Diglipur Travel Guide: Lesser visited Gem of North Andaman

Situated on the northern most tip of Island Chain, Diglipur is a quirky little town and quite off the tourist trail perhaps because of its remoteness from the rest of Andaman Islands. Diglipur can be approached by road (Andaman Trunk Road) or by a tiresome 10 hour voyage through ships. Twin Islands of Ross and Smith are the prime attraction nearby along with Saddle peak National Park which comprises the highest peak of Andaman Island and spectacularly lush green tropical forest.
Road to Diglipur
                                                      Road to Diglipur
Diglipur is a true exemplary of cosmopolitan town inhabited with people from all over India. Believe it or not but It’s a strange feeling to interact with locals from Tamilnandu, Bengal, Andhra, Kerala and even Bihar and all at the same time…and all happening at the same place which is too small to cope with such diversity…Parallel to diversity there are underlying shared beliefs uniting these all people in harmony.. Some trivial things are common everywhere in India and these are perhaps the cementation of the nation holding more than a billion souls together at least as a citizen…Far from the main land India, little town of Diglipur displays that unity in diversity theme. First night, I tried Bengali restaurant which turned out a blunder and revelation at the same time. I bought fruits and snacks to readjust my food menu for coming days… Unlike rest of Andaman, Night was pleasant in Diglipur with cool breeze from the ocean subduing the humidity …embraced it as a reward I slumbered….
Diglipur Tourist map
                                          Diglipur Tourist map
Where to stay in Diglipur: Diglipur is a very small town with 4-5 guest houses near the main market and stadium. All of these are basic options offering rooms in 250 INR per night. You can strike a cheaper deal as well. 20 km away from Diglipur, Kalipur is the only place with high-end resorts those get crowded during peak season. These resorts do offer cheap bamboo huts but food is really costly with no other eatery around. From Diglipur bus stand, one can get a bus to Kalipur (Via Aerial Jetty) those run from morning 6:30 till evening 8:00. Most of the travelers prefer to stay in Kalipur.

** Diglipur has got 2-3 ATMs and all seem reliable **
Town of Diglipur
                                         Town of Diglipur

Where is Aerial bay: Situated 11 km southwest to Diglipur, Aerial bay is the Jetty of the town. Boats to/from Port Blair and other Islands run from there. Day tours to Ross and Smith Island and to the labyrinth of mangrove creeks are also arranged from there. There are frequent busses and shared autos to Aerial bay (15 INR, 20 minutes) from Diglipur.
 

Restaurants in Diglipur: Diglipur is not a major tourist destination thus it only has restaurants serving local food to daily wagers. Finding vegetarian food is a real challenge here. There is one Bangali restaurant near the canal and one south Indian restaurant opposite to the stadium. Like Kerala, Bakeries are in surplus.
Mangrove Creek near Aerial Jetty
                                         Mangrove Creek near Aerial Jetty
                                         Getting in and around Diglipur
 

Sea Plane: More of a luxurious mode of transport, Sea planes run between Diglipur and Port Blair. Check at A&N Tourism Information Center or tour agents at Port Blair about the timings and fare. Relatively very expensive and preferred by rich vacationers only.
 

Boats:  Ferries to/from Port Blair few times (3-4) in a week and takes around 10 hours. Overnight boat journey is quite a delight for those you want to experience a voyage in open sea. Quit an intriguing journey it is.
 

Road: Road trip from Port Blair to Diglipur is one of the highly recommended adventures of Andaman Islands. Andaman Truck road runs north from Port Blair to Diglipur with some Islands connected with ferries which drop the vehicle on other shore. Jarawa Tribal reserve which is close to middle strait is the prime attraction of this route and a quicker one for those who don’t want to take the entire distance. Rangat to Diglipur is well connected with no “roll-on” and “roll-off” ferries. It’s majorly a coastal route which sometimes gets into an inexorably thick jungle. Lush green journey of 10 hours through tropical rain forest of Andaman is a favorite among adventure seekers and those interested in plants and rural life of these islands.

