Chidiya Tapu is located 22.5 from the Port Blair Airport and is an offbeat destination which is famous for its quiet and serene environment adored by thick tropical greenery.
Since it's in the outskirts of Port Blair, far from the city noises, Chidiya Tapu is famous among locals and tourists who’d like an escape from their daily routine.
The whole area is enclosed within a tropical jungle stretching along miles and miles from both sides and opening into a wonderful view of the sea. Protected under the Andaman Administration, the jungle itself accommodates birds and animals of all shapes and sizes. Wild boar is the most common among all.
The area surrounding it is also very rural. Only a few shops and hotels are allowed to be built nearby, just enough to provide simple refreshments and good accommodation, making it one of the easiest escapes from city life.
The place is also considered a bird watchers heaven, thanks to the myriad of both common and rare birds living and migrating there. Moreover, the number of indigenous and migratory birds is so high that the Govt. built a biological park to accommodate and showcase rare trees, birds, and animals found nearby and provide them a safe place to be.
One of the most famous things about Chidiya Tapu is the sunset. It is considered the best place to watch the sunset and it is what attracts a lot of both local and traveling tourists here. The sunset point here provides a panoramic view of the sun, dipping into the azure ocean, leaving a wonderful train of orange hue on the sky and water.
A bonus point of traveling to Chidiya Tapu is the travel itself. The drive from the road takes you through dense canopies of tall trees complimented by sudden jumps of the open sea. As soon as you start to enter the area, the forests surrounding the road become so dense that most of the sunshine is blocked by the trees and it feels like evening, even during mid-day.
Chidiya Tapu is not considered a standalone tourist attraction in itself as it is divided into 4 attractions:
Mundapahad Beach is located almost 1.5 KMs from the bus stand in Chidiya Tapu and you can easily cover this distance by foot, although vehicles are allowed inside and there is ample space for parking. The complete journey takes you through a thin road surrounded by forest on one side and the open sea on the other, which quickly turns to be covered by forest on both sides. As soon as you reach there, you are greeted by a vast open beach on the right side, covered with glistening white sand and crystal clear blue waters. While the other side is covered by forest, inside which entry is not allowed.
The beach has a lot of tall fallen trees, from the 2001 tsunami, some of which are carved into sitting benches and tables near the shoreline. The beach extends well over 1.5 KMs which you are free to explore on foot and ends into a rocky shore on the other side. The scenery is quite picturesque, so make sure to take out your camera and capture those moments to remember.
There are a lot of open wooden huts lined along the jungle which makes for a great picnic spot. There are no additional charges to use the huts and benches here, so feel free to sit back- relax under the shade, and enjoy the fresh breeze.
You can also find a lot of small vendors selling peanuts, peas, and kulfi, so make sure to grab one of them if you are feeling for a snack. Due to the influx of crocodiles in the area, Govt has constructed a net near the shoreline of the beach, which covers a fairly large area for swimming.
This is the only place where you are allowed to enter the sea in Mundapahad Beach. There are ample changing rooms made of mats and a bathroom near the swimming area, suitable for both men and women.
Established in 2001 and spread over 40 hectares, the Chidiya Tapu Biological Park (Bird Island Biological Park) was constructed to study and provide a safe place for wild animals & birds and conserve rare plants and trees. The park has a collection of various endemic and endangered plants and animals, from most common to rare species that are unique to the islands.
As soon as you enter the park, you are greeted by dense jungle with unique species of Mahua, Rubber, Padauks, and a lot of other trees with signboards that explain their significance and rarity.
The park has various cages and enclosed areas within the “Reptile Center”. This is where rare animals, mostly reptiles, are kept for display along with information about them, so you can learn while exploring. Not to worry, space is kept large enough and the environment is made to suit them, to make sure no animals are uncomfortable inside.
You can also spot animals like barking deer, spotted deer, and wild boars roaming around the jungle freely without any boundaries. Deers being the most common ones.
The best thing about the park is that the population of birds inside is thriving and many migratory birds have made it into their second homes, so if you visit at the right season, you can explore both common and rare birds easily. Signboards and pamphlets are also available inside so you can easily find the best spot for bird watching. Keep your binoculars and camera ready.
One of the best things about visiting Chidiya Tapu is the sunset and there is a specific place called “Sunset Point” where you can view it without anything blocking your view. The sunset point is marked with a signboard, located past the biological park, just around the corner of the road, near the mini lighthouse.
There are no trees or poles blocking the view, making it a perfect place to enjoy the sun setting over turquoise sea waters. There are no benches or seating arrangement here, and people either stand to see it or enjoy the view from the comfort of their car. It is recommended to visit the place after you have explored the beach. The trip to Chidiya Tapu usually ends here.
Although not officially considered a tourist attraction, Mundapahar is a rocky hill located near the Mundapahad Beach, and this place is where the beach got its name from. Also known as the Black Mountain, the hill offers a place to enjoy the panoramic view of the whole Chidiya Tapu from one single location.
