There is a place in India where you can enjoy the ensemble of azure sky, an infinite expanse of blue water, a green landscape peppered with coconut trees, coral reefs, and excellent beaches meant for some leisurely swimming in the lap of nature. This is Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located off the mainland of India. It is endowed with a bouquet of natural assets that have been enchanting visitors for a long. There are plenty of places to see in Port Blair.
Port Blair is an alluring destination for tourists as it includes a host of attractive locales. There are shimmering but clean beaches, beaches that defy the ferocity of sea and let tourists swim leisurely, relics of colonial power and oppression, many must-go museums, libraries, coral reefs, and more.
The Cellular Jail, also known as Kaala Paani is very popular among all the places to see in Port Blair. This is the jail where freedom fighters during India’s struggle for freedom used to be imprisoned by the British. Take a guided tour along the creepy alleys and corridors of this scary place and get to know more about the tyrannical treatment that the British used to mete out to the freedom fighters. The cellular jail is standing as mute testimony to the selfless sacrifice of scores of Indian Freedom Fighters who fought a relentless battle to free their motherland from the clutches of British rule. The key attractions of this historical relic include the oil mills where the prisoners were made to work, the Netaji Gallery, the gallows, and a library containing books on the Freedom Movement.
Ross Island is among the most famous places to see in Port Blair. This island used to be the capital of the British. You would come across British vestiges here that include a bakery and an old church. Other key attractions of this island include the splendid Ferrar Beach, deers, a museum, and Japanese bunkers built during the Japanese occupation of this island during the Second World War.
To travel to this place you need to take a ferry from Aberdeen jetty. You can get the ferries from 8:30 in the morning till 12:30 in the afternoon with a gap of one hour after each departure. The last ferry is available at 2:30 pm. It costs INR 75 per person to travel by ferry.
It is a tranquil and beautiful beach just 8 kilometers away from Port Blair. Corbyn Cove Beach is one of the places to enjoy in Port Blair. While the enchanting blue water is ubiquitous in Andaman, the green canopy of the coconut trees, the serene beach and a number of water sports make this beach a paradise for tourists. Among the water sports that you can enjoy here are surfing, scuba diving, boating, etc. You can also indulge in some great swimming and sunbathing here. From here tourists also visit Snake Island, which is infamous for its venomous snakes.
It is an island located just 17 kilometres from Port Blair and is famous for bird watching, sightseeing, and photography. It will take about 45 minutes by car to reach this place. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Andaman especially for those who love to watch birds. The island is encircled by dense mangrove forest and plays host to a number of different species of birds from different countries of the world.
Besides bird watching and enjoying the enchanting natural vibe, you can get a grand view of the sunset from here. If you are keen to watch birds, you need to visit this place during the morning hours since it is at this time that you can find the birds active. The cacophony of different species of birds imparts an altogether different vibe to this place. However, if you want to enjoy the sunset, you need to stay put till around 4:00 pm.
Munda Pahar Beach is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Port Blair and trekking to this place is one of the least arduous and enjoyable treks that you may have had. The place is around 2-3 kilometers away from Chidiya Tapu and about 25 kilometers from Port Blair. It will take about half an hour to reach the place by car. The crystal clear water and the tranquil sea impart a unique character to this beach. You will love strolling along the shore and relaxing on the soft sand. It is also a good place to enjoy swimming around the beach. No worries; patrolling boats are always around to ensure your safety.
Located at a distance of about 25 kilometers from Port Blair, Wandoor Beach is a small and sandy beach near the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. It is one of those beaches where the mighty sea seems to have lost its ferocity and decided to let visitors enjoy the tranquil side of it. It is one of the most popular places to see in Port Blair.
The crystal clear water, the nonchalant sea without waves, and the colourful corals are the highlights of this beach. It is ideal for swimming, and there is ample arrangement for changing clothes before and after swimming. People visit this place mainly for relaxing their mind and body and experience the other aspect of the sea; the relaxing and soothing aspect.
