The world is full of magical destinations, waiting to be explored. And Andaman is surely one such place. A relaxed tropical island outpost that belongs to India, Andaman Islands are truly magical. The Islands are shrouded in the mystery for centuries because of their inaccessibility. A paragon of beauty, these islands present a landscape of scenic and picturesque extravaganza, shimmering like emeralds 1000km off the east coast of India in the Bay of Bengal. Superb, near-deserted beaches, incredible corals and marine life, an intriguing colonial post and the remnants of a Stone Age culture lure travellers to these mysterious islands.
We all know beaches of Andaman are awesome, but that is not all. The history of the tribes, the settlers who migrated years ago, the Jurassic era kind of forests and not to forget the clear blue waters, Andaman is a tourists’ paradise. Andamans has the most welcoming climate in winter, making it a perfect holiday destination. One can say that you fall in love with it at first sight – the clear shimmering stretch of water, boasting every hue of blue ever seen, washing over pure white sand.
Here are some suggestions to help you plan your perfect Andaman getaway.
This is one of the largest islands in Andaman comprising of some of the most exquisite and unspoilt beaches. It also boasts of a strikingly evergreen and dense forest. The island is mostly populated by Bengalis who have settled here since a long time. The other part of the island is inhabited by the tribals or the aborigines. There are hosts of activities which can be performed during a visit to the island like sailing, kayaking, trekking, scuba diving etc. The transparent water and the pristine environment fills you with an unearthly bliss.
If you really want to slow down, and are looking for peace, isolation and near-deserted beaches without being a castaway, Neil Island, 40km northeast of Port Blair, is a good place to get off the ferry. This is the place to lie on the beach, jungle-walk, snorkel, cycle through paddy fields and farms, and then lie on the beach some more.
Jolly Buoy Island
Located at a distance of around 15 Nautical Miles from the Wandoor Jetty, inside the Mahatma Gandhi National Park, the Jolly Buoy Island boasts of a beach of almost white sand and a mixture of both shallow and deep waters. It is one of the most coveted spots for snorkelling enthusiasts, closer to Port Blair. The transparency of the water lets one see the beauty of the Pillar, Star, Brain & Fungia Corals. There are experienced guides to provide assistance for amateur snorkelers and provision of Glass Bottom Boats. Even those not proficient in swimming can enjoy in the shallow waters with ease. The Marine life at the Island is exquisite to the region and boasts of the most colourful fauna in terms of fish, sea cucumbers and Star Fish.
The Cellular Jail
The other experience to highlight the trip is at Kala Pani. You get suddenly transported from an exotic world to one from the dark ages. It is so ironic that the place that boasts about such exquisite beauty, holds the murkiest history of all. The cellular jail of Kala Pani, is probably the most heart-breaking historic monument that you would ever visit. A jail meant for the political and dangerous prisoners, Kala Pani had obviously witnessed several tortures and deaths. Located right in the middle of a deep jungle and rocky water body on one side, Kala Pani somehow feels like a part of some other world all together. Though on the same island, you just can’t connect the cellular jail, to the picture-perfect Port Blair that you instantly fall in love with.
Sevens wings with one central watch tower, tortuously tiny cells, minimum light, torture chambers and an exhibition wing, with pictures of freedom fighters who were imprisoned here. This jail could hold tornadoes like Sukh Dev, Rajguru, Batukeshwar Dutt, Bejoy Kumar Sinha, Shiv Verma, Jaidev Kapoor and Veer Savarkar. The place has a feeling of being in a time warp, like Kala Pani stood still while the world moved on. The real magnitude of the place hits you during the light and sound show, excellently narrated by Naseeruddin Shah. Till then all of it still seems like a chapter from the history book, a story, not reality.
Ross Island, which is located at a 20 minute boat ride from Port Blair, is breath-taking. Ross Island was the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands during the British Raj and today is maintained by the Navy due to its strategic importance. This place is teeming with wildlife, especially deer and peacocks, which surprisingly do not show any fear for humans. In fact, one can actually feed them and take pictures with them. Ross Island has a beautiful, untouched virgin beach-Ferar beach where you can sit down on the rocks and enjoy the white sand, with the waves lapping at your feet.
Apart from these major tourist attractions, there’s much more to see & do in Andaman; mangrove canopy walk, scuba diving, snorkelling, game fishing, volcano tour are a few of the activities that you can enjoy. Andaman Island is that genie in a bottle of Earth which will fulfill your wish to unwind and have the best time of your life. So are you ready to experience the magic of Andamans?
Team Veena World