Saturday, 6 August 2011

Andamans: Exploring the emerald islands

Andamans: Exploring the emerald islands…

Trip Details:
Let me write about my trip to the Andaman Islands which we did back in Nov 2008. Below are the excerpts of the eventful trip:
Day 0: Started by the evening train from Bangalore to Chennai. Reached Chennai at 21:30. Had an onward flight to Port Blair at 04:30 in the morning. So had to spend the night at the airport.
Day 1: After an uncomfortable night at the airport, we boarded the flight from Chennai to Port Blair. The view was spectacular as we neared the capital of the Andaman isles. We could see patches of land in the middle of the ocean scattered around. We reached the destination at around 07:00 and checked into our hotel. The conditions were overcast with chances of rain. After an early lunch we left for Corbyn’s Cove beach around 9kms from the town. It was a silent beach with palm trees all around. Spent a while at the beach before proceeding to Viper Island along the Port Blair harbour. The gallows atop a hillock here is sight to watch. The prison gave a very old and rustic look. Next we reached the shores and went to Veer Savarkar park for a leisurely stroll. It became pretty dark early in the evening so we decided to head back to our hotel.
aerial view of Andamansaerial view of the islands Corbyn's Cove Beach Harbour Cruise Viper Island Viper Island Prison    Tsunami Memorial
Day 2: Our next plan was to visit North Bay which is also called the Coral island which was around 1 hr cruise. We reached the shore using small boats and were invited for snorkelling. The snorkels were pretty good and the guide was also very helpful. We could see varieties of corals and fish underwater and it was something which I had not experienced before. We spent the whole day at North Bay having loads of fun.
On the way to North BayCoral Island, North Bay Coral Island, North Bay 
Day 3: Our plan for the day was to reach Havelock island which is around 57kms from Port Blair. Our ship Ramanujam was waiting at the port ready for departure at 06:00 hrs. Early morning drizzle added to the romance of the place. The ship was an inter-island ferry which was a mini town from inside with nice seating and had a small bakery inside for refreshments. It was a 3 hr travel and the lucky ones could view dolphins on the way. We were not too lucky though. We reached Havelock island at around 09:30 and were taken to our beach resort directly. The nature looked amazing when we reached our sea-facing cottage. It was lovely with white sand and blue waters everywhere. We checked in to our resort and after relaxing for about an hour we started towards Radhanagar beach which is very popular in Havelock island. It was very serene with not so much crowd which we generally see in other beaches across India. It was silent and breathtaking. Words are not at all enough to describe the beauty of the place so pictures below can speak for themselves. We had our lunch at a very small hotel near the seaside and the food was simple dal-chawal. After lunch we returned to our cottage and sat near the shore listening to the waves. It was a fantastic feeling.
Ramanujam On Board RamanujamEntering Havelock Island  Havelock Island Havelock Island Havelock IslandHavelock Island Designs by crabs Havelock IslandHavelock Island Havelock Island Sea Shell insects  
Day 4: The view of the sea in the morning was completely different from what we saw the previous day. Due to high tides, the entire shore was submerged in waters. What was appearing as white sand the previous day was now looking blue. Our day's plan was to visit the Coral island near Havelock. We hired a steamer boat at Havelock and proceeded towards the island. It was a 45 mins ferry and we reached the island. It looked absolutely stunning and was a photographer's delight. The setting looked totally out of Discovery or National Geographic Channel. We then started snorkelling with a guide who happened to be a Sri Lankan. He spoke good Hindi though. This was a better experience than the previous one as the sun was also shining today. We went a bit inside the forest area to explore more of the island. After a couple of hours we started back towards Havelock island. And after lunch we had our return trip to Port Blair. The 2 days in Havelock were unforgettable.
Havelock Island Coral island Coral island Coral island Coral island Coral island Coral island Havelock Island Havelock Island Havelock Island  On board Ramanujam On board Ramanujam
Day 5: We decided to freak around Port Blair visiting the Cellular jail which was used by the Britishers to keep the prisoners where harsh punishments were given to them. Later we visited the Andaman water sports club which was unfortunately closed down after the Tsunami. After this we visited the Marine museum. Then we had a ferry to the Red Skin island which was like a dense forest and a nice place to move around. In the evening we attended the sound and Light show at the Cellular which was very good to watch.
Marine MuseumWandoor Red Skin Island Red Skin Island Red Skin Island Red Skin Island Red Skin Island  Cellular JailCellular Jail Cellular Jail Cellular Jail Cellular Jail
Day 6: We visited another island called Ross Island today which was like a well developed township from where the Britishers governed the entire A&N lslands, prior to India’s Independence. We roamed around the entire island in a couple of hours and spotted a few deers as well. After lunch, we returned back to Port Blair to proceed towards Chidiyatapu, which is home to various species of birds. We watched the sunset which happened before 5pm and then we returned back to our hotel.
Ross Island Ross Island Ross Island Peacock@Ross Island Deer@Ross Island Ross Island Ross Island Chidiyatapu Sunset@Chidiyatapu
Day 7: We had to say goodbye to the islands today as all good things have to end. We had our return flight from Port Blair to Chennai at 7:30 am. We returned to Bangalore by late afternoon.
Only thing we missed out was was to visit the only active volcano in India (Barren Island, Andamans) which required a couple of more days. Hope to cover that sometime later..
How to reach: Direct flights from Chennai and Kolkata available to Port Blair. Also can travel by sea from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakapatnam to Port Blair which may take up to 3 days. 
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andaman_and_Nicobar_Islands
http://tourism.andaman.nic.in/traveltips.htm
Map:

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8 comments:

  1. Arun,
    You have a nice blog here.I am following you. Want to read your earlier posts too. shall do it leisurely.

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  2. Good description with nice pictures

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  3. Arun i believe you missed the barren isle, wherein you can witness the live volcano and limestone caves at baratang, seems a liesurely trip, we missed Havelock. Our trip was immediately after the Tsunami year, it was creepy feeling

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  4. Yes we did miss out on Barren island. I wanted to visit that as it is the only active volcano in India. Hope to visit that sometime...I saw ur post on Badami fort.. due to some reason I was unble to post a comment.. Its an excellent compilation with all details given..

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  5. A very good post with Beautiful pictures..i want to know how u guys planned this trip (through travel agent or on your own).

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  6. Oops, I went up north all the way till Ross and Smith Islands and didn't make it to barren islands!

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  7. I have really liked the ideas presented in this article. It is highly insightful, and beneficial with unique ideas that classify best support with any such requirements.

    ReplyDelete