A group of about 600 islands in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are known for their scenic beaches, dense forests and adventurous water sports.
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 groups 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.
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- 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.
Scenic Beaches. Dense Forest. Lots of water sports. Beautiful ambience.
Foreigners need special permits to visit here. Restricted/Tribal areas are not safe.
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.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the largest archipelago system comprising of 306 islands and 206 rocks and islets. The canopied rainforest 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 the largest wildlife sanctuary and is a home to nine national parks and countless vast varieties of flora and fauna. Other than the rich wildlife diversity, the islands are also a popular bird watching site with at least 240 types of 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 photographs all through the year.
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 Palaeolithic age. The islands were occupied mostly by the tribes called as Andamanese and others including Jharwas, Onges, Shompens and Sentenelese. Initially, the empire was used by the Chola dynasty as a strategic naval base for an expedition against Sriwijiya 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.
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.
Andamans have the most exotic beaches. These are Wandoor beach, Elephant Beach, Sitapur Beach, Bharatpur Beach, Laxmanpur Beach and Radhanagar Beach. Each of these beaches offers a peaceful ambience that would make you want to spend days here. These beaches also give the opportunity of trying out a number of water sports such as Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sea Walk etc.
Once a brutal prison, it has now been converted into a museum that depicts the entire struggle behind Indian Independence. This place is a must visit for everyone - Indian or not. The journey of Indian Independence will fill your heart with patriotism. Here, you must definitely check out Freedom Fighters Photo and Exhibition Gallery, Library on Freedom Movement, Old Photographs Gallery and an eternal flame of Freedom-Swatantrya Jyot erected in memory of all freedom fighters and martyrs.
The pristine island is perfect for an amazing beach vacation.
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.
The cuisine Of Andaman 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. There is little here, in which you will not find traces of the sea. 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 Indian, Chinese and a few more cuisines.
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.
Ship from Chennai to Andaman takes about 60 hours. It takes 60 hours to complete the journey, and runs 4 times each month.