Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands

Tripoto
21st Nov 2018
Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan
Day 1

You are tired, exhausted and tied up to the technology for every bit of life's need. And that's it, you need that social media detox that the whole social media is talking about. :-p

We planned a family vacay after almost a decade and what better than Andaman islands could make us happy. It offered everything, relaxation, adventure, suspense and happiness. After all the googling was done, we knew that there will be no high speed internet, so downloaded the offline maps of the places from Google. Contrary to the popular belief of not travelling with a travel agency, we got "packaged" with a tour operator from Andaman who offered customisable trip. So, hurray! win-win situation!!

We took a morning flight to Port-Blair from Chennai, reached there by noon, checked into our hotel rooms and freshened up to follow the itinerary. We landed up in Corbyn's Cove beach for a fun speed boat ride and jetski ride to kickstart the adventure.

We then saw the cellular jail and experienced the Light and sound show in the evening. What spectacular event that narrated the dark pages of the Indian history. We clicked some pictures and made memories before finally getting a south indian idli dosa dinner from the famous Kattabomman restaurant enroute to our hotel. We crashed for the night to wake up to another wonderful day full of enjoyment.

Aerial view of Chennai from the airplane

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Island view

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Only Wi-Fi sign you would encounter

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Cellular jail

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Darkest corridor in the Indian history

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Cell where Veer Savarkar was locked in

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Two wings of the cellular jail

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

The central watch tower

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

The building in the evening

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Light and sound show

Photo of Take the social media detox in the Andaman Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan
Day 2

We woke up to a bright day and planned to visit the museums around the Port Blair city, but to our surprise they were all closed because of national holiday. We had our ferry to Havelock island at noon. We went to Gandhi park to chill and while away till we got to the ferry. It was a vast span of area where one would spot variety of flora (beautiful lily).

The private ferry Green Ocean 1 was a fantastic experience as it allowed the passengers to experience the open deck with the in-house DJ facility. People danced around till they reached the island, made merry and we had a great fun watching them do it. We reached there by afternoon and had our lunch in the ferry.

We rushed to the Radhanagar beach before checking into our hotel. We were not ready to miss the magnificent sunset that the beach had to offer. The whole beach came alive straight out of a canvas painting during the sunset. We took a dip the sea and relaxed for sometime on the shore soaking in the dusk. We proceeded straight to the hotel which was nothing less than a piece of an art. The hotel 'Moonlit sands' was a beach facing bamboo cottage located at Govind nagar beach. We then hunted our pure vegetarian food (tough task!) which we got at a star hotel called ' Haywizz'. The food was delicious with a great ambience and of course with a bigger bill (phew!!). We then slept dreaming about the next day adventure, the star mark of the trip (yes, SCUBA diving!)

Baapu in the Andaman islands

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Gandhi park

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Water Lilly

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Bunch of Lillies

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Nature's art

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

View from the Ferry

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

My 'Bagwati'

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Makruzz private ferry

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sunset at Radhanagar Beach

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Beach please

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sunset

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Waves at Radhanagar Beach

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Dare to live the life you dream

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Moonlit Sands

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Hammock at Moonlit Sands

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Food by Haywizz Hotel

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Haywizz hotel

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Punk cafe enroute to Haywizz, Havelock

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Moonlit Sands

Photo of Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan
Day 3

I woke up by 4 in the morning out of excitement. I walked upto the harbour and watched the day break open into bright canvas. I spotted few little boys who were fishing out squids from the sea. Clicked some pictures and then had my poori-sabji breakfast in the hotel. We had booked our morning slots for boat dive deep sea diving with Scubalov.in, where we started training near the shore for our dive.

We went boat diving with experienced dive-masters to a diving spot called "Purple Haze". I spotted 3 medium sized stingrays, lionfish, sparkling corals and many more beyond description. We spent more than an hour underwater and resurfaced back to a view surrounded by ocean. I went one step ahead where I couldn't control my urge to take a plunge. I informed my diving instructor and jumped off from the brink of the boat, experienced the cold water for few minutes before getting back into the boat. Finished the adventure and returned to shore with lots of engraved happy memories. We got back to the harbour to take our next ferry to Neil island.

Moonlit Sands

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

See the Sea from this Seating area

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Havelock island Harbour

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Squids from Sea

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Cottage at Moonlit Sands

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Havelock Island

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

SCUBA diving - Purple haze

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Bro-Sis duo doing the SCUBA

Photo of Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

We reached Neil island before the sunset and headed straight to the Laxmanpur beach II where one can see the hanging bridge aka Howrah bridge. One must cross the widespread dead corals before viewing the hanging bridge. We spotted star fish, sea cucumber, sea urchins, dead corals- brain coral and also the mighty sunset. We then headed to the Pearl Park resort which was located at Laxmanpur beach-I. The resort was yet again a wonderful place to relax and spend the night.

