The Andaman Islands are situated in the Bay of Bengal, these are approximately 1600 Kms from mainland India. These islands are clean and still not very touristy places as visiting these is not very cheap. These islands has many places to see but in 7-8 days not possible to see everything, I have compiled a list of Andaman island’s must see places.
The connectivity between islands is an issue but there are some must see places in Andaman and one should definitely visit these.There is no direct flight from Delhi to Andaman (Port Blair). I traveled from Delhi to Chennai, stayed overnight there and next morning took my Chennai to Port Blair flight. There is only one airport in Port Blair on the Andaman Islands and it is managed by Indian Navy. It is used for commercial airlines as well as by Indian Navy. Port Blair is the capital of Andaman Islands and is the biggest city of this Island cluster.
I reached Port Blair’s Vir Savarkar Airport on time and transferred to my hotel. It was at the seafront and the sea was visible from big windows. My room was on the first floor and I can see the vast expanse of the blue sea from my bed 🙂
I booked this packaged tour on single sharing as traveling alone.
There was nothing to do on that day so, I decided to explore the city instead of sitting in my room relaxing. I got an auto outside my hotel and started exploring Andaman island’s must see places. Port Blaire is small and people are friendly, there was not much traffic on the road.
Here is my list of things to do in Andaman island and it’s must see places
Cellular Jail Portblair
It’s a three-story prison constructed by Britishers in 1906 The building had seven wings, at the center of these is a tower used by guards to keep watch on the inmates. Its shape was like the spokes of a bicycle wheel based on Jeremy Bentham’s idea of the Panopticon. A large bell in watch tower was kept to raise an alarm if any inmate tried to escape. The cells in this prison have no marking or noting about who was lodged there except for Vir Savarkar’s cell, which has double metal doors and it’s at the end of the corridor. It was somewhat depressing to hear these stories but it is a national memorial. Nowadays only one wing is opened for tourists.
After visiting the cells, corridors and watch tower, I climbed on the roof of the prison. From the roof, I can see the vast expanse of sea was, which looked black during the night and that’s how the name “Kala Pani” came. At distance the Ross Island was visible.
Every evening there is a Sound and Light Show in Jail’s compound after sunset. In this show, they give a vivid experience of jail’s history, it’s strong association with the freedom fighters and their struggle for independence. It is closed on Monday and Public Holidays.
Three Island Tour in Andaman
Ross Island is closest from Port Blair and it is maintained by the Navy. There are some ruins on this island because it was the first Island inhabited by Britishers. There are Bunkers from second world war, Bakery, ruins of water treatment plant, food grains shop, ruins of Church, Ballroom and some other government buildings from the British era. There were deer and peacocks also on the island. In terms of historical importance, its Andaman island’s must see places.
North Bay Island
Third Island was North Bay, it is a more touristy place with food shacks and stalls selling souvenirs etc. There were corals around the island so, the ship could not go beyond a point. It was anchored away from shore due to corals and from here they took us on boats to island. As there were corals so I took a Glass boats to see the colorful fishes and corals. Snorkeling and scuba diving facilities are also available here.
Chatham Saw Mill Portblair
The mill is strategically located at jetty and in working condition.
Samundrika Naval Maritime Museum Portblair
Zonal Anthropological Museum Portblair
Out of all these tribes of Andaman Islands and Nicobar, Jarawas are considered the most primitive tribal communities in the world today.
Aquarium in Portblair
Water Sports Complex in Port Blair
The Andaman water sports complex is a good option for water sports lovers. Water is clear and temperature of the water was perfect. The water temperature around Andaman Island remains around 26-28 degrees.
Barathang Island Day Tour
Photography is strictly prohibited in the forest area and cars/vehicles can not stop, doing so is a punishable offense. The security is strong and tourists were instructed beforehand not to take pictures.
After crossing forest, I moved to a boat jetty and taken a boat to Barathang. The boat took us from the tidal swamp forests and littoral forests by the coast. I got down at makeshift jetty and from here I walked towards the limestone caves with the guide. This trip is meant for those who enjoy experiencing the wild in its raw form.
While we were on our way back from Barathang through the forest, a young Jarawa couple came in front of our car and tried to stop us. They were asking in sign language to give something to eat but as authorities are very strict, so our driver moved the car very smartly and drove past. The access to Island is closed on Monday.
Picnic at Chidiya Tapu in Andaman Islands
During my stay in Port Blair, I met a big family and we went together to Chidiya Tapu for a picnic and enjoyed a lot. The authorities have put warning boards and message to be aware of crocodiles. The sea water was so clear and calm that we could not stop ourselves and enjoyed swimming and floating in the water. Chidiya Tapu is approx 20 Km from Port Blair.
Havelock Island Activities
This is Andaman island’s must see places. I went to Havelock Island for two nights. It is about 54 kilometers northeast of Port Blair. My tickets were booked in advance and I took a catamaran from Port Blair to Havelock. It was a smooth ride with no trouble. There was a small snack tall in it.
The moment I came out from the catamaran and looked around, I got mesmerized by the beautiful view. Havelock is a hidden jewel. Its clear waters are rated among the best in the world for snorkeling and scuba diving. The beaches have approx 40 meters visibility underwater. This is the best for exploring colorful coral reefs and multi-color fishes.
I took a boat and we went to Elephant Beach, where I had done SCUBA diving followed by snorkeling in the guidance of PADI experts. Padi provide all the equipment like body suits and snorkeling mask. It was an excellent experience.
The beaches on Havelock has been given numbers, I stayed on beach number 5. The best beach is number 7 and it is popularly known as Radhanagar beach. It is a clean beach with white sand, and good sea waves make it a hot spot of Havelock. It is awarded as the ‘Asia’s best beach’ by TIME Magazine.
I traveled by a catamaran but nowadays sea planes are also operational if the weather is ok.
If you are planning a backpacking trip then read this ultimate guide for Havelock Island.
How to reach the Andaman Islands
Also read Travel tips for India.
Food in Andaman
The food in Port Blair and Havelock has Bengali influence, though South and North Indian food is also available. There are plenty of options for Seafood and nonvegetarian. There are some good vegetarian restaurants also like Anand Bhawan.
Weather in Andaman Island
All the Andaman Islands are small and the sea is always within few hundred meters or a maximum couple of km so the weather was very humid during the end of winter months. Winter is the best time to visit. Do not go during monsoon season, it’s in the east so monsoon arrives here sometime around the end of April or beginning of May and it last till September.
Traveling within an Islands of Andaman
Taxi is recommended if distance is more than 20 Km.Boats and buses are available for travel between Islands but these run on fixed time and sometimes crowded. Otherwise, taxis are available but these are expensive.
Other places to visit in Andaman
Jolly Bouy Island (It is open for tourists for 6 months and remain closed on Monday) Choose between this or North Bay Island.
Neil Island is a good place to spend a couple of days relaxing on the beach.
Sea walk and Coral safaris in semi-submarine (For children it is the best option) are also available.
If one can add 4 days then it is worth visiting Ross and Smith Island, Saddle Peak Via Diglipur. From December to March turtle nest in these areas.
Must do activities in Andaman Island
Snorkling, Scuba diving, Swimming with Elephant, Glass bottom boat ride, Undersea walking In Havlock Island as this island is surrounded by lot of corals and colorful fishes.