GATEW AY TO THE TURQUOISE BLUE PARADISE, ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS
About Andaman and Nicobar:
it is also known as a Tropical Paradise' for a reason. An uninterrupted sky where it meets the sea, palm-fringed beaches , crystal clear turquoise waters surrounding the whole place, adventure sports and many more. Also did you know that it Is a large group of nearly 300 islands. While some of these islands have been commercialized, modernised and developed as tourism hubs, the rest are uninhabited, away from human interference. Andaman and Nicobar has numerous of options which makes it an ideal destination for all. From kids to adults, from luxury vacationers to budgeted explorers they all return from Andaman elated and rejuvenated. In nutshell, Andaman is a treasure trove of experiences and delights in the form of varied activities, breathtaking sceneries, and of course, delectable seafood. This place will surely add some vibrant shades to your palate in your daily life. This is just a glimpse of blue paradise in Asia which isn’t crowded, but serene and untouched. It’s a perfect destination for a refreshing holiday that offers a refuge from tiresome responsibilities of the urban world. Spending some days here is a great way to let your heart heal, to let your body relax, and to let your soul revive. Also, did you know that Andaman and Nicobar is also one of the most sought after honeymoon destinations in Asia especially when it comes to tropical region. In fact you can take a leap and head over to explored beaches. Those secluded spots are different for a reason, a complete new aura, you might witness a whole new tribe over there with different cultures. expereince the soul satisfying breathtaking vistas, quiet surroundings, and laid back atmosphere.
Most beaches in Andaman feature shallow coral reefs brimming with exotic species of aquatic flora and fauna which makes them perfect for underwater activities like sea walking, snorkeling and scuba diving. Just dive underwater and swim with these colourful creatures and explore the marine life too. Also, you can take up some exclusive designed courses for adventure activities if you have enough time and become a certified trainer in your likeness of water sports. . The silvery beaches of islands adorned with tropical vegetation, engulfed in the sea green waters of the bay are aesthetically pleasing, and are renowned all over the world. These beaches are known in majority of the bucket list across the world. Be it a photography enthusiasts to capture the splendour of Andaman and Nicobar in their cameras. Well, its not just bounded for that as it has variety of options. popular destination for adventure tourism as well. Welcoming thousands of adventurists from various parts of the globe every year, Andaman and Nicobar is also widely acclaimed for the range of water sports that are available here. The spectrum of water sports in Andaman covers numerous different kinds of experiences. From easy activities like beach strolling, swimming, and cruising to exhilarating experiences like speed boating, parasailing, and scuba diving, a wide range awaits you in Andaman. So make sure that when you plan your trip keep your free days in advance in your hands, who knows you might want to stay a little longer. So now its your time brace up with some swimming costumes, shades to protect your eyes and big colourful hats.
Best time to experience and explore Andaman and Nicobar:
November to march/ April: Best time to visit Andaman and Nicobar Island that extends from the month of November to march. April. It is considered as the best time because the waves are gentle which is perfect for adventure sports, The sun remains warm and not too hot and thus diving and swimming can be more comfortable. It is also a perfect time to enjoy water sports and other outdoor activities. Seas remains calm as there is no rainfall this time and island hopping or island would not get cancelled. This time gives plenty of opportunity to watch the Andaman Green Pigeon which is the state bird and many more birdspecies in Chidiya tapu and the enigmatic Parrot Island, along with the best of Andaman sunsets. You shouldn’t miss the sunsets at any cost, the colour of water itself turns from turquoise blue to gold. The evenings are pleasant with nice refreshing breeze from the sea. And also its a great place to celebrate Christmas and new year on an secluded island.
May to June end, it’s the summer time. The average minimum temperature remains around 24 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature can reach approximately around 37 degrees Celsius. There is huge lot of sunshine for you to soak in, it gets hot. r. So you can travel through Andaman during this time without having to worry too much about rainfall. It’s a great time to dive into sea and relax. But if you still want to go, make sure that you are prepared for sun tan and sorting heat. Off course, skies are clearer. But still this is the time tourists flock the island for holidaying as all the schools and collages get their summer vacations.
July to September is monsoon season. During these months, Andaman receives heavy showers. Though you might get very good deals in hotels and resorts since this is not the best time to visit Andaman, its even risky to go near the sea shore because of high rise in the level too. You cannot take up any adventure water sports too. But yes you can deifnately enjoy the rain drenched pristine coastline. You can make some great time-lapse videos of clouds, changing colours of nature. Because of heavy rainfall there are high tidal waves in the seas and the sea gets rough. That’s why boat or ferry transfers often get cancelled due to bad weather. At this point of time its least crowded and you can experience lush greenery and reviving, freshness of atmosphere to the island.
