Discover the virgin islands of the Andaman & Nicobar, India’s best-kept secret, untouched & unsoiled. With crystal clear blue waters, world-class beaches, incredible coral reefs, lush green mangroves and an unspeakable history, these emerald islands are India’s equivalent to holiday destinations like Maldives, Mauritius, and Phuket etc. Port Blair can be reached by air or sea only from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam. By air it takes around 2 hours and by sea it is a 3 to 4 day cruise and is not advisable. The moment you set foot on this virgin land, you are greeted by its exquisite beauty and the refreshing smells of the Sea.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a group of over 572 nearly Deserted Islets (small islands) in the Bay of Bengal, south –east of the Indian mainland. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands is nearer to Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand than to the Indian mainland.
A total of 36 islands of the Andaman & Nicobar groups of islands are actually inhabited. Majority of the population living on the Nicobar Islands being tribal, the Nicobar group of islands is majorly out of bounds for tourism. The capital city of the Andaman Islands, Port Blair houses majority of the mainland settlers on the islands. However, car Nicobar, capital of Nicobar Islands is very sparsely populated. Only a few islands of the Nicobar and the Andaman’s group of islands are open to tourists. The Havelock islands, Neil islands, viper islands, Ross islands and the great Nicobar Islands are must visit. Hoping from one island to another can be done by steamers and boats.
The islands are hilly and abound by tropical evergreen forests and mangroves, over 92% of the entire territory being under forest cover. Approximately 50% of the territory has been declared as tribal reserves, Wildlife sanctuaries and National parks. There are Marine Reserves and Parks as well in the waters of these islands. These parks and reserves are endowed with characteristics flora and fauna. The islands are still home to indigenous tribes called Great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens. Most of these tribes are still cut off from the rest of the world and frozen in a pre-historic time zone.
The relaxing and quaint beaches of Andaman & Nicobar with white silvery sands strewn with beautiful shells and fringed with coconut-palms are ever inviting. The sparkling blue waters of Radhanagar Beach, Bharatpur Beach and Vijayanagar Beach are stunning. They are nesting homes to rare species of crabs and turtles, the sea around the islands offer excellent scope for adventures water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving etc. and satisfies the adventures junkies in all of us. These activities enable one to explore the rich marine liked with myriad sea creatures and beds of coral reefs that inhabit the ocean. The experience will leave you spellbound and let you get closer to nature.
The islands of Andaman and Nicobar were known as Kaala Paani (black waters) because they housed the legendary remains of India’s struggles for independence. The cellular jail located at Port Blair was constructed to incarcerate freedom fighter of the Indian national movement. Prisoners were kept under solitary confinement in the cells for years. The most famous inmate lodged here was Veer Savarkar. The cellular jail has been declared as a National Memorial, as tribute to national martyrs and is a recommended place to visit. A moving sound and Light show screened here, brings alive the saga of atrocities of the British and the heroic freedom struggle and is a must watch.
A deep coastal influence can be found in the food served on the islands. A wide variety of sea food is available for non-vegetarians. Whereas, vegetarians can treat themselves with a sumptuous spread of south Indian food available almost everywhere.
Andaman and Nicobar islands are a perfect tropical paradise for honeymooners. It’s lonely beaches and sparse inhabitation give ample opportunity for romance. These serene and quite islands are just right for those wanting to take a couple of days off from their hectic lives and relax, you can lay back on a hammock while sipping on cool coconut water, or take a lonely stroll on the beach, or build a sand castle with your kids, there are several ways to relax and de-stress. These islands are also a dream destination for the eco-friendly traveler wanting to get closer to nature.
Come, lose yourself on the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, a seemingly different planet and embark upon a journey of self-Discovery.