Be it a romantic escape or a family voyage, nothing could be as luring as the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar. Nestle amidst the blend of sandy beaches, impenetrable bush and cobalt waters; there are numbers of isles to explore in Andaman and Nicobar. This is why amongst all other union territories, the Andaman and Nicobar are the most preferred group of Islands for honeymooners and travellers from various parts of the sphere.
With an expanse of around 500Kms in length covering almost 600 islands, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The large group of Isles are widened with Nicobars in the south and Andamans in the north. The Andamanese town of Port Blair is the capital of this great archipelago. Some of the prominent languages that are spoken here include Hindi, English, Telugu, Bengali and Tamil.
The thick bush of Isles houses a wide range of flora with elements from prevalent flowery strains, India, Malaysia and Myanmar. Some of the key floras that can mostly be observed here are ferns and orchids. Besides, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands there are various endangered faunas as well that includes saltwater crocodile, Andaman Wild Boar, bats, the sea cow (also known as dugong) and various other species of mammals.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands face a moderate temperature over the year that lies between 22oC to 32oC temperature. The best time for holidaying amidst the Isles is from the month of January to mid-May when the weather is extremely soothing and favourable. At day time the ambience is mostly bright and sunny. In addition, the free-flowing lively sea can also be revealed the best at that time.
However, holidaying there from the month of May till July is not recommended. The reason being, that time monsoon hits the isles region, which leads to intense breeze, frequent rainfall and low visibility under water. Moving ahead from August to November, some occasional showers can be experienced in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
If you want to witness the major festival of the isles, visit Port Blair between December and February. Every year during this period the Island Tourism Festival is celebrated here for 15 days.
Places to visit:
A blend of sightseeing amidst the clean blue sky, sandy beaches and audacious water activities will keep your voyage quite busy from morning to night. Therefore, holidaying in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands will offer you a relaxing time filled with fun, excitement and togetherness. Let’s take a look into the places or things that you must do in the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar.
#Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island
Having said about the diverse range of nearly 600 islands, Radhanagar Beach is one of the most rejuvenating beaches in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that you can’t miss. Situated on the western coast of Havelock Island, Radhanagar Beach was crowned as the Best Beach in Asia in 2004 by the TIME Magazine. What allures the honeymooners here is a long walk aside the blue waters and tranquil environs. A part from witnessing the picturesque vista of Havelock Island, you can also involve in various exciting underwater activities like scuba diving and snorkelling. Stepping around Radhanagar Beach thus makes your trip more enchanting and adventurous.
#Lalaji Bay Beach, Long Island
Situated in the western coast of Long Island, Lalaji Bay Beach is quite popular for skinny-dippers. The beach area is mostly crowded by foreign tourists who enjoy skinny dipping to the fullest. Lalaji Bay Beach is well-connected from Rangat by ferries. Rangat is a town located in Middle Andaman Island. In order to reach Lalaji Bay Beach, tourist should hire a dunghi from the Long Island. In addition, they can also walk nearly for an hour through Mangrove Creek to reach the destination.
#Laxmanpur Beach, Neil Island
The more you plunge around the Andaman and Nicobar, the more you come to explore various beaches over there. The serenity of this beach allows you to be on your own even during the rush hours. Laxmanpur Beach is situated near the Bharatpur Beach. However, in contrast the Laxmanpur Beach is wider and longer than Bharatpur Beach. So, if you are with your better half, you can enjoy a refreshing long walk with the feel of togetherness.
#Guitar Island Beach
As the name suggests, an aerial vista of this beach exactly looks like a guitar. The Guitar Island Beach is reckoned amongst the least visited beaches in Andaman. Therefore, you can expect a tranquil ambience here. This beach is often compared with another popular Island called Ross and Smith Islands. This is because, during low tide the Guitar Island Beach also get in touch with the adjoining Islands like the Ross and Smith Islands. However, what distinguishes these two beaches is the connecting source. Ross and Smith Islands gets connected to a sand bar. The Guitar Island Beach on the other hand gets connected to stones.
One can reach the Guitar Island Beach from Long Island jetty via dunghi. The rides take around 15 minutes time to take you till the island shore. From there you need to walk further to reach the Guitar Island Beach. Don’t forget to carry a hammock and good novels to spend some relaxing time facing the beach in early morning.
#Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Port Blair
Nothing could be more exciting than visiting the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex. Located in Port Blair, this is a perfect place for adventure freaks. Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex offers you a wide range of thrilling activities like rowboat paddling, speed boat rides, parasailing, banana rides and jet skiing. Considering the number of visitors, the sport complex facilitates you with changing room. A group of well-trained staffs are also there to take care of the safety measures of the participants.
#Mangrove Creek, Baratang Island
Situated around 100Kms away from the Port Blair, Mangrove Creek is quite popular amongst the visitors for performing boat-safari amidst the green tunnel of mangrove plantations. This place offers you an emerald environs with vivacious water flow. Presence of various exotic bird species can also be observed during the thrilling boat-safari. However, on the way to your boat safari you will come across some Lime Stone Caves as well. Therefore, you can carry a torch with you. On your way back to home, Mangrove Creek will certainly add a new quill to your Andaman tour.
#North Bay Beach, Port Blair
Do you feel like to experience a bare-footed walk on the base of the sea? If your answer is ‘Yes’ then North Bay Beach is the place to fulfil your wish. Situated merely within 15 minutes away from Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, at North Bay Beach you can take part in Sea-walking amidst the corals. Picturesque vistas of rich marine life will goosbumps your walk on the base of the sea to a large extent. During the walk, you will be accompanied by skilled life guards under the water. You can enjoy the thrilling sea walk form morning to afternoon. While practicing this daring walk, you will be required to wear a transparent helmet. So, what are waiting for? Go and grab the thrill!
#Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island
If you want to have an amazing coral viewing experience, Bharatpur Beach is the place for you. To experience the same you can hire a glass bottom boat. In addition, you may also go for snorkelling and scuba diving in Bharatpur Beach. Some other key attractions of this beach are lush green vegetation and fishes amidst the clean water.
#Limestone Caves, Baratang Island
This is an amazing tourist puller in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Situated in Baratang Island, the route of Limestone Caves takes you through a lush bush, which is crisscrossed by various coves. Visitors flock the Limestone Caves to have a glimpse of a sun-bathing crocodile. The Limestone Cave is reckoned amongst the lime stone caves that consumes almost half of your day to explore the entire cave. From Ranger, it will take merely half an hour to reach Limestone Caves by speed boat.
#Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Just imagine a vacation amidst small islands and endangered marine species. With an expanse of nearly 280 Sq.Kms areas, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is speckled with 15 small isles. Out these the biggest island is Tarmugli, which is famed as the breeding ground for turtles. Apart from various endangered marine species, at Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park tourist can also enjoy scuba diving, glass bottom boating, and snorkelling.
#Mount Harriet National Park
One more National Park in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is Mount Harriet National Park, which was named after the highest point in this Island. This popular park houses various wild pigs, turtles, saltwater crocodiles, robber crab etc. Stretched with around 47 Sq.Kms areas, here you can see several exotic bird species and an array of atypical floras. Visitors can also have a wonderful trekking experience at the Mount Harriet National Park. The best time for trekking there is from November to April. Don’t forget to carry adequate eatables and trekking kit containing all the essentials before you start.
#Ray Hill, Mayabunder
A complete lush bush in Andaman, Ray Hill is a newly emerged eco-tourism destinations that one must visit. At Ray Hill, you will get eco-guesthouses. Furthermore, this place is popular for various daring activities like rock climbing, wilderness trail and angling. Not only this, an exciting elephant safari amidst the thick woods will give you a close view of various colourful species of birds. This is one such destination where natural exquisiteness and wilderness can be explored to a great extent.
#Katchal Island, Nicobar
If you want to explore something different, you must visit Katchal Island. This Island is the abode of Nicobari Tribes and Tamilians migrant. Visiting Katchal Island allows you an opportunity to explore the lifestyles of local inhabitatnts. However, prior to visiting Katchal Island, you need to take special government permission. The picturesque scenery and wilderness of this Island will make your trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands more meaningful.
The list of sightseeing and adventurous activities is quite long in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Apart from the above cited locations, there are several other interesting places as well that you can visit. Some of these attractions are Anthropological Museum, Port Blair, Cellular Jail, Port Blair, Austin Creek, Mayabunder, Kaala Pathar Beach, Corbyn’s Cove Beach, Port BlairHavelock Island, Avis Island Beach, Mayabunder, Stewart Island Beach,Raman Bageecha Beach, Rangat,Casurina Beach, Diglipur, Lamiya Bay Beach, Diglipur, Pathi Level Beach, Diglipur, Butler Bay Beach, Hut Bay Island, Merk Bay Beach, North Passage Island, Long Island, Karmatang Beach, Mayabunder, Aamkunj Beach, Rangat, Wandoor Beach, Port Blair etc.
