Evergreen rainforests with innumerable exotic birds and animals, serpentine mangrove creeks, very diverse marine life, beautiful silver beaches; if you are thinking that I am describing a distant tropical land think again; for this is in our very own backyard--India’s answer to the Caribbean and south East Asia combined, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These are India’s extension into south East Asia and you can very much feel at home here as Hindi is widely spoken apart from Nicobarese, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.
This group of 600 odd islands with emerald forests and sapphire beaches is a Union Territory of India situated in the Bay of Bengal. The union territory is divided into two groups: Andaman and Nicobar with its capital at Port Blair. Almost 92% of the land area is covered with lush tropical forests. The best time to take up Andaman holiday tours
is between November to May, when the monsoons have just given a new lease of life to the islands. Indian nationals do not need any permit to visit the Andaman Islands however a permit is needed to visit tribal areas and the Nicobar Islands. Non-Indian nationals need a permit from the immigration authorities at Port Blair
How to reach: By Air
Well connected with Chennai and Kolkata by air. Flights are operated by Jet Airways, Indian Airlines. Log on to http://indian-airlines.nic.in/default.aspx for information about Indian Airlines and www.jetairways.com for information about Jet Airways schedule.
The islands are connected by regular passenger ships to Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam.For more information log on to http://www.shipindia.com. Various packages from Chennai
Things to do
- Scuba Diving: South Cinque Island, Havelock Island, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park offer some great options for scuba diving.
- Snorkeling: Experience marine of spectacular diversity at Carbyn's Cove Tourism Complex, Havelock and other islands
- Trekking: You can go trekking through beautiful landscape from Mt. Harriet to Madhuban. Try out your own trekking routes… who knows you might end up discovering a new Island which could be named after you.
- Andaman Water Sports Complex: Offers various water sport facilities
- Wildlife safari: There are 96 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 9 National Parks and 1 Biosphere Reserve in these Islands.
- Just chill: This one is my favorite don’t do anything much just relax by your hut looking at the sea sipping a cool tender coconut and watch sky change colours.
Places to Visit
- Cellular Jail
- Havelock Island
- Forest Museum
- Barren Island
- Anthropological Museum
- Ross Island and Viper Island for their historic ruins
- National Memorial
- Fisheries Museum
- Naval Marine Museum
- Zoological Survey of India Museum
- Mini Zoo at Haddo
Shop and Eat:
Shop for some exquisite tribal and Indian ethnic handicrafts or the various souvenirs made from sea shells on your holidays in Port Blair
If you love sea food this is the place to be and offers a wide range of options
For a list of hotels visit the tourism department’s website: