These people are untouched by modern civilization and are said to have their own systems in place that have taken them through the centuries. Any kind of interaction and photography of these people are strictly prohibited. There are various opinions regarding their assimilation into the modern world. Popular among them, is the justification that interaction with the modern world may wipe out these people since they may get afflicted with modern diseases they are not immune to. And so it was decided to keep them in isolation to protect and preserve them. We did pass by a couple of Jarawas collecting wood. But that's about all. The journey through the forest was peaceful and refreshing with no frills that usually accompany 'developed' tourist spots.
A little more than an hour's drive through the forest brought us to the Middle Strait jetty that would take us to Baratang Island. We boarded a boat leaving the vehicle behind to be ferried across in a launch later. Pristine little islands with dense mangroves dotted the strait. this was one of the best parts of the day. Gaping at the beauty of the nimbly stilted mangroves we made our way to the Baratang jetty.
Through The Mangroves
We walked down some paddy fields and thickets to the limestone caves that is one of the main attractions of this island. There are small stalls selling lemonade and cool cucumbers before you enter the protected area of the limestone caves. These caves are truly marvels of nature and we spent some time trying to give a relevant shape to those stalactites and stalagmites. It got pretty warm and sultry inside them. Since it was a day trip we decided to move ahead to the mud volcanoes, the only ones in India.
Retracing our track to the jetty and finding the vehicle ferried across, mud volcano it was next! And what an arduous climb it was from the foot of the hill! We walked and climbed. A group of four kids getting cranky by now and four adults trying to maintain sanity. And once at the top, after all that huffing and puffing, it was interesting to see these mounds of clay - the mud volcanoes.
This post was written for the A To Z Challenge 2014