Andaman and Nicobar Islands
“Andaman and Nicobar can be best described as the untouched and unexplored gifts of nature. A perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike, the beautiful islands promise a lifetime experience for its visitors.”
Floating in wonderful seclusion, the Andaman and Nicobar islands are a group of 550 scenic islands, each of them being a naturalist’s haven. Out of the 550, 26 still remains uninhabited. The evergreen forests, silver sandy beaches, serpentine trees, marine life present in rare species of animals, plants and coral promise a memorable and overwhelming experience for the tourists. You can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding areas from Diglipur, a famous picnic spot. Andaman has great historical importance attached to it as the place houses Cellular Jail (Port Blair), also known as the Kala Pani Jail, which is a must visit to know about the hardships faced by the Indian freedom fighters. Both of them also act as perfect hosts for exciting and adventurous water sports like Scuba Diving to discover the underwater marine life, snorkeling for viewing the rarest of corals.
No trip to Port Blair can be complete without a visit to the Cellular Jail. Also known as Kala Pani, it served as the colonial prison for the Indian revolutionaries during the fight for independence and was reputed to be one of the most inhuman and torturous places on earth.
Ross and Smith Islands
Ross and Smith Islands are the twin islands in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, joined together by a natural sandbar. Only a short 15 minute ride from Port Blair, these islands were the home of the indigenous Great Andamanese who dwindled from 5,000 to just 28 within 20 years of the initial British occupation.
Though today it is resplendent with scenic beauty, Viper Island holds a dark past. This marked the site for the British gallows where political prisoners were imprisoned, endlessly tortured and finally hung to their deaths. This jail was abandoned once the Cellular Jail came into place in 1906. Today, the dilapidated ruins of the jail still stand as a reminder of its gory past and the inhuman hardships faced by the Indian freedom fighters. Apart from the jail, the island has many other historic spots and a few picnic spots with lovely views. Viper Island is believed to be named after the “Viper” vessel, which carried Lt. Archibald Blair to this island in 1789. It met with an accident near this place, the wreckage of which still lies under these waters.
Chidiya Tapu is another heaven for the lovers of nature and water babies. Within a serene beach front, this place is one of the most visited haunt for the ones eager to see a mesmerising sunset. This place is especially famous for numerous indigenous avian species, spotted deers and a few seasonal varieties of orchids. It’s one of the more secluded beaches at Port Blair, and is perfect for the ones seeking solitude. The ride to Chidya Tapu is another wonder in its own, with every view leaving an everlasting impression. Also, local operators offer a range of tours that include snorkelling and glass-bottomed boat rides at the Munde Pahar Beach.
North Bay Island
An hour’s ferry ride away from Port Blair, North Bay Island is a lovely option for a day trip. A trip to North Bay will cost you INR 500 and the guide will tell you about the history of the place and the tourist attractions. Similar to Havelock Island, there are a number of water sports activities available here as well, however the most popular ones are glass boat riding (INR 300), snorkeling (INR 500) and scuba diving (INR 4000). The corals here are spread over a large area and support an interesting and colourful array of sea life. There is a lighthouse on North Bay Island that offers great views from the top.