Tourist Places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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Tourist Places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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Andaman and Nicobar Islands Places

Situated in the Indian Ocean, in the southern part of the Bay of Bengal, the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands is sprawled over 770 sq km. Acclaimed as one of the finest tourist destinations in India, it offers a whole range of tourist attractions in Andaman and Nicobar islands.

A name associated with the crude punishment levels of the British, this one of the most favored tourist destinations in India has been home to the imprisonment tenure of many a freedom fighter.

The various tourist attractions in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are discussed as follows : Cellular Jail Located in Port Blair, the administrative capital of the Andaman and the Nicobar Islands, the Cellular Jail is actually where the freedom fighters of India were banished to and kept confined. For many years now it has become one of the major tourist attractions in Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Popularly referred to as the “Veritable Garden of Eden” and a “nature’s paradise”, the beautiful small and big islands and pristine waters of Andaman Nicobar India are home to the endless varieties of flora, fauna and marine life.

The long stretches of white powdery sand are dotted with many crescent shaped virgin beaches, which are covered with thick groves of coconut palm, casuarinas and pandanus trees.

The breathtaking natural beauty, the clean environment, thrilling adventure sports, and the warm hospitality of the people of Andaman Nicobar Island attract thousands of nature lovers and holidaymakers from all across the globe.

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Interest Places in Andaman

Islands

Neil Island ( 36 kms. from Port Blair )

This beautiful island 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 ( 82 kms. from Port Blair )

Connected by boat four times a week from Phoenix Bay Jetty, this island 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.

Little Andaman Island ( 120 kms. by sea )

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.General Studies Question Bank CD

Cinque Island

The lure of underwater coral gardens and unspoiled beaches specially a sand bar joining two islands are irresistible. Super place for SCUBA diving, swimming, fishing and Camping.

Ross Island

Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime, is a tiny island standing as guard to Port Blair harbour. The island with historical background and preservable ruins is spread along an area of 0.6 sq. kms. With the ruins and also with the historical background, the Island has gained a lot of popularity among the tourists. Ross island is open for the tourists to visit during day time as the boat services are available from the Phoenix Bay jetty at 8.30 am, 10.30 am, and 12.30 pm. Navy has established a museum on the Island Known as ‘Smritika’ depicting the history of the Island.

Entry fee : ₹ 20/-

Jolly Buoy

An island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, it offers a breath taking underwater view of coral and marine life. It is an ideal place for snorkeling , sea bathing and basking on the sun kissed beach.

Red Skin Island

Another island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park has a nice beach and offers spectacular view of corals and marine life.

Barren Island

At a distance of about 135 Kms. from Port Blair is the land of volcano, Barren Island, the only active volcano in India. The Island, about 3 Kms. has a big crater of the volcano, rising abruptly from the sea, about 1/2 Km. from the shore and is about 150 fathoms deep. Can be visited on board vessels.

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.

Chatham Island

It has a Saw Mill lying on the tiny island connected by a bridge over a stretch of sea – water. This Saw Mill is one of the biggest and oldest in Asia. The main mainland – Island harbour is also here. The other harbour is Haddo, which is nearby.

Beaches

Rangat ( 170 kms. by road and 90 kms. by sea )

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.General Studies Question Bank CD

Mayabunder ( 242 kms. by road / 136 kms. by sea )

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.

Diglipur ( 290 kms by road / 180 kms. by sea )

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. Ross and Smith, the twin islands joined by a bewitching sand bar, is 30 minutes away from Aerial bay jetty or Kalipur water sports centre.

Directorate of Tourism offers island camping at Smith island during the tourist season. One can feel the innocent beauty of village life everywhere in Diglipur. One who prefers to be away from the hustle and humdrum of urban life must come here to enjoy unhurried holidays.

Saddle peak is popular for trekking / nature trail through the evergreen rain forest. Kalighat is connected by daily two boat services from Mayabunder. Port Blair – Diglipur ( Aerial bay jetty ) boat services are available twice a week.

Corbyn’s Cove Beach

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.

Radhanagar Beach

Radhanagar and Vijaynagar Beach in Havelock are real exposures of unpolluted nature for an environment lover. Vijaynagar beach is just in front of Dolphin Resort and Radhanagar beach is 7km away from Dolphin Resort.

