The archipelago of ‘Andaman & Nicobar Islands’ that stretches over a length of more than 7000 km running north to south is among very few of the places in the world those remain far from sensing the heat of the modernization! However, its abstinent from the modern world has played the decisive role in conserving the magnificent immaculate beauty that the nature has bestowed upon it! Nestled amidst the crystalline azure waters of the ‘Bay of Bengal’, this group of nearly 572 islets shimmers like precious emeralds floating over the sapphire bed!
The ‘Andaman & Nicobar Islands’ are the part of the ‘Union Territory of India’ & are separated from the Indian mainland by more than 1300 km. Most of the islets are nearly deserted & only a dozen or so are accessible to the tourists. Thick envelope of the tropical forest, which is still largely untouched, occupies nearly 86% surface of these exotic islands. The abundant flora in this region provide warm shelter to multitudes of creatures like spotted deer, pythons, wild boar & crab-eating macaque.
The marine life thriving underneath the crystal clear waters of the surrounding ‘Bay of Bengal’ is the jewel in the crown of these sensational islands. The underwater world decorated with the widespread colonies of awe-inspiring corals portrays the real life picture of the fairytale world.
The rugged wilderness coupled with the irresistible aquatic life forms an exquisite concoction suitable for appeasing the adventure seekers’ crave for action. The ‘Andaman & Nicobar Islands’ offer innumerable opportunities to enjoy the heavenly atmosphere that engulfs these islands. Let’s have a look at the offerings of this incredible archipelago!
- HOW TO REACH:
The Territory capital- ‘Port Blair’ is very well connected with the major cities on the eastern shore of the Indian mainland by the means of air & water transport. ‘Port Blair’ is accessible by air from ‘Chennai’, ‘Kolkata’, ‘New Delhi’ & ‘Bhubaneswar’ whereas, regular ‘to & fro’ passenger ship service is available from ‘Chennai’, ‘Vishakhapatnam’ & ‘Kolkata’. The journey via ship normally takes 50 to 60 hours & anchors at ‘Port Blair’ for around four days.
- WHAT TO SEE:
Pristine sandy beaches glittering in bright sunlight are the most fascinating features of these islands. Myriad stunning beaches dazzles on the shores of the ‘Andaman’ islets & offer a range of fun as well as adventure activities to the visitors. The ‘Andaman’ group of islands offers more liberty to the visitors as compared to that of ‘Nicobar’ group which offers limited access to very few numbers of islets.
The Andaman Islands Group hosts incredibly beautiful islands such as ‘Cinque Island’, ‘Little Andaman’, ‘Long Island’, ‘Neil Island’, ‘Ross Island’, ‘Diglipur’, ‘Mayabunder’ & ‘Havelock Island’ etc. which left the tourists spellbound by their mesmerizing beauty. These islands are hugely popular not only for their gleaming beaches, but also for their extensive wildlife.
The Nicobar Islands Group, on the other hand, has very few spots open for tourists as compared to ‘Andaman’, although, as far as the splendor & serenity are concerned, these places are not at all inferior to their ‘Andaman’ counterparts even by slightest of the margin! The ‘Great Nicobar’ & the ‘Campbell Bay’ are only two islands which are open for the tourists.
At present, the ‘Nicobar Islands’ are not open for the foreign tourists & the Indians too, are given permission only in exceptional cases upon applying for the special tribal pass. People from the indigenous ethnic group called ‘Negrito’,which are living in the pockets of ‘Nicobar’, are the prime reason why access is limited to these islands. The tribes are far behind than the modern world as far as progress is concerned & are known for their ferocious & gruesome behavior towards the people not belonging to their world!
Apart from the stupendous sandy beaches & lush green flora, ‘Andaman’ also hosts a handful of other tourist attractions, few of which revive the bygone era of ‘British Colonial Ruling’. The ‘Cellular Jail’ situated in ‘Port Blair’ is the most iconic of them all which served during the ‘British Reign’ as the dreadful prison meant for the incarceration of ‘Indian freedom fighters’ & political dissidents. The ‘Cellular Jail’ is an example of unruly & the heinous side of the colonial British Empire & today, it is regarded as India’s ‘National Memorial’ that revives the memories of the unmatched sacrifices of the freedom fighters.
Along with the ‘Cellular Jail’, visitors also love visiting other places such as ‘Mahatma Gandhi National Park’, ‘Andaman Water Sports complex’, ‘Mini Zoo’, ‘Anthropological Museum’, the ‘Samudrika’ (Naval Museum), ‘Corbyn’s Cove’, ‘Forest & Fisheries Museums’ & ‘Chatham Saw Mill’.
- THINGS TO DO:
The ‘Andaman & Nicobar’ archipelago is a genuine paradise for all who have an obsession for adventure sports. The stunning beaches offer world-class opportunities for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling. There are literally innumerable places where you can experience the thrill of getting face-to-face with some of the most amazing marine creatures frolicking around the sea bed.
Various diving sites near ‘Andaman’ such as ‘Cinque Island’, ‘North Point’, ‘Corruption Rock’, ‘Rutland Island’, ‘Bala reef’, ‘Fish Rock’ etc. to name a few, are all effective enough to relish the stay of all sorts of divers in the ‘Andaman’!
‘Andaman’ also bestows ample of amenities upon the tourists to make their every moment in ‘Andaman’ simply mesmerizing. ‘Water Sports’ activities offered by the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex’ add a pinch of excitement in the adventure sports lovers, whereas, for fishing enthusiasts, the ‘Game Fishing’ is the way to go. The ‘Sea Walk’ is another unique offering of ‘Andaman’ which enables the divers to explore the underwater life by smoothly walking on the seabed!
If that’s not enough, you can also experience living amidst the rugged terrain of ‘Andaman’ by setting your camps in the dense, untamed forests at ‘Radhanagar’ beach in ‘Havelock Island’. Moreover, camping alongside some of the best beaches in the world is also possible in this part of the world. Trekkers can also enjoy exploring the deep, evergreen & mysterious jungles of ‘Andaman’ as the ‘Trekking’ in the ‘Andaman’ is very popular among the tourists. Trekkers & campers can also enjoy ‘Bird Watching’ in the rich foliage on the ‘Parrot Island’ near ‘Baratang’, which is famous for endemic birds, especially parrots of various species.
No visit to the ‘Andaman Islands’ can be completed without ‘Mangrove Creek Safari’! The dense greenery of the mangroves present on either side of the tender creeks in northern & middle ‘Andaman’ sets an excellent stage for the amazing creek safari. The safari comes with the reasonable rates & presents the nature lover the lifetime opportunity to ‘vis-a-vis’ with the astonishing nature of ‘Andaman’!
‘Andaman’ is no less than the heaven as it takes you to the world which does not seem to be having any connection with the mortal world. The eternal beauty of its pristine nature stirs the inner soul & returns back the peace of mind. Visiting this rarely explored corner of the world is indeed worthwhile. Andaman is simply god-made part of the world! A Truly Incredible Destination!