifically for Indian nationals. Foreign nationals must pay ₹500 per adult and ₹200 per child below the age of 12 years.
What should I pack for Saddle Peak Trek?
Preparing for a trek to Saddle Peak in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands requires careful packing to ensure your comfort and safety in the tropical climate and remote wilderness. Here’s a list of essentials to pack for your Saddle Peak trek:
- Lightweight Clothing:
- Moisture-wicking, breathable T-shirts and trekking pants.
- Long-sleeved shirts to protect from the sun and insects.
- Quick-drying underwear and socks.
- Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with good grip and ankle support.
- Sandals or flip-flops for relaxing at the campsite or beach.
- Rain Gear:
- Lightweight, waterproof rain jacket or poncho.
- Rain cover for your backpack.
- A comfortable, well-fitted backpack with adjustable straps.
- Keep it lightweight and compact.
- Wide-brimmed hat or cap to shield from the sun.
- Sunglasses with UV protection.
- Bandana or buff for multiple uses.
- Reusable water bottles or hydration reservoir.
- Water purification tablets or a portable water filter.
- Snacks and Meals:
- Energy-boosting snacks like nuts, energy bars, and dried fruits.
- Lightweight camping cookware and utensils if you plan to cook your meals.
Options to Stay:
There are no options to stay at Saddle Peak. You will have to go back the same day. You can stay at Diglipur.
Other Places of Interest:
- Ross and Smith Island
- Mud Volcano
- Kalpong Dam
- Kalipur Beach
At Ross and Smith Island you will find many facilities like:
- Sign boards for direction
- Tourist shed
Is Saddle Peak worth visiting?
Absolutely, Saddle Peak is definitely worth visiting, especially if you appreciate the beauty of pristine nature, trekking adventures, and unique ecosystems.
Read Next: Ross and Smith Island (North Andaman)