This quiet gem in the middle of the Ocean gives an immediate air of calm. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is truly a refreshing getaway to peace, courtesy to its pristine natural attractions, don’t forget the history of the island too. The laid-back pace of the islands allows time to relax completely, wander the secluded beaches and take lots of boating tours. The picturesque undulating archipelago is covered with dense rain-fed, damp and evergreen forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna. There is so much more to do here; adventure sports, water activities, activities for the nature lovers, sightseeing spots and discovering a whole lot of colourful, enchanting water life. There are two ways to get to the Andaman Island – by air and sea. If time is not of essence, take a passenger ship to Port Blair from Chennai, Vizag or Kolkata (takes 56 to 66 hours). If a week’s trip is the plan, direct flights are also available from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata to Veer Savarkar International Airport. Either way, Port Blair is where you land in the Andamans. From here options to explore are enormous.
The best piece of history on the Andamans is the Cellular Jail barely 15 minutes from the airport. Known as Kalapani for the terror it caused on people lodged here, the jail chose by the British to contain freedom fighters from the late 1890s tells the tale of the struggle for Independence. Avail the service of a guide, who will share every trivia there is on the Kalapani. A light and sound display twice every evening – in the voice of erstwhile acting great Om Puri – narrates the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. Grab your suitable holiday package from un[travel]’s Andaman Tour Packages and go offbeat in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Other attractions on the mainland are the museums. Samudrika, Anthropological, Fisheries, and Kalapani are the most informative of them. Visit the Chatham Saw Mill, one of the largest wood processors of its time set up in the late 19th century by the British.
A few kilometers off Port Blair is Ross Island. Ferries every hour take tourists here, where the ruins of the British Raj era are the main attraction. Reminiscent of the Ankor Wat, the old English architecture is invaded by fast-growing wild vegetation. Once known as the Paris of East, this small, vibrant island was struck by an earthquake in 1941. Having gone into the hands of the Japanese during WWII, the island also has some Japanese barracks. Taken over by the Indian Navy in 1979, it houses the INS Jarawa, a small naval base; a visit here requires signing in and out for tourists. A 15-20 minute ferry to the east from Phoenix bay jetty is the North Bay Island (Coral island). It’s a heaven for snorkeling, scuba diving enthusiasts, as long, shallow shores create a beautiful opportunity to watch the coral reefs and the marine life in them. The beaches are equally beautiful, complete with huts to relax and small eateries. Grab the best Andaman Honeymoon Packages from un[travel] to enjoy hassle-free vacations in Ross and Smith Island.
The most visited beach in the Andamans is the Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island. It was once voted best beach in Asia and one of the seven best in the world by Time Magazine. The nearest access point is the Havelock Jetty, from where the beach is just 10kms away. The Radhanagar Beach is a two-kilometer stretch of powdery sand beach with emerald waters on one side and thick forest on the other. Swimming and sunbathing are the attractions here. No activity involving machines and motors is allowed to preserve the beach’s natural beauty. Havelock Island will enthrall the forest trekker too. Much of the island is a rainforest with ample opportunity for bird-watching. Choose un[travel] to customize your Andaman & Nicobar Tour and enjoy blissful Andaman.
Neil Island is just south of Havelock Island, where the access point is the Bharatpur Jetty. Colorful coral reefs are the main attraction here. You can take a glass-bottom boat, and enjoy the corals and the sea life that thrive on them. Sandwiched between greenery and blue waters is a beautiful sandy beach. Children can make sandcastles or even play in the water since the water is shallow for many meters into the sea. The shape of this small island, uninhabited up until the late 1900s, makes it possible to enjoy both sunrises and sunset on its five different beaches. If diving is on the menu, there are spots and operators at your service. Another way to enjoy this piece of land is by cycling through its small, picturesque villages. The flat topography of the island makes it good for agriculture. Neil Island is a big source of rice and vegetables that feed the people of the archipelago.
Since the only way back from an Andaman visit is from Port Blair, it is only wise to keep shopping and some holiday gobbling to the end of the trip. The ferry from Neil Island to Port Blair can be a relaxing 60-minute sail. Don’t leave this paradise without savoring its varieties of gastronomical delights. For an archipelago, seafood is everything. A place home to Bengalis, Telugus, Malayalis, and Tamil, one will find a variety of cuisine. Breakfast is included in most hotel stays and going out for breakfast is not something people do here. But a typical South Indian vegetarian restaurant will be around to serve your palate. Lunch can be best enjoyed at one of the numerous beachfront restaurants. With the fresh catch, all-season, around the year, seafood doesn’t get better than this, at Port Blair. The Andaman fish curry is a must-have. The Bengali influence peps up its street food too: Pani puris, kulchas, samosas, and jalebi. Bars are few and far between, but they are definitely worth a visit.
If time permits, visiting the Chidiya tapu, situated at a distance of 25kms from Port, can be ideal for bird lovers; see an array of bird species like parakeets, emerald doves, sea eagles, it’s a spectacle to witness. Wondering what to do in Port Blair in the evening, then dash off to Gandhi Park where you can take in the beautiful shades of twilight while reading a book or just gazing at the endless ocean and blue skies. Hit the luxury hotels and rooftop bars have the best kind of entertainment, with live bands and luscious cocktails. Catch the best Holiday Deals in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and plan your exciting vacations.
Once in Port Blair, the perfect place to shop is Aberdeen Bazar. A buzzing complex in the heart of Port Blair, it is the biggest shopping district here. Shops line both sides of the streets, displaying everything from jewellary, attires, household items, and spices. Local curio shops make a perfect place to collect souvenirs for oneself, kith, and kin. Locally made items like coconut shell lamps, mats, bowls, trays, and walking sticks are some favorites of the visitors. Shop like a local!
So when are you planning for Andamans? Or have you already been to the magical place? Whatever it be, on your next trip to Andaman, don’t forget to include the aforementioned places on your travel itinerary. You can customize your travel to Andaman with un[travel]’s range of Andaman Customised Holiday Packages.