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Heavenly Andaman

Andaman and Nicobar Islands have India's best nesting beaches for three species of marine turtles – Hawksbill, Green turtle and world's largest sea turtle, the Leatherback

To the east of the Indian mainland, in the blues of the Bay of Bengal, floats the splendid archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The erstwhile 'Kalapani', translated as 'black waters' from back in the day when the islands were the graveyards of martyrs, has now transformed into one of India's best tourist spots. Forever scarred by the atrocities of the British regime, the islands retain an exciting aura that satiates the young adventure junkie in us all. Once a hill range extending form Myanmar to Indonesia, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands today are a group of 572 near deserted islets (small islands). The majestic forests, and the sun beaming on exotic flora and fauna take your breath away. More than 86% of the islands' area is forest cover which is home to animals like the spotted deer, wild boar, gecko crab-eating macaque and pythons. The glistening white beaches are nesting homes to turtles. The jewel in the crown, however, is the marine life. The elegance of the crystal clear, blue waters, incredible corals, and the myriad creatures that inhabit the ocean leave you spellbound. Exploring the marine life first-hand through activities like scuba diving and fishing guarantee an enriching experience of coming an inch closer to nature. The capital city of Port Blair houses majority of the mainland settlers on the island today. Prior to the colonial rule, however, the islands were home to indigenous tribes, some of who still populate pockets of the archipelago. Tourist infrastructure development has been on the rise over the year, citing rising tourism, but the islands still remain virgin with untouched natural beauty and unexplored marine life. If you wish to visit these islands, now would be a good time.

Area8,073 sq km
CapitalPort Blair
Population379,944 As of 2011 Census of India
Official LanguagesBengali
Boundary

Surrounded by Sea.

    • Sri Kali Pooja
      Sri Kali Pooja

      This Festival Is Associated With The Worship Of Goddess Maa Kali As The Goddess Of Ruining The Evil. In The Hindu Calendar, This Comes In The Month Of Aswin, Which Falls In The Months Of October-november. The Bengalis Take Keen Interest And Celebrate In Enthusiastically. Kali Temple At Prem Nagar Is Decorated Beautifully With Colored Lamps. Prescribed Pooja And Artis Are Performed. A Lot Of Hindus Particularly Bengalis. Visit The Temple And Other Places Where The Images Of Goddess Maa Kali Are Installed And Worshiped. Next Day, The Image Is Taken In The Form Of Procession With Songs And Dances, To Haddo Jetty, Aberdeen Jetty And/or Junglighat Jetty For Immersion. A Large Crowd Assembles To Witness The Procession At Goal Ghar, Opposite To State Library, Junglighat Junction, Dairy Farm Junction, Aberdeen Bazar, Delanipur, Haddo Etc.

 
  • Durga Pooja
    Durga Pooja

    This Is Also An Important Festival Of Hindus Celebrated With Great Enthusiasm In The Hindu Calendar Month Of Ashweis. This Pooja Is Celebrated By All Hindus In The Name Of Navaratri Pooja For Nine Days. Every Year Durga Pooja Is Celebrated In These Islands During The Month Of September-october. Bengali Associations In Each Village And Some Organizations Make The Images Of Goddess Durga In A Highly Decorative Manner Out Of Clay Along With Images Of Other Gods Like Ganesh, Sri Karthik(sri Murugan)etc And They Perform Pooja With The Help Of Priests.

The Andamanese Have An Extraordinary And Rich Culture And Traditions. It Brings A Lot Of Visitors Who Are Mainly Attracted By The Native Population Upholding The Richness, Ethnicity And Customs Of The Islands. The Native Population Of Andaman And Nicobar Islands Are Constituted By Two Distinct Groups Namely The Negrito In The Andaman And Autochthones Who Are The Mongoloid Nicobarese And Shompen.they Preserve A Diverse Culture With A Unique Style And Dignity Which Is Appreciated And Attracted By The Tourists. The Major Portion Of The Local People Belong To The Descendants Who Came Here During Early Periods From The Indian Mainland Region. These Migrants From Different Parts Of The Country Add To The Culture And Tradition Of The Region And The Most Appreciated Factor About Them Is That Both The Class Of People In Both The Regions Lives In Peace And Harmony Preserving Their Culture And Traditions. The Tribal Culture Of The Islanders Of Andaman Is Comprised By The Negroids Of The Paleolithic Age Who Migrated From Africa A Few Thousands Of Years Ago And Further They Include Other Ethnic Groups Like Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa And Sentinalese Of Mongoloid Origin Wherein, The Inhabitants Of Nicobar Comprise Of The 'nicobarese' And The 'shompen' Inhabitants. These Tribes Have Maintained Their Uniqueness Amid Relative Isolation And Therefore Have Succeeded In Maintaining The Culture Of The Islands.

