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Andaman & Nicobar Islands-At a Glance

Attractions

Cellular Jail one of the attractions of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are also known as bay islands. The capital of this Union Territory of India is Port Blair and the main entrance to the islands. A total of 572 islands of which 37 are inhabited Andaman and Nicobar islands are a unique combination of sprawling beaches, Lush landscape and dense forests with wide biodiversity and a rich marine life. Attractive spots for eco-tourism and underwater sports make it a prime tourist attraction. The islands also hold a special place in the annals of Indian freedom struggle with many freedom fighters from mainland kept into captivity in its now Historical monument the Cellular jail. You will find below the list of some of the main attractions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Main touristic attractions to explore in Andaman and Nicobar Islands :

• Cellular Jail: The most iconic symbol of Indian freedom struggle The cellular jail in Andaman is a symbol of human grit and determination for freedom against adversity. It was built in 1906 and become synonymous with ‘Kalapani’ (black water). Cellular Jail is a mute witness to the inhuman treatment meted out to the soldiers of the freedom struggle who were put in this jail and many of them perished. Dedicated to the nation as a National Memorial, the Jail is now a pilgrimage destination for all Indians. The Son-et-Lumière show at the Cellular Jail narrates the history of the Indian freedom struggle. Within the campus of the Cellular Jail are a museum, an art gallery, and a photo gallery, which are open on all days except Mondays from 9. am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 5 pm. Light and sound show Timing: Two Hindi shows on all days at 6:00 pm and at 7:15 pm except on Monday, Wednesday & Friday when the second show is in English at 7:15 pm.

• Ross Island: Once the seat of British power and capital of these islands, it stands now as a ruin of the bygone days with the old structure almost in debris. A small museum named “Smritika” houses photographs and other antiques of the British relevant to these islands. The island is also home to the ruins of the church, Chief Commissioner’s house, the Cathedral and graveyard of the Britishers and few other important landmarks. To reach Ross Island, private ferries are available from Aberdeen Jetty except on Wednesday. A sound and Light show describing the history of the islands is held every evening at 5.30 PM except Wednesdays.

• Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum): This marine museum houses varieties of corals, rare sea species and colorful fishes available in these islands. It also provides information about the places, people, and environment of the territory. The museum is located just opposite to Andaman Teal House at Delanipur. Entrance Rs. 10, and is closed on Monday.

• Anthropological Museum: The Anthropological museum in Port Blair is a small but important ethnographic museum. On display are the culture, artifacts, and records of exploratory expeditions of the four Negrito tribes (Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges) of the Andaman’s and two Mongoloid tribes (the Nicobarese and the Shompens) of the Nicobars. The Fisheries Museum is also located within this Park. With its display of about 350 species of sea life, rare varieties of coral, the museum reflects the enormous marine life and wealth submerged in the water of these islands. The anthropological museum is opened daily except Mondays and holidays.

• Jolly Buoy and Red Skin Islands: These two islands are situated in the M.G. Marine National Park and offer a breathtaking underwater view of coral and marine life. It is like a beautiful garden under the water. It is an ideal place for snorkeling, sea bathing etc. One has to reach Wandoor from the city by road (32 km) by bus or taxi and from Wandoor boats leave for these islands at 10 am daily.

• Wandoor & Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: Wandoor at a distance of around 29 km from Port Blair. It is famous for its beautiful beach, located just across is the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. Boats are available from Wandoor Jetty. The park provides a unique view of the open sea, tropical rainforests, rare flora and fauna as well as marine animals and creeks. The national park also comprises of 15 small and large islands. It is advised to take packed lunch and water.

• Chatham Island: Earlier known as “Mark Island” the island is named after Lt. Archibald Blair. The Great Indian Marine Surveyor who surveyed the islands in 1788 & formed a colony here during 1789. A small sawmill was commissioned which later developed as the biggest sawmill. A Memorial Column dedicated to the first batch of freedom fighters of 1857 and a beautiful Museum by forest department is another attraction of this island.

