Sunny Isles in the Bay
The allure of these islands of the marigold sun, strung along the aquamarine waters of the Bay of Bengal, weaves a magical spell, even after millennia of upheavals, both natural and man-made.
An integral part of the mountainous landmass running from Myanmar to the outer reaches of the Indonesia; they were strangely enough bypassed by the main shipping lines that plied the waters of the Bay of Bengal. This isolation only enhanced the air of mystery that enveloped this emerald archipelago of 572 islands, islets and rocks.
Mangrove lined creeks
It has, now, been a month since I last posted an article on my dear blog here, which is because of the tremendous flow of excited tourists from the mainland India and abroad alike and tourism here has been getting the factual boom, yet another season this time, that it always deserved rightfully, with even the bigwigs of the tourism industry in India like the Taj group also eventually giving a final shape to scheduling their majestic, maiden venture in the Floating Paradise on Earth.
Hence, I feel it’s befitting enough that I post some really handy prominent features of these pristine islands for the sake of the curious tourists all over the world who would love to visit these inimitable historic Indian coral islands. Hence, here we go, pals…
Also called the Bay Islands, both groups of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands have their own distinctive identity. Port Blair is the capital as well as a bustling commercial hub.
Middle Point, Port Blair – the heart of the city
The main landmasses in the northern group – the Andamans – are North, Middle and South Andaman Islands that are separated by narrow waterways.
Smaller islands lie dotted around these. Further south across the Duncan Passage is Little Andaman; Northeast of Port Blair is Ritchie’s Archipelago, in which lies the now renowned Havelock Island, boasting of beaches rated amongst the best in the world.
Beach No. 7 (Radhanagar), Havelock Island
Rising from the azure waters northeast of Ritchie’s Archipelago are two islands of volcanic origin – Narcondum Island and Barren Island. The latter is India’s only active volcano.
Barren Island – India’s only active volcano
The southern group – the Nicobar Islands – is mostly inaccessible to tourists. It is separated from the Andaman group by the twitchy Ten Degree Channel. The southernmost island, Great Nicobar, is India’s largest island in this group whereas the northernmost island, Car Nicobar, is the administrative headquarters.
What To See And Do:
Hub: Port Blair – Historical Sites:
Cellular Jail: The mighty, invincible prison where countless martyrs of India’s Independence struggle laid down their lives. See a poignant Light & Sound Show.
Ross Island: Once an exclusive British preserve. The island served as the capital from 1858 till 1941, when it was popularly known as the “Paris of the East”. Read More
Viper Island: Gallows built on top of a hillock, during the British era, visible to all prisoners in the island, signified death at “Kaalapaani”. Read More
Gallows at the historic Viper Island
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: Comprising of 15 enchanting islands, including Red Skin & Jolly Buoy Islands, it showcases the natural tropical wealth of the islands and the rich marine life of the azure waters here. Activities – glass-bottomed boat cruises, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Snorkeling amongst schools of fish
Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex: Offers thrilling aqua sports, safe water sports, adventure sports, row boats, glass-bottom boats, aqua glide, water-jet Ski, Para-sailing etc.
Captivating corals in the Andaman Sea
Mount Harriet: Highest peak in South Andaman. Ideal for trekking, picnics & bird-watching. Trek from Mount Harriet to Madhuban.
Chatham Island: One of the oldest and largest Saw mill in Asia, destroyed during the World War II, revived in 1950s. Read More
Chidiya Tapu Biological Park: Lush green mangroves and forests shelter numerous species of flora and fauna, many of them are rare.
Anthropological Museum: Mesmerizing Insight into the world of pre-historic inhabitants of these islands – the Stone Age Tribes.
Fisheries Museum: Exhibits species of the rich marine life endemic to the islands.
Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum): Exhibits collection of shells and marine creatures.
Zoological Survey of India Museum: Exhibits varieties of sponges, corals, butterflies, and centipedes etc.
Beaches in & around Port Blair: Corbyn’s Cove beach, North Bay beach, Munda Pahar beach, Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor beach, Collinpur beach.
Hub: Havelock & Baratang Island:
Havelock Island: Boasts of Beach No. 7 (Radhanagar) – ‘The Best Beach in Asia’ (TIME magazine) mangrove creeks, rainforest trails, swimming elephants, Scuba Diving and snorkeling excursions under expert supervision.
Neil Island: Lush green forest and sandy beaches, it s the vegetable bowl of Andamans. Visit Bharatpur beach, Lakshmanpur beach, Sitapur beach and natural bridges.
Baratang Island: Limestone Caves, the unique Mud Volcano and Parrot Island.
Shopping: Aberdeen Bazar and ‘Sagarika’ – the Cottage Industries Emporium.
Best Season: October to May. Monsoon – May end to September.
By Air: Air India & private airlines like Kingfisher, Jet Airways, and Spice Jet etc. operate daily from Chennai, Kolkata & Delhi to Port Blair.
By Sea: Scheduled Passenger liners cruise from Chennai, Kolkata and Vizag to Port Blair harbour.
Getting Around: Taxis, auto-rickshaws and buses are available for transport within the islands and private cabs, luxury cars/motorcycles can also be hired/rented. Ferries ply between all inhabited islands.
Hope the information does come in handy for one and all and is put to good use while planning a tour to these exotic coral islands. Do be on the watch for the upcoming post with details about accommodation and other facilities etc. And those who are already planning or contemplating a tour this season, may contact one of the leading professional tour organizers in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands for competitive tour packages, and all the further details at –
Kalash Tours & Travels
Middle Point, Port Blair.
Call: +91 9474265055