Places to explore in Andaman and Nicobar:
Cellular Jail National Memorial, one of the most famous touristy spot. It attracts lakhs of tourists across the world, every single year. But, it’s also a fact that before becoming a famous tourist destination, it was known for its infamous ‘Cellular Jail’ commonly known as ‘Kaala Pani’ and offcourse it has a history behind it. This jail was built by the British during their colonial rule in India and it was used to exile the most dreadful criminals along with political prisoners who raised their voice against the British rule. And what made this place famous is the famous revolutionaries and freedom fighters who were also here.
Mount Harriet And Madhuban, not just a pristine surrounding. But if you are truly an adventure seeker you must come to this place hike or trek to witness some breathtaking and spectacular views. This 16-kilometre trek will give you a chance to see some of the rarest and the most exotic plants, trees, animals, birds and landscapes. During winter time, which is the best time to spot Orchids, Red Water Lily, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Narkondam Hornbill and more. Seems like this place is nature lovers calling. Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty and relax.
North Bay Beach, In short it's for nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts. You can witness the most beautiful coral reefs and marine life in India. It is one of the best places to visit in Andaman for scuba diving, snorkelling and sea walking. You can play your trip under professional guidance so that you do not miss out on any. Also there are a number of glass-bottom boat tours that enable you to get a glimpse of the wonderful world, underwater. And you can even join some adventure activities and clubs for adventure sports and parting too.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, well it was established in 1983 to save the marine life and preserve the underwater ecosystem. this park comprises of mangrove creeks, rainforests, breeding grounds and coral reefs with more than 50 different species of rare and colourful fishes. The best time to visit this park is between November – February and it is closed for tourists during the monsoons. It Offers a wide variety of landscapes, flora and fauna, bird watching and knowledge of importance of preserving marine life.
Diglipur, this is the well known ecological paradise which is famous for its turtle nesting site, crocodile sanctuaries, exotic marine life and Alfred Caves. Actually the network of caves spread across the entire town. Also, you can witness the number of the most beautiful beaches in Andaman. Apart from that Mud Volcano and Saddle Peak National Park, Diglipur is one of the best places to visit in Port Blair and also the most visited tourist places in Andaman. From climbing the highest peak in the Bay of Bengal to exploring the breathtaking twin islands of Ross and Smith you ca do so much here. They are the Kalpong Hydroelectric Power Plant, Craggy island and Alfred Caves. These require a special permit for entry and are not generally open for tourism since March 2020.
Chidiya Tapu, are you also a bird lover then this place is for you. This is the island of birds and a heaven for bird and nature lovers.It’s lush green mangroves and equatorial forest provides a perfect home to hundreds of species of exotic birds make it one of the best places to visit in Port Blair. If you are a true bird lover, you must visit this place during the summers as the sky is extremely clear and you can easily spot birds like Parakeets, Sea Eagles, Emerald Doves and many more. Also you can get indulge in activities like trekking, snorkelling, scuba diving and pearl hunting.
Ross Island, undoubtedly the most famous place to explore and its on everyone’s bucket list too. This island is named after Captain Daniel Ross, the Ross Island is now renamed as the "Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep '' by prime minister Narendra Modi in 2018. Previously it was known as the ‘Paris Of The East’. Here you can find a lot about history such as the oldest British and Japanese structures including the construction of Cellular Jail. Explore the man-caves which served as security to British officers escape during an attack.
Neil Island, another famous one from Andamans. It is known for its tranquillity, serenity, unexplored coral reefs, secluded beaches as compared to Ross Island and Havelock Island. Also, did you know that apart from Bharatpur, Sitapur and Lakshmanpur, it is also very well known for its rice farming and food cultivation. It’s inclination towards farming had made Neil Island a major supplier of vegetables in most regions of Andaman. You must get some amazing snaps here in the rice fields. In short we call it Bali of India.
Vijaynagar Beach, you can find some pristine white sand surrounded by mahua trees. Vijaynagar Beach is also extremely famous amongst the professional as well as passionate photographers. The view of the perfect sunrise where the sunrays spread across the sea, create a sparkling water effect and spread infinite shades of colours in the sky with birds flying. A perfect spot for photography. You can do advance bookings according to your itinerary in either extremely luxurious stay or a budget-friendly hotel. According to your requirement. And enjoy the peaceful environment without any unwanted disturbance, Vijaynagar Beach is one of the perfect places to visit in Andaman for couples and families.
