Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a group of 572 islands & islets spread like a broken chain of pearls over Bay of Bengal covering an area of 8249 sq.km. The archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar Islands celebrate serene solitude at its dense forests, exotic floral beds and stretches of silvery sand beaches. Over a distance of 780kms of ocean from North to South, the island, although a Union Territory of India, is very close to Rangoon (Burma), Phuket (Thailand), Malaysia & Sumatra. However to reach these islands irrespective Indians or foreigners have to undertake journey from Chennai/ Calcutta/Vizag. Andaman is graded as one of the ideal destination for availing leave travel concession to cover a long distance journey.
Climate: Tropical & Humid
Weather: Generally pleasant, Min 23C, Max 30C
Best Time to Visit: November to Feburary
Suggested Clothing: Cotton
Distance: Chennai - Port Blair - 1190kms
Calcutta - Port Blair- 1255kms
- Cellular Jail:
Popularly called the Bastille of India, Andaman is known for its famous Cellular Jail in which many freedom fighters were incarcerated during the British rule. The jail had 600 cells and was built during 1896 - 1906 with bricks transported from Burma.
- Ross Island:
Located at the mouth of Port Blair harbor, Ross Island was the seat of Imperial Administration till the Island fell into the hands of Japanese in 1942. The Island is having old buildings and monuments of immense historical and archaeological value.
- Viper Island:
Viper Island stands as a witness to the grim sufferings that the freedom fighters of our country had to undergo during the British Rule. The British used to keep dangerous prisoners who resorted to hunger strikes and non-cooperation, at a jail built in the Island.
Beaches, Coral, Marine Life
- Jolly Buoy or Red Skin Island:
Here one can watch underwater coral and marine life through a glass bottomed boat. To reach the Island, one has to first visit Wandoor National Marine Park to embark a motor launch. Sea here is safe for swimming and snorkeling.
- Corbyn's Cove Beach:
This is a small picturesque sea beach 7kms away from Port Blair. A drive to the beach along South Point Road reminds a tourist of Goa or Kovalam in Kerala. Corbyns Cove is a palm fringed beach and an ideal place for swimming.
- Marine Museum:
The museum maintained by the Department of Fisheries carefully exhibits marine life of Andaman.
A museum displaying exhibits to create awareness among people on different aspects of oceanic environments and to educate them to protect & conserve it in a scientific manner.
- Water Sports:
Both safe water sports & adventure water sports are conducted at Aberdeen Water Sports Complex & Mahatma Gandhi Children's Park. Both children and adults can join the water sports to feel the thrill of going to open sea.
Sagarika Emporium is maintained by the Industries Department and displays a variety of handicrafts produced out of ornamental timbers and shells. The items produced by tiny handicraft units in the Islands are sold from this emporium.
Forest & Wildlife
- Chatham Saw Mill:
Owned by the forest department, one of the largest saw mills in Asia. This mill converts huge logs into timber of different sizes and supplies to private & government departments at reasonable price. Ornamental species used in manufacture of furniture and handicraft are processed here.
- Forest Museum:
This museum displays a large variety of timber species and models of all activities undertaken by the forest department.
- Chiriyatapu Beach:
Famous for enchanting views that it present to the visitors and a paradise for the bird watchers. Adorned with a beautiful beach, Chiriyatapu offers you the best picnic spot.
- Tribal Life:
The Port Blair unit of department of Anthropological Survey of India displayed a large number of tools, inputs, models and photographs of habitual of aboriginal of the islands viz. Ongis, Jarawas, Sentinals, Shompens & Nicobaris.
- Neil Island:
Situated in South Andaman group, to reach the Island one has to undertake 2-3 hours journey by boat. Stay at Guest House/Private accommodation.
- Havelock Island:
Located in South Andaman group, to reach the Island it takes 4-5 hours by a motor boat. Radha Nagar beach is worldwide famous and it is ideal place for tent camping. At Havelock, the Tourism Department has accommodation.
- Rangat Island:
Located in Middle Andaman at a distance of 210 km from Port Blair, to reach the Island one can undertake boat journey or travel overland. Stay at Guest House/ Private accommodation.
Headquarters of North Andaman, at a distance of 300km from Port Blair. One can undertake boat journey or travel overland. Stay at Guest House/ Private accommodation.
Modes of travelling to & fro Andaman
Both ways by Ship: Travelling to tourist destinations by a train, bus or air is quite common. It is only on Andaman Sector, a tourist can undertake travel by a passenger ship. During the 60 hours journey to reach Port Blair, the shipping authority provide an array of entertainment like screening of Regional & English feature films, Indoor Games and reading materials. You can take long walks on the deck of the ship and take bath in the swimming pool on sun-deck. During the voyage, a tourist can watch the magnificent sunrise & sunset from sun-deck. Briefly to say, the ship is like a floating hotel with all modern amenities the frequency of sailing Ex-China is once in 10 days. Usually the ship halts at Port Blair for about 2 or 3 days maximum & sail back to China/Calcutta.
- Class of Cabins in the Ship:
Deluxe Cabin 2 Berths in a cabin with attached bath / toilet. A- Class 4 berths in a cabin with attached bath / toilet. B- Class 6 Berths in a cabin with common bath/toilet.
- Onward by Ship & Return by Air:
We recommend a tourist to Undertake one-way (onward) journey by ship, stay 4 to 5 days at port and avail 2 hours flight to reach China / Calcutta.
* The islands were once known as Kalapani- Black Waters for their role as a feared penal settlement during the age of British colonial rulers.