Port Blair, the gateway to A & N islands is connected with Chennai and Kolkata by air. Air India, Indian Airlines, Jetlite & Kingfisher Airlines operate regular flights. Foreign charter flights are also permitted to land at Port Blair subject to the fulfillment of guidelines of the Director General of Civil Aviation.
Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailings every month from Kolkata and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is one sailing for Visakhapatnam in a month. The voyage takes about 50 to 60 hours and the ship normally berths at Port Blair for about two to four days. Tickets can be booked for any of the vessels in any scheduled sailing at the STARS (Ship Ticketing Advance Reservation System) Counters of the Directorate of Shipping Services, A&N Administration at Chennai, Port Blair, Diglipur, Mayabunder, Rangat, Havelock, Hutbay, Car Nicobar, Nancowry and Campbell Bay. At Kolkatta, the STARS network is located in the Shipping Corporation of India office from where tickets could be purchased. As of now, Vizag-Port Blair sector is not under STARS network. As for voyage tickets from Vizag, SCI has a ticketing agent: M/s AV Bhanojirow garuda, Pattabhiramayya & Co, Near Port Main Gate, PB.No:17, Vizag .Tel: 0891-256 5597, Fax: 0891 -256 6507.
Deluxe 1st Class Cabin 2nd Class 'A' Cabin 2nd Class 'B' Cabin Bunk
4,140.00 3,740.00 2,810.00 2,470.00 750.00
8,020.00 6,640.00 5,280.00 4,080 2,060.00
Deluxe 1st Class Cabin 2nd Class Cabin Bunk
4,140.00 3,600.00 1,880.00 690.00
8,020.00 5,670.00 3,450.00 1,790.00
Mainland Ship Fare for the Year 2013-2014 w.e.f April 01, 2013
Islanders Fare (In Rs.)
Fare per berth (Tourist/ Non Islanders)(In Rs.)
M.V.Swaraj Dweep M.V.Nancowry M.V.Nicobar
Deluxe 1st Class Cabin 2nd Class Cabin Bunk
4,350.00 3,930.00 2,950.00 790.00
8,420.00 6,970.00 5,540.00 2,160.00
Deluxe 1st Class Cabin 2nd Class 'A' Cabin 2nd Class 'B' Cabin Bunk
4,350.00 3,930.00 2,950.00 2,590.00 790.00
8,420.00 6,970.00 5,540.00 4,280 2,160.00
Deluxe 1st Class Cabin 2nd Class Cabin Bunk
4,350.00 3,780.00 1,970.00 720.00
8,420.00 5,950.00 3,620.00 1,880.00
The Directorate of Shipping Services, A&N Administration operates regular ferry services from Phoenix Bay Jetty, Port Blair in the inter island, foreshore sectors connecting all populated islands/ tourist places. The Directorate also operates vehicle ferries at important locations and several harbor ferries. The sailing schedules are published in local newspapers- Daily Telegrams and also broadcast through the All India Radio/ Doordarshan, Port Blair. Tickets are issued through the STARS counters managed by the Directorate of Shipping Services.
Apart from this, private tourist boats are operated from Aberdeen Jetty (Water Sports Complex), Port Blair connecting nearby tourist places like Ross Island, Viper Island, North Bay and Harbor cruise etc. Tourist boat services from Wandoor to Jolly Bouy/ Redskin islands are also privatized.