                           Scheduled timings of the STS busses from Diglipur

Destination

Departure Time

Port Blair (ATR)

05:00 AM

Port Blair (ATR) (From Aerial Bay)

07:00 AM

Baratang (Via Mayabunder)

07:15 AM

Rangat

10:00 AM, 05:15 AM

Mayabunder

06:00 AM, 09:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 02:15 PM, 04:30 PM

Ramnagar

04:30 AM, 06:30 AM, 07:45 AM, 10:30 AM,01:00 PM, 02:30 PM, 04:45 PM

Kalighat

06:20 AM, 08:15 AM, 11:00 AM, 05:30 PM, 07:00 PM

Sitanagar (will be operate on school working days only)

08:00 AM, 05:10 AM

Krishnapur (Will be operate on school working days only)

07:00 AM, 09:00 AM, 02:50 PM

Hathilevel

04:45 AM, 06:30 AM, 07:45 AM,10:30 AM, 12:00, 03:00 PM, 04:20 PM, 07:00 PM

P

Radhanagar

04:40 AM

Badur Tikry

06:45 AM, 02:00 PM, 05:45 PM

Kalipur

08:15 AM, 07:00 PM

Lamia bay

05:45 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 03:00 PM

 

* For information about STS busses, contact: 03192272007.
* Generally there is rush on the busses to Port Blair. Book your ticket in Advance.
* Besides STS busses, there are private busses and shared Jeeps on most of these routes. 2-3 private busses are also there for Port Blair including an AC bus (450 INR ticket). All the busses to Port Blair depart early in the morning.
* Diglipur to Port Blair bus fare: 285 INR
* Shares autos also run on some of the routes (towards Aerial Jetty). You can also hire private auto.

                                  Places around Diglipur
Sandbar to Smith Island
                                              Sandbar to Smith Island

Ross and Smith Island: Known as the twin Islands of North Andaman, Ross and Smith Islands are famous for its white sand bar separating these two islands. Turquoise hue shallow water around the islands is the best site for swimming and snorkeling. Inhabited with a village, Smith Island largely covered with dense tropical forest and offers a nature trail as well. These twin islands are among the most beautiful in the Andaman Islands.
 

Click to Read Travel blog about Ross and Smith Island

Entrée fee to visit Ross Island Sanctuary:  Foreigner (Adult)-500 INR, Foreigner (Children up to 12 years)-25 INR, Indian (Adult)-50 INR, Indian (Children)-25 INR, Camera – 25 INR

Charges of Fiber boats to Ross and Smith Island from Aerial Bay:
* For a Voyage for 6 persons: 2000 INR
* Beyond 06 Person: 200 INR per person
* After 2 hours of waiting charges (after anchoring at destination): 300 INR

* Overnight stay is not allowed at Ross and Smith Island.
* Dungis (Wooden boats) are no longer permitted for a trip to Ross and Smith Island. You will have to hire fiber boat. In past these Dungis (300-400 INR) were a real cheap deal for visiting Ross and Smith Islands.
* Tours to Mangroves creeks (1500 INR for half day, 2000 INR for whole day) and other northern most islands (Near Coco Island) can be arranged by these fiber boat guys. They also have Dungis for smaller tours.
Wet Evergreen Forest of Andaman
                                     Inside Saddle Peak National Park

Saddle Peak National Park: Comprising the highest peak of Andaman Archipelago, Saddle peak national park is a prime tourist attraction of North Andaman. Hiking the trail to Saddle peak is the best trekking experience of Andaman Islands. Open and closed canopies created by gigantic trees of tropical forest are a unique offering of the trail. Outside the lovely coastline of archipelago, Saddle peak is quite a diverse experience bit inland and must for those who want to go underneath the tropical rain forest. Known for its diverse, unique and some endangered flora, Park is a favorite of naturalists.

Click to Read travel blog about Saddle Peak National Park
 

How to reach Saddle Peak National Park: From Diglipur, Catch a bus to Lamia Bay (17 INR, 1 hour, once in an hour). From the bus stop you can see the entrance of the national park. Permits are issued from the forest department office (house kind of) opposite to park entrance (From the trailhead precisely). There is just one house so won’t have any problem locating it. Permit charges are 25 INR (per person), 10 INR (Camera).
Mud Volcano Shyam Nagar
                                           Mud Volcano Shyam Nagar

Mud Volcano, Shyam Nagar:  41 active mud volcanos in the middle of deciduous forest near Shyam Nagar. From Diglipur, You need to take a shared jeep to Hathi level (near Shyam Nagar) to visit Mud Volcano. Shared Jeeps run on this route at regular interval and will drop you at Hathi level in 20 minutes.  From Hathi level, it’s a 3 km dirt trail through the villages which winds uphill in the last leg and enters the forest. Countryside is truly spectacular.
 

Kalipur Beach: Primarily known for turtle nesting site, Kalipur beach lies behind the Kalipur village which can be reached by frequent busses from Diglipur (1 hour). During low tide, Beach may look sullen with dead corals breaking the surface. It is popular among travelers staying in resorts at Kalipur. Beware of salt water crocodiles and sandflies.
Shoreline Saddle peak National Park
                                       Shoreline Saddle peak National Park

Ramnagar Beach: Considered as one of the best beaches for swimming around Diglipur, It’s a long stretch of white sand. Ramnagar can only be approached by STS busses and timings are irregular. Ramnagar beach can also be approached trekking on the coastline from Saddle peak trailhead. Trail is not well outlined so you may need help from locals.
 