Collinpur

Situated near to Tirur, this place has a beautiful sandy beach with shallow water. Suitable for swimming, sun basking and viewing.

Karmatang Beach

Karmatang beach, at turtle nesting ground is being developed as tourist complex. Situated at Mayabunder, northern part of Middle Andaman, 240 kms by road and 136 kms by boat from Port Blair.

Harminder Bay Beach

These beautiful beaches are situated at Hut Bay island at a distance of 100kms from Port Blair and are connected by Inter Islands shipping services.

Monuments

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. The penal settlement established in Andamans by the British after the First War of Independence in 1857 was the beginning of the agonising story of freedom fighters in the massive and awful jails at Viper Island followed by the Cellular Jail.

The patriots who raised their voice against the British Raj were sent to this Jail, where many perished. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose hoisted the tri – colour flag to proclaim Independence on 30th December, 1943 at a place near this Jail. The saga of the heroic freedom struggle is brought alive in a moving Son – et – Lumiere, shown daily inside the jail compound at 6.00 PM ( Hindi ) and 7.15 PM ( English ). Also there is a Museum, an Art gallery, and a Photo gallery, which are open on all days except Monday from 9.00 am to 12 Noon and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

Entry fee : ₹ 5/-

Camera – photo – ₹ 10/-

video – ₹ 50/-

Light & Sound Show –

Entry fee : adult ₹ 20/-, child ₹ 10/- ( Above 5 & below 12yrs )

Ross Island

Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime, is a tiny island standing as guard to Port Blair harbour. The island presently houses the ruins of old buildings like Ballroom, Chief Commissioner’s House, Government House, Church, Hospital, Bakery, Press, Swimming Pool and Troop Barracks, all in dilapidated condition, reminiscent of the old British regime.

The island with historical background and preservable ruins is spread along an area of 0.6 sq. kms. With the ruins and also with the historical background, the Island has gained a lot of popularity among the tourists. Ross island is open for the tourists to visit during day time as the boat services are available from the Phoenix Bay jetty at 8.30 am, 10.30 am, and 12.30 pm. Navy has established a museum on the Island Known as ‘Smritika’ depicting the history of the Island.

Entry Fee : ₹ 20/-

Viper Island

The tiny, serene, beautiful island of Viper witnessed the untold sufferings the freedom fighters had to undergo. Dangerous convicts found guilty of violating the rules of the Penal Settlement, were put in fetters and were forced to work with their fetters on in this island. Freedom fighters like Nanigopal and Nandlal Pulindas, who had resorted to hunger strike at the Cellular Jail, were imprisoned at Viper Island.

The jail at Viper, where prisoners deported from the mainland were confined, was built by the British under the supervision of Major Fort. Work on the prison was started in 1867. Owing to the working conditions, the jail earned the notorious name Viper Chain Gang Jail. The island derives its name from the vessel ‘Viper’ in which Lt. Archibald Blair came to the islands in 1768 with the purpose of establishing a Penal Settlement.

The vessel, it is believed, met with an accident and its wreckage was abandoned near the island. Gallows built on top of a hillock, visible to all prisoners in the island, signified death. Sher Ali, the Pathan, guilty of murdering Lord Mayo, was condemned to death and hanged at Viper Island. The Harbour cruise, available daily from Phoenix Bay Jetty ( at 3 PM ), provides a panoramic view of different points around the harbour and includes a trip to Viper Island.

Museums

National Memorial

This three – storeyed prison, constructed by Britishers in 1906, is a pilgrimage destination for freedom fighters. This colossal edifice has mutely witnessed the most treacherous of inhumane atrocities borne by the convicts, who were mostly freedom fighters. Now dedicated to the nation as a National Memorial.

Anthropological 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.

Entry Fee : adult – ₹ 2/-, child ( upto 12 years ) ₹ 1/-, Video without focus light – ₹ 25/-.

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.General Studies Question Bank CD

Time : 8.30 am – 12.00 Noon, 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm, Monday & holiday closed.

Entry fee – ₹ 10/-.

Zoological Survey of India Museum

Situated near to Andaman Teal House, this museum and research library exhibit a good variety of sponges, corals, butterflies, centipedes etc., Open on all working days.

