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Andaman in My Eyes

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Posted on: Wednesday, 13 May 2020

I have visited Andaman, the white and clean unexplored virgin sand beaches, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, other water sports enjoyed like anything, never forgot.

I have visited Andaman, the experience I gathered can never be forgotten. The memories of Kala Pani, Freedom fighters struggle, Cellular Jail will encourage you towards the strong wishes and sacrifice of our freedom fighters to make our motherland free from British rule. And for eyes delight and adventure white sand beaches, water sports like Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Cruize will attract you much - I enjoyed everything. The tasty foods, the Lobsters, Tuna fish, and other marine foods are fascinating. In addition, south Indian foods like Idli, Dosa with pure coconut Chutneys are amazing. The ancient tribes like Jarawa, Onge, Great Andamanese, Sentinelese, Shompen, and Nicobarese are original inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Though you can not interact with them, even some of them don't like civilized people, few tribes are very dangerous for the common man - so it is better to avoid them. Andaman and Nicobar Island is a Union Territory of India. Out of 836 objects, 572 are Islands and only 38 are inhabited. There are two sea juncture, the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The whole island is divided into two Island groups - the Andaman Island group and the Nicobar Island group. Port Blair is the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Island. In Port Blair, the main places to visit are the Cellular Jail, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman Water sports complex, Chatham Saw Mill, Mini Zoo, Corbyn's cove, Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor Beach, Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Fisheries Museum, Naval Museum (Samudrika), Ross Island and North Bay Island. Viper Island which was earlier visited is now kept closed. Other places include the famous Radhanagar Beach of  Havelock Island, Neil Island for Scuba diving.

There are two ways to reach Andaman from mainland 

1. By Sea Route:- Chennai - Port Blair: 60 Hrs,   Kolkata - Port Blair: 66 Hrs.,  Vizag - Port Blair: 56 Hr

2. By AIR : -  Chennai - Port Blair : 2 Hrs,    Kolkata - Port Blair : 2 Hrs, 3. Vizag - Port Blair: 2 Hrs., 4. Bangalore - Port Blair: 2 1/2 Hrs., 5. New Delhi - Port Blair: 4 1/2 Hrs.

But I will suggest traveling by AIR for a time-saving and hassle-free journey. The best time to visit Andaman is between October to May, better to avoid the rainy season from June to September.

If you plan to visit Andaman, it will take 6 nights and 7 days to cover.  The itinerary for the Andaman trip is mentioned below:-

Day 1. - Reach Port Blair and local sightseeing

Day 2. - North Bay Island (Coral Island) + Ross Island + Viper Island

Day 3. - Havelock Island - Elephanta Beach + Radhangar Beach + Vijaynagar Beach + Stay at resort/hotel

Day 4. - Havelock to Neil Island - Laxmanpur Beach + Sitapur Beach + Bharatpur Beach + stay at night

Day 5. - Return to Port blair + Visit rest attractions + night stay

Day 6. - Visit Bartang Island, Jarawas land + Limestone Cave + Mud Volcano + Stay at night in the hotel

Day 7. - Return to Delhi / Kolkata by flight

Details of the itinerary are described in brief:-

Day 1. - Reach Port Blair and local sightseeing -  You can go via New Delhi / Kolkata / Vizag / Chennai and reach Port Blair Airport by morning or early afternoon. After reaching you contact your tour operator, they will drop you in the Hotel / Resort which was booked in advance. After checking-in at the hotel take a rest for some time and go for lunch. Visit attractive places of Port Blair, namely, i. Corbyn's Cove (surrounded by lush green Palms) and enjoy water activities like Jetski or others.

ii.  Naval Maritime Museum (Samydrika) - You will see the skeleton of a huge blue whale at the entrance. You will find a fish Aquarium that has fish of all shapes, foot fish, rare poisonous species of stone and coral. From the gift shop, you can collect some souvenirs for your loved ones on the way back.

In the evening experience the light and sound program in the Cellular Jail, which will describe the extreme sacrifices done by our freedom fighters, the cruelty, and torturing was done on them by the Britishers.

Go to bed after dinner.   

Day 2. - North Bay Island (Coral Island) + Ross Island + Viper Island - After breakfast take a ferry/boat from Phoenix Bay  Jetty to reach Ross Island within 15 minutes. Ross Island, the then British administrative headquarter showcases the ruins of British occupation. It shows the Church, swimming pool, hospital, shops and Bazaar. It was bombarded by the Japanese during  World War II and they made bunkers, and make it ruins, The Island is not Inhabitat, tourists had to vacate before evening. 

