|Tourism in Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The Islands are a veritable Garden of Eden and a naturalist’s heaven. The clean environment, roads, greenery as well as unpolluted fresh air attract all nature lovers. The tropical rain forests and waters of Bay of Bengal are the home of a vast collection of plant, animal and marine life. Topographically the islands are hilly in places fringed with coconut palm, covered with tropical jungle and interspersed with flat stretches of crescent shaped beaches. Adventure tourism like trekking, Island camping, snorkeling, SCUBA diving etc. and other water sports are the real attractions.
Place of Interest:
Havelock Island: About 38 Kms. from Port Blair, this island provides idyllic resort in the lap of virgin beach and unpolluted environment. Camping facility is available near Radhanagar beach. A guesthouse of Tourism Department ‘Dolphin Resort’ is available for the tourists.
Neil Island: This beautiful island (36 kms. from Port Blair) with lush green forest and sandy beaches is the vegetable bowl of Andamans. Connected by boat from Port Blair four days a week, it provides an ideal holiday for eco-friendly tourists. Hawabill Nest guesthouse of the Directorate of Tourism is situated here (Tel: 82630). One can feel the sincerity and serenity of village life here. Beautiful beaches at Laxmanpur, Bharatpur, Sitapur and the bridge formation on the sea-shore (Howra bridge) are the attractions.
Long Island: The Island is (82 kms. from Port Blair) connected by boat four times a week from Phoenix Bay Jetty, and it offers an excellent sandy beach at Lalaji Bay, unpolluted environment and evergreen forests. The sea around the island is frequented by dolphin convoys. Lalaji bay, 6 kms. away from the boat jetty, is accessible by 15 minutes journey in dinghies or trekking through the forest. Directorate of Tourism offers island camping during season.
Diglipur: Situated in North Andaman Island, Diglipur provides a rare experience for eco-friendly tourists. It is famous for its oranges, rice and marine life. Saddle Peak, 732 metres, the highest point in the islands is nearby. Kalpong, the only river of Andaman flows from here. The first hydroelectric project of the islands is coming upon this river. One who comes by road from Port Blair has to take a boat from Mayabunder to Kalighat and from there journey by road to Diglipur (25 kms.), and from there to Kalipur (18 kms.) for viewing, Kalipur and Lamiya bay beaches. Directorate of Tourism provides comfortable accommodation at Turtle Resort, Kalipur. The Water Sports Centre is near by. Those who want to go for trekking to Saddle Peak can collect trekking equipments on hire from Turtle Resort and start trekking from Kalipur. Ram Nagar beach (15 kms. away from Kalighat) is famous for Turtle nesting during December – February season. One who comes by boat from Port Blair will reach Aerial bay jetty, which is very near to places like Diglipur and Kalipur.
Rangat: One can enjoy the quiet village life and solitude of virgin nature here. You can also breathe unpolluted air, a rare commodity for the city dweller. Cutbert Bay beach (20 kms. away from Rangat bazar/jetty) is a turtle nesting ground. One can view the nesting of turtles during December – February season. Hawksbill Nest, guest house of the Directorate of Tourism, is near to the Cutbert bay beach and Turtle sanctuary. Panchavati waterfall and Amkunj beach are on the way to Cutbert bay. One can go to Mayabunder and Diglipur from here.
Mayabunder: Situated in the northern part of Middle Andaman, Mayabunder offers excellent scenic beauty and beautiful beaches. Inhabited by the settlers from Burma, East Pakistan and ex-convicts, Mayabunder has a distinct culture. Beach at Avis Island (30 minutes boat journey from Mayabunder), Karmatang beach (13 kms.) and mangrove lined creeks are the attractions. Karmatang beach is also a turtle nesting ground. One can view nesting of turtles during December-February season. Swiftlet Nest guest house of the Directorate of Tourism (Tel: 73495) is very near to the Karmatang beach. One can go to Kalighat (for Diglipur) by boat from here.
Mount Harriet: The summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj, this place is an ideal for a nice and fascinating over view of the outer islands and the sea. It is (55 km, by road/15 km by ferry and road from Port Blair) the highest peak in the South Andamans (365 metres high). One can trek upto Madhuban through a nature trail and can find rare endemic birds, animals and butterflies. Conducted tours to Mt. Harriet are available from Andaman Teal House.
Little Andaman Island: This island has a beautiful beach at Butler Bay, a waterfall and plantation of oil palms. Apart from this there are several sandy beaches all along the coastline of the island. The break water at Hut Bay offers an excellent view to the tourists. Little Andaman is the vegetable bowl for the Nicobar group of islands. The Onge tribals live in this island, so do Nicobarese apart from settlers from erstwhile East Pakistan and other places. However entry to tribal areas is restricted. Journey 8 hrs. by sea from Port Blair towards south.
Andaman Water Sports Complex: This unique complex offers all possible aqua-sport facilities like Water-skiing, Sail boats, Windsurfing, Speed Boats etc., and safe water sports like Paddle Boats, Row Boats etc. There is a sea water swimming pool and a change room. There is also a Memorial for the Battle of Aberdeen fought between Britishers and Andamanee aboriginals in 1859. Nearby is anAmusement Park with Rollercoaster, Pleasure rides etc. and a children Traffic Park is adjacent to it.
National Memorial (Museum): This museum at Phoenix Bay (Bus stand – Delanipur road) depicts the life of the Paleolithic Islanders. It also houses the models of the aborigines and their tools. Closed on Mondays and holidays.
Fisheries Museum: Situated near Andaman Water Sports Complex, it exhibits species of marine life peculiar to the islands and found in the Indo-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal. Closed on Mondays and holidays.
Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum): Situated opposite to Andaman Teal House, Delanipur this museum is meant to create awareness on various aspects of oceanic environment. A good collection of shells, corals and a few species of colourful fishes found in these islands are on display.
Cellular Jail: Cellular Jail, located at Port Blair, stood mute witness to the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this Jail. The Jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name, ‘cellular’ because it is entirely made up of individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. It originally was a seven pronged, puce-coloured building with central tower acting as its fulcrum and a massive structure comprising honeycomb like corridors. The building was subsequently damaged and presently three out of the seven prongs are intact. The Jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, has been declared a National Memorial.
Corbyn’s Cove Tourism Complex: One of the most picturesque sea-beaches, it is ideal for sea bathing and sun-basking. The Waves Restaurant, The Peerless Resort nearby and the Hornbill Nest Guest House at a stone’s throw, provide a kaleidoscopic view of the blue water front.
Chidiya Tapu: Chidiya Tapu (25 kms. from Port Blair) is the southern most tip of South Andaman. The lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the Sylvan Sands and Munda pahar beaches make it an ideal picnic site. The forest guesthouse situated on top of a hillock provides a fabulous view of isolated islands, submerged corals and the breath-taking sunset. Conducted tours are available from Andaman Teal House, Port Blair.