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Andaman

Andaman

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Floating in splendid isolation, cast of the Indian mainland is the archipelago of 572 emerald islands, islets and rocks known as Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This Union Territory is stretched over an area of more than 700 Km. from north to south with 36 inhabited islands. Once a hill range extending from Burma (Myanmar) to Indonesia, these undulating islands are covered with dense forests and endless variety of exotic flowers and birds. The topography of the islands is hilly and abounds in evergreen forests. The sandy beaches on the edge of meandering coastline are fringed with coconut-palms that sway to the rhythm of the sea. The sea around the islands offer excellent scope for water sports. The rare flora and fauna, underwater marine life and corals, with crystal clear water and mangrove-lined creeks, offer a dream-view of the rare gifts of nature. The clean and wide roads, free of filth as well as unpolluted fresh air attract any nature-lover, who seek absolute peace and tranquility in the lap of mother nature. Adventure tourism like trekking, island camping, snorkeling, scuba diving etc., are the real attractions. A visit to these islands is a memorable lifetime experience.

Mythologicaly, the name Andaman was presumed to be derived from Hanuman, who was known to the Malays as Handuman. Since Prehistoric times, these islands were the home of aboriginal tribes. The tribes of, the Andaman group of islands are the Great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas, and Sentinatese, all of Negrito origin, while the tribes of Nicobars are the Nicobarese and Shompens, both of Mongoloid stock. The first settlement by the British took place in 1789, which was later abandoned in 1796. The second settlement was basically a penal settlement, taken up in 1858, after the First War of Independence, followed by the settlement of convicts, Moplas, some criminal tribes from Central and United Provinces, refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka as well as ex-servicemen.

In these islands people of all faiths - Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs etc., and of all languages like Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Nicobari etc., live together in complete peace and harmony. Inter-religion and inter-regional marriages are common. This amazing racial and cultural mix is correctly described as Mini-India.

Forests are the green extend over gold of the islands. The reserved and protected forests extend over 86% area of the territory and the forest cover is more than 92 %. About 50 % of the forests has been set aside as Tribal Reserves, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, which are inviolate. Luxuriant mangroves, perhaps the richest in the world, occupy nearly II. 5 % of the territory. More than 150 plant and animals species are endemic in nature. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is rich in corals, varieties of colored fishes, sea turtles etc., besides other marine life. It is a birds paradise - more than 271 varieties of birds inhabit the idyllic landscape, out of which 39 are endemic. Megapode, Swiftlet, Hornbill and Nicobar Pigeon are some of the specialties of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Islands

HAVELOCK

Home to the best beaches of the world, situated 57 kms NE of Port Blair.

Attraction: Its white sandy beaches, spell bounding turquoise waters, coral reefs. Its two world renowned beaches are : Vijaynagar Beach (Beach No. 5) and Radhanagar Beach (Beach No. 7) 

Ideal for: Snorkeling, scuba diving, elephant ride and spending time with  nature.

CINQUE ISLAND

A  very rare creation vest here in the island. uninhabited North and South Cinque island is connected to each other through sandbar.  Its also home to pristine coral reefs. 

Reaching hereIt takes two hours from Chidiyatapu, and three-and-a-half hours from Wandoor to travel to this island by boat. Permission is required from the Forest Department to visit this island.

LONG ISLAND

Location:  82 km from Port Blair by sea. The beautiful Long Island is home to a lovely sandy beach at LalajiBay. It also has a beautiful forest patch and coconut plantations. 

Reaching there: Ferry Service is available thrice a week from the local Phoenix Bay Jetty at Port Blair.

ROSS ISLAND- HISTORICAL WITNESS

Location: A short boat distant from Port Blair (east of it)

The erstwhile administrative headquarters of the British was situated here in early 20th century. Manicured lawns that led up to clubhouses, swimming pools, granaries, officers messes, tennis courts and a majestic church lie in ruins, reclaimed by nature after an earthquake in June 1941. Deer and peacock call this home. A small museum opens doors to the by gone era. The island is small and waits to get walked the history.  

Getting there: Frequent ferry service (Govt. & private) are available. The island is open all the weekdays except Wednesday.  The place is now govern by Indian Navy.  

NEIL ISLAND

Location: Neil Island is situated 36 kms east of Port Blair.

Lush green forest and sandy beaches provide an ideal holiday destination for tourists. The beaches are quite popular with campers. There is excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunity to see beautiful corals & exotic marine life. 

Reaching there: Regular Ferry Service is available from Port Blair to Neil Island. 

RANGAT

Location: 90 km (approx.) by sea and 170 km by road.

Rangat provides an ideal place for the eco-friendly tourist seeking the solitude of virgin nature. 

