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Top Things to Do in Exotic Andaman Islands
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Say hello to clear skies, say hello to crystal clean waters, say hello to the lovely and amazing Andaman Islands. If you want to move away from the hustle bustle of the city life, Andaman is the place to head to. Andaman Islands are a cluster of islands. I instantly fell in love with the place not just because of its beauty but also because of the people. Andamanese are just so helpful, kind, bereft of selfishness and soft spoken. Take for instance, people leave their stuff anywhere on the beach and do not worry about their belongings getting stolen!

water

I visited Andaman Islands during the month of December and I bet it is one of the best times to visit the place. Andaman is a good getaway for a number of reasons. Be it for the love of water sports, love to revisit history, if you want to meet some of the nicest people ever, you love to be in the arms of nature and I think I can go on and on about it!

jet_ski

On the first day, I visited Corbyn’s Cove and I tried Jet Skiing. Although I had done it earlier, I’m always game for some fun. Corbyn’s Cove mainly has Jet Skiing and speed boat. I would rate Havelock’s beaches better than this.  You can also visit Rajiv Gandhi water sports complex if you want to try out water sports in Port Blair itself.

ferry

Since Andaman is an island, the main mode of transportation over here is the ferry. They use it to transport people and vehicles. To get to other islands as well, you will have to rely on this. Usually it is about 1-2 hours journey in a ferry to get to other island.

viper_island

This was shot at Viper’s Island. This used to be the original Kala Paani. So I was asking my cab driver why the name came as such. So, he was telling me that this is where the original execution point was. There is also the ruin of a court here. It was disheartening to see all the structures destroyed due to Tsunami.

cellular_jail_night

I had heard so much about the light and sound show that takes place inside the Cellular jail. So, for obvious reasons, I headed for it. I can’t put it in words how overwhelming it is to see the Jail and the way it has been designed. The light and sound show explains what India’s brave men went through to get us independence.

jail_windows

Next day, I was to head to Mt.Harriet for a small trek inside the Jungle. Before that I decided to head to the Cellular Jail Museum. It can easily take an hour or two to go through every single thing. This is how my first glimpse of the Jail was in the morning. It felt totally different at night and I couldn’t make out much of it. When I saw this mammoth structure, all I could think was how cruel can someone get to ensure solitary confinement of prisoners.

watch_tower_jail

If you notice in the picture, you can see windows to your left and rows of corridors to your right. The windows that you see in the picture were the only source of ventilation given that the doors were also absolutely narrow. The design was such that no prisoner could talk to each other or see each other. The center top part that you see in this picture was the watch tower.

corridor

For me, places are just like people. Some have the capacity to move you emotionally while some doesn’t. Visiting the Cellular Jail has had a deep emotional impact on me. They have kept some cells open where you can go and see. They have kept the clothes, utensils and the bed sheets that were given to the prisoners for the visitors to see and I can tell you it just takes a stab at you emotionally.

corridor_2

I felt helpless, emotionally charged up, angry, proud of the brave men who went through this for our country and speechless as to how someone can be tortured like this. Human beings are social beings and not having to communicate or have any contact with other beings is like the worst kind of punishment ever. I read it in the museum that many of the prisoners actually turned mad due to the Solitary confinement punishment.

savarkar

Vinayak Savarkar Damodar went through this torture and survived this hell for 10 years! This picture was shot in the cell where he was staying. He and his brother were in the very same Jail for many a number of years but did not know that both of them were in the same Jail!

north_bay_seen_from_mt_harriet

After a visit to the Museum, headed straight to Mt.Harriet. This was taken en route to Mt.Harriet. The Island that you see is North Bay. Now, if you have INR 20, turn it back and check this pic again 🙂 This is the same pic that has been printed on the INR 20 currency.

Havelock_island

This was shot at Havelock and it houses the beautiful Radhanagar beach. This is definitely one of the best beaches of what I’ve seen and it was also awarded one of Asia’s best beaches by TIME magazine. The blue waters and white sand are just amazing. Elephanta beach is just another 40 minute boat ride away from Havelock. You can do scuba diving, snorkeling, banana boat ride, glass-bottom ride and other water activities there.

cottages

This was very beautiful resort at Havelock Island where I ended up staying. Havelock is about 2.5 hours from Port Blair. Havelock is absolutely stunning! Absolutely serene and calm. One of the most beautiful places on earth for sure!

deer_ross_island

What a sight it was at Ross Island! This is how I was welcomed. I am avid animal lover and seeing them in such a gang was more than what I could ask for in Andaman. They’re so damn friendly but doesn’t mean you can get to pet them. They like it when you admire them from a distance.

peacock_at_ross_island

What a sight it was at Ross Island! This is how I was welcomed. I am avid animal lover and seeing them in such a gang was more than what I could ask for in Andaman. They’re so damn friendly but doesn’t mean you can get to pet them. They like it when you admire them from a distance.

church_ross_island

This was actually a Church at Ross Island that was destroyed by the Tsunami. Apparently, Ross Island took more brunt and it helped save Port Blair from getting destructed further.

ross_island_trees

All the uprooted trees that you see in this picture speak about the widespread destruction that Tsunami had caused.

seawalk

I tried all sorts of water sports here. I was so stoked about Sea Walk. It felt as if National Geographic or Discovery Channel was relaying something live in front of me. This was such an out of the world experience for me-getting to be with aquatic beings, sea anemones, coral reefs and what not! Absolutely breathtaking!

limestone_caves_baratang

At Baratang island, you get to visit the limestone caves after a small trip via the mangroves. Stalagmites and Stalactites at Baratang Island. Once you travel via mangroves, you need to walk for about a kilometer till you get to these limestone caves. It’s a beautiful place. In peak season, there would be a lot of people. In order to get to Baratang, you would need a permit as we need to travel via protected forest zone.

Andaman Islands cater to everyone whether it is a romantic getaway, fun trip with friends, family trip or a relaxation trip. I had super fun. When will you plan yours?

Cheers,

Surya

 Picture Credits:

All the images used in the article belong to Let’s Head Out

Suggested itinerary present here for a 6 day trip :

Day 1 : Arrive at Port Blair. Head to Viper Island in the afternoon. You can visit Corbyn’s Cove as well. Water activities are present here. Mainly Jet skiing and speed boat ride. Light and sound at Cellular Jail in the evening. This is not to be missed. 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm (Hindi) and 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm (English). Closed on Monday and on public holidays.

Day 2 : Head to Havelock Island via ferry. Takes about 2.5 hours. Visit Radhanagar Beach.

Day 3 : Visit Elephanta Beach. Can go in private boat. It’s about 30-45 mins from Havelock. You can get to do scuba diving, jet skiing, banana boat ride, glass bottom boat ride, snorkelling. This is for half a day. Second half of the day, head back to Port Blair.

Day 4 : Visit the Cellular Jail and take a tour of the museum. Post this, head to Mt.Harriet. There is a 2.5 km Jungle trek there. It’s fun if you’re in a group.

Day 5 : Head to North Bay where you can find amazing coral reefs. You can do a sea walk or scuba diving. It’s a National Geographic Channel Dive Site. Second half of the day, visit Ross Island.

Day 6 : You can visit Baratang Island.Permit is a must to get to Baratang. You will get to see Mangroves, limestone caves and a mud volcano.

Best time to visit :

November-February. Since Andaman is closer to the equator, it would be super sunny. So going in winter makes things easier.