The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the union territories of India. A group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. These islands are one of the most remote spots on the planet. The earlier inhabitants are different tribes who exist more-or-less out of the mainstream. Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Veer Savarkar International Airport also known as Port Blair Airport is the entry point to this group of amazing islands, if you are flying down. Port Blair, Havelock Island, Neil Island, Ross Island are the major tourist attractions.
Andaman and Nicobar group of islands lie to south eastern part of India, because of the same the day starts early and night fall early, most of the tour starts early in the morning and end early evening. Mobile networks in Andaman are of huge concerns for travelers. Basically, nothing works properly and the ones that work works at a basic level. Please make sure to take all required printouts of booking receipts and travel tickets, as your mobile will be more a camera during the travel.
Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, mostly the biggest town in the union territory. You can reach Port Blair directly from Bangalore in around 2:30 Hrs. You will be welcomed to Veer Savarkar International Airport, which is comparatively a small airport. Most of the hotels can be reached in 20 mins from the airport. Our hotel was TGG Grand, we could see the run way from the room. Room was descend, food was average.
Major attractions include Cellular Jail, Anthropological Museum, Corbyn’s Cove beach, Chidiyatappu, Kalapani Museum.
The CELLULAR jail also known as Kala Pani, a National Memorial, is located at Port Blair. The remote islands were considered to be a suitable place to punish the freedom fighters. This monument stood as a mute witness to the most brutal and barbaric atrocities meted out to national freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this jail.
You can hire a guide or go by own to see the Memorial, I preferred to go by myself. More than the architecture, to imagine the feelings and sufferings of great freedom fighters who were forced to live in the Solitary confinements is painful. Only thing I could do to share my gratitude an respect the to those great freedom fighters is a minute of silence and a BIG thank you from bottom of my heart.
The tour around cellular jail may take around 2:00 Hrs. As it’s hot and humid you may need to carry water along with you and be ready to climb stairs.
Corbyn’s Cove Beach
Corbyn’s Cove Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Port Blair. Beautiful beach surrounded with lush coconut palms is around 8 KM from Port Blair town.
By the time we reached, beach and sky was in the green room getting ready for the sunset event. Sea was rough, so couldn’t do boating. Evening was pleasant enough to gift me some opportunities for a click. There was shops selling souvenir and snacks to make your trip memorable.
Chidiya Tapu is around 30 KM from from Port Blair, here you will get to enjoy the beauty and greenery of the forest while you sit on beach. It’s truly amazing combination of nature. As there are crocodiles sighted in water, you are only allowed to enjoy the beach with out getting into the waters. This place is famous for sunset view and for bird watching
Kalapani museum is a must visit place if you are interested in history. The collections of photographs and old documents was quite amazing. The staff and Mr. Mukeshwar was more than willing to help you understand the history and geography of the islands. I was really surprised to see their dedication and pride to present the museum to visitors, really commendable.
Anthropological Museum gives you a look back to history of many tribes in Andaman & Nicobar. Photographs of different tribes who do not normally interact with people outside is another attraction.
Havelock is a beautiful island with exotic beaches in the island group. It takes around an hour and a half through ferry from Port Blair. You can choose boat operated by government or private cruse starting from Port Blair. Major attractions are Elephant Beach & Radhanagar Beach
Travel in cruise is an experience by itself, check in and picking of your luggage is an event by itself. The fun part starts once you start sailing, if you are lucky to have a naughty weather you have the luxury to use the sick-bags provided as much as you want, it’s good not to have heavy food before the trip. Watch seems to be ticking in slow motion as I was counting each and every second to get down from cruise.
Getting back luggage was as tiring as local bidding. Good part was we were offered a high tea on arrival in a restaurant called “Something Different”. A beach side restaurant where you can get good Pasta, the Kit Kat shake is a specialty there. By the time we reached the restaurant it was cloudy and started raining heavily.
The hotel we stayed was Aparupa Sands Marina Beach Resort. Nice property with lush green and beach around. Nice staff , but need training to engage with guests. Food was not an exiting factor even if it was part of the package.