Private Inter-Island Luxury Cruise VesselA major private initiative in passenger shipping service-M/s MAK Logistics, Port Blair has come up with a luxury passenger day cruise vessel-M.V. Makruzz connecting the most sought after tourist circuit in Andamans: Port Blair-Havelock. The 280-passenger capacity, fully Air-conditioned Catamaran, which can attain a cruise speed of 27 nautical miles per hour, will reach tourists in about 90 minutes to Havelock from Port Blair. M.V. Makruzz will cruise for Havelock from Phoenix bay Jetty-Port Blair at 08.30 AM daily and in return direction from Havelock at 4 PM. Fare: Royal class Rs. 1000/-, Deluxe Rs. 750/- and Premium Rs. 650/- (one way) Tourists can book tickets online through travel agents/tour operators/ hoteliers in Port Blair. Enquiries: 03192- 212355/ 236677, Fax: 03192-243612,Website: www.makruzz.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.,
Shipping House, No. 13, Strand Road,
Kolkata – 700 001,Tel(033) 2482354, 2488013
Fax: (033) 2482035, 2480377
The Asst. Director of Shipping Services,
A&N Administration, 6, Rajaji Salai,
Chennai – 600 001
Tel: (044) 25220841, Fax-(044)25226873
M/s A.V. Bhanojirao and Garuda Pattabhiramayya & Co.,
Post Box No. 17, Vishakapatnam
(Agent – Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.)
Tel: (0891) 2565597
The Directorate of Shipping Services,
Phoniex Bay Jetty,
Tel: (03192) 232528/232742
Fax: (03192) 230480
PORT BLAIR OPEN FOR CHARTER FLIGHTS
Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India has permitted foreign charter flights to land at Port Blair subject to the fulfillment of the guidelines issued by Director General, Civil Aviation, Govt. of India. These undulating islands in the Bay of Bengal are covered with dense forests and endless variety of exotic flora and fauna. The topography of the islands is hilly and abounds in evergreen forests. The sandy beaches on the edge of meandering coastline are fringed with coconut palms that sway to the rhythm of the sea. The sea around the islands offers excellent scope for adventure water sports. The rare flora and fauna, underwater marine life and corals, crystal clear water and mangrove-lined creeks, offer a dream-view of the rare gifts of nature. This blessed Islands attract any nature-lover, who seeks absolute peace and tranquility in the lap of Mother Nature. Adventure tourism like trekking, island camping, snorkeling, scuba diving etc., are the major attractions here. A visit to these islands is a memorable lifetime experience. Andaman Islands are a world class eco-tourism destination and has immense potential for adventure water sports. The official web site of the Andaman and Nicobar Administration www.andaman.nic.in gives more details about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The following are the facilities available at Port Blair airport. Runway having length of 6000 ft. (being extended to 11,000 ft.) A new terminal building having capacity to handle 400 passengers at a time. Flight operations are carried out at the airport before noon.
The following are the moderately high class accommodation in the Islands :-
1. Fortune Resort Bay Island (5 star), Port Blair.
Tel: (03192) - 234101, 232198, 232065
Fax: (03192) - 231555
email: - email@example.com
2. Megapode Nest (3 star), Port Blair.
Fax: (03192) - 235098
3. Hotel Sentinel
Tel: (03192) - 237914-17, 244914-17
4. Peerless Beach Resort, Port Blair
Tel: (03192) - 233461 - 64, 240201 - 03
Fax: (03192) - 233463
email: - firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Sinclairs Bay View, Port Blair
Tel: (03192) - 232937
Fax: (03192) - 231824
6. Dolphin Resort, Havelock Island
Tel: (03192) - 230933 Fax: (03192) - 230234
The following are the Govt. of India approved tour operators in the Islands:-
1. Island Travels
2. Sagar Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd.
The guidelines of Director General Civil Aviation regarding operation of charter flight is available at www.dgca.nic.inAddress of Director General - Civil Aviation Aeronautical Information Services,
Director General of Civil Aviation
Opposite Safdarjung Airport,
New Delhi - 110 003.
