Saddle Peak is the highest point in Andaman and while you bask in the sea and sunshine at the pristine beaches of Andaman, do reserve a day for a trek to the highest peak of Andaman. Green tropical forest, canopy of trees and the chirping birds will definitely make your trek memorable. And once you are at the top of the Saddle Peak, the scene you is simply breathtaking. The vast blue sea, Kalipur Beach, Craggy Island and Lamia Bay are all there in front of you to behold. The trail itself is unexplored and is perfect for trekkers of all ages. It is a unique combination of evergreen forests and the clear blue seas.
The trail goes through the Saddle Peak National Park. The National Park was established in 1987 and is named after the highest peak in Andaman. The total area of the park is 32.54 square kilometers. The forest is covered by lush green tropical trees and the wilderness is protected in the park. The flora and fauna found in this park is quite rare and is usually not found in the mainland of the country. The park is surrounded by a beautiful shoreline. The height of Saddle Peak is 732 metres ASL.
The trek starts from the Saddle Peak National Park entrance. From the park gate, the peak is about 8 km in distance. The trek starts with a broad trail and after a few metres you will come across a information board. There is a diversion. The left one will take you along the beach path while the other will take you along the forest trail just parallel to the coastline. You have the option to take either of the two paths.
The first stretch of 3 km is along the coastline and does not involve any hiking. The trail is quite well marked with red marks on the trees showing the path towards the Saddle Peak. This stretch is a complete nature trail with thick jungle and perennial streams. Sometimes the canopies are too huge to even let the sunlight touch the jungle ground. The Forest Department has built benches and huts at regular intervals for the trekker to rest.
After 3 km, the trail follows an uphill route. The route is through dense forests. Although there is no dangerous fauna, but you will come across some poisonous reptiles and insects.
After around 2.5 hours in the trek, you will come across the first viewpoint, the East Coast Viewpoint. The view from this place is simply breathtaking. After sometime, you will come across another viewpoint. From here, you can see the mountains and the luscious green tropical evergreen forests. Both are a treat to the eyes.
After around another hour of tiring trek, you will reach the Saddle Peak Top. The top is usually covered with fog. But once you reach there, the feeling is euphoric. On a clear day, you can see the blue ocean in its full glory on one side and the green forests on the other side. The view is indeed breathtaking.
After savouring some beautiful moments at the top of the Saddle Peak, it is time to retrace your steps. If you had taken the beach trail before, you can take the forest trail now, or vice versa.
Trek Type: Easy one day trek
The distance from the National park gate to the Saddle Peak is 8 km. So one way it is 8 km. It will take around 7 hours to complete the whole trek.
From Diglipur market, take a bus to the Lamia Bay which is the base camp for the trek. From the bus stop, the forest checkpost is just a few metres away. From Diglipur, the bus will take around 10 minutes to reach Lamia Bay.
The office opens at 6 AM. The forest entry fees is INR 25.
Nearest Airport: Port Blair is the nearest airport. Port Blair is well connected with all the major cities of India.
Nearest railway Station: There are no railway stations at Andaman and Nicober Islands.
Diglipur is connected to Port Blair by roads. Diglipur is about 300 km from port Blair and it takes about 12 hours to reach to Diglipur. Alternatively, boat services are also available from Port Blair to Diglipur twice a week.
Saddle Peak remains open throughout the year, but the best time to visit the place is between November and March.
1. Being a tropical island, Andaman is quite humid. So, even though the trek is not a very difficult one, the humidity is surely going to take a toll. So please wear light clothes and carry hand towels.
2. Carry enough water with you and snacks and food as you will not get and food and water inside the National Park.
3. There is always a chance of rain during the second half of the day. So it is better to carry your rain jackets.
4. Finally, do not litter the forests and the Saddle Peak with plastics and other garbage. Let the pristine forests remain so.