Forest Museum

Situated at Haddo ( near to the Zoo ), this museum offers an insight into forest activities through scale models and displays decorative pieces made of famous woods like Padauk, Marble, Peauma, Gurjan, Satin wood etc. Open on all working days.

Sippighat Farm

Sprawling over an area of 80 acres is a government farm. Research & Development programmes of cultivation of spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut and pepper are conducted here. Research and Demonstration farm of the Central Agricultural Research Institute ( CARI ) is nearby.

Picnic Spots

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 ( 25 kms. from Port Blair )

Chidiya Tapu 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 guest house 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.

Mount Harriet ( 55 km, by road / 15 km by ferry and road from Port Blair )

The summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj, this place is ideal for a nice and fascinating over view of the outer islands and the sea. It is 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. Entry Fee: ₹ 10/-

Gandhi Park

This beautiful Park at Port Blair has facilities like amusement rides, safe water sports, nature trail around the lake, garden, restaurant and historic remains like Japanese Temple as well as a bunker. The erstwhile Dilthaman Tank , which was the only source of drinking water to Port Blair, and the sea around it has been developed into Gandhi Park in an unbelievably short time of 13 days.

Madhuban

This place is a trekking area, north east of South Andaman. Exotic endemic birds, animals, butterflies and elephant lumbering are the most interesting part of the trek.

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Tourist Spots in Nicobar

Car Nicobar ( Area 126.9 sq. km., Distance 270 kms. by sea )

A rustling fan, Car Nicobar is the headquarters of Nicobar District. It is a flat fertile island covered with cluster of coconut palms and enchanting beaches with a roaring sea all around. The Nicobari huts, built on stilts having entrance through floor with a wooden, ladder, are unique to this island. 16 hrs. journey by sea from Port Blair.

Katchal ( 425 kms. by sea )

Katchal is a tiny island in the Nicobar group. It was this island, which heralded the new millennium with the first sunrise on 1st January, 2000. This island has beautiful beaches at East bay, Jhula and West bay.

Great Nicobar ( 540 kms. by sea )

The southern end of the Nicobars, this island has Indira Point ( formerly Pygmallion Point ) the southern most tip of India. The beach near Galathia is the nesting ground for Giant Leather Back Turtles. This island also has biosphere reserve area. 50 – 60 hrs. journey by sea from Port Blair.

Adventurous Activities

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 an Amusement Park with Rollercoaster, Pleasure rides etc. and a children Traffic Park is adjacent to it.General Studies Question Bank CD

Snorkeling

One can enjoy the under-water marine life and view the rarest varieties of corals by snorkeling in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Carbyn’s Cove Tourism Complex, Havelock and other islands on all days from dawn to dusk depending on the weather.

Island Camping

Camps are just the right choice for the nature – lovers who wish to enjoy the sun, sea and the pristine beauty of nature by spending quiet holidays right on the beach. Tents are available on hire at all the Guest Houses at moderate rates.

Scuba Diving

Diving in Andaman waters offer a fascinating world of under-water marine life, varieties of colourful fishes, rarest of the coral reefs in the world, mysterious remains of sunken ships etc. All these can be explored through SCUBA diving.

Trekking

One can go trekking through the nature trail from Mt. Harriet to Madhuban and enjoy the rare forest life, flora and fauna. There are other trekking routes also, Trekking equipment and the tents are available on hire from Andaman Teal House.

Diving In Andamans

There is no adventure than diving. There is always something new, fascinating or challenging about venturing into the underwater world. Diving in Andamans is a unique lifetime experience. The coastal water surrounding theses islands is the abode of one of the richest coral reef ecosystem is the world. The specialty is that, here the coral reefs and underwater formations are undamaged by human activity. The best season for diving is from December to April.

Few dive sites near to South Andaman Island / Port Blair

Cinque Island

One of the best dive destinations in the island, it has clear emerald water with a visibility of upto 80 feet. The deep dive offers a terrific variety of marine life, including black coral, sightings of sharks and is ideal for the experienced diver.

North Point

This site at Cinque Island is mostly highlighted by sponges and small corals and diversity of fish life.

