7:49 am - Tuesday January 31, 2023

India Travel Guide

Places To See In Andaman-And-Nicobar

Secluded Islands, Virgin Beaches offer a fresh lease of life to the tired city soul

Nature being at its bountiful best in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, each and every tourist spot here offers an exciting and a unique perspective into this land of treasure.

Islands

A heady mix of raw beauty and a forgettable chapter in history would definitely be the best way to summarize the islands which are a part of this Union Territory.

Havelock Island - Among the most visited of the Andaman Islands, the Havelock Island (38 kms from Port Blair) is known to offer tourists hours and hours together of fun in the sun. Virgin beaches and great water sports are the biggest draw. The beaches on this island are numbered from 1 to 7. Beach Number 7 popularly known as Radhanagar Beach is an idyllic location on the south side of the island. It is also the nesting place for Olive Ridley Turtles. Sunset is spectacular at the beach. Tourists can enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling at the beach.

Buses, auto-rickshaws and shared 4-wheel drive trucks transport tourists from one beach to another. An unconventional way of discovering the island would be to hitch an elephant ride for free through the forests.

It takes 2-3 hours on a boat to reach the Havelock Island from Port Blair. The first ferry leaves Port Blair at 6:30 AM and then at 10:30 AM and 2 PM. Tickets range from Rs. 150 for a standard seat to Rs. 200 for a luxury one.

Cinque Island - An island in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, it offers breathtaking views of the underwater coral garden and untouched beaches lures tourist to this island. The island comprises of two separate landmasses connected by a permanent sand bar. The island offers great scuba diving, fishing, swimming, camping and snorkeling experience.

Jolly Buoy Island - Another island in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. It offers a spectacular view of coral and marine life. One can enjoy snorkeling at this island or simply bask and work up a tan in the abundant sunshine here.

Red Skin Island - Among the three islands open to the public in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, the site is a great place to view the beauty of underwater life.

Chidiya Tapu - Located at a distance of 25 kms from Port Blair, the Chidiya Tapu is on the southernmost part of the Andaman Islands. It gets its name from the chirping rare birds, which populate the island. The lush green mangroves, the dense forests and the uninterrupted coastline add to the magic of this place. Sylvan Sands and the Munda Pahar Beach are great spots for a picnic. Conducted tours are arranged from the Andaman Teal House at Port Blair.

Ross Island - Once the seat of British power, today the island stands guard to the Port Blair harbour. Reminiscent of the days of the British Raj, structures from that era can still be seen on the island, among the important ones include the Chief Commissioner's Home, a church, a bakery, a swimming pool, troop barracks etc. During the British rule, natives to the islands were persuaded to settle here and a special place called the Andaman Home was built for them in 1863. The Indian Navy has built a museum on the island called Smrithika. The museum houses some interesting pictures and records from the era.

The island is a short boat ride from the Phoenix Bay Jetty at Port Blair. Boats leave at 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Entry Fee to Ross Island is Rs. 20.

Viper Island - This tranquil, serene tiny island located at the tip of the Port Blair harbour has been a mute witness to the inhuman conditions and untold sufferings of the freedom fighters. Convicts who defied the penal code were brought here and subjected to torture and were forced to work in shackles. Convicts who were deported from the mainland were imprisoned here in the jail at Viper. Very public whipping posts and Gallows built on top of a hillock were for every prisoner to see and signified death.

The island got its name from the name of the ship that ran aground on its shore.

Barren Island - The only active volcano in India, the Barren Island is located at a distance of 135 kms from Port Blair. The island can be visited on board vessels only and no landings are permitted.

Chatham Island - Located on the northern side of the Andaman Islands, it is the site of the oldest and the largest wood processing plant in Asia. The Chatham Sawmill was established by the British in 1836 and employs about 1000 people. Tourists can visit the facility.

Neil Island - It is the smallest of the inhabited islands and is located at a distance of 40 kms from Port Blair. The whole island can be covered within an hour or two. The island is also known as the food bowl of the Andamans. Snorkeling is good at Beach Number 1 on the island. The island is self-contained and has a small market with shops selling provisions and basic camping gear.