The next spot is North Bay Island or Coral Island - It is again about 30 minutes boat ride from Phoenix Jetty of Port Blair. The total Island is made of Corals, You can enjoy water sports here or can experience a Dolphin ride, Banana Boat ride, Glass-bottom boat ride, Jet Ride, or Tube Ride to see the underwater fishes in the clear sea.

Viper Island - Once the Jail of freedom fighters during the period of freedom movement of India. The most notorious story about the Island is that the freedom fighters were kept in inhuman conditions to torment the Jail inmates. Viper Chain Gang Jail -  It was infamous by the name - where a number of inmates were chained together in the Jail and they were forced to do work. After the construction of Cellular Jail, it was kept in an abandoned condition. The name comes from the fact that a sunken vessel HMS Viper met an accident and whose ruins were found near the Island.

Back to Portblair and roam around in the market and make dinner before going to bed. Food is very delicious in Andaman, you must taste Lobsters, Tuna Fish, and other marine foods. South Indian dishes like Dosa, Idli with Coconut chutney are also very popular here.

Day 3. - Havelock Island - Elephanta Beach + Radhangar Beach + Vijaynagar Beach + Stay at resort/hotel - Havelock Island is 63 km. from Port Blair and takes 2 Hrs. 30 mins. by Private Makruz Ships. Book the ticket well in advance. Reach Havelock Island around 12 Noon and enter the hotel or private houses adjacent to Beaches. We stayed in a house of a local Bengali family, near Radhanagar Beach, which was booked in advance by the Tour operator. In the serene white sand beaches of Radhanagar ( one of the clean beaches in Asia), we enjoyed ourselves for 2 Hrs.  
and then taking Lunch in the house of the owner's dining hall with local fish and vegetables - it was finger-sticking.  Then move to Elephanta beach for water sports. All sorts of facilities like Snorkelling, Scuba diving, Jet skiing, Boat ride everything was there, we enjoyed the 3 hrs. time with great enthusiasm. Return to our cottage after taking a fruit dish of locally produced fruits. It was fresh, cheap and at least 15 varities of fruits were mixed in a dish of Rs. 30/- only, difficult to eat alone. A number of small restaurants of local peoples were there near Radhanagar Beach serving seafood - we again take the taste of seafood which can not forget. Roam around the tiny Islands for half an hour before going to the night shelter.

Day 4. - Havelock to Neil Island - Laxmanpur Beach + Sitapur Beach + Bharatpur Beach + stay at night - In the morning after taking breakfast and make Sea walk for some time and start for Neil Island from the Havelock Islands Jetty. Within half an hour we reach Neil Island and check-in to a hotel near the beach. Neil is the large-scale producer of Paddy and green vegetables which are supplied to Port Blair.

Visited Laxmanpur Beach and enjoyed it a lot. Natural rock formation developed a bridge-like shape, which is called by local Bengalees as Howrah Bridge, it is made up of live corals.

Sitapur Beach located just at the tip of Neil Islands, It is the place where a large number of vegetables are produced and its main attraction is the rich deposition of Lime Stone. Take lunch in any restaurant.

Bharatpur Beach - It is another attractive place, famous for large-scale vegetation and large varities of fishes. Swimming in the blue water and watching rich corals are very popular attractions here. Water sports can be enjoyed here for some time. Roam around before taking dinner and take a rest in the night for getting fresh for the next day.

Day 5. - Return to Port Blair + Visit rest attractions + night stay - In the morning after breakfast start for Port Blair by ferry service and reach the Capital city.

Visit Cellular Jail - the narrow cells where freedom fighters were staying, the hanging room, the working room where freedom fighters were forced to do work like extracting oil from seeds like Oxes. They were given hard punishments if they violate the orders of the Jailor. The food supplied was of very poor quality and a lesser amount in very dirty dishes. They were given inhuman treatments. 

Chatham Saw Mill - Asia's largest and oldest sawmill situated in the Chatham Islands. Britishers started in the year 1883 for making furniture. The timbers were sent to UK, New York, and other cities. Now, the mill produces good quality timbers in large quantity and export to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Srilanka, and other Indian states. The natural habitation of trees on the Island makes it possible to produce a huge amount of Logs for domestic requirement and export. It has a museum to tell the histories of the Sawmill. During World war II in 1942 Japanese bombed over it and it was closed, afterwards Britishers given the mill a re-birth. The sales counter is also there to purchase mementos for friends and relatives.

