Andaman & Nicobar Tour | Andaman Packages | Port Blair Hotel

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Andaman & Nicobar Islands - Quick Facts

Total Area: 7950 Sq. Km.
Andaman District: 6408 sq. Km.
Nicobar District:1841 sq. Km.
Population: 380,500
Climate: Tropical Rainforest
Altitude: 732 m above sea level
Clothing: Warm climate Cotton cloth throughout the year.
Rainfall: 3180 mm average
Religion: Hindu, Christians
Languages: Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam & English
Best Time TO Visit: Oct-may


The Andaman & Nicobar Islands were shrouded in mystery for century’s beaches of their inaccessibility. These are the paragon of beauty and present a landscape full with scenic and picturesque extravaganza. These Island shimmer like emeralds in the Bay of Bengal The dense forest which cover these Islands and the innumerable exotic flowers and birds create a highly poetic and romantic atmosphere.Here the white beaches on the edge of a meandering coastline have palm trees that sway to the rhythm of the Sea.The beats of tribal drums haunt the stillness and techni colour fish steer their way through crystal clear water.

The unparalleled beauty of these islands create in men a love of nature with a caressing tenderness,a wistful fondness for all its delicate nuances.The enveloping atmosphere with its subtle harmonies of light and shade fragrance and exhales the paradise visionary splendors and the music of the birds that defies definition would develop creative and constructive feeling in the hearts of those people who come here to enjoy the beauty of nature.He would like to rebel against the stereotyped moulds and forms into which life is so called “modernman”is cast. He would be under the impact of the complex mood of infinite longing and tragic helpless,the yearning that craves for expression yet defies expression the inconclusive struggle between emotional apprehension of life and the articulation that must transcend personal emotion. The Andaman and Nicobar Island have great maritime importance. During the British period political leaders consider dangerous to the interests of the Raj and other dreaded criminals were deported from mainland to the cellular Jail-The Indian Bastille,situated on the sea coast of Atlanta point in the North-Eastern part of Port Blair.Thus these Islands were infamously known as the ‘Black Water Prison or Kala Pani’.

The Andaman & Nicobar are a group of picturesque island big and small inhabited and uninhabited a total of 572 islands islets and rocks lying in the south eastern part of the Bey of Bengal. They lie along an arc in long and narrow broken chain approximately North-South over a distance nearly 800 kms. It is logical to presume a former land connection form Cape Negris at South part of Burma to Achin Head (Cape Pedro) in Andalas (Sumatra). The Flora and fauna of these islands, however, indicate that this land connection if it existed should have been prior to the development of their present life form.

History
A clear history of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands can be had only from a British Survey of these islands conducted in 1777. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands remained the abode of the Negritos and the Mongoloids respectively, who occupied the Islands for centuries. These islands remained secluded from the mainland till the end of the 18th Century when people from the outside world first arrived. The history of these islands could be divided into four broad periods the period of seclusion and piratical disturbances

•        The British regime - a period of foreign intrusion and settlement
•        The Japanese regime
•        And the Post-Independence period.

In the Second Century, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were located in the maps prepared by the great Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer, Claudius Ptolemaeus, which possibly is the earliest reference to these islands. The early history of Nicobar is not well known although these islands were familiar to traders in ancient times, the islands being situated close to the trade route to the Far East. Though little is known about Portuguese activities in these islands, it is evident that the Portuguese missionaries started preaching Christianity among the islanders. The Nicobarese language also reflects a few Portuguese words.

Geography
The Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is situated between 6° and 14° North Latitude and 92° and 94° East Longitude. The islands located north of 10° north latitude are known as Andaman Group of islands while islands located south of 10° north latitude are called Nicobar Group of islands. The climate of the islands can be defined as humid, tropical coastal climate. The islands receive rainfall from both the south west and north east monsoons and maximum precipitation is between May & December. The original inhabitants of the islands lived in the forests on hunting and fishing. There are four Negrito tribes, viz., the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa and Sentinalese in the Andaman group of islands and two Mongoloid tribes, viz., Nicobarese and Shompens in the Nicobar group of islands.