  • Sea Food Forms The Dominant Part Of The Cuisine Of The Andamanese. They Are Mostly Non Vegetarians Depending On Sea Food. They Also Eat Both Red And White Meat. Being Hunters By Origin, The People Of The Island Hunt Birds And Wild Animals And Feast On Them. Initially The Use Of Fire Was Not Known To Them. Other Tropical Food Common To This Area Are Mango, Banana, Orange, Pineapple, Guava Which Are Some Common Fruits Found In The Markets. But However Now Andaman Becoming A Major Tourist Destiny, The People Are Getting More Used To The Other Foods Like Delicious Indian, Chinese And Continental Food Items.

Woodwork And Carpentry Are The Local Crafts Of Andaman. There Are Several Units Engaged In Making The Furniture And Other Wooden Articles Made From Ornamental Woods Like Marble Wood, Paduak And Chui. The Tabletops Made From Paduak Burr Are Singular Works Of Handicrafts In These Islands. The Driftwood That Is Shaped By The Currents And Flow Of The Sea Is Commonly Available In Andaman. It Is Converted Into Art Objects Through Imagination, Dedication And Precision.

What To See around Port Blair :
 
Anthropological Museum: 
Set up in 1975 at Hadoo, this museum is a storehouse of the artifacts and materials of daily use by the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands such as canoes, weapons, cloths etc.
 
Cellular Jail:
 Completed in 1906, Cellular Jail has got its name from the isolated cells where the freedom fighters were imprisoned. The structure of the jail is comprised of seven three storied wings, with a central tower. The names of the freedom fighters are engraved on this watch tower. Today, Cellular Jail stands in a dilapidated condition as an aftermath of Japanese invasion and Tsunami more recently.
 
Mount Harriet: 
It is high point on a hillock which provides a scenic view of the surrounding islands and also is a perfect place to enjoy sunrises.
 
Mini Zoo: 
Though it is named as `mini`, it is comprised of some rare species of animals as well as birds.
 
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: Covering 281.5 kms the park is rich in its coral contents and marine lives. It is also a seat of various water sports.
 
Chatam Saw Mill: 
Built way back in 1836, this is the largest saw mill in entire Asia till date.
 
Sippighat Agricultural Farm: 
This 80 acres farm, maintained by the Government, produces bulk of the spices in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
 
How To Reach Port Blair :
 
By Air : 
      Port Blair is connected to Chennai, Kolkatta and Bangkok by air.
 
By Ship :
      Ship services are available to Port       Blair regularly from Chennai, Kolkatta and Visakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailing`s every month from Calcutta and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is a sailing from Vishakhapatnam once in a month. The voyage takes about three days and the ship normally berth at Port Blair for about two days.
 
When To Visit :
The best time to visit Port Blair is between October and March.
A clear history of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands can be had only from the time of a British Survey of these islands conducted in 1777. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands remained the abode of indigenous people of Negrito and the Mongoloid stock respectively, who occupied the Islands for centuries. These islands remained secluded from the mainland till the end of the 18th Century when people from the outside world first arrived. The history of these islands could be divided into four broad periods.
 
a) the period of seclusion and piratical disturbances 
b) the British regime - a period of foreign intrusion and settlement
c) the Japanese regime 
b) and the Post-Independence period.
 
In the Second Century, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were located in the maps prepared by the great Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer, Claudius Ptolemaeus, which possibly is the earliest reference to these islands. The early history of Nicobar is not well known although these islands were familiar to traders in ancient times, the islands being situated close to the trade route to the Far East. Though little is known about Portuguese activities in these islands, it is evident that the Portuguese missionaries started preaching Christianity among the islanders. The Nicobarese language also reflects a few Portuguese words.
 
The British Regime
The history of the British in the Andaman and Nicobar islands began in 1788 when Lord Cornwallis, the then Governor General of India, thought of colonizing the islands and instructed Lt. Archibald Blair and Lt. R.H.Colebrook of the Royal Navy to Survey the islands and submit a report on their suitability for a British Colony. According to the recommendation of these two officers the first British settlement was founded in 1789 on Chatham Island, near Port Cornwallis (Now Port Blair). After the First War of Independence in 1857, the British Government thought of establishing a penal settlement here. In March 1858, the first penal settlement was established, with 200 prisoners, mostly rebels from the Indian Army. Initially the convicts were kept in a jail at Viper island, which is about 15 minutes boat ride from Port Blair. The island had a jail, gallows, Kutcheri, Doctor"s residence, etc. Subsequently, this Jail was abandoned and the Cellular Jail at Port Blair was constructed. During the time of successive Superintendents, E.H.Man, General Steward, and Col. Cadell, the number of convicts increased and they were subjected to inhuman tortures at the hands of the British jailors. The foundation of the famous Cellular Jail was laid in 1896. The building was completed in 1906. Many changes, both in policy and practice, took place during Colonel Ferrar"s time, which, inter alia, included concession to the convicts, mainland visit, etc.
The Japanese Regime
 
