The Nicobar Islands are an archipelagic island chain in the eastern Indian Ocean. They are located in Southeast Asia, 150 km north of Aceh on Sumatra, and separated from Thailand to the east by the Andaman Sea. Located 1,300 km southeast of the Indian subcontinent, across the Bay of Bengal, they form part of the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. Nevertheless, what Nicobar can also boost of are the number of varied species of flora and fauna it has. So today, let us talk about the Galathea National Park in Great Nicobar.
Galathea is located on the island of Great Nicobar, the largest of the Nicobar Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean some 190 km to the north of Sumatra. Great Nicobar has an area of 1045, 1 km2 with some 9500 inhabitants (circa 2001 census). This park was declared as the National park in the year 1992. The total area of this park is about 110 sq kms and was recognized as a national park in 1992, Galathea is a part of the well-known Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve, which is made up of two national parks, the Galathea national park and the Campbell Bay National park. The two parks are separated from each other by a 12 km long forest.
The area is rich in wildlife and some of its rare fauna include The Giant Robber Crab, a rare species of crab found only in coastal areas. The name thus given is because it is known to steal shiny items from many households. The other rare species is the one called a Megapode, which is a chicken like terrestrial bird with large feet and the Nicobar Pigeon, a large pigeon with a gray head and a colourful body. Other rare species found here are the Giant leather back Turtle, water monitor lizard, reticulated python, endangered Nicobar Tree Shrews, Wild Pig, Malayan Box Turtle, Palm Civet and Fruit Bat etc.
The climate here is warm and tropical. The rainfall is very common throughout the year. Summer Season starts from the end of the month of January and lasts up to end of June with rainfall ranging from 3,000 to 3,800 mm annually. Normally on an average, the temperature ranges from 22°C to 31°C along with some critical storms that hit the city.
Air: The only airport available on the Andaman and Nicobar islands is the airport of Port Blair. Port Blair airport is connected with Chennai and Kolkata. One can reach Galathea from Port Blair by Pawan Hans Helicopter service.
Water: Inter Island Boat from Port Blair is also available which usually travels via Little Andaman, Car Nicobar and Nancowry en route to Galathea.
The best time to visit this Galathea National Park is in the months of March to October.
The National park is a very scenic and beautiful place. The area in the national park looks awesome due to the presence of different species of birds, animals and flora. This area is also good for bird watching. There is the provision of the watchtowers in the forest for the travellers from where they can watch various species of birds. The reserve is home to many species of plants and animals, often endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar s bio geographic region. The island is an amazing place to visit. Having the National Park just adds to its merits. In case you are anywhere on the island, do visit the national park.