Gentle blue waves sweeping past the dun colored shorelines, lined with coconut and palm trees mingling with mesmerizing hues of emerald, supporting a large treasure house of marine life; no wonder the island of Andaman & Nicobar leaves its visitors in sheer awe. The truly vibrant island of Andaman bears testimony to a flurry of events dating back to the Indian freedom struggle, thus evolving this coastal city into a robust fusion of many cultures.
Best Time To Visit
With a little variation in the average annual temperature, the island of Andaman can be visited at any time of the year. The tropical monsoon climate and the company of serene sea breezes makes Andaman fluttered with tourists from November to May. In lieu of incessant rains and high tides, its best to avoid the monsoon months of June to September, unless the discounts are too tempting!
Places To Visit
(i) A mute witness to the horrors suffered by the freedom fighters, Cellular Jail popularly known as Kala Pani, is a must visit spot in Viper Island, close to Port Blair. With a sound and light show in the evening along with an art gallery, the museum in the Cellular Jail invigorates many sentiments associated with the Indian freedom struggle.
(ii) Maintained by the Indian Navy, very popular among kids, Samudrika Naval Marine Museum exhibits a wide range of marine life species with fishes, large variety of corals and sea shells.
(iii) Situated in close proximity to Port Blair, Corbyn’s Cove Beach surrounded by swaying coconut trees in a pleasant ambience is the ideal place to spend a relaxed evening. At a distance of 25 kms from the capital city, dotted with green mangroves, hummingbirds and pure white sand Chidiya Tapu beach offers a visual treat for bird watchers and photography enthusiasts.
(iv) Well connected by road, Mount Harriet forms the highest point of the South Andaman archipelago. The backdrop of dense forests, curvy roads fuel the magnificent view of Havelock and Ross Islands from the peak.
(v) Asia’s oldest saw mill, located on the Chatham Island, offers a sneak peak to the technology of wood processing. Interestingly, the crimson coloured walls of the Buckingham Palace in London were made from the Padauk wood processed in this mill.
Where To Eat
Being a prominent tourist destination, Port Blair offers plethora of options of food and dining suitable to all palates and tastes. Largely, the cuisines served on this island portray Indonesian, Thai and Burmese influences.
- For freshly served seafood, Lighthouse Residency, Aberdeen Bazar
- Pure vegetarian and Jain specialties at Annapurna, Aberdeen Bazar
- Reasonable rates and family style dining at Ananda Restaurant, Aberdeen Bazar
- Confectionery and bakery items at Switz Bakerz, Bathu Basti
Where To Shop
From traditional bamboo craftwork, cane furniture to jewellery made of sea shells and multi coloured corals, shopping around the streets of Port Blair promises to be a satisfying experience.
Some of the most popular things to buy include bamboo craft, cane bags, lampshades made from coconut shell, junk jewellery and exquisite spices.
- Haggle around the shops of Aberdeen Bazaar, the major shopping hub in Port Blair surrounded by loads of well-known eateries
- Run by the state government, Sagarika Emporium located on MG Road is the ideal place to shop for souvenirs and small trinkets
- For handicrafts and sea shells, Government Emporia, City Centre
The island today, holds together a diverse culture with distinguished indigenous tribes, dozens of communities peacefully coexisting, giving shape to the peculiar vibe of this coastal city.
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