Mount Harriet and Madhuban

     The richly forested slopes of Mount Harriet can easily be visited as a day-trip from Port Blair.  You can either take one of the passenger ferries from Chatham Jetty to Bamboo Flats or, if you want to have your own transport on the other side, there are eight daily vehicle ferries from Phoenix Jetty Between 5.30am and 8.30pm, costing a few rupees.  From Bamboo Flats it’s a pleasant seven kilometer stroll east along the coast and north up a path through trees hung with thick vines and creepers to the 365 metre summit, which affords fine views back across the bay. An intermittent bus service runs between Bamboo Flats and Hope Town, where the path starts, saving you 33k. Alternatively, jeeps and taxis are available to take you al the way to the top but they charge at least Rs 300.

There’s a charge of Rs 250 (Indian Rs 25 students teachers Rs5) to enter Mount Harriet National Park, but the checkpost is on the road so you probably won’t be asked to pay if you take the path.  It’s 2.5 km from the checkpost up to the resthouse and viewing tower at the summit.  If you have strong legs you can reach Madhuban on the coast northeast of the mountain by the sixteen kilometer round route via Kala Patthar (Black Rock) and back via the coast.  There’s a decent beach at Madhuban and the area is still used for training logging elephants, so you stand a good chance of seeing them learning their trade.