28 December, 2018
It is incredible that there are many Indians who know so little about Andamans, which is very much a part of India. The Andaman and Nicobar group of islands are usually not in the news. Being physically separated from the main land mass of India geographically, these islands situated in the Indian Ocean, recently came back in the news, when a US-based missionary was killed by the native tribes in one of the islands called Sentinelese island.
These islands are a very beautiful holiday destination, as they have sun-kissed beaches, clear waters, lots of greenery, mountains, and also a touch of history. Many of us can easily relate to Andamans, as the place where the infamous British jail called “Kaala Paani,” where many freedom fighters were jailed during our struggle for independence. However, it is one of the many sought-after tourist destinations now. If you are interested in exploring the underwater sea world, this is perhaps your best choice in our country.
What is on offer?
Apart from the mind-blowing scenic beauty, Andamans offer the tourists few major attractions Ross Island, Havelock Island, Neil Island, and Viper Island. Apart from this the cellular jail, which is now a national memorial is definitely worth a visit. The Little Andaman Lighthouse and the mud volcanoes of Baratang Island are a big draw for most visitors as well. There is no shortage of beaches in Andaman, and they all are clean and bright turquoise water beaches with lovely sands on the shore. The Havelock island, which happens to be a must visit, contains the Radhanagar Beach, Beach 5, Neil’s Cove and Kalapathar Beach. You could easily choose to just lie down on the beach and soak in the sun, or indulge in some adventurous activities in the water.
The activities on offer to tourists are swimming, snorkeling, sea walk, scuba diving, trekking, bird watching, elephant safari, etc. The sea walk at North Bay beach is a real treat and once in a lifetime kind of experience. You get to see a different variety of fishes, coral reef and many other marine life forms passing you by when you take this walk. For trekkers, there is a 16 Km trek from Mount Harriet to Madhuban, which happens to be an extraordinarily scenic and exotic one, because of the variety of the flora and fauna you get to see on the way.
A visit to this place without visiting the Anthropological museum that provides insights into the various tribes of the islands is undoubtedly incomplete. There are many indigenous tribes, including the likes of the Sentinelese, which have preferred to stay away and out of sight of other humans and civilization. It would be intriguing to see and learn about these. Another museum, Samudrika Naval Marine Museum, situated at Port Blair, purely dedicated to the biodiversity of the marine life, is enchanting as well.
If you are a fan of water sports, then you are in for some real delightful experiences at the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex. Almost all forms of water sports like parasailing, banana rides, jet skiing, rowboat paddling, and speedboat rides and many more are available here. And there are trained instructors and safety measures and personnel also in place to ensure that nothing goes wrong. A variety of seafood is just an added treat for those visiting this place; however, you have a good variety of vegetarian food as well.
How to get there?
Many tour operators are providing you package tours to the Andamans, and you can check them out. However, even if you were to plan individually or as a group, flights are operating from major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, and Kolkatta to Port Blair. If you have been thinking of taking a cruise, then this could be your chance, as you can take a cruise to Andamans from Chennai, Kolkata, and Vizag. If you do not have seasickness and have the extra time on hand, this is a good option as well. Since it is away from the Mainland India, there is no other way to get there.
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