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Andaman Travel Essentials

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Ideal duration: 4-6 days

Best Time: October to Jun Read More

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Also Refered As:

Andaman & Nicobar

"Blue seas, virgin islands and colonial past"

Andaman Tourism

Replete with turquoise blue water beaches and a bit of history, Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a little slice of paradise tucked around 1,400 km away from the east coast of mainland India. Port Blair, the capital of this union territory, has a major airport and seaport connected with the rest of the country and with various tourist islands via multiple daily ferries. Havelock and Neil Islands are popular among tourists for their white sandy beaches and excellent diving options. 

Andaman & Nicobar Islands comprises 572 islands, only 37 of which are inhabited, and a few are open to tourists. Havelock Island is one of the largest and the most popular islands of all Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Travellers typically enter from Port Blair via flight or ship and spend multiple nights in Havelock and Neil Islands that offer some great resorts.

The southern coast of the Havelock island has the charming Radhanagar Beach, while the azure beauty of Vijayanagar Beach is situated towards the east of the island.  Perhaps the most endearing feature of Neil island is its three sandy beaches, namely Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and Lakshmanpur Beaches.

Port Blair is generally used as a base city to catch ferries to nearby islands. However, tourists also spend a day or two here to explore the town and nearby beaches. People also take day trips to Ross Island and North Bay Island or Baratang and Jolly Buoy island from Port Blair.

Andamans have the most exotic beach and some of them also give the opportunity of trying out a number of Water sports such as Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sea Walk etc. North Bay Island near Port Blair, Elephant Beach in Havelock Island and Bharatpur Beach in Neil Island are three popular beaches to try out watersports. Elephant beach and Kalapather beach are two other beaches where the sunrise and sunsets are absolutely divine.

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Must Know Before You Travel to Andaman

Permits
  • Indian citizens do not require a passport and Restricted area permit for traveling to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. 
  • All foreign residents visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands must get a RAP (Restricted Area Permit). It is a 30-day permit issued to Non-Indians at the Port Blair Airport upon their arrival. Please note that none of the hotels in the Andaman Islands will offer accommodation to foreign citizens without a RAP. So, acquiring this permit is a compulsory formality. Read more on How to Obtain the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) here

Ferries and Transportation
Restrictions & Other Essential Information
  • The ferries get cancelled at times because of bad weather, so be mindful of that while booking the hotels. 
  • While debit and credit cards are accepted, due to poor internet connectivity it's advised to keep INR 10,000-15,000 in cash to avoid failed transactional situations. 
  • Apart from BSNL, the Airtel network is now available in Port Blair and Andaman and at a few points in Neil Island. It will be difficult to get connectivity for any other cellular service.
  • Islands like Jolly Buoy Island & Ross Island, are one or half-day trips from Port Blair only offer cucumbers and coconut water so make sure to carry some snacks with you.

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Essential Tips for Visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  • Always keep your vital documents like your passport, RAP, and driver's license handy. It is advisable not to leave them at the hotel or resort as every time you will arrive at Havelock or other islands.
  • Make all your bookings in advance as the prices increase at the last moment.
  • Ensure to book the ferry with a time gap of 1.5-2 hours after landing.
  • On visits to the National Parks, a guide nominated by the Chief Wildlife Warden of Andaman and Nicobar Islands must accompany all the visitors. (mandatory)
  • The native tribes of Andaman must not be photographed or filmed.
  • There is a stringent prohibition on camping at beaches or forest areas after dusk.
  • Tourists should stay in the approved regions while snorkeling or scuba diving and strictly avoid standing on coral reefs.
  • Avoid using plastic bags in the Andaman Islands, as there is a ban on plastic carry bags. If found having a plastic carry bag, you may be levied a fine of INR 1,000,000 or a six-month jail or both.
  • Visitors can only access the tribal areas after acquiring a Tribal Pass from the Deputy Commissioners of South Andaman, North & Middle Andaman, and Nicobar. Explicit details must be furnished about the visit to get permission to visit the notified Tribal areas for purposes like research, education, etc.