Tel: 00 91 11 4622495 Fax: 0091 11 4629221
Email - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information if any contact:-
Director - Tourism
A & N Administration
Port Blair - 744 101. (India)
Tel./Fax: (03192) - 230933/230234
FESTIVALS & CULTURE
Andaman and Nicobar Islands have an unique culture, where all religions, languages, ethnic groups live in total peace and harmony and hence it is rightly called Mini India. Port Blair has a cosmopolitan character where people of all walks of life live together in peace and tranquility. All major festivals are celebrated with equal zeal and fervour and attended by all religious groups. Certain fairs and festivals, which are special to these islands, are:
Island Tourism Festival
A fortnight long festival organized by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration every year (December - January) gives a festive look to the Islands. Govt. agencies and private entrepreneurs from the islands and Mainland India also attend the exhibition organized during the festival. The exhibition highlights the developmental aspects of these islands. Cultural troupes and artistes of national and international fame are invited to perform during the festival apart from performances by the talents of these islands including tribals. Water sports competitions like Nicobari Hodi race are organized. Other attractions are Magic show, Puppet show, Floating restaurant, Baby show, Dog show, Canoe Race, Scuba Diving etc. The festival projects the image of the islands as an eco-friendly tourist destination. Subhash Mela - January every year Organised in Havelock every year on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. A week long festival filled with cultural programmes. Vivekanada Mela - January every year Organised at Neil Island to celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanada. Block Mela - January/February every year Held at Diglipur, this highlights the developments that have taken place in the rural areas and displays the typical rural life of these islands.
National Monument - 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. 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. 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 and public holidays from 8.45 AM to 12.30 PM and 1.30 PM to 5.00 PM. Entry tickets will be issued only upto 4.15 PM Entry fee: - Rs. 10/- (Except children below 10 years)Photo camera: Rs. 25/-, Video camera: Rs. 100/- Film shooting: Rs. 5000/- (per day with prior permission) Light & Sound Show – Entry fee: adult Rs. 20/-, child Rs. 10/- (Above 5 & below 12yrs)
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, Govt. House, Church, Hospital, Bakery, Press, Swimming Pool and Troop Barracks, all in dilapidated condition, reminiscent of the old British regime. Ever since Dr. James Pattison Walker arrived in Port Blair aboard the East India Company’s steam frigate ‘Senuramis’ on 10th March 1858, this island remained under British occupation till 1942. From 1942 to 1945, the island was under the occupation of Japanese. However, the allies reoccupied the island in 1945 and later abandoned it. During British occupation, this island was the seat of power of the Britishers. It was developed into self-equipped township with all facilities required for a civilized colony. Dr. Walker, Chairman of the Andaman Committee, established the infamous and the dreaded Penal Settlement with 200 convicts. The Britishers even persuaded the aborigines to come and live in some huts at Ross Island and even established an Andaman Home for them in 1863. Later on the services of these Andamanese were used to catch the escaping convicts from Ross Island. 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: Rs 20/-
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.
Places of Interest in and around Port Blair
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor is at a distance of 29 Kms. from Port Blair covering an area of 281.5 Sq.Kms. This Marine Park made-up of open sea, creeks and 15 small and large islands, is one of the best found anywhere in the world. Viewing of rare corals and underwater marine life through glass bottom boats,SCUBA diving and Snorkelling are a lifetime experience for anyone.
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 area around it has been developed into Gandhi Park in an unbelievably short time of 13 days. Entry free. Open on all days of the week.
Sippighat Farm (14 kms.)
Sprawling over an area of 80 acres is a Government farm. Research & Development programmers for 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.
Jogger’s Park situated at one of the highest points in Port Blair offers a panoramic view of the Port Blair. In the backdrop of the fully lit landscape, the place provides excellent view of the area. A must see for visitors in the evening.
Chidiya Tapu (25 kms. from Port Blair)
Chidiya Tapu is the southernmost 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. A biological park has also been opened for tourists. Park entry fee: AdultsRs.20/-,ChildrenRs.10/-, Foreigners Rs.50/- Video Camera Rs.50/- per entry, Video Camera (Commercial) Rs500/- per day. Conducted tours are available from Andaman Teal House, Port Blair to Chidiyatapu. Chidiyatapu forest Guest House Ph: 03192-281350.
Collinpur (36 kms. from Port Blair)
Situated near to Tirur, this place has a beautiful sandy beach with shallow water. Suitable for swimming, sun basking and viewing sunset.
Madhuban (75 kms. by road/20 kms. by ferry and road from Port Blair)
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.
