An all time favorite amongst travelers for its serene emerald water beaches, adventurous water sports and relaxing atmosphere, Andaman and Nicobar islands have always been visited by tourists from all parts of the world. Especially with its geographical proximity to Southeast Asia with countries like Indonesia (150km) and Myanmar (190km) brings in more tourists. With around 300 pristine islands of Andaman and Nicobar, tourists have quite a number of places to discover, relax and unwind.
While Nicobar is mostly tribal areas and off the tourist limits, there are many beautiful places to visit in Andaman. Here’s the list:
Surrounded by lush green forest areas and rugged but immensely beautiful coastline, Port Blair is a bustling capital town of Andaman & the Nicobar Islands with an interesting mix of inhabitants of different cultures like the Tamils, Telugus, Bengalis, Burmese and Nicobarese. The place has a rich history to explore.
- Cellular Jail National Memorial
- Chahtham Saw Mill
- Anthropological Museum
- Corbyn’s Cove
One of the most famous places to visit in Andaman, Havelock islands calls you for its snow white sandy beaches and teal shallows. Havelock Island unarguably offers the best sea diving experience in the entire South Asia. Such is the beauty and the leisure facilities of this island that most tourists are happy to stay here for the entire stay of their trip.
- Neils Cove
Credits: Showinmyeyes Flickr
For a feel that takes you into the tranquility of time and away from every other thing, visit the next most famous islands of Andaman after Havelock Neil Island. While Neil might not be boasting of a plethora of activities to do, it is famous for the pleasing bicycle trips that you can take near the coastline and through the village passing the famous bazaar. It offers immense relaxation with mellowed vibe.
- Bharatpur beach
- Laxmanpur beach
- Sitapur beach
North & Middle Andaman
A place far less explored than it should be the North and the middle of Andaman offers you to explore the jungle that is still virgin. Take the bus ride to the jungles and you are bound to feel that these are one of Mother Nature’s most loved child. The recent dispute between the Jarawa tribe and the locals on the passing of ATRs through their area has been a matter of concern. However, that does not stop the tourists to visit this scenic place in convoys during the day time.
- Lalaji Bay
- Limestone Caves
For those who do not wish to just touch Andaman and leave by being only to its highlights, Diglipur and its neighboring areas is for them. It offers a surprising package for nature lovers who make it to this far end of North of Andaman. White sandy beaches going through a network of caves towards the highest peak of Andaman, Diglipur is also a world famous turtle nesting site. Kalipur village near Diglipur offers some pristine sites and a perfect advantage of a coastal village wherein in you can get up close and personal with the rural life of the heaven residents.
- Saddle Peak
- Ross and Smith Island
- Mud Caves
The Little Andaman
With an intriguing end-of-the-world feel, the little Andaman offers a gorgeous feast of jungle, mangroves, and virgin beaches. Tourists love to come to this place for its secluded feel. The hut Bay town is the main area of settlement here and is slowly rebuilding itself after being badly hit by the Tsunami in 2004.
- Little Andaman Lighthouse
- Netaji Nagar
- Butler Bay
The Great Nicobar Island
Covering an area of 1045sqkms, the Great Nicobar Island is one of the largest Nicobar Islands, but it is scarcely populated with around 10000 inhabitants only. It is known for its dense rainforest that is home to diverse wildlife and is a part of the biosphere reserve of the world. It is also the home to the world’s oldest tribe- Shopmen. It is the heaven of wildlife photographers. There are few tourist places in the Nicobar Islands, but the ones that are open for tourists, are abundantly blessed with quaint beaches, and rich flora and fauna.
Facts that make Andaman & Nicobar Islands all the more interesting-
- The word ‘Andaman’ and ‘Nicobar’ is taken from Malay language of Indonesia
- The widely spoken language of the islands is neither Andamanese nor Nicobarese. They are Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, and Telugu
- Although the Jarawa tribe (adivasi) inhabitants of the island are only around 500 in number, they do not interact with the outside people.
- These islands are home to the world’s largest sea turtles.
- There is a ban on commercial fishing in Andaman Islands.
- The biggest living arthropod Birgus Latro (coconut crabs) resides on these islands.
- Scenery of these islands is depicted in the 20 rupee note in India.
- 2 of the islands in Andaman are named after East India officers.
- During World War 2, Andaman and Nicobar islands came under Japanese occupation.
- Dugong is the state animal of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- The Andaman and Nicobar islands are home to innumerable beautiful butterflies.
- The first sunrise of the millennium was received by the Andaman and Nicobar islands
- The Andaman and Nicobar islands houses the only active volcano of India
The Andaman and Nicobar islands is a place to get lost in tranquility, peace and the magnificent ocean world. Tourists from all parts of the globe are obsessed with these islands and have been raving about its beauty since ages. But few come here to turn the pages of its history, its turbulent past, and it’s fighting spirit. It’s time the world learns about the culture and history of these spectacular islands as well.