Mount Harriet National Park
The Mount Harriet National park is one of the closest wilderness areas to the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair. The park contains some of the highest peaks in the Andaman Group of Islands and is covered with dense evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of outstanding natural beauty. This National park is named after Col.R.C.Tytler,s wife Harriet, who some time in 1862, was primarily responsible for Clearance of the area for the summer home of the Chief Commissioner.
The entire National park forms a major chunk of the hill ranges in the eastern part of south Andaman islands.Thea general elevation of the tract varies from sea level to 459 meters. Most of the area from steep precipitous slopes to gentle slopes with undulating terrain. Some peaks are Mt.Koyob (459 m), Mt.Hext (425m), Mt.Harriet (422m), Mt Goodrige (376m) and Mt.Carpeter (346m). The park was carved out of a reserved forest in Nov 1996. The present area of the park 46.62sq km and there is a proposal to increase the area by 25.55sq km by including Mount Harriet peak and other nearby areas.
Conducted tours to Mt. Harriet are available from Andaman Teal House.
The park is accessible from Port Blair via Bombooflot. From Port Blair by ferry service or by road journey. The ferry service from Chatham and Phoenix Bay jetties take about 15 and 20 minutes respectively. The road link is via Sippighat and Chouldhari and it takes about an hour to cover approximately 40 km distance.
You have 3 options in trekking routes
A short trek to Kala Pathar
medium trek to a lighthouse
and long trek to some view point.
This national park is equally rich in faunal wealth. There are:
List of Bird Species:
Birds Of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Two areas in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are declared as Endemic bird Areas in the world(out of 218)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been major attractions for Bird watcher and ornithologists because of its rich, unique and endemic biodiversity. There are about 270 species and sub-species are reported from these islands, 106 of them are endemic to these islands.
About the size of domestic pigeons but with longer tails,.upper parts black with purplish green head, and neck pale grey in male, dark grey in female, rump slaty, lower parts from neck to vent light slaty grey, base of the bill pink merging into creamy white towards lips. Resident and Endemic to Andamnan and Nicobar islands lives in dense broadleaved evergreen forests; .Voice-a deep "whoom".
A small trepie having a blue-grey head and neck (with blacker face) merging into dull rugous-brown mantle and bright ufous underparts, has blackish wings with white patch at the base of rewinges and blackish tail. A fairly common resident and endemic bird to Andaman Islands. Found in pairs ,family parties or flocks up to 20 birds in tall tress and dense forests; feeds on fruits, small mammals and reptiles. Breeds from March to May. Builds a filmy nests 5 m above the ground in a small thickly foliated forests. Voice is harsh metallic tone.
This bird is about the size of a small domestic hen with large feet and shot tail.Its length is about 43 cms.The uppar parts are rufesents brown with an olive wash.Head is ash grey and the sides of the head have bare patches of red skin. The chin and throat are pale grey and remaining underparts are greyish brown. The nicobar megapode is essentially a bird of tropical moist dense forest along the sea shores. Generally seen in pairs. The birds are nocturnal and feeds on snails, worms, insects and vegetable matters. Breeding continues throughout the year. Eggs are incubated in mounds made up of sands and rotten vegetation. A mound is about 2 m high and up to 10 m in circumference. No incubation is done by hen and the heat generated by the decomposing vegetative matters helps in incubating the eggs. An endemic and endangered birds which is found in Nicobar group of islands.
In andaman and Nicobar Islands,four species of teals are reported. 1)Lesser Whistling Teal (Dendrocygna), Common Teal (Anas crecca), Grey Teal (Anas gibberifrons) and cotton teal (Nettapus coromandelianus)
Commonly known as andaman teal, it is a small duck, mostly brown in color, 37-47 cm in length. Bill is grey, sometimes mixed with pink. The throat, the neck and the area around the tail are white. Found in fresh water pools, marshes, tidal creeks and paddy-fields. Usually found in flocks of 20-30. It feeds mainly during night and the food consists of tender shoots of paddy and other crops, grains, worms etc.; nests in natural hollows in tree trunks but nests are also found on the grasses by the side of pools and creeks. It is resident of Andaman Group of Islands. Once common but the population has declined recently. Area to watch include Photonala in RutLand, John Lawrence, Jackson creek, Henry lawrence.
A large size brownish black woodpecker. Male has scarlet moustachial stripe,forhead, crown and chest while female has scarlet restricted to hind crown and crest. Found in boles of large trees in evergreen forests. Food consists of grubs of wood-boring beetles and termites. Lives in pairs and lays two eggs in hollow of rotten tree trunk. Breeding January to March. Voice has loud chattering "Kuk-kuk-kuk' ending in whistling 'kui'.
A small hornbill (45 cm -60 cm) with green-glossed blck body and white tail.Mail has rufous haed and neck,yellowish white bill with crimson at base nad crimson patches on cheeks,forehaed,crown nad nuchal crest.In female ,crimson confined to neck only. The Narcondum Hornbill is endemic to Andaman and is restricted to Narcondum island in Bay of Beangal. A bird of tropical rain forest, it is found in small flock of three to four, sitting in a single tall tree.Food includes mainly fruits.