By Air
Port Blair is connected with Chennai and Calcutta by air. Presently flights are operated by Alliance Air/Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.

By Sea
Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailings every month from Calcutta and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is one sailing from Vishakhapatnam in a month. The voyage takes about 50 to 60 hours and the ship normally berths at Port Blair for about two to four days.


Mammals
Out of 55 terrestrial and 7 Marine mammal species reported so far, 32 species are endemic.

Birds
As many as 246 species and sub species of birds are reported to inhabit these Islands, and of these, 99 species and sub species are endemic.

Reptiles
There are 76 terrestrial reptiles of these 24 species are endemic.

Marine Life
Islands harbour more than 1,200 species of fish, 350 species of echinoderms, 1,000 species of molluscs and many more lower forms of life. Among vertebrate’s dugongs, dolphins, whales, salt water crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes, etc., are common.

Coral and Coral reefs
So far, 179 species of corals belonging to 61 genera have been reported. Reefs are mostly fringing type on eastern coast and barrier type on the western.


Jolly Buoy Island
An island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, 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.

Cinque Island
The lure of underwater coral gardens and unspoiled beaches specially a sand bar joining two islands are irresistible. Super place for SCUBA diving, swimming, fishing and Camping.

Red Skin Island
Another island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park has a nice beach and offers spectacular view of corals and marine life.

Havelock Island
About 38 Kms. from Port Blair, this island provides idyllic resort in the lap of virgin beach and unpolluted environment. Camping facility is available near Radhanagar beach. A guesthouse of Tourism Department "Dolphin Resort" is available for the tourists.

Barren Island
At a distance of about 135 Kms. from Port Blair is the land of volcano, Barren Island, the only active volcano in India. The Island, about 3 Kms. has a big crater of the volcano, rising abruptly from the sea, about 1/2 Km. from the shore and is about 150 fathoms deep. Can be visited on board vessels.

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' holds photographs and the other antiques of the Britishers relevant to these islands.

Viper Island
The Britishers used to harbour convicts here. The first jail was constructed here which was abandoned after the construction of Cellular Jail. It has a gallows atop a hillock, where condemned prisoners were hanged. Sher Ali, who killed Lord Mayo, the Viceroy of India in 1872, was also hanged here.

Chatham Island
It has a Saw Mill lying on the tiny island connected by a bridge over a stretch of sea-water. This Saw Mill is one of the biggest and oldest in Asia. The main mainland -Island harbour is also here. The other harbour is Haddo, which is nearby.


Sandy beaches of these islands are famous for turtle nesting. Important species of turtles include: Leather Back Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle. Water Monitor Lizard, Salt Water Crocodiles, Reticulate Python etc. are also seen here.

Corbyn's Cove Tourism Complex
One of the most picturesque sea-beaches, it is ideal for sea bathing and sun-basking. The Waves Restaurant, The Peerless Resort nearby and the Hornbill Nest Guest House at a stone's throw, provide a kaleidoscopic view of the blue water front.

Radhnagar Beach
Radhanagar and Vijaynagar Beach in Havelock are real exposures of unpolluted nature for an environment lover. Vijaynagar beach is just infront of Dolphin Yatri Niwas and Radhanagar beach is 7km away from Dolphin Yatri Niwas.

Harminder Bay Beach
These beautiful beaches are situated at Hut Bay Island at a distance of 100kms from Port Blair and are connected by Inter Islands shipping services.

Karmatang Beach
Karmatang beach, at turtle nesting ground is being developed as tourist complex. Situated at Mayabunder, northern part of Middle Andaman, 240 kms by road and 136 kms by boat from Port Blair.

Ramnagar Beach
A sandy beach situated at Diglipur Island. It is connected by two daily boat services from Maya under and from Port Blair twice a week.


Cellular Jail
Cellular Jail, located at Port Blair, stood mute witness to the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this Jail. The Jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name, ‘cellular’ because it is entirely made up of individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. It originally was a seven pronged, puce-coloured building with central tower acting as its fulcrum and a massive structure comprising honeycomb like corridors. The building was subsequently damaged and presently three out of the seven prongs are intact. The Jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, has been declared a National Memorial.

