The blue sky, the emerald water, the majestic beaches, and the whispering waves – the Andaman Island has it all. This Union Territory of India, far away from the mainland, presents in itself a vast range of experiences.
People often wonder what currency is used on the Andaman Islands and what the time difference from India is. This is surprising, as many are not aware that this beautiful island is a part of India. This blog is aimed at making people aware about what the Andaman Islands have to offer.
The Andaman and Nicobar Island is an archipelago of 572 islands with 37 habited islands. There are two island groups, the Andaman group whose capital is Port Blair and the Nicobar group whose capital is Car Nicobar. Though the Nicobar Islands are not open to public, the Andaman Islands offer a lot to have fun filled 7 days, or maybe even more.
Port Blair is rated one of the cleanest city in India and it keeps its word. No garbage on the roads. There is absolute no use of plastic, and not only is the city clean but so are the hearts of the civilians – such pure and humble souls.
The main tourist attraction in Port Blair is the Cellular Jail (Kala Paani) which housed thousands of political prisoners during the freedom struggle. The renowned Veer Savarkar was held as a prisoner in this old colonial British prison. The jail was used to torture and execute the exiled political prisoners. The Cellular Jail is now a national memorial monument. Make sure you visit this monument in the day and yet again at night to experience the history and the life of famous freedom fighters in this jail through a heart wrenching sound and light show.
The Chidiya Tapu Beach is very well known for its picturesque sunsets and also a small hike. It is not very far from Port Blair and should be on everyone’s agenda.
The Ross Island (now renamed as the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep) was the British capital during the 1900’s and was often called ‘The Paris of the East’ until it was majorly destroyed by an earthquake in 2004. All that remains now are the ruins but it still serves to be a beautiful place to spend a few hours. It is a ghost island and is only a 5 minute ferry ride from Marina Park, Port Blair. It has abundant trees, historically important ruins and numerous deers that roam round the island. It even offers a great panoramic view of the various other small islands.
The Baratang Island is home to the only mud volcano of India. It has in itself a vast expanse of mangrove creeks, scenic beaches and limestone caves. With the permission of the Government of India, tourists are allowed to enter the Baratang forest which is home to a tribe called Jarawa. The limestone caves are a 20 minute boat ride from the Baratang Island. This boat ride is mesmerising since it is a ride through narrow mangrove creek.
Diglipur, a part of North Andaman, is paradise on Earth. The Kalipur beach serves as a nesting ground for Sea Turtles. There are various limestone caves here too. One can experience innocent village life here at the Diglipur island. Baratang is often used as a stopover for the 12 hour car drive from Port Blair to Diglipur.
The Havelock Island (renamed Swaraj Dweep) is a 90 minute high speed ferry ride from Port Blair. You can either take a government ferry or a private operated ferry but for both options, advance booking is a must. Havelock has numerous exotic beaches, Radhanagar beach, Kala Pathar beach, Govindnagar beach, Elephant beach to name a few. Hence, while staying on this island, you can be on different picturesque beaches every morning.
Havelock offers brilliant dive sites and diving instructors for scuba diving. You can also become a certified diver here. Scuba Diving is recommended for everyone as it will surely be a life changing and life enhancing experience. You can spot innumerable corals and fishes and stay under water for around an hour per dive.
If you are scared of diving and still wish to see the breath-taking life under water, you must visit the semi-submarine, operating from Port Blair. This submarine gives everyone an opportunity to view the colourful coral reef but it cannot overpower the diving experience.
Havelock Island has super charming and exotic beaches. The sea here is like a large swimming pool and each beach is different in its own way. At Havelock you get to taste rustic island life and it will definitely warm your heart. These islands are among the very few places where you can cherish pristine beaches in our country.
Neil Island (renamed Shaheed Island) is often visited as a day excursion by tourists staying in Havelock. This island is highlighted by its three golden beaches namely the Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and the Laxmanpur Beach. These beaches are extremely clean and well-kept and the entire island can be covered by a relaxing walk. Tourists looking for a simple relaxing gateway should consider visiting the Neil Island.
Andaman Island is an ultimate tropical destination and hence the best time to visit them is from October to April. The temperature varies from 20 degree Celsius to 35 degree Celsius around these months. It is usually always humid and a few showers can be expected.
This destination is suited for all kinds of trips – be it budget or luxury, an adventure filled one or relaxed, these Islands have it all. All in all, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have extraordinary things to offer for people seeking to relax and have a chilled out (but sweaty) vacation!