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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Andamans - I

Sorry to the regular readers of this blog. I have been busy with two trips in last two months and some family functions due to which I couldn’t get time to update my blog. While the former trip was to Pune- a city in Maharashtra, the latter one was to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Since the Latter one is as fresh as morning dew in my mind, I would like to write about it first. This was my first trip ever to an Island. If anybody is interested to plan one to this place- I would say plan it ASAP. I’ll help you out with it with whatever information I have gathered about the places to see.

Andaman and Nicobar Isles have 572 Islands out of which only 36 are inhabited. Our halt was at Port Blair and from there we explored various other islands. Going to various pieces of green land with white sand on shores, surrounded by beautiful clear turquoise water was an enchanting affair. We reached Port Blair, the capital of Andaman at around 7.30 am. via Chennai as there is no direct flight from Delhi. 
Our first day was spent in local sight seeing in Port Blair - once famous or infamous as Kalapani, i.e. Black waters. A beautiful place which British exploited as the penalty imprisonment or exile for the Indian political prisoners giving it a mournful and heartbreaking history. Here after sunset the heroic saga of Indian freedom struggles and life of imprisoned is brought alive through light and sound show.
front side of one jail facing the back of another.
Back Side of the Jail
Interior of Cellular Jail
Isolated damp cells behind, The red shade is where the political prisoners were made to work on oil mill..if compare them to ox, an ox had a luxurious standard of living-more humanely treated, better fed, less worked, better kept.... the statue is where the prisoners were caned and the path leads to the gallows as indicated, all in sight, the screams audible everwhere...
 To read More about it visit here:Wiki-cellular Jail

Other Places we covered were- Samudrika Museum- where one finds beautiful Coral collection and marine life and Anthropological museum where one finds valuable information about the islands and the tribes living there.

Our second day visit was to three islands- Ross Island, North Bay Island and Viper Island. Ross Island once used to house British administrative quaters. One can see reminiscents of church, hospital, commissioner's house, swimming pool, graveyard etc, along with the beautiful beaches, birds and animals freely roaming around the ruins of old buildings, giving it an exceptional beauty.

Ross Island 

A lady comes here, by name of Ms Anuradha Rao, a freelance guide. This spirited lady we were told, captivates you with her narrative of events especially the part where she communicates with animals of the island, calling out deers, peacocks, squirrels, ducks and birds by names she's given them and feeding them, and they actually respond. We did not have the good fortune of her presence when we visited, but I would recommend everyone to ask for her whenever they visit.
 North Bay Island Offers water sports activities like sofa ride, jet ski, motor boat, scuba dive, snorkeling. However I would personally advice if one is interested in diving in Andamans, Elephanta Beach in Havelock Island is much better. Though one can find corals, and a few fishes here in North Bay as well, and the rates are cheaper here.

Scuba Diving @ North Bay Island
There was not much to see at viper.  Except for the sunset- the only sunset we saw during our trip (it was cloudy during rest of our stay). Guides take you there strictly for ten minutes whereby you fail to explore the island. One can skip it-recommended.
Sun Set at Viper Island.
Our third Day was scheduled for Baratang Island which included 8 hours long road drive, crossing the grand Andaman Trunk Road, covered with dense forests on both the side, from Port Blair. After crossing two islands passages via ferry boats, came one of the most beautiful part of the journey; mesmerising mangrove creeks on both the sides by boat leading to the Limestone Caves.
Mangrove creek- due to fast moving boats I could manage this blurred version. For the rest of the time I was awstruck and lost in it.
Limestone caves- hard to capture their real beauty!
Shot taken at Baratang

way to the waiting ferry- coming back from Limestone caves

Chameleon -Baratang
 From there we went to a short trip to Mud volcano. It was quite a bit of an anticlimax actually. You might be awed by it only if when it errupts, but pray it doesn't. On our way back through Grand Trunk Road, we caught a glimpse of the Andaman tribal people- the Jarawas. (I would like to write about them in a different post.)
Mud Volcano- Baratang
Hotel used:
Portblair-----------Hotel Hill top International

-For next three days click here: Andamans-II


  1. Nice post. I had been to Andamans some 3 years ago.
    It was really nice to live those moments again through your words and posts.
    And even you had that 10 min long "act" at viper island? :P

    Waiting for the other posts! :D


    1. Haha. Yes we had 10 min LONG act at Viper-and wished we had skipped it. lol.
      A verry Happy New year.

  2. Very nice and interesting post....

    Did you get a chance to check the website to manage editorial calendar easily for your blog and show your editorial calendar in your blog easily (optional)
    Thanks & Regards

  3. Very nice post. Andaman's so exotic. Wish to visit once.

    Wishing U and UR family a very Happy New Year!


    1. Thank you Jahid. I am glad you liked the Post. Posted some more Photographs in the New post. I wish you visit the place soon.

      Thank you for the wishes. A very Happy New year to you and your family too. :)

  4. Nice article and pictures. I also visited Andamans early this year however could not make Baratang and Neal islands part of the trip. Would definitely wish to go once more and add them to the trip.

    1. Baratang has that mangrove creek which is mesmerizing. Mud volcano can be skipped though now I feel it added to an experience at least. That time I was expecting something very great. I wish you make your trip soon again. :)

  5. Covered well. I was there too for quite sometime, around two and half years till 1998 and I'd like to repeat a trip once again if it's possible. No Jolly buoy trip these days?
    A N Nanda

    1. Yes We went to jolly buoy too. And Enjoyed there a lot. I have mentioned the place in the post after this. I loved the raw beauty of the islands...

    2. Oh.. When I went, Jolly Buoy was out of season.

    3. Then You must have been to Red Skin. Is it?

  6. Everyone says the same thing about the Jail, you kinda feel some connection there. I want to go there and I know you are there when I need tips for planning. :)

  7. Yes you feel the connection, sense their sufferings. One can read texts there which were written by the prisoners about the life there and ill-treatments they recieved.

    And Saru whenever you plan I am 200% there to help you plan it... Its a must visit place I felt.

  8. Such a very beautiful post about Andaman beaches and Andaman hills. But, Goa has really nice and very beautiful beaches to move during holiday in Goa. beaches in Goa have more attractive for tourist.

    1. Hi Aaryan. Sorry for the late reply. I have heard lot about Goa. So while Andaman is a peaceful place famous for its untouched corals and rich marine life, Goa is famous for its party atmosphere! I have it in my 'places to visit' list ! Though i feel a real traveler can not compare the two places. Both are different even though both being near to sea!

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    1. Hey Amita, Thanks a ton for the visit and liking the post. I have seen your site and you have offered some good packages. All the best... If I plan again I will check your link for sure :)

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