Cinque Island, one of the most famous and the most photographed islands in Andaman. The place where the two parts of the island are connected by a sand bar is one of the most photographed points and one of the must-visit places to visit in Port Blair. It presents a whole new perspective and visual treat of nature. Thisisland boasts of coral reef gardens that extend to hundreds of meters deep into the sea. These coral gardens contain an extremely wide variety of coral reefs, seaweeds, colourful fishes, starfish, shells, sea anemones, salt-water crocodiles, turtles and water snakes. This place is a paradise for those who love scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing.
Key highlights of Andaman and Nicobar:
1. Radhanagar Beach
2. Limestone Caves
3. Corbyn’s Cove Beach
4. Ross and Smith Island
5. Samudrika Marine Museum
6. Jolly Buoy Island
7. Cellular Jail National Memorial
8. Mount Harriet And Madhuban
9. Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex
10. North Bay Beach
11. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
13. Chidiya Tapu
14. Neil Island
15. Baratang Island
16. Vijaynagar Beach
17. Cinque Island
Local food to experience in Andaman and Nicobar: how can you leave food behind? It directly and indirectly speaks so much about the culture. the local Andaman cuisine is very much different. Here the tribal people kill wild animals for their food. This food includes all kinds of meat including turtles, wild boar, fishes of the Islands. So especially if you are a non vegetarian lover you must try the authentic sea food here.
Fish Curry is an amazing and the most authentic dish from Andaman. We all are well aware that, this place being really near to the sea, one can get a lot of options for fish from right there. So, the Seafood lovers need to definitely be attempting this recipe when in Andaman.
Amritsari Kulcha, yes you read it right. It’s not only famous in Punjab but here too. It is stuffed with lots of delicious stuffing like onion, potato, coriander leaves, seasonings, and so on making it very tasty as well as a scrumptious meal.
Chilli Curry, already sounds spicy? You got to try this must have cuisine. This meal is a really hot and happening meal, full of onion, tomatoes and also stuffed with rich flavours in it. And actually tourists have actually appreciated this delicious food from Andaman.
Macher Jhol, sounds Bengali? Well it isn’t. This meal contains different ingredients like fish, chilies, coriander seeds, turmeric powder as well as some other active ingredients too.
Coconut Prawn Curry, so when on beach you got to grab some prawn curry with a glass of chilled beer. But usually it is served during lunch or dinner times and it goes very well with hot and steamed plain rice.
Grilled Lobster, it is another delicious seafood variant in Andaman. Butter, parsley, chili flakes, cloves are the main ingredients of Grilled Lobster. The taste of this grilled lobster can’t match with any other seafood of Andaman. It is a must have delicacy.
Barbeque food is outstanding and you definitely cannot give it a miss. Freshly caught fishes from the sea are barbecued which includes Sardines, Mackerels, Crab, and King Prawn. You can relish it from anywhere in the locale including from the top of the island.
10 Best Restaurants in Andaman:
Accessible routes for reaching Andaman: it is connected with India through sea and air routes only.
By airways: Being an island, Andaman is connected with India through sea and air routes only. The airport is located at Port Blair and there are direct flights from Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam. Air India, Jet Airways, Go Air and Spice Jet airlines offer their services here. Connecting flights are also available from Delhi and other cities of India to this airport. There are no direct international flights available to this place. The airport at Andaman is named Veer Savarkar Airport, after the great Indian freedom fighter who was imprisoned at the cellular jail during India’s fight for independence from the British. The distance of airport at Port Blair, from Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 31 kms. and it takes approximately 40 minutes to cover this distance by car. Flights from Delhi fly via Chennai or Kolkata and take around 5 hours.
By waterways (ship): The Andaman Islands can be reached by sea as well; some ships are available to the islands. Ships are the oldest method of transfer to Andamans from the mainland. The major ports which have ships that sail to Andamans are Chennai, Kolkata, and Vizag. These are government-operated ship services that can be availed. The tickets for the ships can be booked through the Directorate of Shipping/ Shipping Corporation of the concerned ports. If the weather is clear the journey usually takes up to 2.5-3 days to reach the Andaman Islands. The frequency of sailing to and fro from Kolkata is usually once or twice a month, in Chennai and Vizag it is just a single sailing per month.
Also, there is no bus or train services available as You will have to cross the Bay of Bengal Sea either by flight or Ship.