Getting to Port Blair
The only direct flights to Port Blair from the mainland are from the coastal metro cities of Chennai and Kolkata. However, several local airlines offer connecting flights to Port Blair from most major cities in the country. The flights from Chennai and Kolkata to the Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair take just under two hours and since the airport is comparatively smaller, you don’t need much time to find your way out of it. If you’re a foreign national visiting the Andaman Islands, however, you would need to get prior permissions and registration from the embassy and undergo a checking process in Port Blair, which could take up to half an hour.
Places to see and things to do-:
Most flights to Port Blair from Chennai and Kolkata reach there in the morning or early afternoon, so you will have enough time to acquaint yourself with the city during day one. The most popular tourist attraction here is the Cellular Jail, a historic and notorious British-era prison that housed several important figures from the freedom struggle, including VD ‘Veer’ Savarkar. The best time to visit the prison is in the evening when the tourism department organises the daily light and sound show. The show, which depicts the history of the prison, is conducted in both Hindi and English on different days of the week, so it is important to know which one you are going for if you are not comfortable with Hindi.
Although you will need to set aside a good 3 to 4 hours for a trip to the Cellular Jail, you can squeeze other smaller attractions in the afternoon or late evening. These include the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, which offers kayaking and boating, and the Zonal Anthropological Museum, a must-visit for anyone interested in the fascinating history and culture of the islands’ local indigenous tribes.