Food and Drinks:
If you want to have some real delectable food in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair is the place. In most of the restaurants here you will be served scrumptious seafood. Additionally, basic Indian cuisines are also quite popular in Port Blair. You will find various resort restaurants as well where Western dishes can be tasted. However, these dishes are comparatively pretty expensive. If you love seafood, don’t miss the Tuna and Fresh Crab in Port Blair. These two are the most preferred eatables in Port Blair.
Apart from trying a blend of Tuna and Crab, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is also poplar for fresh coconut water. On the other hand, for alcohol and beverages the best place is Port Blair. Here you will come across number of bars and eateries where you can try English beer and Wine. However, if you are expecting a pub or a dance club, there is no such option of amusement there.
#Things to Purchase
In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there are several souvenir shops showcasing beautiful handicrafts. These souvenir shops stock plenty of striking objects like Nicobari mats, coconut shell lamp shades, wooden chairs, trays, bowls and many other items that you can purchase from the local curio shops and emporiums.
Before planning a vacation in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the major concerns for most of the visitors is how to reach there. If this is the concern which is holding you back from planning your next vacation amidst the isles, here’s how you can reach the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The popular holiday hub can be visited either by air or by sea.
By Air: The nearest airport is Veer Savarkar International Airport or Port Blair Airport, which located around 32Kms away from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Regular fights are available for Port Blair from some of the major cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Visakhapatnam, Bangalore and Bhubaneswar. The key airlines that connect Port Blair with several other cities of India include Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Air India and Go Air. From Kolkata and Chennai, the air journey can be completed in around 2hours time. On the other hand, the flights from Delhi and Mumbai takes around 5 hours time to reach Port Blair. Depending on the place, time of booking and airlines the charges may start from INR 7000 and more.
By Sea: The nearest sea port is Haddo Wharf Port in Port Blair. Reaching Andaman and Nicobar Islands by ship is quite time consuming. Every month three to four sailings are there from Chennai, Kolkata. From Vishakhapatnam on the other hand, there is only one sailing in a month. Having said, the ship journey is quite time taking, and this may consume 3-4 days time to reach Port Blair. Please note that the sailing schedules are announced a month before the journey. However, there is no provision for online booking. One tourist needs to visit Chennai, Kolkata or Visakhapatnam to book tickets. Depending on the type of ships (Ship MV Swarajdweep, Nancowry, Ship MV Harshvardhana, Ship MV Akbar) and passengers (islanders, tourists, non-islanders) the ship fares may range from INR 660 to INR 8000.
Note: While travelling to Andamans, Indian tourists need no prior permission. If you a foreign tourist, you are not allowed to stay here exceeding 30 days. In case of any exigency or unavoidable circumstances, the limit can further be extended up to 15 days. However, if you are Indian citizen and visiting to Nicobar Islands or any other tribal terrains, you must obtain a special permission.
Places to Stay:
Being one of the preferred holiday destinations, the Isles of Andaman and Nicobar are often visited by number of tourists from all over the world. In order to meet up their basic amenities including comfortable accommodations and quality food, several luxuries, deluxe and budget hotels and resorts are established in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, depending on the site, type of hotels and amenities the charges may differ. Some of the quality budget hotels can be availed within the price range between INR2000 and INR 3500. On the other hand, the premium hotels may cost you somewhere around INR 7000 and more.
Here’s a list of few places that visitors can try for staying purpose:
Address: Link Road, Goal Ghar, Port Blair,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744103
Address: J.N Road, Goal Ghar, Port Blair,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744101
#Fortune Resort Bay Island
Address: Marine Hill, Port Blair,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744101
#Sinclairs Bayview Port Blair
Address: Corbyns Cove Road, South Point, Shadipur,
Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744106
Address: Phoenix Bay, Port Blair,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744101
#Barefoot at Havelock
Address: Beach No. 7, Redhanagar Village,
Havelock Island, Andaman Islands,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744211
Address: Wandoor Village, Port Blair,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744103
#Summer Sands Beach Resort
Address: Ram Nagar Beach, Neil Island, South Andaman,
Ram Nagar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744104
Address: 36, M.A.ROAD PHOENIX BAY,
Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744102
The archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar has no dearth of sightseeing, thrilling activities and lip-smacking cuisines. Filled with natural exquisiteness, the isles of Andaman and Nicobar thus became a preferred territory for newlywed couples and family outing.