One of the seven Union territories of India, Andaman & Nicobar Islands is one of the most visited places in the country. The islands are popular among honeymooners for the pure white sands and crystal blue waters. Though it’s a part of Indian archipelago, there’s a mix of traditions practiced with the backdrop of colonial structures built across the island. If you haven’t visited the islands, you must know – you’re missing something very ethereal!
Tiny Pockets Of Heaven – Places to visit
The Andamans are a group of exotic and pristine islands abundant with greenery! You’ll be spoilt for choice as Andamans is home to not one or two but a cluster of islands that you can happily habit.
- Bharatpur Beach – Located at the jetty of the gorgeous Neil Islands, Bharatpur beach is like a piece of art. It’s popular for its coral reefs and white shores. Due to the beauty of this beach, Neil Islands are known as the coral capital of Andamans.
- Limestone Caves – Located at the Baratang Island, the Limestone caves should be on top of your list, if you love the wonders of Mother Earth. A speedboat journey to this natural wonder will leave you speechless.
- Radhanagar Beach – If you need a teaser of how the heaven looks, this is where you should be. Located on the west coast of the calm and pristine Havelock island, is Radhanagar beach or popularly known as Beach no 7. You can see a clear reflection of the clouds on the sands of this beach and we won’t be surprised if you don’t want to leave this place again.
- Marina Park – Also known as Samudrika Marine Museum, the Marine Park is located in the capital, Port Blair. Managed by the Indian Navy, it was established to create awareness around saving the aquatic life. The Park gives you a glimpse at the rich marine life of Andamans.
- Cellular Jail – There’s no list made which excluded this structure which reminds of the dark struggle of India’s independence. Also known as Kalapani, the prison was home to not only prisoners but a lot of torture, pain and a reminder of slavery. However, the colonial structure is a must visit for its infrastructure. Every person feels different when he/she visits the jail!
The Islander Life – Things to do
Made up of 200 islands which even to this day are habited by the ancient tribes, Andaman & Nicobar Islands have a lot of offer. Island hopping is the most popular thing to do! However, be careful and read our – ‘What not to do?’ the section before you plan to hop!
- The Andamans are a treat to anyone who loves diving, swimming, snorkeling and other water sports. Even if you’re not a swimmer, you can enjoy deep diving as a lot of professionals will help you through it.
- There are a lot of Israeli cafes in Havelock island which are a must visit. You can go there on a Friday night, the Sabbath day and try out authentic Israeli cuisine.
- For non-adventurers, grab a drink, your favourite book and sit by the shore for some peaceful evenings.
Where to Stay
- Just one or two days is good enough to spend at Port Blair which has a number of accommodation options.
- In the islands, try home stays which give you a better view of the beaches and the Andamanese lifestyle. Look out for beach resorts listed on travel sites; some of the most popular resorts are Barefoot, Dolphins and Silversand beach resort.
What Not to Do
- Taking corals and shells away from the island without the permission from the Fisheries and Forest Department is a crime.
- Skinny dipping may get you in trouble. At least wear your underpants if swimming in public beaches.
- Known as the most isolated island in the world, The North Sentinel Island should be off your list for good. The Sentinelese still live in ancient and primitive conditions and any contact with them, and you’ll either be shot by an arrow or will come back to spend some time in the jail. The Indian government has strictly warned tourists to stay away. After multiple failed attempts, the government of India has decided to protect their privacy and leave them on their own.
- At many places bonfires are banned; check before you light one!
How to get there
- Port Blair is connected by air and sea to the mainland. Fly down to Chennai, Kolkata or Vishakhapatnam for some luxury and budget cruises.
- Vir Savarkar airport in Portblair has a schedule and there are set flights from the above-mentioned cities on set days of the week.