• Mount Harriet: Once the summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during the British rule, it is an ideal place for trekking and picnic. Situated at 43 km away by road (only 15 km by ferry and trek ), Mount Harriet is the highest peak in South Andaman providing a fascinating overview of the nearby islands and the sea. One can witness the beautiful sunrise and sunset from the peak.

• Havelock Island: This Island around 38 km from the capital Port Blair provides an idyllic resort in the lap of beautiful virgin beaches and unpolluted environment. Havelock’s Radhanagar Beach (No. 7) is the one among the other beautiful beaches of the islands. Beach-combing, sunbathing, scuba diving, sea walk, snorkeling, water sports, surf riding, swimming, game fishing, watching the sunset or sunrise, elephant ride, bird-watching, trekking, sailing, kayaking are some famous activities you can indulge in. Vijaynagar, Elephant and Kala Pathar beaches are other attractions in Havelock. Island is also a popular spot for bird watching.

• Neil Island: This is a beautiful island with green forests, sandy beaches and is connected by boat service four days in a week from Port Blair. It is an ideal holiday for eco-friendly tourists. Neil Island is also known as the ‘vegetable bowl’ of the Andaman. Bharatpur Beach, Lakshmanpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, A Natural rock formation and a wildlife sanctuary with turtle nesting ground at the tip of the island are popular attractions. Individuals have to obtain permission from the Deputy Range Officer, Forest Department at Neil Island to visit this island sanctuary (Sir Huge Rose island).The Neil Islands are a distance of around 42km from the capital Port Blair.

• Long Island: Long Island is one of the most well-developed islands of all in the archipelago. At a distance of around 82 km from Port Blair, it has its own power-house, a well-equipped boat building, and other govt facilities. Connected by boat twice in a week from Port Blair, Long Island are a complete package with vast marine wealth and exclusive beaches, green hills and magnificent mangroves.

• Chidiatapu: Chidiatapu, generally known as Birds Island, is situated at the southernmost tip of South Andaman. Its lush mangroves and beach make it an ideal picnic spot and birdwatcher paradise. At a distance of around 28 km frequent bus service are available from Port Blair. The biological park at Chidiatapu is the added attraction.

• Rangat: The Island is 170 km by road and 90 km by sea from Port Blair. Boats are available for 4-5 days in a week though one can reach by bus too. Rangat is the second biggest town of these islands in Middle Andaman. Rangat provides an ideal haven for eco-friendly tourists seeking sun, sea and fun. Cuthbert Bay beach is nearby, which is a turtle nesting ground also. Aam Kunj beach of Rangat is an attraction to the tourists. Yerena creek with its mangrove plantation and breathtaking scenic beauty is also a very popular spot. Also don’t forget to visit Panchavati Hills for a scenic waterfall.

• Little Andaman Island: At a distance of around 120 km by sea Little Andaman Island offers a perfect mix of white sandy beaches bewitching Waterfalls, Boating through the Creeks and exciting Elephant Safari. This island also has a plantation of coconut palm. Plenty of vegetables are produced here. Tribes like Onges are the inhabitants of these islands. The Nicobarese part is inhabited by settlers from erstwhile East Pakistan and other places. The island is also considered as a prime surfing destination.

• Diglipur: Diglipur in North Andaman provides a rare experience of sea, sun and fun for eco-friendly tourists. Saddle Peak, highest in Andaman’s, then the only river in Andaman ’s, River Kalpong, Mud volcano, Kalipur beach and turtle nesting ground, Ramnagar beach, Pathi Level beach Limestone caves and Twin islands of Ross and Smith are some of its prime attractions. Diglipur is 180 km by sea and 320 km by road.

• Mayabunder: Mayabunder Island in Middle Andaman is an ideal holiday destination in an unpolluted environment with rare scenic beauty. The beautiful Karmatang beach is famous for turtle nesting ground. Avis Island beach is another attraction. The island around 242 km from Port Blair can be reached by regular morning Bus services. Once a week, the Port Blair ferry (around 157-km by sea) also makes a stopover here en route to Diglipur.

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