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 an 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 meters high). One can trek up to 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: Rs. 25/
Situated at Haddo(Delanipur-Chatham road), it houses some of the rare species of endemic birds and animals found in these islands. Time: 8.00 AM - 5.00 PM Monday closed. Entry fee – adult –Rs. 2/-, child – Re.1/-
Barren Volcano erupts
Fresh volcanic eruptions have been detected by Coast Guard personnel at Barren Island, 140 kms north east of Port Blair. Coast Guard ship Sagar and Dornier aircraft on patrol in Andaman and Nicobar seas have reported fresh eruption of lava and smoke on May 28 from the only live volcano in India on Barren Island, a Coast Guard release said here on 29th May.
The island, an uninhabited place, is accessible only to Coast Guard and naval ships maintaining regular patrol in the area, it said. The volcano was dormant since last few years and there were no volcanic activity even after tsunami that struck the Indian coastal areas on December 26, 2004, it added. Meanwhile, an A & N Command press release received here confirmed the Barren volcano becoming active with sighting of lava by the defence personnel who visited the island recently. The eruption appears to be intermittent as the smoke and flames are being seen frequently, the release added.
Science Centre Port Blair
Here is the place where you come to know that Andaman & Nicobar islands were all part of the South Asian mainland with continuous mountain range running down from the Arakan Yomas in Burma through Sumatra, Java and Indonesia. Then, 150 million years ago, due to geological activity, the land submerged and created the islands of mountaintops. The genesis of the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago is depicted through interactive exhibits in the Andaman & Nicobar islands gallery of the centre.
But it is only a part of the whole. This science centre explains the science of oceans, while allowing the visitors to create waves of varying parameters and explore their features. Here you can see the youngest rock sample found in India. It is a testimony to the under-crust activities still going on around the Barren Island. Finish with it and you are invited to the flora and fauna of the islands, to its tourist attractions or to the rare simulated view of the oceanic floor.
Once you feel confident to face a quiz on the A & N islands, enter the quiz corner. But it is one with a difference. A computer plays the quizmaster; it automatically throws questions at you and evaluates your answers. Please call your friends and family to enjoy the quiz. It allows six groups of two persons each to participate and compete with each other.
Hands-on-easy to use exhibits in the Fun Science gallery tempt one to play with them and explore the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of common scientific phenomena. Roll a ball, press a switch, rotate a crank, and amusing things happen, albeit, scientifically. In this hall, you can play with mirrors, paint pictures with free falling liquids or enjoy illusions. here rolling balls perform acrobatics, vortex is formed in water and complex rules of probability turns to be an exciting game of fun.
The Modern Technology gallery introduces the frontier fields of ‘Biotechnology’, fathoms the ‘Space’ and elucidates ‘Nuclear Technology’. Several computer kiosks provide engrossing multimedia experience on these key areas.
Taramandal, the portable planetarium of this centre, simulates the night sky of Port Blair or any other place in the northern hemisphere. One learns to identify stars and constellations so very easily here. The real sky no longer remains an enigma thereafter. This portable planetarium is the only one of its kinds in the a & N island Out there, in the open air, is the lush green science park where parabolic reflectors send whispers to a distant destination, hollow pipes can be made to generate music, and models of prehistoric animals take one through the course of evolution of life on earth. To match with this natural set up, the centre houses the only in-house Butterfly corner of the islands. All the butterflies seen here are bred and reared in the corner itself.
So, if ever, you play for a refreshing encounter with science, come to the Science Centre, Port Blair and enjoy the thrill and excitement it has to offer.
How to Reach
Corbyn’s Cove Road
Phone : 229034
Opening Hours : 10 AM to 5.30 PM
Fees for Entry & Science Shows
Children below 14 yrs.
'Unexpected Science' Show
'Fun-tastic' Chemistry Show
Sky Observation & Film Show
Inside the Science Centre
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor is at a distance of 29 Km fromPort Balir and covers an area of 281.5 Sq. Kms. This Marine Park, made-up of open sea, creeks and 15 small and large islands, is one of the best found anywhere in the world. Jolly Buoy, an island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, 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.
