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Andaman and Nicobar Islands Tourism And Travel Guide
24° C / 75.2° F
October to May
4 to 7 Days
Veer Savarkar International Airport (2 kms)
If you’re craving for some sun, sand and some much needed relaxation, tourism in Andaman and Nicobar is exactly what you need. For those craving some action, there are numerous water sports at the islands which offer licensed courses in snorkeling and deep sea diving. The archipelago consists of close to 600 islands lying at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Out of these only 38 are inhabited and only 9 among them are accessible to tourists. Do keep in mind that foreign nationals would require a Restricted Area permit to visit these islands. The same can be attained on arrival if travelling via air and has to be done beforehand if arriving by sea.
Apart from its beautiful beaches and water sports, Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a history of colonial occupation by the Danish, Austrians and the British. The islands became well known as the most stringent cellular jail during the British Raj, called Kaala Pani; a prisoner sentenced to the Andaman cellular jail was as good as dead. Today, the cellular jail is a docile tourist destination. Find about that and much more in this travel guide of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
How to Reach Andaman & Nicobar
Despite its geography and location, Andaman and Nicobar is well connected with the rest of India as well as neighbouring countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and others.
Veer Savarkar airport at Port Blair has direct flights to all major metropolitan cities of India. Though it does not have any direct international flights, the isles can be easily accessed from any of India's metropolises - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, etc.
While the journey to Andaman and Nicobar will be a long one via maritime routes, it is still an experience that some travellers would want to check off their bucket lists. While a ship from Kolkata would take around 66 hours to reach the islands, ships from Chennai would take about 60 hours while from Vizag (Vishakhapatnam) would take up to 56 hours. This route though longer is more suited for the adventurous and those on a shoestring budget.
Best time to visit Andaman & Nicobar
With moderate temperatures all year round, the islands can be visited anytime barring the monsoons. The best time to visit Andaman is from January to May. Months of June and July should be avoided due to excessive rains and unfavourable weather conditions. Although there are some showers from August to November, this could still be a great time to visit Andaman & Nicobar. December and early January should again be avoided due to heavy rains.
Things to do in Andaman & Nicobar
Today a National Memorial monument, the central jail was used during the British Raj to exile political prisoners. Made in a way that there was no way for a cell inmate to see any other human, the sentence to Kaala pani was equivalent to a death sentence, albeit, a slower and more torturous one. The museum today has photographs of inmates and will take you through a journey of our freedom struggle.
The largest island of Ritchie’s archipelago and arguably the most beautiful of them all, Havelock has been promoting eco-tourism since a while now. With its pristine beaches and beautiful coral reefs, the island is a hot-spot for water sports.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling:
One of the most attractive features of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, tourists can enjoy the underwater world of marine flora, corals and fish. Some of the islands famous for scuba, snorkeling, deep sea walking, etc. are Neil Island, Long Island, Baratang Island (also known for its limestone caves), Ross Island, etc.
With its ever growing colourful coral reefs, pristine blue waters and white sands, the untouched beaches here will leave you craving for more as you depart. Or, just like us, you might even want to get your travel permit extended for another fortnight! Do remember to check out the schedule for fairs and festivals on the island through their official website (http://www.andamans.gov.in/html/festivals.html) before making your itinerary.