Alfred Caves, Ramnagar: Famous for rare swiftlets, Alfred Caves are some 40 minutes trek through thick jungle from Ramnagar. It’s a serene site amidst lush green landscape.
Ross Island
                                                  Ross and Smith Islands

Craggy Island: Not far from the shoreline of Kalipur Village, Craggy Island is coral fringed beauty perfect for snorkeling.
 

Kalpong Hydro Project: NHPC project on Kalpong River is worth stopping during your trip to Ramnagar. Surrounded by lush green hills, Kalpong is the longest river of Andaman Islands.

Hi Vishnu, We are planning

Hi Vishnu,

We are planning for Andaman islands trip in the month of April 2018 for 3N and 4 days.

Day1- Port Blair(Arrival @ 9 AM) Visit to Jail

Day 2- Visit to Havelock Island(Raghanagar Beach)

Day 3-Havelock island-(Radhnagar beach) than returning to PortBlair

Day 4- Visit to Chidiyatapu. Later we proceed to Airport for departure by afternoon.

 

Could you please tell me weather these places which we have choosen are worth or we need to skip radhnagar beach and Visit  Neil island on 3rd Day.

I have visited Andaman twice

I have visited Andaman twice before, during October 1988 and February 1992. Now I am planning to go for the third time this year and want to include Nicobar in my itinerary. Please inform how to get permission to visit Nicobar island.

Are there any evening /night

Are there any evening /night buses (private / Govt) running from Diglipur To Port Blair. If yes what time do they leave ?

dear friends Hi,we are a2

dear friends Hi,we are a2 families visiting andamans from 14th august to 20th august.  we have booked a hotel in port blair, but at the same time we would like to see all the places. is it possible to travel by road from port blair to ross and smith island and places around and come back on the same day.

 

Is there any place which i can stay near ross and smith island. 

 

please help - also up date on taxi fares, and permits required to travel .

 

thanks

Nope.. it is not possible.

Nope.. it is not possible. Port Blair to Diglipur is a while day trip. Diglipur is the nearest place to stay.

No idea about taxi fare but rest everything is included in the blogpost.

+- Vishnu

dear vishnu, thanks a lot for

dear vishnu, thanks a lot for your comments,

i booked a package, hope it all goes well thanks again for your support.

Glad to hear that. have a

Glad to hear that. have a nice trip

Hey Vishnu, Where can I get

Hey Vishnu,

Where can I get updated bus and boat ride timings to and fro Port Blair to Diglipur?

Honestly writing, i do not

Honestly writing, i do not know. this is one i recorded from my trip back in 2012.

I am a resident of Diglipur,

I am a resident of Diglipur, for any kind of help or details about Diglipur Islands please mail me djsvenkatesh@gmail.com

Thanks for your comment,

Thanks for your comment, Venkatesh. I will be glad if you can help fellow travelers..

+- Vishnu

Excellent detail! I'm using

Excellent detail! I'm using your blog as a base for our Jan 2016 trip to Andamans. 

Some questions that I seek your help on:

1. Are the Mud Volcanoes worth the walk?

2. Are there enough shared jeeps or buses that ply between Diglipur and Kalipur, specially in the evening?

3. Is it best to hire a guide for Alfred Caves from Ramnagar or go with the one Pristine can arrange (for Rs 600 per person I think)? Are the caves exceptional or merely a check off thing?

4. Can we plan on leaving Port Blair at 7am for Diglipur (by private bus) or is it too late? How long does the bus ride take and will we be able to find a connection to get us to Pristine (Kalipur) at least by 7pm or so?

5. Do you recommend the overnight ferry from Diglipur to Port Blair? We felt we can save some time this way so planning to board it on a Saturday (2100h I believe). Hope it operates on Saturdays. Can this be booked in advance at the Aerial Bay?

Sorry for so many questions but any help you can extend will be deeply appreciated. Thanks!!!

 

HI Rimzim, we are planning to

HI Rimzim,

we are planning to visit North andaman in march 2017.Did you visit  diglipur during your tour?

If so can you Please share some information about below things:

1)Are there any overnight ferries to diglipur?

a) what are thier timings and how much is the travel time.

Cool how are the cabins to sleep in the night.Can we travel with family?

2)If you had gone by road then can you please share that experience as well

3)Is it worth visiting mud valcanos and Alfred caves?

