Ideal duration: 4 – 5 days Major Airports: Veer Savarkar International Airport Best time: October to May (Read More)
Andaman and Nicobar Tourism
Blessed with the lush and unique tropical rainforest, varieties of animals, exotic sea beaches, picturesque landscapes and fresh air, the islands of Andaman and Nicobar are surely bound to give you the startling experience and a sense of serenity you’re not going to get anywhere else. Andaman and Nicobar Islands situated near the Bay of Bengal is one of the best scenic areas that deserves a ‘must visit’ status. There is a lot to do when it comes to Andaman because of its tremendous coastline, lushly forested interiors and much more are possible here with the sun-kissed beaches and colourful and quaint landscapes. Tourist population is more than that of actual citizens of these islands; you are in a zone where everyone has come for a holiday, there is never a sense of insecurity or loneliness on these islands.
The history of this exceptionally beautiful island can be dated back to 800 bc, the paleolithic age, as the archaeological evidences suggests. The Nicobar island which is located 10 degrees north parallel to Andaman seems to be the inhabited place of the people of the indigenous population called the Andamanese and also other tribes such as Jarawas, Onges, Shompens and Sentinelese, which can be differentiated from other people because of their culture and language.
During the period of 1014 CE, Andaman and Nicobar island were occupied by the Chola dynasty and used the place as their Naval base for waging a war against Srivijaya Empire in Sumatra, Indonesia. They named the island ‘Tinmaittivu’ and were also used as a temporary base for Maratha empire in 17th century.
A group of Danish people arrived at these lovely and picturesque islands in 1755, and obviously fell in love with the place so much that they decided to set up a Danish colony. And very soon, Nicobar became a Danish colony. But fate had something different in mind, and the islands were abandoned many times due to the malaria epidemic before Denmark decided to sell off the islands to Britain and consequently, it became a part of British India.
The Britishers used the island to lock up Indian freedom fighters and dissenters in a cellular jail that they created for this specific purpose, popularly known as “Kala Pani”.
Must do things in Andaman
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving and many more water sports – There is another world that has to be traveling when you are in Andaman, and it is none other than the sea. With a lot of water activities to do like snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and many more, fun is a never-ending option on this beautiful island.
Birdwatching – Birdwatching in Andaman is quite popular and should not be missed because there is a diversity of tropical birds that can be found here. The wetlands in Port Blair is abode to numerous species of birds and photographers are in for a delightful treat when they travel to the “Island of Birds.”
Trekking – There are a lot of places to trek in Andaman any person would be able to receive a new lease of breath after completing your voyage. With big mountains like Mount Harriet, Chidiya Tapu, Baratang and many more, never run out of options for your trekking adventure.
Glass Bottom boat ride – Realize the genuine beauty if the underwater without going to their world. With a window panel between the boat and the sea, view mesmerizing reefs and much more, observe the entire kingdom in the luxury of your ship
Parasailing – Parasailing is an entertaining activity that can be made with your loved ones nearby. Fly like a bird wanting to see more with a birds-eye view. Fly above the beaches by seaplane You are not in the water nor too far from it. Seaplanes allows you to feel how an amphibian feels like to view both the water and the air.
Kayaking and canoeing – Into the lush green forests, you would find water bodies, swift enough to make a small crusade with kayaking and canoeing. Having fun with your friends while visiting new places is a pointer and it aids in relieving your stress, and this adventure activity is surely a stress buster.
What you will like
The picture perfect scenic beaches, quirky cafes and resorts, vibrant nightlife, great ambience throughout the day, lush green forests neighboured by the gleaming turquoise water and its ivory sand beaches are just few of the numerous qualities the island has to offer. A great spot for the adventurers, it has one of the best trekking route in India.
What you might not like
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a land of diversity. Calling it a mini India in itself won’t be any exaggeration as people from different parts of India live here, perhaps 33 different languages are being spoken on these islands making it a barrier for tourists to communicate easily with them.
The place sets the mind amid a sense of serenity and anyone looking for peace of mind along with fun on beautiful beaches is surely bound to like the place. This place is built for adventurers seeking thrill while it’s also one of the favourite place for couples on honeymoon. Trekkers would love this place as the island has one of the best trekking route of India.
How to Reach
There are two ways by which you can reach there:
By Air – Port Blair has one International Airport, Veer Savarkar International Airport, connecting the rest of the world for the world to see its rich and beautiful flora and fauna. Airlines like Air India, SpiceJet, Go Air and Jet Airways have regular flight for Port Blair from Prime Indian Cities.
By sea – Reaching Andamans by sea in not a difficult task until and unless you really have ample time and are comfortable with sailing and turbulences of the sea as it’s a very time-consuming voyage which can take anywhere between 50-60 hours of your time. From Kolkata and Chennai, three to four ships sail every month to Port Blair and vice versa. Moreover, a ship from Visakhapatnam too sails once every month.