26 Kms. From Port Blair, declared as a sanctuary, this is an enchanting island with rare corals and under water marine life, fine sandy beach and tropical rain forest. No scheduled ferry service to Cinque Island is available. Chartered boats of permitted category are allowed from Port Blair and Wandoor. One may contact private boat operators to arrange the visit with due permission.
Red Skin Island
Another island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park has a nice beach and offers spectacular view of corals and marine life.
About 38 Kms. away from Port Blair and is connected by daily speed boat service from Phoenix Bay Jetty. This Island, with beautiful sandy beaches fringed with green canopy of the rain forest beckons everyone to enjoy the fun at the blue sea. It provides idyllic resort in the lap of virgin beach and unpolluted environment. A guesthouse of Tourism Department "Dolphin Resort" is available for the tourists. The Tourism Department organizes Island Camping (tented accommodation) during the tourist season at Radhanagar Beach. One can enjoy the stay right on the seashore by hearing the lulls of the solacing sea in this camp.
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.
Once the seat of British power and capital of these Islands, it stands now as a ruin of the bygone days with the old structure almost in debris. A small museum named 'Smritika' holds photographs and the other antiques of the Britishers relevant to these islands.
The Britishers used to harbor convicts here. The first jail was constructed here which was abandoned after the construction of Cellular Jail. It has a gallows atop a hillock, where condemned prisoners were hanged. Sher Ali, who killed Lord Mayo, the Viceroy of India in 1872, was also hanged here.
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 oldest in Asia. The main harbor is also here. The other harbor is Haddo, which is nearby.
I. Beaches near Port Blair
Corbyn's Cove Beach
Corbyn’s Cove Beach, the coconut-palm-fringed beach, ideal for sun basking is 6 km away from Port Blair town. Facilities like hotel, restaurant, bar, changing room etc. are available near the beach. Historical remains like Japanese bunkers can be seen on the way. The Snake Island, situated just across the beach is famous for Scuba Diving, Tourist Coaches are available from Andaman Teal House to Corbyn’s Cove as a part of conducted tours.
North Bay Beach
North Bay Beach is just north of Port Blair. The beach and the snorkeling opportunities in its fringing coral reefs are the closest ones you will find in Port Blair, and therefore, it gets crowded. A ferry (9 AM and 2 PM; 30 minutes) will take you across Aberdeen Jetty and bring you back after a 3 hour stay. The corals at North Bay are rather good and spread over large area. You’re very likely to spot many fish, a lobster or two, or even clams on the coral reef. Snacks and basic meals are available in some shacks on the Beach.
Munda Pahar Beach, Chidiya Tapu
Before the sunset, enjoy a swim at Munda Pahar Beach, which is 1 Km ahead of the bus stand at Chidiya Tapu. Frequent bus services are available from Port Blair Bus Terminus to Chidia Tapu. Tourist coaches are also available from Andaman Teal House to Chidiya Tapu as part of the conducted tours.
Twenty five kms. from west of Port Blair is Wandoor Beach famous for swimming and Coral Viewing. One can also go to Mahatma Gandhi Marine National park from Wandoor by boat. Conducted tours are available to Wandoor from Andaman Teal House, Port Blair.
Situated near Tirur,36 Kms. from Port Blair, this place has a beautiful sandy beach with shallow water. It is suitable for swimming, sun basking and sunset viewing.
Once the seat of British power and capital of these Islands, it stands now as a ruin of the bygone days with the old structure almost in debris. A small museum named 'Smritika' holds photographs and the other antiques of the Britishers relevant to these islands.
These beautiful golden and silver coloured sandy beaches with lush green forest is 36 Kms. by sea from Port Blair. Snorkeling & Scuba Diving activities are options. One natural bridge formations on the sea-shore are fascinating in Lakshmanpur-II.