Beaches

Corbyn's Cove - One of the most picturesque beaches, it lies about 10 kms southeast of Port Blair. Tourists often enjoy sun bathing, swimming, beach combing at this idyllic and relaxed tourist location. The Peerless Resort, the Waves Restaurant and the Hornbill Nest Guest House offer great accommodation options to tourists visiting Corbyn's Cove.

Radhanagar Beach - One of the most exotic beaches on Havelock Island. Radhanagar Beach is easily accessible by surface transport. The beach is popular with tourists for water sports like scuba diving and snorkeling. The beach is also the nesting ground for Olive Ridley Turtles.

Madhuban Beach - The beach lies in the southern part of Andaman and is on an exciting trek from Mount Carpenter. It lies to the northeast side of Kala Pathar or the infamous area from where prisoners were pushed to death, Madhuban Beach is the area where young elephants are trained for the forest industry. Other exotic species of birds, animals can also be spotted in this area.

Harminder Bay Beach - Located on the Hut Bay Island, at a distance of 100 kms from Port Blair. The falling of the white frothy waves against the serene backdrop is a spectacle in itself.

Aamkunj Beach - Situated on the Rangat-Cuthbert Bay in the middle part of Andaman. It is about 170 kms from Port Blair. This area of Andaman is well populated, next only to Port Blair. The waves here are very high.

Cuthbert Bay Beach - This beach lies about 20 kms from the Rangat Jetty. The area is a turtle sanctuary as it is a nesting ground for turtles from December to February. Prior permission may be required to visit the place from the Forest Department at Rangat. The Hawksbill Nest Guesthouse, owned and operated by the Tourism Department offers good accommodation facility on the Cuthbert Bay Beach.

Karmatang Beach - This beach is located in the northern part of Middle Andaman in a place called Mayabunder. The travel distance to the Karmatang Beach is about 240 kms by Road and 136 kms by boat from Port Blair. The area, which is also a turtle nesting ground, is being developed as a tourist resort. Yatrik Niwas, a government owned and operated facility offers economical lodging options in this area, other attractions at Mayabunder include the beach at Avis Island (30 kms away) and mangrove-lined creeks.

Ramnagar Beach - A sandy beach located on the Diglipur Island in the northern part of Andaman. This beach is connected by a daily boat service from Mayabunder or from Port Blair, two times a week.

Historical Places

Cellular Jail - This national memorial is located at Port Blair. This was a high security prison built during the days of the British Raj. Site of the colonial penal settlement, the jail was also known as Kala Pani or Black Water. Freedom fighters who dared to raise their voice against the British rule were sent to this jail. The prison was named as such since the entire structure comprises of cells or individual units meant for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. In the early days, the Cellular Jail was a seven-pronged building with a Central Tower, which acted as the fulcrum. The massive jail enclosed honeycomb shaped corridors. The building as it stands today has only three prongs left. A room within the confines of the jail has been preserved in the memory of Subash Chandra Bose who had been imprisoned here.

The travails of the freedom fighters who gave up their life fighting for independence can be heard and experienced in a moving Sound and Light display shown daily at 6 PM in Hindi and at 7:15 PM in English inside the jail compound.

The boundary of the Cellular Jail also encloses a Museum, An Art and a Photo Gallery, open all days from 9AM - 12 Noon and from 2PM - 5PM except Monday.

Entry Tickets to the Cellular Jail are priced at Rs.5. The Light and Sound Show is priced at Rs.20 (Adult) and Rs.10 (Children between 5 - 12 years of age).

Museums

Anthropological Museum - Situated on MG Road in Port Blair, this museum displays weapons, tools, pottery, boats, photographs of the indigenous tribes of the islands. A research library housed within the premises has a good collection of books dedicated to the different tribes and the aboriginal population of the islands.

The museum is open on all days except Mondays from 8:30 AM - 12 Noon and from 2 PM - 5 PM. The entry ticket is priced at Rs.10.

Fisheries Museum - This museum lies south of the Cellular Jail, very close to the Water Sports Complex. The museum exhibits some 350 species of marine life unique to the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

The museum is closed on Mondays. The entry fee is Rs. 2 for adults and Rs. 1 for children upto 12 years of age.

 

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Tourist Information - Andaman-And-Nicobar
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