The only coucal found in the Andamans.The adult is about 48 cm in length and resembles a jungle crow with longer and broader tail. It has striking chestnut wings but the head and body are fawn brown with darker brown rump and tail. An endemic species in Andaman Islands. Commonly seen in mangrove swamps, light forests and along the long hedge-lines of cultivated fields. Food includes all kinds of insects, small frogs and lizards. Breeds from February to July, lays 2-3 eggs in dome-shaped nest composed of twigs, grass and leaves.
Eight species of Kingfisher are found in Andaman Islands.Namely 1) Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) 2) Blue-eared kingfisher (A . meninting) 3) Three toed Kingfisher ( Ceyx erithacus) 4) Storkbilled Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) 5) Whitecollared kingfisher( Halcyon cholris) 6) Ruddy Kingfisher (H. coromanda) 7) Black capped Kingfisher (H. pileata) 8) Whitebreasted Kingfisher (H. smyrnesis)
A medium sized (48) coastal kingfisher with stout mainly blackish bill,blue-green crown and ear-coverts with short wwhite supercillium,white collar,blue green mantle na dblue wings and tail,with white underparts.Sub species found in Andaman gropu (T. c. davisoni) differs slighlty with subspecies found in Nicobar gruop(T.c occippitalis) Commonly seen in coastal mangrove areas.Food consists of insects,lizards,frogs and fishes. Breeds in summer and excavates its nest hole in a tree trunk, sometimes in mud nests of tree trunks or in a termite mound. Clutch consists of 3-4 eggs.
Four beautiful species of parakeet are reported to breed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Nmaely 1) Redbreasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) 2) Nicobar parakeet (P. caniceps) 3) Alexandrine parakeet (P.eupatria) 4) Redcheecked parakeet (P.logicauda)
Bird with a long tailed yellowish green parakeet with grey head, forehead black continued backward as a broad stripe to each eye, blackish flight feathers with bluish edges, bill red, black below in male and black both above and below in females. The species is endemic to Nicobar Group of Islands. Found in tall forested ares, feeds on fruits of Pandanus, wild barriers, nuts etc. Voice a continuous screeching note.
The bird is of the size of Myna with a long pointed tail. The adult male has pinkish red cheeks, contrasting with dark green crown, a black band streets from nostril to eyes; nape yellowish green ;upper greyish to bluish. Female has dull red cheeks and uniformly green above. Species is widely distributed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands with racial variation. Feeds on fruits, grains; found in forests, mangroves, cultivated areas, gardens. Breeds in January-February.
Glossy-Swiftlet or White-Bellied Swiftlet(Collocalia esculeuta)
A small size swiftlet with glossy blue-black upper parts, square-ended tail, white belly contrasting with dark grey throat and breast; tail unforked; bill and legs black. A common resident of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, found flying freely in large flocks near houses, buildings, jetties etc. Breeds from December to April, lays two white eggs in each nest.
The sub-species c.f. inexpectata is endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A common resident which keeps in large flocks, prefers coast and areas near human habitation. Hawks over mangrove swamps in the day and roosts in caves and cliff fissures in night. Breeds in March-April commonly in caves. Nests are made entirely of saliva and have high commercial value due to medicinal properties. Nest is also used to make soup.
A small-size(28 cm in length) hawk-like owl with rufous spotting on white underparts, pale-brown upper parts with distinct barred black tail.
An endemic resident of Andaman and Nicobar Islands; found commonly in mangrove swamps, creeks and lagoons; perches on tall trees in fields and forest clearing; hawks insects at dusk.
Pigeons and Doves
Green Imperial Pigeon.jpeg
In all, eight species of pigeons and doves are recorded here. They include greyfronted green pigeon(Treon pompadora), Green Imperial pigeon(Ducula aenea), Pied Imperial Pigeon(D.bicolor), Andaman wood pigeon(Columba palumbodies), Andaman Cuckoo Dove(Macropygia rufipennis), Red turtle dove(Streptopelia tanquebarica), Emarald dove(Chalcophaps indica) and Nicobar pigeon(Caloenas nicobarica).
A stout short-tailed pigeon with long blue-black, metallic green and copper neck hackles; tail and its coverts white; underparts slaty grey. Andaman Islands and D.a.nicobarca is endemic to Nicobar Islands; commonly seen in forests, keep singly or in pairs, and gathers in small flocks when feeding on fruiting tree. Nests of loose twigs are built fairly high up to tall trees; the clutch consists of two eggs. Two sub-species found D.a. andamanica is endemic to
It is smaller than Curlew(N.arquata), with shorter bill, often with more marked downward kink; has prominent supercilium and crown-stripe, contrasting with blackish eye-stripe and sides to crown. Upper tail coverts white, streaked blackish; chin, throat and abdomen white; bill long and strongly decurved, horny brown legs and feet green-grey. The nominate sub-species N.p.phaeopus visits Narcondum island in winter. Habitat includes mainly inter-tidal coastal mudflats and forages in mixed flocks of curlew and other waders.