Attraction  : Turtle nesting ground at Cuthbert Bay beach. 

Getting there: The land route from Port Blair (9 hours) crosses dense tropical forest, mangrove creeks and also the habitations of the native people Jarawas-the tribe,.

JOLLY BUOY

It offers a breath taking underwater view of coral and marine life. It is an ideal place for snorkeling, sea bathing and basking on the sun kissed beach. Covered under Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Parks.

(heavy damaged caused to the islands coral life due to tsunami and is presently closed for tourists).  

RED SKIN ISLAND

Another island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is Red Skin Island. It has a beautiful beach offering spectacular views of corals and marine life. It is an ideal place for snorkeling , sea bathing and basking on the sun kissed beach.

VIPER ISLAND

Again an island of Historical Importance. Britishers used to harbour convicts here. The first jail was constructed at this place later shifted to Cellular Jail. It has a gallows atop a hillock, where condemned prisoners were hanged. The famous rebellion Sher Ali, who killed Lord Mayo the Viceroy of India in 1872, was also hanged here.

CHATHAM ISLAND

One of the Asia's oldest and biggest Saw Mill almost covers this tiny island connected by a bridge over a stretch of sea-water. The ferry harbour also rest with the island.

MAYABUNDER

Location: Situated in the northern part of Middle Andaman, Mayabunder offers excellent scenic beauty and beautiful beaches. Inhabited by the settlers from Burma , East Pakistan and ex-convicts. 

Attractions: Beach at Avis Island (30 minutes boat journey from Mayabunder) Karmatang beach (13 kms.) Karmatang beach is also a turtle nesting ground. One can view nesting of turtles during December-February season.

DIGLIPUR

Location:  Situated in North Andaman Island, Diglipur provides a rare destination for eco-friendly tourists. Saddle Peak(732 metres) the highest point in the islands is nearby. Kalpong, the only river of Andaman flows from here. 

Attractions: Trekking to Saddle Peak ( Trekking equipments are available on hire from Turtle Resort), Ram Nagar beach (15 kms. away from Kalighat) is famous for Turtle nesting during December – February, 

Beachs at Kalipur and Maiya Bay beach. 

LITTLE ANDAMAN ISLAND

Location: Journey 9 hrs. by sea from Port Blair towards south. Its home to a very beautiful beach at ButlerBay, a waterfall and plantation of oil palms.  Apart from this there are several sandy beaches all along the coastline of the island. 

Attraction: Hutbay Waterfall, the break water at Hut Bay offers an excellent view to the tourists. The Onge tribals live in this island.

Places of Interest in Andaman

CELLULAR JAIL

Cellular jail located in Port Blair, is a mute witness to the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this jail. The Cellular jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name "CELLULAR" because it is entirely made up on individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. The jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, has declared as a National Memorial.

SOUND & LIGHT SHOW 

The saga of the heroic freedom struggle is brought alive in a moving Sound & Light show. The show is conducted every evening in the premises of cellular jail which gives us a brief idea about the happenings in the jail prior to the independence

MARINA PARK COMPLEX

Hill down side of the Cellular Jail lies the Marina Park Complex. Tsunami on 24-12-2005 caused considerable damage to the complex. (The Complex is under Renovation)

WATER SPORTS COMPLEX

At the left of the Marina Park Complex is the Water Sports Complex. If offers all possible aqua-sport facilities like Water-skiing, Sail boats, Windsurfing, Speed Boats etc. At the entrance a Memorial for the Battle of Aberdeen fought between Britishers and Andamanee aboriginals in 1859 is erected. There is also a  sea water swimming pool and a change room. (The Complex is under construction these days) 

ROSS ISLAND

It was the seat of the British Administration. Important ruins include a church, swimming pool and a Chief Commissioner's residence. A small museum of Indian Navy , SAMUDRIKA, has a good collection of old records.

GANDHI PARK

The erstwhile Dilthaman tank, the then only source of drinking water to Port Blair has been developed as Gandhi Park. This is a  beautiful park with historical touch of Japanese temple and bunker, botanical falvours of rich flora and facilities like children's park, amusement park, water sports, lake, garden and restaurant. The park will soon be converted to amusement part of international standards.

CARBYNS COVE BEACH

Corbyns cove beach is situated 7 kms from Port Blair. This coconut- palm fringed beach, is ideal for swimming, surfing and sun- basking . This is the only beach within the city a very short distance, one can enjoy the distant ross island, cool sea breeze and kaleidoscopic view of blue waters.the complex has restaurant and bar.

