Andaman Nicobar Islands – A Surreal Experience of the Ocean
June 27, 2019
India offers a chance to experience beautiful landscapes that change from the north to the south and from the west to the east. From trekking on snow-clad mountains and camel rides in the vast desert to a walk through the rain-forests in northeastern India and a splash under a cool waterfall, our country will never stop astonishing you with all the hidden secrets of rendezvous with nature. Equally mesmerizing are the Islands of Andaman and Nicobar. These islands are a reflection of nature at its best. Nature, in all its glory, flaunts its richness through the crystal seas and a vibrant flora and fauna.
India’s own Ocean Paradise: Andaman and Nicobar Islands
If you haven’t been living under the rock, then you probably already know about the Andaman Nicobar Islands – one of the top Indian destinations for travelers both local and international. Whether you want to seclude yourself from the chaos of your world or indulge in some daring exploration along with adventure sports, Andaman and Nicobar Islands can accommodate you. From the landscape and historical retreat to delicious food and water sports, every moment of your time on these islands is worth celebrating. Several people visit these islands to get far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. It is one of the perfect nature vacation spots in the Indian Ocean.
If you see, Andaman Nicobar Islands are more close to Thailand and Myanmar than India. These are a collection of nearly 600 small islands in the Bay of Bengal. Port Blair is the capital city of this union territory and also has an airport that connects it to mainland India. North Sentinel Island from this archipelago is home to the Sentinelese – one of the very few isolated tribes left in the world. Although people are not allowed on their island – for the security purpose of both the outsiders and the tribe – their history is surely fascinating and one not heard often.
Sun-kissed Beaches Untouched by Man!
If the beaches in Hawaii or Phuket could be an expensive affair, the sterling beaches in Andaman and Nicobar can be perfect for your budget. The white sand, pristine forests, turquoise waters and the calm will definitely transport you to another world. Some of the beaches, out of an endless list, around Port Blair and other easily-accessible islands include: Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Butler Bay Beach, Corbyn’s Cove, Bharatpur Beach – Neil Island and more. Most of the beaches are still untouched by man – clean, plastic-free sand and water, crystal-clear seas brimming with excellent marine life, etc. It’s more than a request to all the travelers to not litter and leave the pristine beaches to their original condition. You can easily find jelly fishes and scores of other marine animals swimming right through your legs in the shallow waters.
An Island-full of Amazing Food Options
There are scores of restaurants where you can find both international cuisines and the local cuisines of mainland India and the Island regions. However, if you are a seafood lover, then Andaman and Nicobar islands are a seafood heaven on your platter. You can enjoy delicious fish caught off the hook and cooked right in front of you. Find delicious sardines, mackerels, king prawns, mussels, pomfret, crabs and more! There are restaurants you can turn to for North and South Indian delicacies. A traveler won’t find a dearth of places serving up Chinese, Italian, American and Continental food.
Adventure is the Way of Life on these Islands
Andaman Nicobar is the best tourist destination to explore your adventurous side. Get a glimpse of the magical underwater by indulging in snorkeling and scuba diving. The underwater will take you close to the marine life that the islands harbor. The experience can be truly mesmerizing and last you a lifetime. Water sports can be found abundantly and at affordable prices. Your options include glass bottom boating, sea walk, scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing and more. You can find assistance with professional trainers for a much better and safer experience. For adventures other than the non-water kind, you can partake in treks through lush forests; observe the stunning flora and fauna through bird watching trips or go on a unique safari – the mangrove creek safari!
A Walk Down the Historical Path
Settlers from the Danish East India Company were the first to arrive on the islands. However, it was in the year 1789 that Lieutenant Blair of the Indian Navy tried to establish a colony here. By the year 1857, the Island was used as a penal colony where ship-full of convicts were brought. The Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, is a national memorial monument and a major tourist attraction. Several notable names from the Indian freedom struggle were imprisoned in this notorious Kala Pani jail. Find some time to visit Cellular Jail when you are in Port Blair. The light and sound show will acquaint you with the history of the place. The architecture is also worth investing your time in.
Blend with the Local Culture and People
There are other local attractions that will delve you deeper into the culture and the lives of the Island people. Chidiya Tapu (meaning Bird Island) is a tiny village that attracts bird watchers. Even if you do not have the patience or the ropes of being a bird watcher, this quaint village will take to you a different world. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, also known as Wandur National Park, is nature at its best. You can get a glimpse into the exotic marine life of the Andaman and Nicobar islands including sharks, turtles, sea anemones, salt water crocodiles, coral reserves, etc. Sri Vetrimalai Murugan temple – with Dravidian style architecture – is an old temple located in Port Blair. A trek from Mount Harriet to Madhuban can be a magical experience for nature lovers. Whether you are travelling alone or with a big group of friends and family, you will have plenty to see and do while on these Islands. With your first step on the island, you’ll know that you will want to visit again!
A Quick Guide
1. Where is Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Ans. Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the 7 union territories in India.
2. How to get there?
Ans. Flights are available from Kolkata in West Bengal and Chennai in Tamil Nadu. Passenger ships operate from Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam.
3. What are the major tourist attractions?
Ans. Pristine beaches, water sports, water parks, museums, etc.
4. Where to eat?
Ans. There are several restaurants that can accommodate every budget. Do not miss seafood while you are here.
5. Where to stay?
Ans. Restaurants are available to suit every budget. Try to choose a sea-side resort for a surreal experience.