What type of food do you get in Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Andaman and Nicobar are home to cuisines like South Indian, North India, Bengali, Thai, Chinese, seafood and many more. But it’s delicacy lies especially in seafood as it’s covered by sea all around and this has created a large impact on local people there and their cuisines because of easy access to fishes and edible shellfishes, which makes up for fresh, exotic and delectable cuisines like you’ve never had before.
Culture of Andaman
The people of Andaman and Nicobar are mainly classified into two categories, Indigenous tribal people and the outsiders who settled in the territory because of the colonial rule. The fusion of these two classes of people makes up for the colourful ethnicity to the people’s profile of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Andaman and Nicobar have an exceptional culture where all people of different religion, dialects, ethnics gatherings live in peace and harmony and this has attracted a lot of visitors as they get to see the native population upholding the richness, ethnicity and customs of Island.
A significant portion of the local people belong to the descendants who arrived here during early periods from the Indian mainland region. Perhaps, these migrants from different parts of the country eventually add to the culture and tradition of the region and the most valuable factor about them is that both the class of people in both the regions lives in complete harmony and peace, preserving their culture and tradition. The Negroids of the Paleolithic age who migrated from Africa a few thousand years ago, comprises the tribal culture of Andaman. These tribes have maintained their distinctiveness by remaining isolated and therefore, have maintained and preserved the culture of the Islands.
Andaman Fairs and Festivals
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is home to many series of festivals related to their tribal culture, tourism, music and beaches. The objective of these festivals is to make people learn more about the culture and traditions of inhabitants.
So far, the Islands host six major festivals, Island tourism being the most famous one. This festival is held every year for 15 days to promote tourism and also for the entertainment of the islanders. The festival comprises of numerous unique events in distinct parts of the Island like Wimberlygunj, Wandoor, Neil, Havelock, Rangat, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay. Main events are held in Port Blair. The festival emphasises on mainland artist especially reputed music brands, Bollywood dancers, singers and performers. The inaugural event is telecasted on DD Bharti in India and also beamed across many countries globally.
Apart from this, other major festivals include a Beach Festival which is held for 3 days; a Music/Monsoon Festival which is also carried on for 3 days. A delicious food festival which is celebrated for 4 luscious days. Film Festival is also celebrated very ecstatically here. All these events and festivals aids the tourist in letting them enjoy the vibrant culture, delectable cuisines and beautiful arts and art forms of this captivating Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
FAQ’s on Andaman Tourism
What is the best time to visit?
Though the weather remains as pleasant as the place itself, there still is a favourable duration of time in which its beauty proliferates to a great amount. The best month to visit Andaman and Nicobar island is from October to May. The reason being, With the end of September’s downpour in Andamans, the island is fresh with luscious greenery and crystal-clear water. Moreover, October marks the beginning for tourist visiting the place. The ocean appears as blue as it could be, beaches are at their best. The climate is pleasant, little hot and humid. Also, the annual tourism festival of the Islands well known as the Island Tourism festival takes place in between the month of Dec-Jan. It depicts various cultures of the islands and is an experience to remember.
Where is it located?
Just beside the Bay of Bengal, you would find many islands just beside India and Myanmar. The location of this archipelago says it all when it comes to its breath-taking and serene beaches.
What languages do they speak?
Bengali is the most spoken language by people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is followed by Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, respectively. The international airport is situated at about 2 kilometres south of Port Blair-Veer Sarkar Airport, so there won’t be any hindrance in travel arrangements to this scenic beauty because of any language barrier.
What are popular tourist places?
1. The historical Jail The Cellular Jail (also known as Kala Pani) was a colonial prison made by the British, which was an aftermath of the Sepoy Mutiny. Many years after the independence, it was open to the public. Here you would find massive structures which were ideally built for the inmates back then.
2. Viewing the bioluminescent beach, It would seem like tiny lighted stars right below your feet in the Havelock island. On no moon nights, an ecstatic array of lights can be seen near the shore side thus, glorifying the beauty of the beach even more.
3. Havelock Island is One of the most important places to visit in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is a natural beauty when it comes to the beaches and its magnificent coral reefs. It’s located close to 40 km of the Port Blair and one can enjoy the exotic underwater marine life here. The most famous Elephant Beach is positioned on the Havelock Island.
4. Ross Island in South Andaman, is an exquisite island where one can view many exotic animals and birds like deer and peacocks. Very old ruins of buildings can be found here, indicating how our architecture was in the olden days.
5. The beaches are also a must watch with full of coconut and palm trees, a real paradise indeed.
6. Mud volcano Many mud volcanoes are distributed between the North and the South Andaman. One can hope of it to erupting anytime just to view how mud erupts from the earth.
7. India’s southernmost point, the other most remarkable view not to be missed here is the Indira point. The Southernmost point of India, where the end leads to nowhere for at least close to fifty nautical miles, is not on the Indian mainland, but within the Union territory of The Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
8. Barren Island volcano is the only live volcano of India. It also happens to be the only live volcano of South Asia. Just seeing it from far, you would understand how mother nature works profoundly.