The way to Mundapahad Hill can be found near the beach end, with a small rocky path disappearing into the jungle. You will have to take the right pathway and trek for at least 1 KM through the jungle to reach the hill. The forest is really dense and it's not advised to enter it for any reason.
As soon as you reach the top, you are greeted by an open ground area, on the top of the hill with a spectacular view of the sea and forest nearby. Sometimes you can spot Sea Hawk Eagle and Wild Pigeons on the hill.
Be cautious when exploring the hill, as the rocks are loose and the railings are unstable.
Due to recent landslides and cyclones, it is not advised to trek to the mountain without a guide. The forest gets really dark in the evening as there are no street lights present at the hill or the path. People who are visiting must come back to the beach before 4 PM.
Private and Govt. buses are available from Bus Terminus at Aberdeen bazaar that goes directly to Chidiya Tapu via the Great Andaman Trunk Road and NH4. The complete journey takes around 1.2 hours to complete, as all buses make a lot of stops before arriving at the destination. The average ticket price is INR 25 and seat availability is low as the buses are mostly used by locals. Please note that buses only go as far as the bus stand, and you will have to walk around 1.5 KM to reach Mundapahad Beach.
Cabs are the best way to reach Chidiya Tapu and charge around INR 1500 for A/C and INR 1200 for Non-A/C, to cover around 23 KMs. The best thing about hiring a cab is that the cabs are allowed to enter the road that goes to the Mundapahad Beach, so you don’t have to walk for 1.5 KM, and can easily reach the beach.
Auto Rickshaws are available throughout Port Blair and charge INR 1000 to go to the beach. The prices highly vary from driver to driver. One important thing to note is that, the availability of Auto Rickshaws and cabs for booking is nill at Chidiya Tapu, so you’ll either have to pay the Auto to hold, while you explore, or catch a bus on the way back. It's better to plan ahead, to avoid being stuck there.
Rental Scooters are the best way to reach the beach and it only costs INR 500 to rent a scooter in Andaman.
The distance is hardly 20-25 KMs from the major destinations in Port Blair, and there are a lot of open areas during the ride which you might miss if you travel through other modes.
Another thing to note is that the roadway, especially when you enter the area, is narrow and full of holes and cracks, so make sure to drive carefully. It is advised to leave early and return before 6 PM to avoid traffic on the road.
Always keep a map and a phone number of emergency services for additional safety. You can find bikes for rent here.
If you are traveling via bus, you will have to walk for 20 minutes to reach Mundapahad Beach. To reach the beach, take a right from the bus stand and follow the road that follows the front of Biological Park. Shortly after the turn, keep walking through the road up the hill surrounded by trees from both sides and you will reach the beach.
Things you need to know before visiting:
Located on the right road of Chidiya Tapu and surrounded by coconut trees and unmatched greenery, the Wild Grass Resort is famous as a staycation in Port Blair. The rich wooden design of the restaurant and bar, surrounded by miles and miles of forest on the side is something to be inspired by. The rooms are independent cottage style, spread along a wide area of green fields to make sure you get the most out of stay with privacy and quietness.
The restaurant at the bar offers Indian, Continental, and Chinese dishes made from fresh ingredients while the open type bar on the first floor offers drinks of all kinds along with a spectacular view of the open greenery. Overall a great place to be, if you are planning to stay in Chidiya Tapu for a few days.
Rooms Start From: INR 4500/-
Symphony Samudra is considered one of the most luxurious hotels in Port Blair. The hotel is located a bit far from the main road, surrounded by greenery from all sides. The hotel was designed in a way that it uses the natural surroundings to blend the whole stay experience. The rooms are very well designed and consist of a lot of stay options like Hill-Villa, Aqua-Villa, which makes use of the hill and lagoon nearby to provide a completely detached and serene experience. With amenities like an infinity pool and a 2-floor restaurant and bar that offers all major cuisines, the hotel provides everything that a traveler who likes peace and luxury can hope for.
Rooms Start From: INR 12,000/-
There are a lot of small shops and tea stalls near the Chidiya Tapu that offer everything from full meals to snacks like Samosas, Pakodas, and Tea. Apart from this, there are no proper indoor dining restaurants near the area, except for Wildgrass Resort and Symphony Samudra Hotel.
Is Chidiya Tapu an island?
Contrary to the popular belief, Chidiya Tapu is not an Island. It is a part of Port Blair Island which is completely connected by land. The misinformation about it being an island on the web comes from the word “Tapu” which means “Island”, but in reality, it's not.
Is swimming allowed in Chidiya Tapu?
Swimming was allowed a few months ago, but in light of the growing crocodile population in the area, swimming is no longer allowed, even inside the “Swimming nest”.
Is Chidiya Tapu worth visiting?
If you are looking for a quiet destination far from the city, and enjoy watching birds and sunset, it is definitely worth visiting. Read the complete article to see exclusive information and images, and decide if it's for you or not.