This is a guest post and photos by Inder of Gizmobhai. When they said they wanted to talk about unseen places at Andaman, how could I refuse?
Most come to Andaman and Port Blair for its beaches. But few explore its hidden beauty in forests and fresh water bodies. Partly because none of Tour operators promote or conduct tours of such places as also the fact that these places have not been developed enough to promote tourism. This also amplifies the importance of these places and gives the requisite kick to the more adventurous types. One such place is the Waterfalls at Wimberly Gunj
Location: It is located near Bamboo flats near Port Blair and is reachable by both road and by sea through Ferry. The distance from Port Blair Airport to the place by road is about 30 kilometres as it takes a very circuitous route through some bad roads and is only preferred by those who have a mortal fear of travelling by sea. For other the much easier way is by Ferry from Chatham which is located in Port Blair.
How to reach there: From Port Blair Airport, take a right turn to reach Junglighat. At the Goal Ghar Junction, some 3-4 kilometres away, take a right turn and travel straight for about 7-8 kilometres. After crossing Haddo and Delanipur on the way, you reach a point where there is only one Right turn with a down slope. Catch that to reach the waterfront. Take the road bridge to reach Chatham which is a small Island with a Wood Factory and a shipping terminal for commercial ships and Ferry services to Bamboo Flats. At the end of the road is the Ferry Junction. You will need to buy a ticket for a four wheeler for Rs 50/- which you will be required to self drive and load onto the ferry. Individual tickets cost about Rs 20/- per head. The Ferry boat which can accommodate about 6-8 cars, 30 motorbikes and more than 100 people at a time is pretty big and fast and takes about 15 minutes to reach the other side.
The Ferry Ride & Beyond: The ferry ride gives you some amazing photo opportunities. The Ross Island can be clearly seen from the middle of the channel. You also get to see the city from the sea. Once you reach Bamboo Flats, take the road to the left and go straight for about five kilometres. Cross Wimberly Gunj Main Market and leave a large school and playground to your left. After about 500 metres of that, find a place to park your cars (there aren’t much space available) and take the foot track on the right side of the road deep into the forest. At this juncture, I wish to admit that having a local guide becomes essential at this juncture.
The Destination: It is a waterfall located deep into the forest. The downstream of the same river is crossed twice on the way. The foot track is narrow and offers an amazing glimpse of deep forests and flora all around with a sense of real adventure. At the time of first crossing, one has to wade through the cold running water of the stream and there is also sufficient place to sit and rest. Second crossing comes pretty soon after that. After we reach the river stream for the third time, we have to then go up the stream through it wading through the ankle and sometimes knee deep water. The experience is absolutely thrilling and I bet most of us have never had the chance to do something like this. We went with our kids and my four year old son was just relishing the entire experience.
The trek finally culminates at the waterfall with adequate sitting area and a small lake formed deep enough to swim and play around. The freshness and the taste of the sweet running river water will take away all your tiredness and make you fully energetic again. A bottle of wine or beer along with good food can only make the experience once in a life time as it was for us.