World War II brought another series of changes in the life of the Andamans. During the War, the Japanese occupied Andamans on March 21, 1942 and kept the region under their effective control till October 8,1945. Initially the Japanese behaved cordially towards the locals, but became harsh and suspicious after instances came to their notice of some locals maintaining contacts with the British. As a result a large number of innocent people were killed. One such place where the massacre occured is Humfreygunj. But one good result of the Japanese occupation was making the Andamans self-sufficient, at least in food production. The naval blockade created an acute food crisis and the Japanese compelled the local people to bring more land under cultivation. They also constructed roads. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose arrived in Port Blair on December 29, 1943 and was given a ceremonial welcome. He hoisted the National Flag at Port Blair on 30th Dec. 1943 for the first time during the British regime in India. On October 8, 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the South East Asia Command at Port Blair. The Government quickly restored normalcy in the area and started rehabilitation work.
The Post Independence Regime
 
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands together with the rest of India, became Independent on August 15th, 1947. Bengalis are the major population group, which came to the Andamans after Independence. They came as "settlers" under the Government rehabilitaion scheme, which started as early as 1949 and continued, till the 1970s. All these groups migrated to the Andamans from different districts of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The Bengalis are primarily distributed in the different villages of North, Middle and South Andamans. The rehabilitated settlers of Great Nicobar are the Ex-servicemen. Ex-servicemen were rehabilated according to the rules of the District Soldier, Sailor, Airmen Board, formerly known as the Ex-servicemen Association and the Indian Ex-servicemen League. The first batch of Ex-servicemen came to the island in 1969. Others, from different parts of the mainland followed in 1970,1974,1977,1979 and 1980. These settlers include among others, Punjabis, Marathis, Malyalis and Tamilians. New rules and legislations were enacted and a Chief Commissioner directly nominated by the President of India heads the islands. On November 12, 1982, the post of Chief Commissioner was elevated to the rank of Lt. Governor. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands now sends one elected representative to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament.
 
Andaman - General Information
Location Bay of Bengal
Longitude 920 to 940 East
Latitude 60 to 140 North
 
Distance
Distance by Sea (In Kms.)
Between Port Blair & Chennai 1190
Between Port Blair & Calcutta 1255
Between Port Blair & Vishakapatnam 1200
 
Distance by Air Kms.
Between Calcutta & Port Blair 1303
Between Chennai & Port Blair 1330
 
Climate
Normal Rainfall at Port Blair 3180 mm
Mean Minimum Temperature at Port Blair 22.80 Celcius
Mean Maximum Temperature at Port Blair 29.80 Celcius
Mean Relative Humidity at Port Blair 81%
 
Museums
National Memorial
This three-storied prison, constructed by Britishers in 1906, is almost a pilgrimage destination for freedom fighters. This colossal edifice has mutely witnessed the most treacherous of inhumane atrocities borne by the convicts, who were mostly freedom fighters. Now dedicated to the nation as a National Memorial.
 
Anthropological Museum
This museum at Phoenix Bay (Bus stand - Delanipur road) depicts the life of the Paleolithic Islanders. It also houses the models of the aborigines and their tools. Closed on Mondays and holidays.
 
Fisheries Museum
Situated near Andaman Water Sports Complex, it exhibits species of marine life peculiar to the islands and found in the Indo-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal. Closed on Mondays and holidays.
Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum)
Situated opposite to Andaman Teal House, Delanipur this museum is meant to create awareness on various aspects of oceanic environment. A good collection of shells, corals and a few species of colourful fishes found in these islands are on display.
Time: 8.30 AM - 12.00 Noon, 2.00 PM - 5.00 PM, Monday & holiday closed
 
Zoological Survey of India Museum 
Situated near to Andaman Teal House, this museum and research library exhibit a good variety of sponges, corals, butterflies, centipedes etc., Open on all working days.
 
Forest Museum 
Situated at Haddo (near to the Zoo), this museum offers an insight into forest activities through scale models and displays decorative pieces made of famous woods like Padauk, Marble, Peauma, Gurjan, Satin Wood, etc., Open on all working days
 
Picnic Spot
Corbyn"s Cove Tourism Complex
One of the most picturesque sea-beaches, it is ideal for sea bathing and sun-basking. The Waves Restaurant, The Peerless Resort nearby and the Hornbill Nest Guest House at a stone"s throw, provide a kaleidoscopic view of the blue waterfront.
 
