Andaman Island Paradise-Part I

Andaman Island Paradise-Part I

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Trip Introduction

The Andaman Islands are a Union Territory spread over a distance about 800 Kms with 38 inhabited islands and are one of the most unexplored territories in India. These magestic islands which emerge from a hill range extending frm Burma to Indonesia are covered with beautiful dense forests with an infinite variety of exotic flora & fauna and crystal clear blue waters. The Islands have been recognized as an eco-tourist destination that is one of most beautiful and diverse ways to discover the under-water treasures of marine life. I visited the islands this year in April for a month and was immersed in an experience that I will always fall back on to invoke memories of extreme pleasure running through me.

Before these islands were discovered they were home to aboriginal tribes. The tribes of the Andaman group of islands are the great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas and Sentinalese which are all on the verge of extinction. Their numbers as well as their natural instinctive knowledge of the forest have reduced to less than half due to the negative impact of the destruction and renovation of their natural forest habitat as well as infiltrating substances from modern civilization, such as tobacco and alcohol which is poisonous and alien to their system. Through contact with new culture and ways of life, these small indegenius tribes have lost their cultural identity as well as knowledge and lifestyle of the forest.

Aerial view of Port Blair Island. Natural habitat of the indegenious Andamanese

I sat on the first seat of the bus driver who has driven down the Andaman Trunk Road across Port Blair for 13 years. He spoke of his encounters with the tribe. and spoke of their impeccable and extremely sharp memory. 2 Jarwa women remembered his name 6 months after a momentary encounter in the forest and also told me of the cures they have from the plants of the forest for all kinds of ailments. Visit paragon of beauty at Andaman Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were shrouded in mystery for centuries because of their inaccessibility. (For example, they tie a big leaf around their waist which heats up the skin naturally to alleviate backpain). They have been subject to diseases and death due to new foods, additives like salt, sugar and spices introduced into their system which is only accustomed to simple roots, plants, fish and wild boar of the forest. Although it is illeagle to photograph them I was able to look into the eyes of a Jarwa woman wide eyed and unblinking with a red lion cloth squatting in the bushes, her homeground, while I tresspassed on a noisy bus to Baratang through her sacred territory. Although my activities were touristic in nature I find it necessary to mention the original people of the Andamans in hope to invoke a respect for their lifestyle and natural intelligence for future travelers.

Tourism is the backbone of Andaman Islands. The government has provided many ways to boost eco-tourism in Andaman Islands and travelers are mostly concerned with Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Trekking, Fishing, Kayaking around the Islands.

Cove in Havelock

How to get there

Sunset at Beach no 7 with friends

Port Blair is well connected with Chennai and Kolkatta, Delhi, Bangalore and Bhubeneswar by air. Flights range from 7500Rs to 16,000Rs if booked a week in advance. Presently flights are operated by Indian, Jet airways, Air sahara and Air deccan. The only airport in the islands is  Vir Sarvarkar Airport in Port Blair. For best flight deals, visit here.

By SeaPlane – The only seaplane service of India is operated by Pawnhance and costs about 5000Rs. One can avail the service on all days except Sunday. Luggage allowed is 5kg while all extra luggage cost Rs 96 per kg. The seaplane carries about 9 tourists.

View of the pristine blue ocean in the Andamans

Once at Port Blair one must take a ferry to the other islands from Phoenix Bay Harbour (the jetty). ‘Macruzz’ ferry which takes about 90 minutes to Havelock and saves an hour compared to the govt service but costs 3 times the fare ranging from Rs 650 to 1000 Rs one way. The ferry has a coffee shop on board and it is advisable to book a ticket immediately upon reaching Port Blair.

By Boat

Passenger ships are available from Chennai, Kolkatta and Vishakapatnam. Travel by ship is available four times a month from Chennai and Kolkatta and only once a month from and from Vizag. The travel by sea takes about 60 hours and the fares range from 1400 Rs to 5000 Rs depending upon the class and shipping co to Port Blair.



Posted By: Chandana

Wow!!! This article makes me feel like fllying off to andaman right away... well captured and amazing photographs....

Posted By: Kanika

Thanks alot Chandana! Its far beyond the images and description and so worth the trip! : )

Posted By: Karthikeyan

Awesome Photos

Posted By: Navin

Hi Kanika, Indeed a nice post it is, loved the write up too, any information available regarding nicobar permits?Thanks

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