4)As our trip is in march,we cannot see turtle nesting.so it worth visiting north andaman for ROSS & SMITH ISLAND and FOREST Drive?

 

Our Travel plan is:

March 17th : Port Blair(Arrival at 1:00PM)

March 18th to 20th :  Havelock

March 21nd to 24 th : Either I am planning to do North andaman/Little andaman

March 25th : port blair (return flight at 1:00PM)

I am weighing my options to select between Little andaman and north andaman.Your inputs will definetely help us plan our trip.

 

Thanks

Manoj

 

I stayed at Pristine in

I stayed at Pristine in Diglipur - its really good - even the food - a private beach too is available. from port blair we started early by 3.30 am  by road - as we have to catch up with the convoy at 6 am we reached  diglipur at pristine at around 8.30 pm there are 2 ferry crossing in between - carry drinking water, food as nothing available on the way. I dropped my visit to mud valcano as most of my friends said its not worth the visit. but do not miss ross and smith island you will have to spend at least 2 days at pristine - you will love it. they help you with local visits. When you travel to havaloc do not forget the best beaches is Ramnagar beach - also keep in mind the beach closes at 5 pm and they are very strict. so go early you will never like to come out of the water. http://www.andamanpristineresorts.com/andamans.html

Thanks Rimzim. your inputs

Thanks Rimzim.

your inputs are invaluable.

1- Mud Volcanoes are pretty

1- Mud Volcanoes are pretty far. not worth a walk.

2- Nope. very few Jeeps..

3- I have not been to Alfred caves so i do not have any idea.

4- It will take whole day. 7 AM is little late. There are 2 waterways which you need to cross on ferry and Ferries timings are fixed. Better to start with the normal bus which start at 5AM. Kalipur is closeby. You can ask your private bus guy to drop you at Kalipur.

5- You can book it in advance at Aerial way. Overnight ferry would be fun for sure.

I hope my answers are of some help.

+- Vishnu

pl provide info regarding

pl provide info regarding hotels/lodges in Diglipur

 

There are couple of hotels

There are couple of hotels and lodges opposite the bus stand in Diglipur

Hi Vishnu,    Really

Hi Vishnu, 

 

Really appreciate your efforts of writing this amazing travelogue, 

I am going to andamans for a month long trip this year and diglipur indeed is in the itinerary, I was wondering if you have any contact information of the lodges or the huts wherr I can stay for around 5 days.

 

Would be very grateful. 

I don't have any contact

I don't have any contact number of the lodges in Diglipur.. I stayed in the one opposite to bus stand.. very easy to locate..

Hi Vishnu I am planning for

Hi Vishnu

I am planning for my To and Fro Travel to Diglipur.

Could you please let me know how different a Private Bus would be as compared to STS buses? Are the private buses Volvo A/C buses or normal buses? Are they less crowded? Are they regular or these buses get cancelled depending on number of travellers?

Do you have any idea about overnight Ships / Ferries from Portblair to Diglipur and return journey? Do we have sleeper births where one can sleep during night?

Hi Meavin, Privates buses are

Hi Meavin,

Privates buses are similar to STS buses and takes same time... I think there is one AC volvo on this route that is from some private operator...

For both type of buses, you need to book the tickets in advance... not as crowded as you see in mainland India...

These are regular buses and does not get canceled if travelers are less..

I don't think there are sleeper berths on ferries... all you will get a seat (chair sort of which you usually see at airports)... These ferries are 2-3 times in a week...
schedule gets updated every week so you need to check about the timings once you are there... Worth an experience in my opinion..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Hi Vishnu The post of yours

Hi Vishnu
The post of yours is detailed and useful. I, too, have some experience of visiting Diglipur but that was before tsunami struck the island. I'm curious to know if the creeks have dried due to this, for, as I'm told, tsunami has raised the level of north while sunk the southern part, say the Pygmallion Point of the Great Nicobar. I had also written a poem recounting my trekking of Saddle Peak which I'll post in my blog one of these days.
Thanks
A N Nanda

Dear Sir... Thanks for

Dear Sir... Thanks for dropping by... spent quite some time going through posts on your blog....interesting, coherent and absorbing...loved reading those poems...Odisha is full of creative minds... Smile... I am heading to Odisha soon....

I have not observed drop in water level around those mangrove fringed creeks...some of the beaches are badly devastated due to tsunami and one can find those fallen trunks of Andaman Paduak on the shoreline... I wanted to spend more time in South Andaman and Nicobar (Which is almost impossible for outsiders)...

Will keep browsing your blog to read that poem about Saddle peak... I wish i can write poems out of my travel experiences but seems like lacking that articulation...

==== Vishnu

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