After suffering through a 4-month long semester in law school, I was in dire need of a vacation and decided to travel to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for a 5-day trip with my family.
All flights to Port Blair from Delhi are connecting flights and take about 5 hours to reach. I reached Port Blair’s Veer Savarkar airport on a Thursday morning at about 10 am, and after transferring my luggage to the guest house that I was staying at, I had about 2-3 hours for rest considering I was up all night, to catch my flight.
On the first day, I visited the cellular jail and spent about 2 hours at the place. Cellular Jail is the main attraction of Port Blair, this jail is the reason why the island was known as “Kaala Paani or Black Waters”. It is here the freedom fighters during the British reign were brought to and were made to do hard manual labor and live in solitary cells. The name Kaala Paani comes from the fact that the island is surrounded by the ocean on all sides and there was absolutely no way to reach or escape the island other than water. Cellular jail displays the brilliance in the British plan with their panoptical system of keeping watch on the prisoners and the prisoner rotation system. Though it also shows how badly the prisoners were treated at that time. I have attached some pictures of the prison.
Next, we went to the Corbyn’s Cove Beach. There I spent about an hour because it was raining and the water sports activities were closed there wasn’t much to do except admire the landscape.
We had our tickets for the light and sound show at the cellular jail, the show begins at around 6 pm, when the sun goes down. The light and sound show tells the entire history of the cellular jail and the island and reaches out to bring the feeling of patriotism in the heart of every Indian sitting and watching the show. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of the show as photography there was prohibited.
After a tiring day, we retired back to our guest house and called it a night.
Our next day began a bit early as we had to catch a ferry to two islands. It takes about 30 minutes from the ferry to go to North Bay Island which was our first stop. North Bay Island is a very small island which is made for tourist attraction and is only a day time island i.e. nobody stays on the island after sun down. The main attraction of this island is the water sports activity and the light house which can be seen on the back of a 20-rupee Indian note. We did not partake in any water sports activity because apparently, an alligator was found in the area and it was dangerous to indulge in water sports but we did do a 20 minute hike up to the light house and the sight was to die for. The entire Andaman island can be seen from up there on a sunny day.
We then took a ferry to the Ross Island, it takes about 20 minutes to go from North Bay to Ross Island. Ross Island has historic significance because this is where the British resided when they built the Cellular Jail. The island was called the “Paris of India” back then. One can see old buildings like the hospital, church, residential quarters and even the water distillation system. It is the place to be for history buffs like me though there is a lot of walking to do on the island so I was glad I wore appropriate shoes.
We then went back to Port Blair and had lunch in one of the hotels by the beach. After lunch, we drove about 30 kms towards Old Port Blair to Chidiya Tapu or the Birds Island. There’s a beach there called Kaala Paahar Beach or the Black Mountain beach which is a beautiful place for catching the sunset, unfortunately there was no sun when we went there so we couldn’t really catch the sunset. About 10 minutes from there, another beach called Munda Pahar beach is made as a tourist spot with constructed logs and swings for tourists.
I have attached pictures of all the islands and beaches.
The next day we had to board our cruise from Port Blair to Havelock Island. It was a 2 hour cruise and we decided to go for Makcruzz which is a private cruise company instead of the government cruise because the latter is slower. We reached Havelock at about 10 in the morning and went to our hotel. We stayed in the Symphony Palms Beach Resort which was a beachside resort.
In Havelock, on the first day we visited the Radhanagar Beach and the second day we went to Kaala Pathar or Black Stone Beach. The main attraction on the island is the scenic beauty. I also tried the Andaman style fish while I was there as seafood is definitely big on the island. Other than this, we had a lot of coconut water and enjoyed down time with family. One interesting thing about the island is that you can book bikes or scooties if you have an Indian driving license and explore the island.
We stayed in Havelock for 2 days and returned to Port Blair, on our return we went for a hearty lunch in one of the restaurants knows to have decent North Indian cuisine called “Icy Spicy” and from there we went to Wandoor Beach. We say the sunset at the beach while breathing in the salty air of the sea and headed back to the guest house.
We were supposed to stay for another day and visit the Baratang Island but our stay was cut short due to some work emergency back home. Also, this time is supposedly the off-season so due to bad weather like incessant rain all the water sports activities were closed which was another downfall, other than that the trip was a perfect 5 day getaway.
For anyone who plans to visit the island, try to go when there is good weather generally after October as there will be less rain ad make sure you take a lot of mosquito repellant sprays and creams because it is an island after all and there are a lot of insects and mosquitos. Also there is phone connectivity issues on the island and absolutely no internet so makes sure you are prepared for that. But if you do want to just get away and relax in the lap of nature and want a beachy vacay, then Andaman and Nicobar is a great option.
If you need any other information, do not hesitate to hit me up.
Until the next big adventure.
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