Indigenious Tribes Of Andaman

The Great Andamanese, Jarawas or Sentalenese are considered the first people or natives of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. They inhabit the South Andaman and Middle Andaman Islands and live in groups and are known to be dark-skinned. They have shunned interactions with outside communities and mostly keep to themselves. They have been inhabiting the islands for the last several thousand years. Most of them have now been wiped out by diseases, epidemics and tsunamis and there are approx. Only 400-450 indigenous people are remaining on the islands. They resort to hunting-gathering lifestyle.

History Of Andaman

Some of the earliest archaeological pieces of evidence suggest that the inhabitation of the islands dates back to 800 BC, which was sometime during the middle of the Palaeolithic age. The islands were occupied mostly by the tribes called as Andamanese and others including Jharwas, Onges, Shompens and Sentinelese. Initially, the empire was used by the Chola dynasty as a strategic naval base for an expedition against the Sriwijaya Empire in Indonesia. Later it became a colony of the Danish, and they named it Danish East India Company. Soon after, the islands were repeatedly abandoned due to outbreaks of epidemics, mostly malaria. Later, the British set up their colony in Port Blair and bought the island from the Danish. Finally, when the British left India, the islands became a part of India in 1950 and were declared a Union Territory in 1956.

Flora And Fauna In Andaman

Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the largest archipelago system in India, comprising of 306 islands and 206 rocks and islets. The canopied rainforests which dominate the archipelago is a haven for 3000 species of plants including palms, mangroves, woody climbers, timbers etc. and almost 6400 species of fauna, both marine and terrestrial. It houses 96 wildlife sanctuaries in India and is also home to nine national parks and one biosphere reserve. The islands are also a popular bird-watching site with at least 240 types of birds which can be spotted here, including migratory birds. The island is also famous for its exotic corals and marine life. The endless coastline draws tourists from all over the world. The colourful shells, rocks and remnants of coral reefs are used as ornate ornaments, natural souvenirs etc. by the tourists. The island’s rich ecosystem, life forms diversity and sheer beauty of the place attract nature lovers, ecology enthusiasts and photographers all through the year.

Suggested Itinerary for Andaman

Day 1: Arrive at Port Blair and take a regular city tour. Visit the Chatham Saw mill, which is the oldest and largest mill in Asia. Take a stroll through Forest Museum, Fisheries Museum and Cottage Industries Emporium called Sagarika. Visit the famous Cellular Jail which was also called Kaala Paani in its heyday, as it convicted Indian prisoners during British Raj. Attend the light and sound show held in the evenings in the prison.

Day 2: Take a ferry to Havelock Islands as early in the morning as possible. The two and a half hours ride will give you numerous chances to stop and gawk at the emerald green waters. Spend some time on Radhanagar beach which is believed to be the best beach of Asia. Trek to the Elephanta Beach and have a peaceful dinner at Dolphin Resort next to the coastline.

Day 3: Go for scuba diving or snorkelling or spend the day in idyllic bliss, at any Radhanagar beach or Elephanta beach or choose from the other numerous beautiful beaches present.

Day 4: Head back to Port Blair and take a ferry to Ross Islands, which is a half day trip from Port Blair. It is an abandoned settlement and gives you a feel more or less like discovering a long lost city.

Best Time to Visit Andaman

Andaman Photos

Andaman
Andaman and Nicobar, one of the seven territories covering an area of 8,250 km²
North Bay Island
Cinque Island

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photos

FAQs on Andaman

What is not so good about Andaman and Nicobar islands?

The restricted tribal areas are strictly off-limits for tourism. Special permits are needed by those who are conducting government work or are there for research purposes.

What are the places near Andaman and Nicobar islands?

The places near the mainland of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the North and South Sentinel Islands. These islands are home to the indigenous Sentinelese Islands and are strictly off-limits for visit.

What is the local food in Andaman and Nicobar islands?

The cuisine Of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is like the island itself - tropical, exotic and refreshing. The sea that is all around has a defining effect on the island's culture, livelihood and cuisine. The food here, hence, is dominated by seafood preparations and you don't want to miss the fish delicacies here. Other than seafood too, the staple diet is essentially non-vegetarian.