A stout dampy wader with black bill and short orange legs. Feathers fringed pale brown; Tail dark brown with whitish tip. Foreneck and sides of breast brown, rest of underparts white with a dark interrupted pectoral band.
Commonly seen during winter along the coast, keeps in small parties; feeds on small crabs and worms.
A maritime bird of about 35 cm length; underpart grey; head and neck white with a black spot infront of the eye and a blank band round the nape; tail long and forked; centarl tail feathers grey, streamers white; underparts white suffused with pink bill black with yellow tip; legs and feet black. The nominate subspecies S.s.sumatrana is found in these Islands as a resident. Habitat includes inshore water around islands; favours lagoons. Forages in flocks on marine fishes; breeds on rocky islands between May and July.
Common eagle species found here include Crested Hawk-eagle(Spizaetus cirrhatus), White-bellied sea eagle(Haliaeetus leucogaster), Crested serpent eagle(Spilornis cheela), Andaman dark serpent eagle(S.elgini) and Great nicobar serpant eagle(Spilornis klossi)
A heavy built large eagle with head, neck and underparts, grey upperparts, white underwing-coverts contrasting with black rewiges. Seen commonly in these islands singly or in pairs along the coasts; feeds on fishes, snakes and other creatures; nests from October to February, favours same nesting site year after year; voice-a distinctive 'kak-kak-kak'
A specimen about 50 cms in length with dark brown underparts which are spotted with white. Above dark chocolate brown with short brown crest; wings long and pointed; bill pale horny to bluish horny. An endemic resident species limited to Andaman Islands. Inhabit open forest areas and feeds on rats, lizards and snakes.
Adult is largely black with long crest and with broad white band across upper breast.Upper parts glossy back marked with chest nut and white blotches. Wings area broad and rounded and tail moderately long. Of the three sub species found here, A.e.Andamanica is endemic in Andaman islands. Infrequently mate with singlely in dense forest, wheeling over tree tops, Sallying after insects feeds on large insects like lizards, frog, small bird and mammals.
Small bird about 25 cms length. Male is striking with glistering violet blue crown and upper parts contrasting with velvety black face, underparts, wings and tails. Female is entirely dull blue green. The nominate sub species I.p.puella occuers in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a resident. Commonly found around fruiting trees particularly wild fig, moves in flocks in small parties, feed on wild fruits and berries. Breeding seasons ranges from April to June; lays 2 eggs in twigs nests
A glossy black bird with blue green metallic sheen above, dull velvety black below, tail long deeply forked; the outer feathers curving markedly upward. Endemic in the Andaman group of Islands. Commonly found in the forested area. Breeds during April - May and lays 2 -3 eggs in shallow cup shaped twig nests, Voice a long 'tseep'
For Further Details Contact:
The Principal of Chief Conservator of forests
The Chief Wild life Warden
Van Sadan, HADDO, P. O
Port Blair 744102
Flora and Vegetation
The park supports all major forest types found in the Andamans namely Evergreen Forest, Andaman Semi-evergreen Forests, Andaman Moist Deciduous Forests and Littoral Forests.
Some 393 plant species have been reported from the park which include 74 endemic and 51 introduced species two new species of plants have recently been described from here. viz Ceropygie andamanica and Drypetes ellis. An ephiphytic orchid-Thrixspermum merguense is a new record for Andamans from the park.
Madhuban(75 Kms. by road/20 kms. by ferry and trek road from Port Blair). It is north east of South Andaman. One can visit Madhuban from Mount Harriet by trekking through the jungle approximately covering 16 Kms. Exotic endemic birds, animals, butterflies are interesting sights of the trek.
There is also a nature trail from hope town to the park which is about 4 km long.For adventurists there trek routes from Mannarghat to Madhuban beach (about 10 km long) and also from Madhuban beach to the guest house (about 15 km.
Madhuban Beach ,once an elephant training camp of the forest department, is now a beautiful tourist spot which can be accessed by boat from port blair or Bambooflat and by trekking from Mannarghat.
Glimpse of History
The park has watch towers, children,s park,deer park,guest house and tourist sheds close to Mount Harriet peak. An orchidarium and a butterfly house are being developed here for providing more enjoyment and learning to the tourists. A well maintained nature trail connects Kala Pathar view point with the guest house complex.
Bring your own (packed) food
S.No. Location Type of Rooms Tariff
1. Chidiya Tapu A/C D/B 800/-
2. Wandoor A/C D/B 800/-
3. Mount Harriet A/C D/B 800/-
Reservation: Chief Wildlife Warden, Van Sadan, Haddo, Port Blair. Tel: 03192-233549