Southeast Reef

Southeast Reef at Cinque Isaland is a good site for novices. The southeast part of the reef consists of hard and soft corals and very dense on the rocks to about 16m ( 53 ft ).

Fish Rock

Fish Rock near Passage Island offers an extremely colourful dive. The topography consists of rocky slopes, boulders and drop-offs, featuring large fan of corals and plenty of sponges, Below 25m, the rocks are covered in small bushy soft corals in numerous hues.General Studies Question Bank CD

Hard corals are not so evident. Grey and White tip Reef and Reef Sharks are almost always in the vicinity as are Nurse Sharks. Among the rest of the marine life are Eagle rays. Potato Cod, large coral groupers, fusiliers, suitlips, turtles, batfish, bumphead, Parrot fish, Squrielfish, curious and friendly oriental sweetlips, surgeonfish, yellow Tangs, Triggerfisk, tuna, Rainbow runners and many spices of trevally.

Bala Reef

On the western side of little Andaman, Bala Reef spreads over 4 – 5 sq.km and is said to be one of the best sites in the Anadamans for coral-with vibrant colours.

Snake Island of Corbyn’s Cove beach

This site offers awesome rock faces and spectacular dive landscape. Marine life includes Trigger fish, Grunts, Goatfish and Rays.

Corruption Rock

Corruption Rock sticks out between Chidiyatapu and Rutland Island. The dive site is on the western side of the rock and is made up of big underwater boulders. The corals are not brilliant but the craggy undersea landscape of boulders is stunning.

A fantastic wonderland of gullies, channels, ridges and canyons. Look out for giant napoleons and eagle rays, huge snappers, schooling fusiliers, banner and unicorn fish, Dolphins, tuna and reef sharks have also been sighted here.

Rutland Island

The shallow waters near to the island have a good representation of most smaller fish and coral, and a good place for training open water divers. There is a ship wreck site also.

Havelock Island

This is located approximately 50kms from Port Blair by inter – island ferry. There is a range of largely unexplored dive sites rich in underwater marine life.

Dive sites near to the Havelock Island :

Mac Point

Mostly hard corals and their inhabitants are found. Usually good visibility, dugongs have been spotted here.

Aquarium

Aquarium is a fringing reef with lots of ‘fishtraffic’. Usually good visibility, mostly hard corals.

Barracuda City

Tons of fish, sometimes turtles, mostly hard and some soft corals. Rather suitable for experienced divers.

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay is an easy pleasant dive site not exceeding 14 meters. Rays are found in the sand and with luck turtles.

Seduction Point

A huge rock with different kind of aquatic life. Napoleans can be seen. The shallow part is full with stag horn corals and its inhabitants.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a huge dive site, suitable for any kind of dives. Huge variety of soft and hard corals. Perfect for nightdives.

The Wall

The Wall is a huge dive submerged rock. The wall drops down to a maximum of 55 meters and is full with life. Huge forests of soft corals plus schools of fish circling you, makes it always a memorable dive.

Pilot Reef

Pilot Reef near to Havelock is a huge block of prestine hard corals. At the bottom ( max 24 meters ) ‘canyons’ are stretching out. Leopard and White Tip Sharks have been sighted.

Minerva ledge

Minerva ledge at Havelock is even bigger block of hard corals. Tons of fish even bigger block of hard corals. Tons of fish, usually good visibility and the possibility of seeing sharks makes it one of the top dive sites.

Campbell Shoal off North Button Island

The bottom of this site is covered in mainly hard corals, with sporadic sandy patches and hosts a multitude of reef animals. The marine life includes White tip Reef Sharks, large cod and groupers, Coral Trout, Blue and Golden – banded fusilers, Giant Trevally and a host of colourfull reef-fish.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Wandoor

Hundreds of colourfull varieties of coral reef fishes can be seen in the park. Some of these are clownfish, butterfly fish, surgeon fish, angel fish, parrot fish, bat fish and groupers. White tip shark, hammer headed shark, Manta ray and blue fin jack are also occasionally seen.

More than 50 types of corals are found in the fringing type of coral reefs in the park. Some important coral varieties found here are Acropora, Pocillopora, Montipora, Leptoseris, Fungia, Portis, Tubipora and Gorgonians.

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