For dinner, we were directed to the only pure vegetarian restaurant "Shakahari restaurant" located at a few km from the resort. They gave us a free ride to the restaurant and we feasted on a scrumptious meal. We then headed back to the resort and walked to the beach and the family of four sat on a wooden bench to witness the most beautiful moon-rise on the planet. It was a full moon night and the moon's reflection on the water was glistening to meet our eye. An experience that could never be captured on our gadgets. Instead, we kept all of it aside and enjoyed the view as a family. The whole beach was deserted except for us.

Jetski at Neil Island

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sun's Son, Neil Island

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Brain coral

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Star fish

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sunset

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Natural bridge aka Howrah Bridge, Laxmanpur beach II

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Starfish again

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Beehive coral

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sea cucumber

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Resort

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Entrance, Pearl Park resort

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Towards Laxmanpur Beach I

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Dinner at Shakhahari restaurant

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Dinner

Photo of Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan
Day 4

The next morning I walked the entire Laxmanpur beach-I and got awe-struck by the vast expanse of the shore. It was the northern tip of the Island. After the breakfast, we went to Bharatpur beach for some water activities. My family took up a glass bottom boat ride and I did snorkelling in the beach. Completely enjoyed the new experience.

We got to the harbour to take ferry to Port Blair. We met a tender coconut vendor selling coconuts bigger than my head. Vegetarian's only resort to quench hunger and thirst at the same time. We boarded the ferry and relaxed inside the air-conditioned cabin with a view.

Laxmanpur Beach-I

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sunrise

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sunrise at Laxmanpur beach-I, Neil Island

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Gravel bed near shore

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Hermit crab

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Pandanus fruit

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Wild jasmine

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Rooms of the Resort

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Relax, you got this

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Map of Neil Island

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Tender coconut

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Old rusty at Neil harbour

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Neil island Harbour

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Green Ocean 2 ferry, Neil to Port Blair

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Love the color show

Photo of Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Bharatpur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

We got back to the same hotel at Port blair by 12 in the noon. Had lunch at the hotel and started to Chidiya Tapu sunset point. It is a bird sanctuary located at the southern most tip of the Andamans. The beach is famous for the sunset view with the a backdrop of mountains and mangroves together. The place also houses a mountain called Munda Pahar. We trekked for about 1.5 km to the peak of the mountain to view the unmanned beach from up top. The view from the hilltop was to live for. The color of the sea, the sun, the light house and the ambience, each of these competed for our attention. We trekked down the hill and got back to the hotel.

Log in log out, Chidiya Tapu

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Mangrove forest at Chidiya Tapu

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Munda Pahar Trek

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Munda Pahar

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Munda pahar trek

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Light house at the hilltop

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Unmanned beach as viewed from the peak

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Wild fungus

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Chidiya tapu

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Sunset view

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Whale skull

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Chidiya tapu

Photo of Munda Pahar Trek Point, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Day 5

We woke up at 2 in the morning to reach the Middle strait, Jirkatang. It was colder than expexted for the morning. We were instructed about the Jarawa forests and the protected tribes living there. The 48 km forest route to the Jetty point to reach to Baratang was completely adventurous. We saw almost 7 tribals (5 men, 1 women and a child) totally when we drove through the forest. After reaching the jetty point, we took a govt steamer to Baratang. After reaching there, did a 30 minute speed boat ride to the Mangroves of the Baratang. Sun was not kind on us. We trekked another 1.2 km stretch inside the Mangrove forest (stilt plank) to reach the Limestone caves.

Inside the limestone caves, saw the spectacular live stalactites and stalagmites and experienced the water dripping inside. We got back to the ferry point and caught the steamer before the gate opened for the next convoy. We drove back to the city while the weather changed suddenly to rainy season. The horizon changed for every 10 km. Brand new experience altogether.

Convoy to go through Jarawa Forest

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Steamer ready to take in the bus

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Jetty point, Baratang

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Towards Mangroves of Baratang

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Steamer

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Mangrove walkway

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Stalactite-Stalagmite, Limestone Caves

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Jelly fish shaped Stalactite

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Trek to Mangrove walkway

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

To the Mangroves

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan

Paddy fields in Baratang island

Photo of Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Vimudha Muralidharan
Day 6

The last day of the trip and we had our flight to chennai scheduled in the afternoon. We planned to visit the Aquarium and Fisheries museum before heading to the Chatham Saw Mill. We saw few preserved corals and fishes stored in jars inside the Aquarium and museum.

Chatham saw mill was meant to meet the timber needs of the place. The famous padauk wood was cut and made into necessary wooden products here. It is the Asia's largest and oldest saw mill which has the biggest wood processors. In 1942, during World War II, the mill fell victim to the bomb attacks. The bomb pits are now filled with water. The wood being brought in ship, cut and processed into furniture could be seen as a story. We bought few wooden souvenirs from the store.

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Enroute Chatham island

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Chatham bridge

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Bomb pit I

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Ship that brings the timber

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Chatham Island

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Island from Airplane

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan
Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

Hello, Chennai!

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

City view

Photo of Chatham Saw Mill, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Vimudha Muralidharan

We got to the airport well before time and reminisced all the memories of the long famjam. We got into Vistara flight to Chennai, along with the news of a Christian Missionary losing his life in the Sentinel island.

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