Chidiya Tapu (25 kms. from Port Blair) 
Chidiya Tapu is the southern most tip of South Andaman. The lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the Sylvan Sands and Munda pahar beaches make it an ideal picnic site. The forest guesthouse situated on top of a hillock provides a fabulous view of isolated islands, submerged corals and the breath-taking sunset. Conducted tours are available from Andaman Teal House, Port Blair.
 
Mount Harriet (55 km, by road/15 km by ferry and road from Port Blair)
The summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj, this place is an ideal for a nice and fascinating over view of the outer islands and the sea. It is the highest peak in the South Andamans (365 metres high). One can trek upto Madhuban through a nature trail and can find rare endemic birds, animals and butterflies. Conducted tours to Mt. Harriet are available from Andaman Teal House. 
What To See In Havelock Island :
 
Radhanagar Beach :
Radhanagar Beach, also known as beach #7, is the most beautiful beach of Havelock Island. The beach is located at a distance of 7 km from Dolphin Yatri Niwas. Radhanagar beach is rated as Asia`s best beach and has also positioned itself in world`s top ten beaches.
 
It is known to be one of the best places for nature lovers as it offers a wide range of flora and fauna. In addition, tourists travelling to the beach can enjoy activities like snorkelling, kayaking, scuba diving and swimming. Elephant rides along with beautiful views of sunsets can also be enjoyed at this beach.  
 
Elephant Beach :
Elephant Beach, located at a distance of around 10 km from the market, is one of the most popular beaches in Havelock Island for day trips. Reaching this beach is a hassle free affair as it is accessible either by 30 minutes hike on a jungle path or by opting for one hour boat ride.
 
Known for its beautiful corals and exotic marine life, this beach is ideal for snorkelling. The shoreline of the Elephant Beach was largely swept by the Tsunami that occurred in 2004. At present, the existing beach is a fraction of what it used to be.
 
Vijaynagar Beach :                   :
Vijaynagar Beach, also known as beach #5, is popularly known for relaxing and refreshing environment. In addition, tourists visiting this beach can float in the natural sea salts and can also enjoy the beautiful surroundings as well. However, this beach is believed to be an undeveloped paradise, where tourists can enjoy long and peaceful walk along the beach.
 
Market #3 :                      
Market #3, known as the heartbeat of Havelock Island, is located at a distance of 2 kilometre from the jetty. The market is timid and from morning till 3 in the afternoon, the entire market is intermittent. Market #3 has several products available that are lined up ranging from fruits and sweet stalls to fresh vegetable and fresh fish.
 
How to Reach Havelock Island :
By Air:
The nearest airport is in Port Blair from there you can either take a ferry to Havelock Island or fly in an amphibious 8-seater Cessna seaplane from Port Blair to Havelock and back every day except for Sunday.
 
How to get there by Sea:
Ferries are the best way to reach this island and you can take ferries from Port Blair and Rangat. The schedules and timings of these may vary according to the season hence it is advisable to enquire locally about ferries.
 
Getting Around Havelock Island:
Moving around the island should not be problem as the island boasts of a good public transport system that is reliable and inexpensive as well.
 
Walking: 
The scenic beauty of the island is best explored on foot hence walking is the best option to move around the island. 
 
Buses and shared jeeps: 
Local buses and shared jeeps ply on the two main roads between the port which is popularly known as Beach 1 and Radhanagar which is Beach 7 and Beach 5 where most of the accommodation is concentrated. 
 
Auto rickshaws: 
Auto-rickshaws are the other mode of preferred transport here as the rates are standardised. You can hire them either from the market area or flag them down on the main road. 
 
Bicycles, scooters, and motorcycles: 
You can also hire bicycles, scooters, and motorcycles from the centre of town which is Beach 3 or you can enquire from your guesthouse. 
 
Private taxi: 
Private A/c and non A/c taxis are available on rent through the resort you are staying at or your travel agent.
 
When To Visit :
The best time to visit the island is between October and May

Neill Island is a part of the South Andaman Administrative District and belongs to Ritchie’s Archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. A part of the massive ocean separates it from Ross Island and Havelock Island, Tourists visiting Havelock often make a day-long trip to Neill Island.

 

Perhaps the most endearing feature of this island is its three sandy beaches, namely Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and Lakshmanpur Beach. The forest cover has reduced considerably due to the cultivation of rice but a section in the north-west of the island is being preserved actively.

The regions where the forest cover is lost has a couple of degrees or so higher temperature than the region with enough flora. Nonetheless, Neill Island is the major supplier of vegetables to most regions of the Andaman Islands.
Due to its limited area, Neill Island can be covered with a simple walk. All three beaches are exquisite and extraordinarily clean and are well-connected to the mainland as well.

Andaman's Popular Packages

Popular Tourists Destinations in Andaman

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