Take lunch in a local restaurant and go shopping in Aberdeen Bazaar, Pushpa Market or Bengalee Club Market, M.G. Road and purchase Seashell articles, Keyrings, wooden showpieces, etc. and wall hangers, vases, lampshades made of seashells are the main attractions of the Tourists.

In the evening take fresh air in the long Phoenix Bay Jetty of Port Blair and roam in the adjacent parks and take a taste of Seafood and snacks in the nearby shops. Take Dinner and go for rest early in the night, since the next day early morning you have to start for Bartang Island, the Jarawas land.

Day 6. - Visit Bartang Island, Jarawas land + Limestone Cave + Mud Volcano + Stay at night in the hotel at Port Blair - Start in the early morning at 4 A.M. for Bartang Island, the gateway of North and Middle Andaman district of A & N Islands. From the tourism point of view, it is unexplored because of its natural wonders and virgin beauty.

The journey to Baratang Islands is in two phases :

1st phase - Port Blair to Jirkatang (40 Kms.) takes 1 Hr. and 15 minutes to reach. Here Forest Police Check Post is there. From here the vehicles (only 4 wheelers are allowed) start as a convoy of hundreds of Cars and Buses ( number depends on the number of Tourists visiting the place ), the 1st vehicle must be a bus of Police personnel. Every passenger has to register their names at the check post and convoy will start 4 times in a day - 6 A.M., 9 A.M., 12 Noon, and 2;30 P.M., so be careful about timings. Clean Toilets and Bathrooms are there in the check post, since peoples starting early in the morning, they may require washroom facilities.

2nd Phase -  Jirkatang to Baratang Jetty (49 Kms) takes another 1 Hr. 15 Mins Travel,  Journey of the convoy through reserve forest, where Jarawas reside, no halt, no overtaking is allowed in the route, Photography, Videography is not allowed. Tourists try to see the Jarawas from the glass windows of the vehicles. No one is allowed to contact them to avoid the spread of disease since they have no immunity to withstand.  The journey is a shocking example of a Human safari, where visitors try to spot Jarawas, whereas in the forest we enjoy animal safari for spotting animals. After a long journey, you will reach Nilambur Jetty from where you will get ferry service for Baratang Jetty (15 minutes Journey). It is the only road to connect North Andaman to the remote places like Mayabunder(141 Kms. from Baratang Jetty), Kadamtala(28  Kms. from Baratang Jetty), Rangat (71 Kms. from Baratang Jetty), Diglipur(203 Kms. from Baratang Jetty) etc. Here you will see how buses/vehicles alight the jetty to reach either side of the Strait.

Take lunch in the local restaurants, local fish is easily available here.

Here you visit Mud Volcano nearly 4 km. from the Jetty, have to book Jeeps or Taxis, and takes Rs. 400/- per trip to and fro. Nearly 50 meters you have to walk from the main road to visit the Volcano, Now there is no active eruption but few mud droplets are coming up continuously from the volcano. Now you have to go to Limestone cave through ferry rides, it is about 30 minutes journey and charges Rs. 300/- per head to and fro including speed boat fare, which is required to reach Limestone Caves. The journey is breathtaking through the mangrove forests, it is a lifetime experience you never forgot. The inside of the Limestone cave is very dark so carrying a torchlight will help you. The droplets from the trees form the natural Limestone caves and gives different figures like Lotus, Goddess faces, Sankha and others, simply it is wonderful. If you want to return on the same day then you have to skip the Parrots Island, since you have visited it in the sunset when all parrots return their home is a mesmerizing view. So, the boats for Parrots Island start at 4 P.M. and charges Rs 1500 - 1800/- per Boat, so find a company in advance. In the end, you have to for the return journey in the same way you reached in the morning.

Return to Port Blair in the late evening and take a rest for some time. Then book a car and go to the Jetty area and refresh yourself with fresh air and the cold wind breezing at the place. Take dinner and go to the hotel for a rest. You will be tired and will give sound sleep. 

Day 7. - Return to Delhi / Kolkata / Chennai by flight - Get ready in the late morning and taste south Indian dishes in the breakfast and be ready to start for Airport, as soon as the vehicle reached. Reach Airport well in time and alight the flight and reach your destination in scheduled time.

Complete your Andaman journey in 7 days.

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