Cutbert Bay Beach /Amkunj Beach(Rangat)
One can enjoy the quiet life and solitude of virgin nature in these beaches, and also breath unpolluted air, a rare availability for the city dweller of the Middle Andaman Island. Cutbert Bay beach and Amkunj Beach away from Rangat bazaar/jetty 20 kms. & 15 Kms respectively. Cutbert Bay is turtle-nesting ground(December-February season)
Situated at Mayabunder north part of Middle Andaman 240 kms by road and 136 kms by boat from Port Blair. Karmatang beach offers excellent scenic beauty and turtle nesting ground and also can enjoy the mangrove creeks.
Kalipur Beach/Lamiya Bay Beach/Ramnagar Beach(Diglipur)
These beaches are situated in North Andaman Island, Diglipur, 325 kms by road from Port Blair. Ramnagar beach and the sand-bar joining Ross and Smith Islands is a fascinating experience and famous for Turtle nesting. One who prefers to be away from the hustle and humdrum of urban life must come here to enjoy unhurried holidays.
Butler Bay Beach/Netaji Nagar Beach/Harminder Bay Beach(Little Andaman)
Little Andaman Island, south to the South Andaman Island is 120 Kms by sea from Port Blair. Butler Bay, a beautiful beach, is 14 kms from the Hut Bay jetty. The beach is ideal for sun-basking, snorkeling and surfing. Netaji Nagar beach, 11 kms from Hut Bay jetty and Harminder Bay beach are other beautiful beaches in the island
This three-storeyed prison, constructed by the 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. Entry Fee: Rs.5/-, Camera :Rs.10/-, Video Camera :Rs.50/- Timing:9.00 AM to 12.30 PM, 1.30 PM to 4.45 PM. It is closed on Monday.Ph:230117.
Started in the year 1975-76, the Anthropological museum near the Directorate of Tourism, Port Blair is an ethnographic museum. It illustrates the four Negrito Tribes of the Andamans viz. the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges and two Mongoloid tribes of the Nicobar viz. the Nicobarese and the Shompens. Entry Fee:Rs.10/-, Rs.3/- for Children. Timings:8.30 AM to 1.00 PM, 1.30 PM to 4.30 PM. It is closed on Thursdays & Govt. Holidays. Ph. 03192-232291.
Situated near Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Port Blair, it exhibits species of marine life endemic to the Islands and Bay of Bengal. It is closed on Mondays and Public holidays/second Saturday. Timing: 9.00 AM to 1.00 PM, 2.00 PM to 4.45 PM Entry Fee: Adult Rs.5/-, Child Rs.3/-, video without focus light: Rs.35/- Ph.03192-231848.
Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum)
Situated opposite to Andaman Teal House, Delanipur, Port Blair, 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 of the islands are on display. Timings: 9.00 AM -12.00 Noon, 2.00 PM-5.00 PM, Closed on Mondays & Holidays. Entry Fee:Rs.10/-. Ph:03192-232012 ext.2437.
Zoological Survey of India (Museum)
Situated near Andaman Teal House, this museum exhibits several varieties of sponges, coral, butterflies and centipedes etc. Open on all working days from 9.00 AM till 5.00 PM. Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays : 9.00 AM till 5.30 PM. Ph:03192-233148, 03192-237582.
Situated inside Chatham Saw Mill, 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. It is closed on Sundays. Timing: 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST IN ANDAMANS
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.
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.
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.
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.
Places of interest in Nicobar
Comprising of 28 Islands, with an area of 1,841 sq.Kms. the Nicobar Islands are separated from Andamans by the Ten Degree Channel.. The Nicobars abound in coconut-palm, casuarina and pandanus. Great and Little Nicobar have the Giant Robber Crab, Monkeys with long tail, Nicobarese Pigeons in plenty. Megapode, a rare bird is found in Great Nicobar. The southernmost tip of India is not Kanyakumari as has till recently been considered, it is INDIRA POINT in Great Nicobar Island. Nicobar group is out of bounds for foreigners at present. Indians may be given permission in exceptional cases on application.
