There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is rapture on the lonely shore
There is society, where non intrudes,
By the deep sea and music in its roar,
I love not man the less, But nature more. - Lord Byron
The true essence of Andaman’s beauty is perfectly described by this poem. It’s a place where you can smell the sea, feel the sky and lose yourself in the astral blue waters with its gently lapping waves kindling a symphony of its own.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal is an Indian archipelago comprising of roughly 572 islands. Many of these islands are inhabited and open for tourists while some islands are still inhabited by tribes, who still have no contact with the other world.
The Andaman Islands are a tropical beauty and are blessed with the South-West monsoons as well as the North-East Monsoons. It’s a perfect holiday place for sun, sand and sea. The Islands are neither too chilly nor too hot any time of the year. Moreover it does not rain here so much as to clog the roads and dampen your spirits. It’s a fine balance of all the three seasons.
December to April is the best time to visit Andaman’s for the thrill seekers if you want to enjoy the varied water sports available here. It’s the best time for diving and snorkeling.
May to December is the best time for nature enthusiasts since the greenery comes alive in the rains and also the water falls can be seen in their full glory.
Tourism is the most significant and fastest growing sector of Andaman economy, making it an important part of local livelihood and sustenance. Slowly its emerging as a much sought after Eco friendly tourist destination making it easier for people to reach there.
Airlines like Jet Airways, Air India, Spicejet and Go Air have flights operating from Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam to Port Blair.
Check out the cheapest airfares at Expedia (India).
Important tourist place like Havelock, Neil Island are connected to Port Blair by regular intra island ferry services and also by private luxury catamarans. Private tourist boats are also available for connecting the other tourist islands like Ross, Viper from Port Blair.
Andaman is all about fun and frolic, but one trip to the Cellular Jail or Kala Pani brings out the patriotism in you. The infamous monument is drenched with stories of freedom fighters and their blood. The jail has been declared a National Memorial.
This memorial is an architectural wonder and it amazes and disturbs you at the same. The monument is enormous but the individual cells used to house the inmates are dark, cramped and dingy. It was really touching to read the poem written by Veer Savarkar himself, on the walls of his prison cell. The prison is built in the form of seven wings and a tower at the center. However, only three out of the seven wings stand today. It’s hard to imagine that this place was once the most dreaded place in India.
This memorial has an art gallery among many other galleries, depicting the struggle of the freedom fighters. The area also houses an eternal flame burning in the memory of the freedom fighters.
The saga of the freedom fighters is retold everyday in the Light and Sound show in the evening and is a must see.
This museum run by the Indian Navy, gives an insight of the marine life found in this region. The best part about the museum is being greeted by the skeleton of a giant blue whale at the entrance. The museum is divided into 5 rooms / sections.
The first room presents information about the tribes of the island. The second room showcases the underwater species. The third room depicts the colorful corals. The fourth room showcases a beautiful collection of shells. The fifth room depicts the history of the island.
Port Blair is not known for its beaches however this small beach, 8 Kms from the main city, is a delight. It’s a small stretch of sand backed with palm trees. This beach is popular among tourists since it has many entertainment options like water sports and also restaurants facing the wide blue expanse.
When we visited this beach, there were hardly any people around. As the sun started setting, in no time the beach was filled with people in festive gear and the beach was lit in hundreds of small bonfires. They were praying to the Sun God on the eve of Chhath Puja. It was surprising to see people celebrating this North Indian festival in far off Andaman.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a part of India but still we know so little about them. The anthropological Museum gives us the detailed information of the tribes settled in these islands. It’s got a showcase of the first settlers here and also the present tribes, including the way they live, their culture etc. This museum is a must visit and believe me it’s quite interesting and not boring like the other anthropological museums.
Havelock Island, with an area of about 113 square kilometers is one of the populated islands in the Andaman. Havelock Island is known for its pristine white beaches, crystal blue waters, green foliage lining the shores and rich corals. The main beaches in Havelock Island are Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Vijaynagar Beach and Kalapather Beach.
Radhanagar Beach is rated as one of the best beaches in Asia in 2004, by Time magazine; and it truly lives up to its expectations. It’s truly a heaven on earth with its desolate shores lined with a fringe of green woods, the soft unfolding of the waves, and the vastness of the azure waters meeting the blue silk of the sky.
