A blanket of eye-pleasing greenery is the first sight that greeted me when I began my journey to explore the many facets of Mount Harriet National Park.
Perched atop Mount Harriet peak (1,257 ft) the third highest peak of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, the park is spread over 46.62 sq km.
The national park is named after Harriet C. Tytler, wife of British army officer Robert Christopher Tytler who was also a nature lover and a photographer.
With the calm Andaman Sea in the backdrop, the entrancing beauty of the lush evergreen forests grows manifold. Mount Harriet National Park is a perfect place to spend some ‘me’ time in nature’s midst.
A quick glance through
- How to Reach
- Best Time to Visit
- Things to Do
- Travel Tips
How to Reach Mount Harriet National Park
The capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair enjoys direct flight connectivity with Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.
From Port Blair, you can reach Mount Harriet National Park by road or by sea. The park is almost 2 hours drive from Port Blair via Ferrargunj.
Sea route is much faster though. Board a ferry at Chatham jetty in Port Blair which will drop you to Bambooflat jetty in 15 minutes.
Take your car straight on to the ferry and no need to get off from the car. Enjoy the charming views while you are still on board and sitting inside the car. It seems like cars are running on the sea 🙂
These are large vehicle ferries that are used for ferrying passengers and private vehicles. From Bambooflat jetty, you can hire a jeep which is another 20 minutes drive to the park entrance gate.
Best Time to Visit
Port Blair experiences a tropical climate. The best time to visit Mount Harriet National Park is from October until mid-May.
Park is open even during rainy season but avoid travelling during monsoons from late May to September. Strong winds and frequent rains will not let you enjoy the enchanting views.
Things to Do in Mount Harriet National Park
1. Bird Watching
With almost 90 distinct and rare bird species in the forest, Mount Harriet National Park is a bird watchers paradise. Birdlife International recognizes the park as one of the Important Bird Areas.
Some of the birds found in the park are Andaman serpent-eagle, Andaman wood pigeon, Andaman hawk-owl and Andaman cuckoo-dove.
Andaman wood pigeon is designated as the state bird of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
You can find boards with images of the resident birds in the park so that visitors can identify when they spot a bird.
2. Butterfly Watching
Mount Harriet National Park is also known as a ‘Butterfly Hotspot’. There are a lot of flowering plants in the park that attract butterflies.
Enjoy running behind a butterfly just for fun. Kids will enjoy this a lot. The park is also home to several types of insects. I spotted a lovely greenish-yellow ladybug (ladybird) beetle with black dots on its body.
3. Nature Viewing
Scenic views of the pristine Andaman Sea and the beautiful islands from the top of the Mount Harriet watchtower is a feast for the eyes.
I was completely awestruck with what I saw there. It was the same image that I have been seeing since my childhood on the Indian currency note of ₹ 20.
The North Bay Island’s Light House image at the back of ₹ 20 currency note was taken from the top of Mount Harriet.
Many famous islands of Andaman and Nicobar can be seen from here – Ross island, North Bay, Havelock (Swaraj Dweep) and Neil (Shaheed dweep).
Unlike mainland national parks, you can walk and trek through the forests of Mount Harriet National Park.
A 2.5 km long nature trail connects the park’s forest rest house complex with Kalapathar view point.
For adventure enthusiasts, there is a 15 km long trek route from Mount Harriet to the white sand Madhuban beach.
Trekking through the park offers one of its kind opportunities to watch endemic birds, butterflies and attractive beaches. If luck is on your side you can spot endangered Andaman wild pigs.
The Andaman Sea is famous for its abounding marine life including several species of crabs, turtles, saltwater crocodiles and beautiful corals reefs.
A small orchidarium is bound to grab your attention when you are visiting this national park.
It’s a small well-maintained botanical garden for growing orchids and a must-see section of the park if you love orchids. Spend some time admiring the exquisite orchids.
6. Glimpse of Culture and History
There is a traditional Nicobari Hut on display giving a glimpse of the distinct culture of the Nicobarese tribes. It looked like a tree house with wooden pillars to support the hut.
While strolling through the park, I came across this Anti-Aircraft gun that was used by the Japanese army during the second world war.
The description on the board placed beside it mentions:
“360 Degree Revolving – Anti-Aircraft gun built by British but Japanese used this ACK- ACK gun to destroy the Allied Forces aircraft near Kadekachang in 1943.”
Another historical place inside the park is Kalapathar view point, where prisoners used to be pushed down the ravine to death during the British rule in India.
Camping is a great way to experience nature. If you want to wake up to the wilderness in Andaman Islands, there is no better place to camp than Mount Harriet National Park.
Stay in one of the tented accommodations inside the park and remember to book in advance. For reservations, you can contact:
Chief Wildlife Warden
Andaman and Nicobar Islands,
Haddo, Port Blair
Phone No. : +91-3192-233549
Mount Harriet National Park is a popular place for photography since it offers picturesque and sublime views of the Andaman Sea and verdant forests.
With a professional camera (SLR or DSLR), expect to get some mindblowing shots of the rare Andaman birds, colourful butterflies and the charming landscapes.
You can either stay in Port Blair and visit the park in a day or half-day trip or book a forest guesthouse for an overnight stay.
Plenty of budget and luxury hotels and beach resorts are available in Port Blair. Those who want to experience the forest stay can book forest rest house located right in the heart of the forest.
You can contact ‘Chief Wildlife Warden – Andaman and Nicobar Islands ( Phone No.: +91-3192-233549)’ for the forest rest house reservations.
- Make sure to get the forest entry permit at the park gate.
- Here are the charges, you need to pay
- Indian national: adult – Rs 50 per head, no fee for children up to age of 12 years
- Foreign national: adult – Rs 500 per head, children up to age of 12 years – Rs 200 per head
- Vehicle (car or jeep) charges – Rs 30
- No charges for using mobile camera
- Professional camera charges – Rs 500
- Don’t forget to carry your identity proof. At least one member from the group should have it for getting the entry permit.
- There are no shops at the Mount Harriet peak, carry some snacks and drinking water.
- Wear trekking shoes or boots to avoid leech bite if you are going up to the Kalapathar view point. It is almost impossible to miss a signboard mentioning “Leech Prone Zone” at the starting point of this nature trail.
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