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) INDIRA POINT
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 Gaint Leather Back Turtles. This island also has biosphere reserve area. 50-60 hrs. journey by sea from Port Blair.
DIVING IN ANDAMANS
There is no adventure than diving. Whether you are novice, or whether you were been diving for so many years, there is always something new, fascinating or challenging about venturing into the underwater world. Your mind may be mesmerized by clouds of colourfull fish, your curiosity raised by the mysterious remains of sunken ships or your creativity awakened by the art of underwater photography. Your diving interests may range from a casual pastime pursued on vacation, to a constant passion, or even a career. Diving offers something new for everyone. 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. Many of the islands are surrounded by fringing reefs, often several hundred meters wide and separated from the shore by a lagoon of similar width. There are also more steeply undulating hills of raven volcanic lava, which makes for some unusual diving. There are plenty of steeply sloping and shallow reefs suitable for snorkeling.Large pelagics are plentiful in these waters, as are a variety of sharks. Large schools of hammerhead often patrol the waters away from the reefs and Grey, Whitetip, Nurse and leopard sharks are found closer inshore. Silvertip and Ocean Whitetips also sometimes appear out of the deep blue beyond. Enormous manta Rays are also often seen
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 at Cinque Island 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). North Point: This site at Cinque Island is mostly highlighted by sponges and small corals and diversity of fish life. 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 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. Hard corals are not so evident. Grey and Whitetip 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. Parrotfish,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 amd is said to be one of the best sites in the Anadamans for coral-with vibrant colours.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. Snake Island off Corbyn’s Cove beach. This site offers awesome rock faces and spectacular dive landscape. Marine life includes Trigger fish, Grunts, Goatfish and Rays. 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 hardcorales and their inhabitants are found. Usually good visibility, dugongs have been spotted here. Aquarium is a fringing reef with lots of ‘fishtraffic’. Usually good visibility, mostly hardcorales. Barracuda City Tons of fish, sometimes turtles, mostly hard and some soft corals. Rather suitable for experienced divers. 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 staghorn corals and its inhabitants. Lighthouse is a huge divested, suitable for any kind of dives. Huge variety of soft and hard corals. Perfect for night dives. 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 softcorals plus schools of fish circling you, makes it always a memorable dive. Pilot Reef near to Havelock is a huge block of prestine hardcorals. At the bottom(max 24 meters) ‘canyons’ are stretching out. Leopard and White Tip Sharks have been sighted. 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 hardcorals, with sporadic sandy patches and hosts a multitude of reef animals. The marine life includes Whitetip 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. Whitetip shark, hammer headed shark, Manta ray and blue fin jack are also occasionally seen. More than 50 tyres 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.
Andaman waters are suitable for adventure water sports like scuba diving, skiing, sailing, para sailing, wind surfing, snorkeling etc. Trekking through the dense evergreen forests and island camping in beach front forests are the other adventure activities.
Rajiv Gandhi 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 Andamanese aboriginals in 1859. Nearby is an Amusement Park with Pleasure rides and a children Traffic Park.
One can enjoy the under-water marine life and view the rarest varieties of corals by snorkeling in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Corbyn's Cove, Havelock and other islands on all days from dawn to dusk depending on the weather.
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. Tourism Department organizes Island Camping (Tented accommodation) during the Tourist season at Radha Nagar Beach, Havelock. Contact: Directorate of Tourism. Phone No. 03192-232694 E-mail : email@example.com
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. Cinque Island North Point, South east reef at Cinque Island, Rutland Island, corruption rock, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park are the important dive sites nearest to south Andaman Islands. Other than Fish rock, Bala reef some sites at Havelock Island offer good scope for SCUBA diving. Most of the dive operators in Andaman are also based in Havelock Island.
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.
Foods & Restaurant in Andman & Nicobar Islands
Seafood is the specialty of these islands. The unpolluted water of Andaman Sea abounds with varieties of fish, crabs, lobsters, prawns etc. Seafood is easily available and deliciously cooked. North Indian, South Indian, vegetarian, continental, Chinese dishes are also available.