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 ALL Tours >> Indian Islands >> Andaman

 



Islands      

     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.   
 


 

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.

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

 
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.

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.   
 


 
Ross Island

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.

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.   
 


 
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

 Sandy beaches of these islands are famous for turtle nesting. Important species of
 turtles include: Leather Back Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and Olive Ridley  Turtle. Water Monitor Lizard, Salt Water Crocodiles, Reticulate Python etc. are also
 seen here.
     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.    
 


 

Radhnagar Beach

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

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.      

 
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.
Ramnagar Beach

A sandy beach situated at Diglipur Island. It is connected by two daily boat services from Mayabunder and from Port Blair twice a week.    
 



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, co mpleted 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 from 9.00 AM to 12 Noon and 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.
Entry fee: - Rs. 5/-, Camera – photo - Rs. 10/-, video - Rs. 50/-
Light & Sound Show – Entry fee: adult Rs. 20/-, child Rs. 10/- (Above 5 & below 12yrs) 

      
     Ross Island
    Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the B ritish 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/-
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. Italso houses the models of the aborigines and their tools. Closed on Mondays andholidays.

Fisheries Museum

     Situatednear Andaman Water Sports Complex, it exhibits species of marine life peculiarto the islands and found in the Indo-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal. Closed onMondays and holidays.
                
Entry Fee: adult – Rs. 2/-, child (upto 12 years) Re. 1/-,
 Video without focus light – Rs. 25/-  
 
Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum)
        Situated opposite to Andaman Teal House, Delanipurthis museum is meant to create awareness on various aspects of oceanicenvironment. A good collection of shells, corals and a few species of colourfulfishes found in these islands are on display.

Time: 8.30 AM – 12.00 Noon, 2.00 PM – 5.00 PM, Monday & holiday closed
Entry fee - Rs. 10/-
Zoological Survey of India Museum
        Situated near to Andaman Teal House, this museum and researchlibrary 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 insightinto forest activities through scale models and displays decorative pieces madeof famous woods like Padauk, Marble, Peauma, Gurjan, Satin Wood, etc., Open onall working days.

   
Land & People

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were shrouded in mystery for centuries because of their inaccessibility. These are the paragon of beauty and present a landscape full with scenic and picturesque extravaganza. These islands shimmer like emeralds in the Bay of Bengal. The dense forest which cover these islands and the innumerable exotic flowers and birds create a highly poetic and romantic atmosphere. "Here the white beaches on the edge of a meandering coastline have palm trees that sway to the rhythm of the Sea. The beat of tribal drums haunt the stillness and technicolour fish steer their way through crystal clear water." This addition of strangeness to beauty which is responsible for creating the infinite romantic impact may be described in the following famous lines of Keats.

"Charmed magic casement opening on the foam Of perilous seas in fair lands forlorn."

The scenic beauty of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, would create a sense of dissatisfaction and the human mind would rebel against "the whole mass of the motley facts of life". He would be guided by an irresistible desire to this paradise on earth, with invincible faith on the philosophy of Wordsworth:

"Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold is full of blessing".

The Andaman & Nicobar are a group of picturesque Islands, big and small, inhabited and uninhabited, a total of 572 islands, islets and rocks lying in the South Eastern Part of the Bay of Bengal.They lie along an arc in long and narrow broken chain, approximately North-South over a distance nearly 800 kms. . It is logical to presume a former land connection form Cape Negris at South part of Burma to Achin Head (Cape Pedro) in Andalas (Sumatra). The flora and fauna of these islands, however, indicate that this land connection if it existed, should have been prior to the development of their present life form.

The Post Independence Regime

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands together with the rest of India, became Independent on August 15th, 1947. The Bengalis are the major population group which came to the Andamans after Independence. They came as 'settlers' under the Government rehabilitaion scheme, whcih started as early as 1949 and continued till the 1970s. All these groups migrated to the Andamans from different districts of East Pakistan ( now Bangladesh). The Bengalis are primarily distributed in the different villages of North, Middle and South Andamans. The rehabilitated settlers of Great Nicobar are the Ex-servicemen. Ex-servicemen were rehabilated according to the rules of the District Soldier, Sailor, Airmen Board, formerly known as the Ex-servemen Association and the Indian Ex-servicemen League. The first batch of Ex-servicemen came to the island in 1969. Others, from different parts of the mainland followed in 1970,1974,1977,1979 and 1980. These settlers include among others, Punjabis, Marathis, Malyalis and Tamilians. New rules and legislation were enacted and a Chief Commissioner directly nominated by the President of India headed the islands. On November 12, 1982, the post of Chief Commissioner was elevated to the rank of Lt. Governor. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands now send one elected representative to the Lok Sabha.

How to reach

BY AIR

Port Blair is connected with Chennai and Calcutta by air. Presently flights are operated by Alliance Air/Indian Airlines and Jet Airways. 

BY SEA

 Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailings every month from Calcutta and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is one sailing from Vishakhapatnam 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. Further information on schedules and tariffs can be obtained from:


ENTRY FORMALITIES FOR FOREIGNERS AND INDIANS

Foreigners

  All foreign nationals can stay in the islands for 30 days. This can be extended by another 15 days with permission. They require a permit to stay from the immigration authorities. In addition, permits can also be obtained from: Indian Missions Overseas, Foreigner’s Registration Offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and the immigration authorities at the airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.

The places covered by this permit for night halt are: South Andaman Island, Middle Andaman Island and Little Andaman Island (except tribal reserve), Neil Island, Havelock Island, Long Island, Diglipur, Baratang, North Passage and islands in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (excluding islands – Boat Hobday, Twin, Tarmugli, Malay and Pluto) Night halt in the Park is with permission only.

For Day Halt  South Cinque Island, Ross Island, Narcondum Island, Interview Island, Brother Island, Sister Island and Barren Island ( Barren Island can be visited on board vessels only).

Indians  Indian nationals need no permit to visit Andamans. However, permits are required to visit Nicobar Islands and other tribal areas, which are given in exceptional cases. Application on a prescribed form may be addressed to the Deputy Commissioner, Andaman District, Port Blair.


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 anAmusement Park with Rollercoaster, Pleasure rides etc. and a children Traffic Park is adjacent to it.


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. 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 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.

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.

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 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 divesite, suitable for any kind of dives. Huge variety of soft and hard corals. Perfect for nightdives.

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 hardcorals. Tons of fish, usually good visibility and the possibility of seeing sharks makes it one of the top dive sites.

Campbell Shoaloff 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.

 

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