I recently traveled to Andaman and Nicobar Islands with a couple of my friends. The island is a paradise nestled in Bay of Bengal with clear blue water and sky. It keeps you mesmerized throughout the day.
How To Reach Andaman and Nicobar-
We took an early morning flight from Hyderabad to Port Blair, the capital- it is the most significant airport there. If you’re feeling adventurous, then you can try sailing on a cruise from Chennai or Vishakhapatnam. Also, the first thing you lose after reaching Andaman and Nicobar is the mobile network. Airtel and BSNL work the best, but the internet is touch and go. The island is a digital free world, for four days we lived like the old school!
After landing in Port Blair, we had some time to kill until our departure from Port Blair to Havelock Island. So, we visited the Cellular Jail, the most grueling Colonial prison to exile Indian political leaders. This jail also means as Kala Pani( where Kala means death or time and Pani means water).
Next, we went to see the Samudrika Naval Marine museum, which houses a plethora of island artifacts. After which we went to the Anthropological Museum to know about the life and times of the Andaman tribes.
Chatham Saw Mill of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the biggest and oldest in Asia. The mill is the primary source of timber.
It was time for our ferry to Havelock. You can book your tickets on this website. Prior to booking just make sure of the ferry timings because it is the most important means of transportation to reach from one island to another.
After reaching Havelock, we checked into Ifteshah Resorts, which we booked through Airbnb. The resort is located amidst coconut trees and lush green and clear blue sky; the resort has all the modern amenities. All the rooms are designed with wood and bamboo to be in complete alignment with the surroundings.
After checking into our rooms, we went and rented bikes to roam around the island. Rent for a bike per day is 500 rupees.
Early morning the next day around 4 am, we went to KalaPathar Beach to witness a surreal sunrise. Post 6 am, it is usually crowded. I recommend to wake up early watch the sunrise by 5:30 am, and enjoy the morning cool breeze.
We grabbed a quick breakfast on our way back, and meanwhile, we relaxed for a while and then headed to Elephant beach trek. We trekked through marshlands and mangrove forests to reach the beach.
The trek is through a dense canopy, and you can hear a little rustle bustle in the bushes, and from the corner of the eye, you will a giant lizard darting into the wilderness.
Elephant beach is the most commercialized beach of Havelock, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands. It was more or less an average beach with water sports facilities.
We trekked back to the base and hopped onto our bikes to reach the famous Radhanagar beach. The pristine water, with tall, lush trees as the backdrop, makes this beach genuinely beautiful. No doubt, it was awarded as ‘The Best Beach in Asia’ by Times Magazine. The entrance of the beach has a lot of eateries lined up on both sides of the road. The place has a vast parking spot, as well. We were astonished at the expanse of the beach! We got to catch the perfect sunset with pinkish tones in the sky and white sand.
After all the walking, trekking, and photo sessions, we headed to Cafe Nemo, which is in Havelock Beach resort. It is situated on the banks with coconut trees all around, and that night it was a full moon, which truly magical! Perfect place to sit and chill.
It was an impromptu plan to visit Neil Island; we heard a lot of things which intrigued us to go. But, I must admit that I was a little disappointed with Neil Island. It was not what I expected, well, there is nothing much to do there except to see Natural Coral bridge and sunrise point. Neil Island, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands is a pretty much-secluded place which is ideal for honeymooners.
Bharatpur beach is shallow and clear water with gentle waves hitting the shore. The beach offers a glass-bottom boat ride, and it a perfect picnic spot for families.
On the last day of the trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands we headed back to the capital in the afternoon, Port Blair. Checked into our rooms and headed to check out the Ross Island.
Ross Island was the headquarters of the British colony and today houses all the ruins of the buildings. The island doesn’t have an eerie story but only reminds you of the good times the Britishers had in Andaman and Nicobar Island. There is plenty to see and discover here, from the beautiful herd of deers to the roots covered ruins. The first thing you will notice after reaching Ross Island is flora and fauna. Other than deers, you will find peacocks in every corner.
Some of the buildings have a gaping opening through which you can see the blue water of Andaman. It was exciting to walk through the magical ruins of the island. The boats give you only 1.5 hours to explore the place and come back. So, I missed seeing the church, the cemetery, etc. But, make sure to check out the highest point of Ross Island.
Where to eat?
- Port Blair- Blue Sea Restaurant, Annapurna, Icy Spicy. They all have authentic vegetarian dishes.
- Havelock- Shakahara, Venom, Something different, Cafe Nemo. All of them are must-visit restaurants. The moods were lazy lunches, however, the nights were filled with lights and music!
- Neil Island- Try restaurants at the Bharatpur Beach.
- Remember, there is no or little network connectivity.
- Always carry cash in Havelock and Neil Island. There are ATMs available in Havelock. During our stay in Neil Island we faced trouble as there are only two ATM’s and both of them ran out of cash the day we reached.
- Carry sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
- Cabs and autos are readily available after you get down the ferry and exist the main jetty gate.
- The best time to visit is from October to April.
- You can find a variety of budget stays, and the people there are helpful and friendly too.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a picturesque place with irresistible water. Soak in the tranquil environment and just relax.