Andaman Islands are a set of islands in the Andaman Sea, part of the Indian Territory. Andaman Islands are now a renowned tourist destination. However, there are many things about Andaman that are either little known or tourists are completely ignorant about. Let me present 10 things that you perhaps did not know about the Andaman Islands.
Andaman and Nicobar
The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprises Andaman and Nicobar Group of Islands. Both group of islands are about 300 kms apart. Tourism is limited to the Andaman group and access to Nicobar Islands is restricted to Naval and Defence personnel only.
Where are the Andaman Islands located?
95 out of 100 answers to the above question would either be Bay of Bengal or the Indian Ocean. Andaman Islands are actually located in the Andaman Sea (Closer to Phuket (Thailand) than the Indian mainland).
Andaman Islands are the farthest point of Indian Territory on the eastern side. So, sunrise (and therefore, even sunset) in the Andaman Islands is 55-90 minutes earlier than any other part of India. The day starts early in the Andaman Islands. Flights here arrive early and standard check-in-time at many hotels is as early as 9 AM.
Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman Islands. Even though Andaman Islands are renowned for crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, Port Blair has only one proper beach (Corbyn’s Cove) and is as ordinary as any mainland beach (even though it is a lot cleaner and less crowded). Many hotels in Port Blair have direct ocean views but do not have a beach access (as most of the sea face around Port Blair is very rocky).
Airport at Port Blair
The airport in Port Blair is a Navy Airport and therefore, has commercial flight movement till 2 PM only. Thereafter, it is used exclusively for the movement of Naval Aircrafts. Because of this, guests returning from Havelock Island or other islands by ferry are required to stay overnight at Port Blair before taking a flight the next morning.
Where are the crystal clear waters and white sand beaches?
Havelock Island and Neil Island are two destinations, renowned for their crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. The water quality and beach quality is as good as international exotic destinations such as Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, etc. These are accessible from Port Blair via a short ferry ride (2-3 hours). There is Wandoor area 30 kms from Port Blair that also has crystal clear waters and white sand beaches.
Activities in Andaman Islands
Andaman Islands are most renowned for water-based activities such as Snorkelling, Glass Bottom Ride, Scuba Diving, etc. However, not many know that Andaman Islands are also renowned for their Deep-Sea Fishing (Giant Trevally – Upto 200 pounds) and Bird Watching (some of the endemic species are Brown Coucal, Andaman Drongo, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Shama, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Green Pigeon, Narcondam hornbill). Cycling in Havelock is popular and so is soft trekking in tropical jungles at many Andaman Island destinations. Andaman Islands are renowned for large sized butterflies and are excellent for Butterfly Watching.
A mud volcano is a landform created by the eruption of mud, water and gases. Baratang Island in Andamans is the only site of a mud volcano in India.
Parrot Island near Baratang Island gets hundreds and thousands of parrots for about 10 minutes every morning and evening. It is a sight to behold and one that is seldom seen elsewhere. The boat ride to Parrot Island is through Jarawa tribal territory, which is totally protected from civilisation and even photography or any kind of interaction is banned in Jarawa Territory. So, sighting of Jarawa Tribals is another big plus visiting Parrot Island.
Travelling by Ship from Mainland to Andaman Islands
There is a passenger ship operating from Kolkata, Chennai and Visakhapatnam to Port Blair (cost of about Rs. 5,000 per person one way). The distance is about 2,000 kms and it takes about 2-3 days to reach. The ship is primarily used by locals travelling between the mainland and Andaman Islands and is not recommended for and opted by tourists.
Explore the best of Andaman,
With our Natural Wonders of Andaman holiday for 5 nights,
Ideal for a family looking for some sun and sand!