However, as the island is becoming an increasingly popular tourist spot, the resorts and other eating places will give you options of various regional Indian cuisines, Chinese and a variety of continental options.

Also, the fruits here are popular and refreshing. You can find Mangoes, Bananas, Pineapples, Guava and more. One can also sip in the truly refreshing and tropical coconut water here.

What are the things to do in Andaman and Nicobar islands?

The top things to do in Andaman and Nicobar islands are Scuba Diving In Andaman, sightseeing in Havelock Island, Radhanagar Beach, Cellular Jail, Snorkeling in Andamans, Ross Island. 

How much does a package cost for Andaman and Nicobar islands?

The packages for Andaman and Nicobar islands start at INR 8850 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations.

What is famous about Andaman and Nicobar islands?

Scenic Beaches. Dense Forest. Lots of water sports. Beautiful ambience.

What is the best time to visit Andaman and Nicobar islands?

The best time to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands is between October and May as the weather stays bright and quite pleasant. Monsoons (July to September) are not always recommended as the waves could be unpredictable and specific regions also receive heavy downpours.

Who should visit Andaman and Nicobar islands?

Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer an exotic vacation within the country. They are for everyone who is looking for a peaceful stay and lots of fun at the beaches. All adventure lovers would particularly love this place.

What is the best way to reach Andaman and Nicobar islands?

Andamans and Nicobar Islands can be reached via air and water only since these are an isolated cluster of islands in the Bay of Bengal along the Eastern coast of India.

Is Andaman more costly than Goa?

Owning to the flight prices, visiting Andaman is likely to be more expensive than visiting Goa. Andaman is a little on the costlier side because it's an exotic location with more places to visit and explore than Goa.

Does Andaman have Ola or uber?

No, Uber and Ola services are not available in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Tourists ‌rent taxis from local providers. The taxi operators charge per hour or per kilometer. These operations are costly, so make sure you bargain your best while taking one.

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Popular Questions And Answers on Andaman

Q. How much total amout needed to go Andaman Island (including Air Fares, Ship Fares, Hotel Fares, and Roaming fares)?

Rohit Shroff

3 years ago
A 5 day trip to Andaman will cost you roughly 40K for a couple without flights. This is assuming 4K per night for a hotel + 2K for food per day + 10K for ferries and internal transport. If you also d (Read More)o water sports and activities, you might end spending another 5-6K per person. And flights from Chennai and Kolkata start from 4-5K per person, but it generally takes 10K from Delhi and Mumbai and other smaller cities. So, overall, it will take atleast 35K-45K per person including flights.
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Q. Can we reach by boat from chennai?

Bikash Biswas

5 years ago
Kolkata
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Q. Can we visit in June, that is after 10 june?? What about the weather conditions?

Holidify

5 years ago
During June, Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be quite hot as it will be the summer season. This is a good time to engage in watersports here. If there are rains though, you may not be able to indulge (Read More) in these activities. Please refer to the following link for more information on visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands in June: https://www.holidify.com/places/andaman-nicobar-islands/best-time-to-visit.html
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Andaman Reviews

Your rating

Kovid Kapoor

5 years ago
- If you are a non-Indian national, then you would need to get a 'Restricted Area Permit' to visit these islands, especially if you are coming via sea.

Surbhi Parashar

5 years ago
Located in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is an archipelago consisting of about 600 islands out of which only around 36 islands are inhabited. The archipelago is divided into two grou (Read More)ps of islands - the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands. Of these, only 9 islands in the Andaman Islands group are open for tourists. In earlier times, the islands were referred to as Kalapani for their notorious penal settlement. Pristine beaches, gorgeous corals, fascinating marine life, adventurous water sports and the remain of Stone Age culture draw multitudes of tourists to these islands every year. These islands are covered with lush forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna. Incredible corals and marine life, crystal clear water and mangrove-lined creeks lure travellers to these picturesque islands. while the sandy beaches form as nesting homes to turtles, animals such as spotted deer, wild boar, gecko, crab-eating macaque and python can be spotted in the 86% area still covered by dense forests.

Pawan Tripathi

5 years ago
Plzz give me advice best time to go andmaan
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