This island is famous with the tourists, more so its a must visit place when you are in Port Blair. This Island can be reached by a 1 hour ship ride from Wandoor beach. Wandoor beach is 30 Kms from Port Blair. Prior permit and tickets have to be taken for the same.
The ship leaves the tourists on Jolly Buoy Island and returns later for Pick up. This island is a no plastic zone and there is nothing available here. You need to carry food, water etc with you. The wide expanse of corals can be seen here via snorkeling, scuba diving and also by a small glass bottom boat. Normally while alighting from the ship the visitors are transferred to this small glass bottom boat, taken for a ride of 10-15 mins to see the corals and then dropped off to the beach. If you are not too much into water activities you can sit back relax and enjoy the view of the limitless sea meeting the cool blue sky and also the thick green forests lining it.
Jolly buoy is a no man’s land. It’s pristine, clean and untouched. It’s less crowded and the corals here are breathtaking.
Jolly Buoy and Red Skin Island are both part of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. Both are alternatively open for tourists. Red Skin Island is open from May to October and Jolly buoy is open from November to April.
Red Skin is not as good as Jolly Buoy Island as the beach is very narrow and it gets very crowded during peak season, in fact it can altogether be avoided if its peak season since there will be hardly any place on the beach to fit in.
This Island Located at a distance of 3 Kms from Port Blair has a rich heritage. It was the base for the British Administration of the penal colony in Port Blair and also the capital of most of the Andaman Islands, till an earthquake destroyed it in 1941. The remnants of its prosperous past can be seen in its ruins. It’s extremely picturesque and it reminded me of the Lost T.V. series. Many Deer can also be spotted here.
This island is managed by the Indian navy so they maintain a record of people coming in. They have a small post INS Jawara and also operate a museum on this island. There is a light and sound show in the evenings.
The most striking feature about Ross Island is the roots of huge trees engulfing the ruins of the once occupied houses.
Chidiya Tapu or Bird Point is famous for its sunsets. This island is 25 Kms from Port Blair and is well connected by road. It’s at the southernmost tip of South Andaman. The ride to reach it is amazing with thick green forests and glimpses of the sea in between. It’s an ideal picnic spot, very well maintained but with no restaurants around. It’s a bird watchers delight as many varieties of birds and also crocodiles can be seen here.
This beautiful island, located about 40 Kms. off South Andaman is a hidden gem. This Island is just 7 Kms in length and can be easily covered in 2 hours. People flock to this island for some quality time since it’s still less crowded with tourists and filled with unspoilt corals and rich vegetation. You can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, trekking, swimming, game fishing etc.
Elephant Island is a part of Havelock and can be reached by a 20 min boat ride from Havelock. What makes the ride enticing is that is passes through the light house. This island is famous for kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving due to the presence of coral reef here at a depth of less than 1 meter. This makes the beach popular with tourists.
This is the perfect place to be for unwinding, with an amazing view of the Bay of Bengal, from the comforts of your own hotel room. This hotel faces the astral blue waters and boasts of an awesome view of the North Bay on one side and the Ross Island on the other side. This amazing view can be enjoyed from the rooms, the restaurant, the bar and also the swimming pool. The best part about the stay is spending hours watching the serenity of the sunrise and the sunset.
Since it’s a part of the ITC family, the hotel lives up to its expectations. The open air restaurant, Mandalay serves delectable multi cuisine food especially the local delicacies.
Good food, great location, courteous staff at Fortune Resort Bay Island will surely make your stay memorable.
Come to Havelock Island to stare dreamily into the horizon where the sun and water meet. The only thing to interrupt you from your reverie is an occasional bark of a dog or a bird call. This is what being one with nature truly means. And imagine living in a resort that just molds itself with its surrounding, so much so that you cannot see the resort from the main road it just camouflages into nature. That’s Barefoot for you.
Built with minimalist rustic design, keeping in mind the architecture of the local tribal houses of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Barefoot is a pleasant surprise for city dwellers.
The best thing about this place is the 3 minute walk amidst greenery to reach the pristine white beach of Radhanagar. In fact it was so isolated that it felt like a private beach. The staff is attentive and they even offer packages on snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and other activities.
Sunscreen: This is a must for any beach holiday unless you want the sun and salt to burn your skin.
Insect Repellent: Andaman being a tropical place has its fair share of insects. Carry a repellent to make the stay bug free.
Cash: Andaman has long stretches of remote land and ATMs are not available at every corner so make sure you have enough cash.
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