Andaman

Surprises and pleasures at Andaman are plenty! But visitors enjoying the beauty of nature here too can play a significant role in leaving behind a fantastic, fun-filled holiday destination for generations to enjoy. The Andaman Archipelago includes around 200 islands in the Bay of Bengal, with the Andaman Sea to the east between the islands and the coast of Burma.

 

PORT BLAIR

Cellular Jail – Countless martyrs of India’s Independence struggle laid down their lives in the horrific chambers of this infamous Kala Pani. A spectacular sound & light show, that runs daily, retells the poignant saga.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (MGMNP) – Wandoor Beach on South Andaman Island is the gateway to the Marine National Park. Comprising 15 islands both big and small, the MGMNP covers an expense of 280sq km. visitors can enjoy the natural wealth of the islands and the sea in these protected environs. Glass-bottomed boats take you cruising on waters, rich in marine life and coral beds, around the popular Jolly Buoy & Redskin Islands.

Andaman Water Sports Complex – Situated near the Cellular Jail, it offers motorboats, paddleboats, glass-bottomed boats. Water scooters and water skiing. You can hire boats and equipment or go swimming in the pool located in the stadium nearby.

Chatham Saw Mill – It is Asia’s one of the oldest and largest saw mills (1883). Badly dammed in the Second World War, it was revived in the 1950s.

Mini Zoo – Residents at the zoo are the rare Megapode, an endemic bird the size of a chicken, which lays eggs the size of a goose’s egg and the Nicobar with pigeon with its stunning green plumage and plum-coloured feet.

Beaches – Corbyn’s Cove 7 km from the city centre is Port Blair’s lone beach and attracts both tourist as well as residents. For some quiet, head out for Chidiya Tapu in the southern-most tip of South Andaman. Lush mangroves and a pristine beach, coral gardens and high quality snorkelling await you here. Further south and accessible by boat. Cinque island offers fabulous beaches and snorkelling, and, and its coral reefs around with marine life.

Museums – The Forest Museum in Port Blair offers an interesting mix of native woods on show. Amongst these exotics is the beautiful Paaduk Tree (light brown to crimson in hue) which is used to make furniture and charming artefacts. You should also visit the Anthropological Museum, which offers an insight into the world of the original Palaeolithic inhabitants of the islands. The Fisheries Museum has on exhibit over 350 species of marine life around the island. Also check out the Samudrika Museum for its collection of shells and marine creature.

Historical Island – The harbour cruise takes you to Viper Island where you can see the gallows used to hand prisoners during the British Raj. Living in Port Blair, where its political prisoners were incarcerated, was too close for comfort, so its British resident’s ser up tiny Ross Island as their exclusive preserve and as administrative capital of the Andaman Islands. Elegant houses, a hospital, theatres et al were set in place to create an ambience suitable for their needs. The Japanese occupation during World War II and the earthquake of 1941 resulted in its disuse. The most enchanting ruins of those times are that of the Anglican Church, now hauntingly covered by tropical foliage.

 

HAVELOCK ISLAND

Havelock Island is the famous for its white sand beaches that are ranked amongst the best in the world (Time Magazine recently rated Beach No 7, Radhanagar, as the best beach in Asia). Explore the underwater marine life, ornamental fish, coral reefs and shipwrecks under the guidance of scuba diving experts. The area has one of the richest coral reef eco-system in the world. It is also boats of a healthy mangrove eco-system and trekking trails through virgin rainforest. There are plenty of resorts on Havelock Island offering accommodation catering to all budgets.

Scuba Diving, Snorkelling and Island Hopping – Most resorts at Havelock Island organise scuba diving and snorkelling to sites in Ritchie’s Archipelago and further afield and instruction, discover scuba courses and all equipment is available on hire. They can also arrange trip to nearby Neil Island, to Long Island and other islands in the vicinity. Barren Island, India’s only active volcano is an evocative sight as it rises from the depth of the sun-warmed waters surrounding it. Rangat, Mayabunder and Diglipur serve as staging posts for those who wish to explore the vicinity of Middle and North Andamans.

Trekking Trails – The path from Laima Bay to Saddle Peak in North Andaman is a popular trekking trail. Trekking trails through the forest are also located as Chidiya Tapu and from Mt Harriet to Kalapathar in South Andaman, and from Radhanagar Village to Elephant Beach on Havelock Island. Bird watching is pretty rewarding around these trails.

Shopping – Don’t pluck corals or pick up shells are on sale in Port Blair as are native souvenir items and handicrafts. Shops in Aberdeen Bazaar and Sagarika, the government emporium, are good for gifts.

 

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