The Pristine Beauty Of Andaman Islands

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I am not a travel buff and had never thought that venturing into a land of beaches would be the most exciting and mesmerizing experience.

Almost for days, I and my wife deliberated on a place to visit for a week-long vacation, and finally, we zeroed in on the Andaman IslandsOf the 572 islands, only a few are open to tourists, and we enjoyed a slice of Andamans at Havelock and Neil — The enchanting islands with palm-fringed lush green forest, white sandy beaches and turquoise waters which will make you fall in love with its beauty.

The Andamans beauty in pictures and videos

How the name Andaman derived?

The name Andaman was derived from Handuman, or Hanuman, the monkey god of the epic Ramavana, who is said to have used the islands as stepping stones on his journey to Sri Lanka across the sea.

–  Visit to National Memorial Cellular Jail –
Built by Britishers to imprison Indian political freedom fighters

View of the jail.
A room where Swatantryaveer Savarkar was lodged.
Three different types of punishments given to prisoners which made it difficult for them even to walk or sit.
Flogging punishment that was given to prisoners.

Visitors also get to witness sound and light show – where the heroic saga of the Indian freedom struggle is brought alive. However, the show gets cancelled if it rains.

— Niel Island —

Niel Island is also known as the ‘vegetable bowl’ of the Andamans and the aquamarine waters is a great feast for eyes. Located about 37 kilometers away from the Port Blair city, it can be accessed only via ferry. Makruzz and Green Ocean are the only two private companies which operate in the region on a predetermined schedule and the ticket needs to be booked in advance.

Bharatpur Beach is the most popular beach on the island. Just five minutes away from the main jetty, the beach is popular for watersports activities. However, glass bottom boat rides to see corals and fishes are most famous among tourists. Tourists can avail 10 minutes boat ride at Rs 300 per person or half an hour ride at Rs 500.

Even if you don’t want to go for water sports, you can just sit and enjoy the breeze or take a long walk. The beach has many small stalls selling shell items, shell jewellery ranging from Rs 30 to Rs 1000.

After visiting Bharatpur, one can visit Laxmanpur beach which is know for sunset. The beach is usually not crowded and one can go into the sea upto an extent. 

— Havelock Island —

A placid heaven: A picturesque natural paradise is the largest islands of Ritchie’s Archipelago which is primarily populated by Bengali settlers. We spent three days on the island visiting different beaches.

Radhanagar Beach:

Crowned as Asia’s best beach – ‘Radhanagar’ is one of the cleanliest beaches surrounded by lush green forest, white sandy shores and palm trees on a picturesque Havelock island. A perfect beach to take a good, long walk and enjoy a mesmerising sunset.

Elephant Beach:

Elephant beach is popular among tourists for snorkeling activities. It is about 40 minutes away from the Havelock Jetty and can be reached by small cruise boat. A good three to four hours could be spent on the beach. Upon reaching the beach, tourists can enjoy complimentary snorkeling for 10 minutes. However, those who want to enjoy marine life and rich coral reef formation can opt for paid activity at the cost of Rs 600 per person, in which the tourist will also get 20 to 30 pictures and a four to five minutes video of them.

♦ The boat goes right up to the beach. Other water activities such as banana boat ride, jetski, and speedboat are also available.

♦ The beach is very small and there are very few food stalls which offer only – Bhel, fruit plate and coconut water.

♦ Both gents and ladies changing rooms are available for free of cost, however, travelers will have shell out Rs 50 to use a shower after enjoying snorkeling activities.

Kalapather Beach

This beach is not much popular among tourists, therefore, it is very less crowded. However it offers a good view and spots to click beautiful images. A quiet beach with a very few settlers just 15 to 20 minutes away from the jetty.

Before heading back home, you can also visit Chatham Saw Mill (one of the oldest & largest in Asia), Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Navel museum, Fisheries (Marine) Museum in Port Blair.

Key Highlights

♦ There are very few direct flights to Andaman, but several flights with a layover at Chennai.

♦ The marvelous beaches, white sand, and the lush green forest will make you fall in love with its beauty.

♦ Food is a big letdown. If you are a vegetarian then you get very limited choices. There are several seafood hotels and small outlets, however, very few offer good taste.

♦ It can rain any moment and may make you feel that your trip will go wasted, but the rain lasts for a few minutes or hours and still, you can enjoy.

♦ Network connectivity is very poor. Airtel, Vodafone, and BSNL are the only networks that work in the region. Prepaid users may not get the network on islands.

♦ Forget the internet connectivity the moment you land in Andaman. Even if you have 4G network, you will only get access to EDGE (Which is equal to not having internet). Wi-Fi is available in a few hotels and it may take minutes even to upload a single photo.

♦ If you wish to explore the city, you can hire a bike or a bicycle for a few hours.

♦ Make sure you go through hotels images and services provided by them before making a selection. If you budget permits, don’t opt for a standard room at any given hotel. It is ideal to go for deluxe rooms.

♦ Local tour operators offer better deals for sightseeing and hotels, and quotes can be acquired through as per your requirements. We opted for local tour agency – ‘Andaman Great Holidays’ – which made required arrangements (Hotels, vehicles, cruise tickets and entry passes) as mentioned in the booking vouchers.

Pratik Mukane

Pratik Mukane

Pratik Mukane is an engaging journalist with a strong presence and a passion for writing and constantly chasing breaking news. He enjoys meeting new people, telling meaningful stories and having a few cups of coffee in between!

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