The penal settlement established in Andamans by the British after the First War of Independence in 1857 was the beginning of the agonising story of freedom fighters in the massive and awful jails at Viper Island followed by the Cellular Jail. The patriots who raised their voice against the British Raj were sent to this Jail, where many perished. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose hoisted the tri-colour flag to proclaim Independence on 30th December 1943 at a place near this Jail.

This three-storeyed prison, constructed by Britishers in 1906, is a pilgrimage destination for freedom fighters. This colossal edifice has mutely witnessed the most treacherous of inhumane atrocities borne by the convicts, who were mostly freedom fighters. Now dedicated to the nation as a National MemorialThe saga of the heroic freedom struggle is brought alive in a moving Son-et-Lumiere, shown daily inside the jail compound at 6.00 PM (Hindi) and 7.15 PM (English). Also there is a Museum, an Art gallery, and a Photo gallery, which are open on all days except Monday from 9.00 AM to 12 Noon and 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.

Ross Island
Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime, is a tiny island standing as guard to Port Blair harbour. The island presently houses the ruins of old buildings like Ballroom, Chief Commissioner’s House, Govt. House, Church, Hospital, Bakery, Press, Swimming Pool and Troop Barracks, all in dilapidated condition, reminiscent of the old British regime.

The island with historical background and preservable ruins is spread along an area of 0.6 sq. kms. With the ruins and also with the historical background, the Island has gained a lot of popularity among the tourists.Ross island is open for the tourists to visit during day time as the boat services are available from the Phoenix Bay jetty at 8.30 AM, 10.30 AM, and 12.30 PM. Navy has established a museum on the Island Known as ‘Smritika’ depicting the history of the Island. (Entry Fee: Rs 20/-)

Viper Island
The tiny, serene, beautiful island of Viper witnessed the untold sufferings the freedom fighters had to undergo. Dangerous convicts found guilty of violating the rules of the Penal Settlement, were put in fetters and were forced to work with their fetters on in this island. Freedom fighters like Nanigopal and Nandlal Pulindas, who had resorted to hunger strike at the Cellular Jail, were imprisoned at Viper Island. The jail at Viper, where prisoners deported from the mainland were confined, was built by the British under the supervision of Major Fort. Work on the prison was started in 1867. Owing to the working conditions, the jail earned the notorious name Viper Chain Gang Jail. The Harbour cruise, available daily from Phoenix Bay Jetty (at 3 PM), provides a panoramic view of different points around the harbour and includes a trip to Viper Island.

Car Nicobar: Area 126.9 sq. km., Distance 270 kms. by sea
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 425 kms by sea
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 540 kms by sea
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.


One of the most picturesque sea-beaches, it is ideal for sea bathing and sun-basking. The Waves Restaurant, The Peerless Resort nearby and the Hornbill Nest Guest House at a stone's throw, provide a kaleidoscopic view of the blue water front.

Chidiya Tapu 25 kms. from Port Blair
Chidiya Tapu is the southernmost tip of South Andaman. The lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the Sylvan Sands and Munda pahar beaches make it an ideal picnic site. The forest guesthouse situated on top of a hillock provides a fabulous view of isolated islands, submerged corals and the breath-taking sunset. Conducted tours are available from Andaman Teal House, Port Blair.

Mount Harriet 55 km, by road/15 km by ferry and road from Port Blair
The summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj, this place is an ideal for a nice and fascinating over view of the outer islands and the sea. It is the highest peak in the South Andamans (365 metres high). One can trek upto Madhuban through a nature trail and can find rare endemic birds, animals and butterflies. Conducted tours to Mt. Harriet are available from Andaman Teal House.

Neil Island 36 kms. from Port Blair
This beautiful island with lush green forest and sandy beaches is the vegetable bowl of Andamans. Connected by boat from Port Blair four days a week, it provides an ideal holiday for eco-friendly tourists. Hawabill Nest guesthouse of the Directorate of Tourism is situated here (Tel: 82630). One can feel the sincerity and serenity of village life here. Beautiful beaches at Laxmanpur, Bharatpur, Sitapur and the bridge formation on the sea-shore (Howra bridge) are the attractions.

