The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a total of 572 islands, islets and rocks, located at the south-eastern part of the Bay of Bengal. Over 1 lakh tourists pay a visit to the exotic Andaman Islands annually. This is considered to be a naturalist’s heaven as well as a dream destination for, trekkers, hikers, nature lovers and adventure-seekers. Adventure tourism, blended with a vast topographical wilderness is the primary call and the Island speaks for itself with so much natural delights in store.
The vegetable bowl of the Andaman, theNeil Island, situated at a distance of 36 kms from the Port Blair, is one of the major tourist’s attractions. It comprises of a lush of flora and fauna stretched along sandy beaches. A village settlement is found there, which also provides a proper hangout destination for eco-friendly tourists. Laxmanpur, Bharatpur, Sitapur are the main attractions, which adds up to the joyous experience.
The Long Island, at a distance of 82 kms from Port Blair, again endows with a magnificent experience. The LalajiBay, is a sandy beach surrounded by evergreen forests. This island is a recurrent visit for dolphin convoys. During seasons, trekking and camping remain one of the main attractions of this place.
Rangat, 170 kims by road and 90kms by sea, is a soulful destination with the delicate touch of virgin nature and a vast collection of plants, animals and marine life. Curtbert Bay Beach, at a distance of 20kms from Rangat jetty has a turtle nesting ground, December-February being the apt season. Panchavati waterfall and Amkunj Beach are two fantastic spots to visit there alongside, as well. Mayabunder and Diglipur, also are two places one could visit from there.
Mayabunder,is situated at the extreme north of the Middle Andaman. This place is culturally distinctive from other places in Andaman since a separate kind of settlement dwells here. Inhabitants from Burma, East Pakistan and ex-convicts have formed a settlement here, and the place has an excellent scenic beauty. The beach at Alvis Island and the Karmatang Beach has a mangrove lined creek formation. It is also a turtle nesting ground.
Diglipur, a place to visit in the North Andaman Island, has a clean environment and unpolluted air, much to the likings of a city dweller. The only river of the Andamans, Kalpong dissects this area. The first hydro-electric plan is getting initiated here, that brings much economical importance to this place. The Turtle Resrt, is a place here in Kalipur, and the Water Sports Centre is situated nearby. This place is famous for its production of oranges, rice and marine life.
Little Andaman Island, has several sandy beaches along the coastline. Amongst them, the Butler bay, a magnificent waterfall and lands fringed with oil palms and coconut palms contributes to the beauty of the crescent shaped island. This is the vegetable bowl for the Nicobar group of Islands. A habitation for the Onge tribes, this place therefore has restricted entry for tourists.
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.
Cellular Jail, presently a revered shrine dedicated to great Indian freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the Independence of our Nation, is situated at Aberdeen near Port Blair in Andaman Islands. The Cellular Jail meant to imprison the freedom fighters of India was built in 14 years beginning in 1886 by the British rulers. The original Cellular Jail contains seven regions with the central region having a tower. There were four floors with first three floors for cells and the fourth floor functioned as the watch tower. One can see here the execution room where the freedom fighters were hanged by the colonial rulers. The visitors can see the light and sound show depicting the sacrifice of freedom fighters and also showing up the brutal history of the Cellular jail. The Martyr’s memorial, a gallery and a museum are also located here, reminiscing Indian independence struggle.
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 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
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 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.
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
Viper Island : The Britishers used to harbour 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.
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.
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.
Corbyn’s Cove is a serene and unspoiled soft sandy beach in Andaman near to Port Blair. This beach is set in picturesque backgrounds of lush green coconut palms and pleasant sea. There is a pristine tourism Complex, which offers all kinds of facilities for an enthusiastic traveler. This is an ideal spot for sun basking and sea bathing. The main attractions in this beach are the inviting water sports activities. This beach and the water closed to the beach are perfect location for surfing, scuba diving and boating. Many pill boxes and bunkers established by Japanese add the attraction of the beach.
Forest Museum in Andaman is situated at Haddo and is run by the Forest Department of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The museum very typical in its contents displays the artifacts made out of timber including peauma, oak, gurjan, paduak and satin wood. The Museum helps the visitor to get some insight in the forestry and related activities. One can see many attractive models in timber showcased here. The major attractions near by this Museum include a beautiful zoological garden and a mini zoo. The museum is open to public on all working days from 8 am to 12 noon and 2.30 pm to 5 pm.