Andamans: India's treasured pearl!

Tripoto
17th Feb 2018

Andaman Sea!

Photo of Andamans: India's treasured pearl! by Swati Keshri

We were two folks and left Bangalore on Sat morning for the lovely Andamans. The trip including everything cost us 60k/person. Though I would like to mention that Scuba diving ate most of our travel budget :P. So, let's take a tour! We reached Port Blair the same day. It's ~3 hours journey from Bangalore. We had taken an afternoon ferry to Havelock the same day.

Photo of Andamans: India's treasured pearl! 1/2 by Swati Keshri
The emerald colour water of Andamans!
Photo of Andamans: India's treasured pearl! 2/2 by Swati Keshri
En route Havelock!
Day 1

We reached Havelock in the evening and went to Radhanagar beach the same day to witness the sunset. After that, we explored this quaint island and were thrilled for the next day --- The Scuba Diving day :D.

We had taken the plan of 2 dives (shore+boat) with Dive India. In this package, one dive happens on the shore and there might be others who would be diving with you making the area a bit crowded. The boat option is best! Here, they take you by boat to a secluded reef, away from the crowds, in order to let you get the most thorough scuba experience possible. This is a must do I would say! Every penny is worth it.

Photo of Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Swati Keshri

Next, we headed Kala Pathar beach which was just a km away from Scuba point.

Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Day 3

We started off the day with the beautiful sunrise at Kala Pathar. One could do jogging as well on the soft sand like I did!.

Photo of Kala Pathar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

We headed for Elephant beach next. A ferry goes to the beach and takes around half an hour. It's advisable to leave early for the ferry as ferries are limited in number and most of the time one have to wait for at least an hour to get one. There would be many touts here asking for "cheaper" snorkeling and Scuba diving but it's nowhere near to the DiveIndia experience. It's always better to go diving with them in Havelock rather than here. However, one could go for other water adventure sports like water scooter which are aptly priced and experience is also good. We spent good 5 hours here before returning back to Havelock.

Photo of Elephant Beach, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Elephant Beach, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Day 4

We started off early today as we had to leave for Port Blair and then venture ahead to Diglipur, in the north of Andamans. However, it's almost 10 hour car journey from Port Blair and hence we took multiple stops. We stopped at Baratang island to witness the famous limestone caves here.

Village near the caves.

Photo of Limestone Cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Limestone Cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Limestone Cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Limestone Cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Limestone Cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Limestone Cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

Mangroves en route the caves

Photo of Limestone Cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

We reached Diglipur late in the evening. The accommodation here is quite cheap compared to Havelock. We stayed at "Pristine Beach Resort".This place is known for "turtle nesting" and "Ross and Smith island". Every night (time varies), at least one turtle (weighing 100 kgs +) turns up to lay eggs. The eggs are protected by Government. The nesting area was only 100 m away from our resort.

Day 5

We missed witnessing the live nesting, although we saw an egg hatching the very next day!. The kid is hardly 3 inches long.

The protected eggs.

Photo of Kalipur Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

Spot the kid!

Photo of Kalipur Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

After starting the day with a bang, we were ready for the Ross and Smith island. This beach is different from others in two respects, firstly, it's way too clean! Secondly, it is a narrow strip of land with beaches on both the sides of it!

Photo of Ross & Smith Islands., India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Ross & Smith Islands., India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Ross & Smith Islands., India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Ross & Smith Islands., India by Swati Keshri
Day 6

Today, we again started off early as we had to return back to Port Blair en route Rangat. We had planned to spend the night there. There are multiple spots midway viz., Amkunj beach, Moricedera beach, Mud Volcano and again a turtle nesting site! Moricedera beach is full of coral remains along the shore and hence is quite different. These can be left if there is time restriction.

En route to Rangat

Photo of Diglipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Diglipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

The wooden pathway to mud volcano.

Photo of Mud Volcano, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

Mud Volcano.

Photo of Mud Volcano, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Mud Volcano, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

Moricedera beach

Photo of Moricedera Beach, India by Swati Keshri

Moricedera beach

Photo of Moricedera Beach, India by Swati Keshri

Moricedera beach

Photo of Moricedera Beach, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Amkunj Beach, Great Andaman Trunk Road, India by Swati Keshri
Day 7

Today, we left Rangat at 4 am to reach Port Blair on time. It's a 6 hr road journey. Today, was the last day and we had to visit the city museums and the famous Cellular jail aka the infamous "Kala Paani" during pre-independence days.

Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

The prisoners had to use this utterly ineffective mill to grind seeds to get oil.

Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

Replica of Cellular jail.

Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri

The Samudrika Naval Marine Museum is small and good. It houses all sorts of precious pearls, corals, shells etc.

Photo of Samudrika Marine Museum, Airport Authority Colony, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Photo of Samudrika Marine Museum, Airport Authority Colony, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Swati Keshri
Day 8

We left at around 9 am for the airport which was an hour away. This marked the end of the beautiful 7 days in Andamans. Few things to take note of:

1. Since it's a group of islands, one need to take ferry multiple times and these ferries have a specific departure time. So, it's important to plan the itinerary keeping the ferry timings in mind.

2. If planning to visit North Andamans, do book a car from Port Blair itself as it's difficult and expensive to get a cab in between.

3. Don't miss the Scuba! Go with a PADI certified organisation like DiveIndia. The instructors are excellent in what they are doing and safety is their utmost priority.

4. And lastly, don't collect shells, corals etc. from the beaches because these are prohibited and you could get fined/arrested at the airport if found carrying these.

Hope, it was helpful. Have a great trip!

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