Long Island 82 kms. from Port Blair
Connected by boat four times a week from Phoenix Bay Jetty, this island offers an excellent sandy beach at Lalaji Bay, unpolluted environment and evergreen forests. The sea around the island is frequented by dolphin convoys. Lalaji bay, 6 kms. Away from the boat jetty, is accessible by 15 minutes journey in dinghies or trekking through the forest. Directorate of Tourism offers island camping during season.

Rangat 170 kms. by road and 90 kms. by sea
One can enjoy the quiet village life and solitude of virgin nature here. You can also breathe unpolluted air, a rare commodity for the city dweller. Cutbert Bay beach (20 kms. away from Rangat bazar/jetty) is a turtle nesting ground. One can view the nesting of turtles during December – February season. Hawksbill Nest, guest house of the Directorate of Tourism, is near to the Cutbert bay beach and Turtle sanctuary. Panchavati waterfall and Amkunj beach are on the way to Cutbert bay. One can go to Mayabunder and Diglipur from here.

Mayabunder 242 kms by road /136 kms. by sea
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, Mayabunder has a distinct culture. Beach at Avis Island (30 minutes boat journey from Mayabunder), Karmatang beach (13 kms.) and mangrove lined creeks are the attractions. Karmatang beach is also a turtle nesting ground. One can view nesting of turtles during December-February season. Swiftlet Nest guest house of the Directorate of Tourism (Tel: 73495) is very near to the Karmatang beach. One can go to Kalighat (for Diglipur) by boat from here.

Diglipur 290 kms by road/ 80 kms by sea
Situated in North Andaman Island, Diglipur provides a rare experience for eco-friendly tourists. It is famous for its oranges, rice and marine life. Saddle Peak, 732 metres, the highest point in the islands is nearby. Kalpong, the only river of Andaman flows from here. The first hydroelectric project of the islands is coming upon this river. One who comes by road from Port Blair has to take a boat from Mayabunder to Kalighat and from there journey by road to Diglipur (25 kms.), and from there to Kalipur (18 kms.) for viewing, Kalipur and Lamiya bay beaches. Directorate of Tourism provides comfortable accommodation at Turtle Resort, Kalipur. The Water Sports Centre is near by. Those who want to go for trekking to Saddle Peak can collect trekking equipments on hire from Turtle Resort and start trekking from Kalipur. Ram Nagar beach (15 kms. away from Kalighat) is famous for Turtle nesting during December – February season. One who comes by boat from Port Blair will reach Aerial bay jetty, which is very near to places like Diglipur and Kalipur.

Little Andaman Island 120 kms by sea
This island has a beautiful beach at Butler Bay, a waterfall and plantation of oil palms. Apart from this there are several sandy beaches all along the coastline of the island. The break water at Hut Bay offers an excellent view to the tourists. Little Andaman is the vegetable bowl for the Nicobar group of islands. The Onge tribals live in this island, so do Nicobarese apart from settlers from erstwhile East Pakistan and other places. However entry to tribal areas is restricted. Journey 8 hrs. by sea from Port Blair towards south.


Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor is at a distance of 29 Kms. from Port Blair covering an area of 281.5 Sq.Kms. This Marine Park made-up of open sea, creeks and 15 small and large islands, is one of the best found anywhere in the world. Viewing of rare corals and underwater marine life through glass bottom boats, SCUBA diving and Snorkelling are a lifetime experience for anyone.

Gandhi Park
This beautiful park at Port Blair has facilities like amusement rides, safe water sports, nature trail around the lake, garden, restaurant and historic remains like Japanese Temple as well as a bunker. The erstwhile Dilthaman tank, which was the only source of drinking water to Port Blair, and the area around it has been developed into Gandhi Park in an unbelievably short time of 13 days.

Sippighat Farm 14 kms
Sprawling over an area of 80 acres is a Government farm. Research & Development programmes for cultivation of spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut and pepper are conducted here. Research and Demonstration farm of the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) is nearby.

