Middle Button Island, along with south and north button Island national parks, forms the greater Rani Jhansi Marine national park. The middle button lies in the Indian union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, specifically off the coast of south Andaman Island. The park covers an area of about 64sq km. But alike all marine national parks, this is just the horizontal scale and the vertical scale is a major factor in sizing the park.
The Island is a holiday destination with clean sandy beaches and clear shallow waters. Most of the park is covered with deciduous forests. Some of the trees and shrubs present include the rattan palm Calamus palustris, the climbing bamboo Dinochloa andamanica and Parishia insignis, Calophyllum soulattri, Artocarpus and many others.
The land life forms are small in numbers and even the species are numbered. Spotted deer, water lizards and monitor lizards are significant few. However the aquatic life sees diversity in species from dugongs, dolphins, sea turtles, fishes and many species of coral through the blue whales that have been reported off the coast.
The climate of the islands is moderated by the surrounding sea. The winters here do not seem like winters since; the climate is mild and humid. The temperatures do not drop below 20 degree Celsius. The summers witness temperatures of up to about 30 degrees Celsius, but this is, as mentioned above, moderated by the surrounding sea. Which means that 30 degrees here will not feel as hot as it would feel in, say, Kolkata. The monsoons receive heavy rainfall and all the activities are rendered useless. This makes December and the following couple of months the ideal time of visit.
Middle button is the same in climate and all other activities as south button and north button. However, since this one is bigger, overnight stays in a vessel in waters or camping is allowed. Prior permission has to be obtained, but it is a fairly straight forward process and the forest staff is amicable. The forests even have tree houses built by previous campers, and you may enjoy them. However there are no hotels or resorts or guest houses on the Island. The park gives you blended feeling or tranquillity and adventure spirit.
There are many ways to indulge in adventure here at Middle Button. One may go trekking in the deciduous forests. But that can be done anywhere in the country. One must enjoy the marine life in all its glory while visiting this marine National park. Scuba diving, snorkelling and glass bottomed boat rides are the ways to do so. These give you a chance at underwater aquatic life and wildlife observation like nowhere else. Nature walks are possible through this park and are very soothing. The middle button lighthouse is a very special structure and is worth one visit. The whole island is visible from the top and the rest of the view is gorgeous.
How to Reach?
This particular Island is accessible by road from Port Blair, up to which you have to manage air or water transportation means. Regular ferries, cruises and flights leave for Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam. The nearest town is Long Island town and that too is connected by roads. There are shuttle services by road ways to the park; one may board one of those at minimal prices.