“Over looking the sea at Port Blair, Andaman”
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, an archipelago or a collection of various small islands; Very little is known about this beautiful union territory of India and most surprisingly Indians form a small percentage of tourism to these islands. Located close to Chenai coast, the place can be accessed by flight or by sea journey. Nicobar islands are not accessible to tourists considering they are still occupied by native tribes
Many reasonable accommodations are available and can be booked through various reputed travel agents like @Make My Trip or @Yatra. However quality of accommodations should be expected to be average considering the islands depend on daily supplies from Indian coast
We were fortunate however to find accommodation at “Megapode” which overlooks the majestic Indian ocean at Port Blair. The bugle sound of the cargo ships give an early morning wake up call along with the clutter of birds outside your rooms. Megapode is a name of a local bird found in Andamans, full of mischief and capable of running top speeds on ground
Among the various tourist locations in Andamans, Indian history records the suffering of prisoners during the British rule in India. These are the famous “Central Jail” also known to many as “Kalapaani Jail”
Legend has it that these jails never allowed a prisoner to escape being surrounded by Indian ocean on all sides. The waters possible devoured many dead trying to escape.
The corridors here have an eerie feeling. Our hearts sank in those corridors with the mind painting the horrific image of prisoners being confined to dark dungeons, death altars and gallows where prisoners were given the death sentence. It also houses a room specially created in that era for lashing prisoners on bare skin. A testimony to the struggle put up for our dear freedom
There are endless options of beautiful white sand beaches. Little wonder these islands are a top choice for honeymooners
Do expect a tropical climate for most months in the year. These islands play host to foreign campers and tourists for most months in a year. Monsoons can be choppy in some parts. Our chosen month for travel was July which is in midst of monsoon for Andamans. Though a few places were beyond our reach, what came as a boon was a rainforest and crocodile sanctuary close to Havelock islands.
Best advice is not to stick out your hand from the speed boats which take you to the little marooned island through a series of thick vegetation and mangroves
Deep within the rainforest area lie these amazing creation of nature. These limestone caves are in formation since the dinosaur age adding a few mm each year
Most foreign tourists leave the Andaman island almost as soon as they arrive to another island nearby called “Havelock”.
Government transport to this island is by Ramanujam ship which carries passengers once a day each way. Private transport is available but expensive. Be careful to have to plan a day in between traveling back to Port Blair and catching a flight. Transport to and from Havelock is often suspended due to weather and sea conditions
Havelock is scarcely populated and there are beaches where you may be the only human species around. The water is clear and calm and you can walk through corals and fish until a few hundred meters off shore. Options of scuba, fishing, snorkeling etc are available
Andaman and Nicobar are home to some of the oldest tribes of this world. Among the main five tribes, The Jarawa tribe has still not crossed over to civilization while government programs are ongoing
Tourists are asked to be cautious when passing through Jarawa tribe areas. However I was lucky to have spotted a few and missed a near death experience with a jarawa ready with an arrow. Jarawas are mainly hunters and mainly depend on hunting and farming for their survival
Andaman islands are a bundle of adventure and peace. Plan a trip lasting a week to enjoy most parts of these islands. Tag your tent, camping gear and a camera along
Coral reefs, rainforest, scuba diving, Asia’s largest timber cutting factory, or a peaceful retreat to Havelock and other islands, Andaman islands offers an experience and memories for a lifetime