Chidiya Tapu 25 kms from Port Blair
Chidiya Tapu is the southern most tip of South Andaman. The lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the Sylvan Sands and Munda pahar beaches make it an ideal picnic site. The forest guesthouse situated on top of a hillock provides a fabulous view of isolated islands, submerged corals and the breath-taking sunset. Conducted tours are available from Andaman Teal House, Port Blair.

Collinpur 36 kms from Port Blair
Situated near to Tirur, this place has a beautiful sandy beach with shallow water. Suitable for swimming, sun basking and viewing sunset.

Madhuban 75 kms by road/20 kms. by ferry and road from Port Blair
This place is a trekking area, north east of South Andaman. Exotic endemic birds, animals, butterflies, and elephant lumbering are the most interesting part of the trek.

Mount Harriet 55 km, by road/15 km by ferry and road from Port Blair
The summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj, this place is an ideal for a nice and fascinating over view of the outer islands and the sea. It is the highest peak in the South Andamans (365 metres high). One can trek upto Madhuban through a nature trail and can find rare endemic birds, animals and butterflies. Conducted tours to Mt. Harriet are available from Andaman Teal House


The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are characterised by two distinct alternative cultures. One is of the Negrito population in the Andamans and other is of the Autochthones, i.e. the Mongoloid Nicobarese and Shompen. Both during pre- and post-British periods and even after Independence, these two cultures have maintained their distinct identities. The main aboriginal group in the Andamans is the Onges, who live on Little Andaman. Onges, like other Andamanese tribes, are of Negrito origin. They practice food - gathering, hunting, honey - collecting and fishing, and are the only tribe on the islands, who freely accept contact with the outside world. In the Nicobars, the only aboriginals are the Shompens, who are averse to any contact with the outside world. The Nicobarese, the largest group, seem to be of mixed Burmese, Malay, Mon and Shan origin. They are a friendly and cheerful lot, who do not accept money and prefer the barter system. Communing with the dead is one of the many intriguing rituals practiced in Nicobar.


Sea food is the specialty of these islands. The unpolluted water of Andaman Sea abounds with varieties of fish, crabs, lobsters, prawns etc. Seafood is easily available and deliciously cooked. North Indian, South Indian, vegetarian, continental, Chinese dishes are also available.


The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, often described as green islands in the marigold sun, lie as a long and narrow broken chain in the southeastern Bay of Bengal . This two-district Union Territory is composed of 572 islands of various sizes of which only 37 are inhabited, and it is the most isolated part of the Indian union. One-fifth population of this remote part is tribals or aboriginals,

Other Crafts are-
•        Wood Work
•        Cane and Bamboo
•        Shell Crafts
•        Coconut Shell
•        Basketry and Mat Making
•        Cross Bows


Andaman and Nicobar are mainly the home of the tribal people, but in these islands you will observe a unique culmination of several Indian cultures. Due to cross cultural unity, the islands’ people have given rise to their own share of colourful fairs and festivals. In addition to their own festivals, these islands celebrate several festival derived from India. Among the various festivals, most popular include Durga Puja, Janmasthami, Holi, Deewali, Onam, Pongal and Christmas. The fortnight long Island Tourism Festival is the main festival of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which highlights excellent art and crafts, unique marine life and traditional dances and songs of Port Blair.


Andaman and Nicobar islands are more popular for beaches, swimming, fresh air etc. but shopping in these islands is a delightful experience. Andaman’s capital Port Blair is the main shopping centre, where you can shop multi hued corals and seashell souvenirs. Aberdeen Bazaar in Port Blair is the main commercial centre of Andaman and Nicobar islands. At Aberdeen Bazaar, you will find a few Government Emporia (Cottage Industries Emporium and Gram Khadi Commission) and plenty of private shops alongwith the eating joints, pubs that make your shopping a wonderful experience.

Other shopping centres are situated at Prem Nagar, Goalghar, Delanipur and Junglighat; all of these are just 3-4 kms away from Aberdeen Bazaar. While you shop in Andaman and Nicobar, must look for famous artifacts such as shell jewellery (earrings, bracelets and objects d’art), mother of pearl jewellery, palm mats, coconut shell lamp-shed In addition to these, also buy woodcrafts such as walking sticks, ashtrays, bowls and furniture made of local padauk.

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