CHATHAM SAW MILL

The Chatham saw mill, one of the oldest and largest wood mills in Asia. Dating back to 1836, this enormous workshops was built padauk wood (expensive wood variety). Built on a tiny island, is connected to Port Blair by bridge. It is a store- base of timbers like Padauk, Gurjan, Marble, Satinwood etc. Now logging in the mill is banned and most of wood is imported from Malaysia , Myanmar and Thailand. 

SAMUDRIKA MUSEUM

The Samudrika is a Marine museum owned and run by the Indian Navy. The museum gives a good retrospect of the history, geography, people, marine life and archaeology of these islands. It houses an impressive display of coral and shells.

ANTHROPOLOGICAL MUSEUM

The Anthropological Museum , situated at the heart of Port Blair is one of its kind. It gives glimpses of the tribal native peoples of the islands. It displays tribal essentials and artifacts such as boats, weapons, baskets, clothing, photographs, models and records of exploratory expeditions undertaken over the years. A well-stocked library provides the scholar with invaluable references to tribal culture.  

FOREST MUSEUM

Situated at Haddo (close to Mini Zoo), this museum offers an insight into forest treasure of the islands. The activities of the forest department are depicted via scale models and displays decorative pieces made of famous woods like Padauk, Marble, Peauma, Gurjan, Satin Wood, etc.

CHIDIYA TAPU

Chidiya Tapu is the southern most tip of South Andaman. As its name this is favorite destination for bird watchers. Its lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the Sylvan Sands make it an ideal picnic site. A very beautiful beach named Munda Pahad near by is very famous amongst the local people. There is a forest guesthouse situated on top of a hillock providing a fabulous view of isolated islands, breath-taking sunset also called the sunset point.

MINI ZOO

Come and get the first hand feel of the rare species of endemic flora and fauna of these islands. Situated at a place Haddo (short distance from Central Bus Station).    it has very informative library and over and above life spectrum of lively species.

MOUNT HARRIET 2ND HIGHEST PEAK

Once the summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during the bygone the British era, and the highest point in Port Blair is an ideal trekking place. A short distance by ferry boat and about 55 km from Port Blair via road, Mount Harriet has a Forest Guest House with lovely eco-friendly huts at a height of about 365 m from sea level. Watch the small breath taking town from over Mount Harriet , feel the sun say hello and good bye.

RED SKIN

The park provides a rich and varied habitat for marine animals which range from the smallest zoo plankton to the large sea mammals like Dolphins. The Islands inside the park are also the best nesting grounds for four species of Marine turtles including the Green sea, Leather Back, Hawk bill and Olive Ridley. The redskin Island in the MGNM park has a nice beach, and offers spectacular view of corals and marine life. Yet another Island in the MGNM Park is the Jolly Buoy which offers breath-taking underwater view of corals. The Glass-bottom boats help the tourist to take a closer look at the coral colonies. It is an ideal place for snorkeling, sea-bathing and sun-kissed beach

UNDER SEA VIEW-MGMN PARK

Situated 29 Kms from Port Blair the Mahatma Gandhi marine National Park is one of the best of its kind. The turquoise blue water, creeks, 15 small and large islands is adobe to finest marine ecosystems. Scuba diving, Snorkelling and water sports one must look out for. The fascinating and wonderful world of tropical forests, sandy beaches and clear blue waters are experience of a lifetime. The park is easily accessible via road, there is also regular bus service to the Park.

Places of Interest in Nicobar

Comprising of 28 Islands, with an area of 1,841 sq.Kms. the Nicobar Islands are separated from Andamans by the Ten Degree Channel.. The Nicobars abound in coconut-palm, casuarina and pandanus. Great and Little Nicobar have the Giant Robber Crab, Monkeys with long tail, Nicobarese Pigeons in plenty. Megapode, a rare bird is found in Great Nicobar. The southernmost tip of India is not Kanyakumari as has till recently been considered, it is INDIRA POINT in Great Nicobar Island. Nicobar group is out of bounds for foreigners at present. Indians may be given permission in exceptional cases on application.

Car Nicobar : A rustling fan, Car Nicobar is the headquarters of Nicobar District. It is a flat fertile island covered with cluster of coconut palms and enchanting beaches with a roaring sea all around. The Nicobari huts, built on stilts having entrance through floor with a wooden, ladder, are unique to this island. 16 hrs. journey by sea from Port Blair.

Katchal : Katchal is a tiny island in the Nicobar group. It was this island, which heralded the new millennium with the first sunrise on 1st January 2000. This island has beautiful beaches at East bay, Jhula and West bay.

Great Nicobar : The southern end of the Nicobars, this island has Indira Point (formerly Pygmallion Point) the southern most tip of India. The beach near Galathia is the nesting ground for Gaint Leather Back Turtles. This island also has biosphere reserve area. 50-60 hrs. journey by sea from Port Blair.