Tour Code : Standard Package
Attractions : Cellular Jail
3 Night Port Blair, 2 Night Havelock
Port Blair is the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is the only Indian Territory with a luscious spread of coral reef on its sea bed and active volcanoes. Pieced together, it means a holiday like no other.
The islands were a stopover for Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman on their wanwaas when they were searching for Sita in Ramayana, a Hindu epic. Handuman became Andaman when the British decided to use it as a prison. Viper Island was used to keep prisoners and they were executed there. Ross Island was made the capital and now the buildings stand in ruins and the island is like a lost world.
The focus has now shifted to the coral reefs, beaches and forests around Port Blair. Within the city, museums give you a short introduction to what the islands are all about. You can indulge in water sports at the Andaman Water Sports Complex, stroll around Marine Park or just sun yourself at the Corbyns Cove beach.
Snorkellers and divers can have a field day exploring the coral reef bustling with life and color. Trekkers can climb up Mount Harriet. Turtles swarm Cuthbert Bay and birds swarm Chidiya Tapu Island. And somewhere out at sea a volcano juts out and wakes up from its slumber intermittently.
So away from the world and yet so full of life, you know why it captured the imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when he made it the setting of a Sherlock Holmes mystery novel, The Sign of the Four.
Places to see
Port Blair marine life and history are put on display in museums. You can look at the captive marine life, clam shells, blue coral and even the skeleton of a Blue Whale at the Navy-run Samudrika Naval Maritime Museum. Or visit the Fisheries Museum. Quench your thirst for more flora and fauna knowledge at the Zoological Survey of India Museum and Forest Museum. The Jarawa boy on the ticket to the Anthropological Museum gives you a heads up on what to expect. The museum introduces you to the Negroid (Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese, Onges) and Mongoloid tribes (Nicobarese, Shompens) who are the original inhabitants of these islands. Their way of life is chronicled here.
Kids will also love the Mini Zoo where crocodiles are bred. You can see the Nicobar Pigeon puff up its feathers. Say oink to the Andaman Pig. The Gandhi Park is also a good place to visit.
The British used the pristine islands as a penal colony to torture and execute freedom fighters. It was briefly occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Kaala Pani (Cellular Jail) was built in 1906 and part of it crumbled due to an earthquake right before the Indian Independence. The solitary cells that make up the jail earned it its name. There are art and photo galleries here. Every evening a Light and Sound Show is held which narrates the history of the jail in Hindi followed by a narration in English by actor Om Puri. Those who revolted here were sent to Viper Island where the first prisons were set up before Cellular Jail.
All that is left on Ross Island, the former capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, are dilapidated old buildings like ballrooms, barracks and hospitals. The Navy has set up the Smritika Museum to track the island's history.
Relatively new, the Floating Dock near Port Blair was set up by the Navy to beat the earthquakes that frequently rock the islands. War ships dock here and maintenance work is also carried out.
Hardly 30 km from Port Blair is the village of Wandoor where you can visit the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park for the colorful aquatic life that thrives here. The beach is a pleasant place to hang out. A trip to Chidiya Tapu Bird Island for encounters with birds and a walk down the paths weaving around mangrove forests will leave you refreshed.
Take a boat-ride to the Barren Island for a close up of the only active volcano is South Asia. It bursts out of the sea and a large crater is visible. You cannot step on the volcano which last erupted in 2005 after the tsunami. Bats, Rats and Goats are the only living beings that live here.
Places to eat
The original inhabitants of the islands are wholly dependent on fruits and vegetables, and the fish plucked out of the sea. Some tribes are known to be cannibals.
But people from the mainland have taken with them recipes from the Indian cuisine, which is what you will find here. With a rich aquatic life that includes Crabs, Lobsters and Fish, seafood is popular.
Waves near Corbyns Cove beach serve a mean dish of Lobsters. Annapurna Cafeteria and Mandalay Restaurant serve south Indian. Delhi Cafeteria has a north Indian menu. You can try New Lighthouse Restaurant for seafood and Icy Spicy for Chaat and Indian sweets. A great bar and a Thai-Chinese menu make Lighthouse Residency a welcome break from Indian food.
Genuine handicrafts are available at Sagarika Government Emporium, Andaman Handicrafts Emporium and Cottage Industries Emporium. Shopping areas include Aberdeen Bazaar, Prem Nagar, Goalgar and around Clock Tower.
The corals and pearls are set in jewellery. The shells strewn on the beaches are turned into jewellery and designed into show pieces. Tortoise shells are bigger and are worked into boxes, peacocks and elephants.
The coconut shells, in the hands of a skilled craftsman,turn into bowls and lamps. The other trees are used to build exquisitely designed furniture. Wood is also used to make miniature animals, cross bows and canoes.
Things to do
Trek up Mount Harriet near Port Blair. It is less than 1300 ft high and has many butterflies fluttering around the forest.
The coral reef, Sharks, Dolphins and Manta Rays make the waters ideal for diving and snorkelling. You can also go fishing and bait Tuna, Marlin, Giant Trevally and other Reef Fishes. Take off to the islands near Port Blair for some busy sightseeing underwater. Some choice destinations for viewing the corals are Jolly Buoy, Red Skin and Cinque Islands, Interview Island and Passage Island. Non-swimmers can opt for a glass bottomed boat. Spot Hammerheads and Leopard Sharks as you glide over the clear sparkly water.
For the complete picture of Andaman Islands take the Seven Point Harbour Cruise which starts at Phoenix Jetty. You can see Port Blair's natural Harbour that was first noticed by Archibald Blair, a British officer, the Floating Dock set up by the Navy, and other important islands like Viper Island, Ross Island and Chatham Island.
The 15-day long Island Tourism Festival held in Port Blair towards Dec-Jan. The island is growing into an Eco-tourism hot spot and its entire natural splendor is showcased along with dance shows and other activities like the hodi race (Nicobarese canoe race).
These include the well-maintained Corbyns Cove which was washed down by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Don't miss vendors selling Kulfis that taste divine under the hot sun. Mundapahar Beach in Chidiatapu is the place to let peace envelope you as you watch a sunset spreading an orange glow on the sky. Radha Nagar beach in Havelock was voted as one of Asia's best beaches. Wandoor Beach is another one worth visiting.
North Bay beach which is the closest beach to Port Blair has a spread of tantalising coral reef that brings divers and snorkellers in large numbers. The beach is always packed but the reef makes it worth it.
Take care not to give your food to tribals as they are not used to the tastes and the food can affect them adversely.10-0330-04
Meals : Dinner
Meals : Breakfast & Dinner
Meals : Breakfast & Dinner
Meals : Breakfast & Dinner
Meals : Breakfast & Dinner
Meals : Breakfast
Specific Departure Dates
Stay Combinations - Starting price per person
|Child with Bed
|Child without Bed
Terms & Conditions
Per person rates (in Rs) - Applicable for 2 persons staying together sharing the same room. Govt.Service Tax extra (as applicable). Prices mentioned are the minimum quote and will be available on first-come, first-served basis. Only Indian citizens are entitled to make an instant/online booking on the site. We request the customers to provide their meal preference at the time of booking for convenience during the holiday. Meal selections are available for vegetarian / non-vegetarian / Jain meals. Meals will be on buffet basis except Jain Meal. Itinerary flow is subject to change.
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