Elephant Beach (Havelock Island)
Elephant Beach is a located in Havelock Island. Easiest and the most preferred way by travelers is to take a boat from Havelock Island dock to elephant beach. If you are going on a package tour, the operator shall be taking care of it. Boat takes around 20 Minutes to reach this pictorial beach.
Water sports activities is the main attraction in this beach. Many water rides are available for one to enjoy the holiday. Most of the rides starts from Rs.500. Scuba diving is a major adventure sport, it’s recommended to book online to get slots, else you will be disappointed. Snorkeling is the other activity you can opt of you want to see marine life, it’s amazing, if you pay around Rs.600 local divers shall take you to around 1 KM into the sea and show Corals and marine life, it’s worth going for.
Beach is too crowded in one side and quite lonely in the other. You can walk around and explore yourself. Lockers and available to keep your valuables. Eco friendly changing rooms are available, with sand floor which is mostly wet. Availability of Food and snacks are very limited. There is hardly any covered shelter to get into in case of rain, it’s advice to carry rain covers for your electronic devices and camera.
Radhanagar Beach (Havelock Island)
Radhanagar Beach is among the most beautiful beaches of Asia, the white soft sand in the long beach with deep blue water makes it a picture perfect beach. If you love to walk long you can do that around 2 Kms to walk from one end of the beach to other. Tall palm trees and bushy palm trees gives lush green backdrop to the beach. Sea is calm and shallow, you can go for swimming or play in water. You can get food near the parking ground which is around half a kilometer from the beach, it’s good to carry enough drinking water. This would be a great place you love to be lazy.
We were able to view a fascinating piece of sand art done by the tiny artists the sand bubbler crabs.
Neil is a beautiful small island, Havelock Island to Neil Island is around 1 Hr. in cruise. The major attractions are Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, Lakshmanpur Beach & Natual Bridge.
You can explore Natural Bridge during Low tide, the sea drops back and you can walk through the sea floor and explore the natural aquarium having corals, colorful fishes got trapped in small pools. It’s a quite long walk if you prefer to explore the area. You can hire a local guide who may charge around was Rs. 200,who helps you in seeing Sea-cucumber, star fish, octopus, magic corals, small crabs & variety of colorful fishes etc.
Laxmanpur Beach is a beautiful and white sandy beach, a sunset beach where you can reach walking between the woods. The “L’ shaped beach is very wide and long, provides an awesome view and a long evening walk in the soft sands on bare foot. Sunset is spectacular, foot massage is free by waves is shallow waters. Corals and sea shells can be seen in shores and shallow waters. You can enjoy snacks like Maggie, pakora, chats from small shops around. The beach is quite neat and visitors also make sure they don’t litter around.
Sitapur Beach is known as the ‘Sunrise Beach’, this rocky beach offers mesmerizing sunrise views early in the morning. You need to be there by 4:00 AM to admire the dawn. Our hotel TGG Aura was just a stone thrown away from the beach. Getting to see sun raise was easy. For a change the hotel and the staff were professional and happy to help the customers.
Bharatpur is a picture perfect beach near to boat jetty, popular for water sports. Crystal clear blue waters, soft sparkling sand and soft waves makes it a great place to be in.The beach offers underwater sports activities. It’s famous for scuba diving and snorkeling. It’s advised to book slot for scuba diving online early. It may cost around Rs. 3500 for 45 mins of actively including training.
You can hire Glass bottom boats if it’s not part of your package. The boats are fitted with magnifying glass at the bottom.You can see coral life and colorful marine life below.It may cost around Rs. 500 for a ride, to be honest it was not existing for me.
You can go for a stroll along the beach where you can see few streams in between woods joining the sea.
- Be mentally ready to live in the disconnected world, no mobile connectivity & internet
- Make sure all required print outs are taken
- Carry enough cash as credit/debit cards will not work due to connectivity/ ATM in the island
- Be ready to check in-out daily, live in your suitecase
- Keep expectation low in verity of food and service is hotels
- Carry enough water and snacks
- Carry water proof bags for wet cloths