Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Port Blair as their capital city are one among the seven Union Territories of India. Here are the eight places one can visit in the islands.
How to Get There
- By Air: Many of the major airlines connect places like Chennai, Kolkata to the capital, Port Blair.
- By Ship: There are many passenger ships which go from Vizag, Chennai and Kolkata to Port Blair and the journey takes around two to three days.
Best Time to Visit
From May to September and from November to the mid of December, the islands experience medium to heavy rainfall and is best avoided. From October to May is the time when the waters are clear and the weather is salubrious.
1. Radhanagar Beach
Touted as Asia’s Best Beach, the Radhanagar Beach in Radhanagar Village is one of the must visit places in Andaman. White, sandy beach with lush green trees (mainly palm trees) all around and the pellucid waters reflecting the azure skies above paints an ideal holiday picture.
Being one of the most popular one might wonder about the seclusion and privacy, but the best part is if one strolls across the beach for a hundred meters or so, one shall find the perfect serenity engulfing! The sunset view at the beach is just breathtaking and one will never want to leave by the sea side.
2. Cellular Jail
The mammoth like monument that towers over us, which had loomed large over our Independence struggle but failed to contain our patriotism is the Cellular Jail in Port Blair. This former jail is now a National Memorial. The memorial now has a Freedom Fighters Exhibition and Photo Gallery in the Ground Floor, a library dedicated to the Freedom Movement and Netaji Art Gallery on the first floor. The Freedom-Swatantra Jyoti near the Cellular Jail brings out the patriot in a person. The monument is open on all days except for national holidays.
3. Havelock Island
Mainly composed of five villages viz, Govinda Nagar, Shyam Nagar, Vijay Nagar, Radha Nagar and Krishna Nagar, Havelock Island is the largest island in Andaman. There are amazing beaches like Radhanagar beach, Elephant beach, Kalpathar and Vijayanagar beach and one can experience the joy of just lying down on a bed by the beach or read a book in one of the beach huts while the cool breeze wafts in!
Scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing and kayaking are a rage here and some just prefer to relax in one of the many beach resorts lined up one after the other. Dolphin Resort, the only government accommodation in Havelock is available at a relatively reasonable rate for a comfy stay.
4. Narcondam Island Hornbill Sanctuary
Eponymous with the endemic Narcondam hornbills, the Narcondam island has a vast landscape of deciduous and rainforests, there are tall creepers, flowering trees. One can spot mammals such as flying foxes, geckos and sea snakes. Photographers, birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts have a time of their life in this sanctuary for there are plenty of endangered species of Asian hornbills (the Narcondam variety) and has got this place a spot in the tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
5. Viper Island
Before the Cellular Jail was constructed, the Viper Island was the jail site used by the Britishers. Located in Port Blair, the island still retains the ruins of a hilltop gallows, the look of which sends chills down one’s spines! One can take a jetty from Port Blair (Phoenix Bay) to the island and one can have a nice picnic by the beautiful sea and the lush greenery. The Hanging Beam, the jail and a beautiful seaside makes Viper Island a nice holiday destination.
6. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Located in Wandoor in Andaman and at a distance of about 29km from Port Blair is the Mahatma Gandhi National Park is a haven for ecotourism on the Red Skin and Jolly Buoy islands which offer scuba diving, snorkeling activities and the seasonal glass bottom boats.
The park is made up of fifteen islands and each one of them varies in vegetation while some are rocky, others have tropical and mangrove forests. This is a must visit place in the Andaman Islands to get an insight into the beautiful marine life!
7. Ross Island
Located at about 2 km to the east of Port Blair is Ross Island which is visible from Marine Park. Perfect for a day out, there are places of historical significance such as the Chief Commissioner’s residence, a cemetery and a museum which is managed by the Indian Navy and there is an old ‘Andamanese Home’.
The Government House, the ruins of the state Ballroom are heavily reminiscent of the British rule. One can spot deer, ducks and peacocks here while enjoying the cool breeze and the view of the beautiful sea.
8. Harriet National Park
The Mt. Harriet National Park, located very close to Port Blair and the peak is easily accessible in Andaman. The awe inspiring view of the sunrise and the calm surroundings, the thick vegetation and the breathtaking view from the top of the North Bay Island is to die for. One has to obtain a pass to enter it and can book a stay at the Forest Guest House.
A paradise for photographers, trekkers and nature lovers alike there are many amenities such as deer and children parks and tourist sheds.
The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago with the world’s finest beaches, exotic wildlife, booming adventure sports and the fact that is in a completely secluded location makes one want to spend every weekend there, for its serenity, calm and beauty.