When you are in Port Blair, you must visit this park. This is a marine park by the side of Wandoor Beach at a distance of about 18 kilometres from Port Blair. It will take about half an hour from Port Blair to reach this place. Here you can get a glimpse into the marine life of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the must-visit tourist attractions of Port Blair. The park has numerous varieties of flora and fauna. All the flora and fauna have been maintained under special climatic conditions.
You would come across saltwater crocodiles, starfishes, turtles, etc. There is also a coral reef where you can spot a variety of exotic birds such as herons, White-Bellied Sea Eagle, parakeets, etc. You can also engage in some adventure sports such as snorkelling, scuba diving, riding on glass-bottom boats, etc.
If you are an avid birdwatcher, then the Mount Harriet Tour can be close to your heart. It is situated at the Mount Harriet National Park at a distance of about 42.5 kilometres from Port Blair. The park is surrounded by a veritable collection of 393 plant species. It is home to an astounding 90 different species of mammals and birds. You may also come across some unique varieties of reptiles, moths, marine turtles, elephants, etc. Looking at the setting sun from the park is an attraction that few tourists want to miss. Overall, it is enjoyable and relaxing to visit and wander about this park. The park is open from 7:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening.
The underwater sea walk at North Bay Island is an amazing experience that no visitor worth his salt would want to miss. It is among the few compelling places to see in Port Blair and a very popular destination for tourists. To go to this place you either need to charter a boat from Andaman Water Sports Complex or Junglighat jetty. The place of boarding is not fixed and you need to ascertain this fact before departure.
The alluring coral reefs, the old lighthouse, and an array of water sports like scuba diving, sea walking, snorkelling, etc. make this island a famous tourist place. However, it is the opportunity to sea walk that makes it a distinct island in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Experiencing diverse marine life while walking on the seafloor is an amazing experience. You can spot various types of fishes, coral reefs, lobsters, and a lot more. The sea here has a maximum depth of 25-feet.
If shopping is on your list of things to do and you are an expert in bargaining, the Aberdeen Bazar is a must-go in your list of places to see in Port Blair. This is the main market of Port Blair. There are a number of roadside stalls and government emporiums in this market selling a variety of different wares. Though you cannot call it a shoppers’ paradise, you can get artefacts made of wood, fabrics, T-shirts, jewellery, etc. here.
There is also a good restaurant here known as Lighthouse Residency where you can have a sumptuous meal after your shopping itinerary is over. You can get stuff like authentic pearl jewellery, coconut lampshades, bangles, home decor accessories made from shells, paper mache tribal masks, etc. from the Government Emporium.
The marine museum at Delanipur in Port Blair is among the most popular places to see in Port Blair for the curious ones. It has a rich repository of various marine flora and fauna including those found at the deepest parts of the sea. It takes about half a day to have a complete tour of the museum as it houses a variety of collections of corals, shells, and fishes found in the Andaman Islands.
There is also the skeleton of a blue whale, which draws a huge number of tourists. The museum is open from 9:00 to 12:00 during the morning and from 2:00 to 5:00 in the evening daily except on Mondays as well as holidays. There is also a small gift shop on the museum premises where you can buy a memento.
Visitors to Port Blair have a preconceived notion about the tribes that inhabit different islands of the archipelago such as the Jarowas and the Sentinelis. To quench their curiosity for the anthropological diversity of the archipelago, the government has established an Anthropological Museum in Port Blair. It is among the most compelling places to see in Port Blair. It is here that you get to know about the four Negrito tribes that inhabit the Andaman Islands – the Jarawas, Great Andamanese, Sentinelese, and Onges.
There are also two Mongoloid tribes in the Nicobar Islands, known as Shompens and Nicobarese. Since your tour of Andaman may not cover all the areas, and it is not likely that you would come across all the tribes, you can have a fair idea about all the tribes under one roof at this Anthropological Museum. It is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and opens again from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm daily except Mondays and holidays. Here you can uncover a lot of the city’s tribal history. In fact, there is a lot to see and learn here.
Like many other destinations, people going to Port Blair have a preconceived notion about the tribal life, flora, and fauna of Port Blair. Come and experience in reality what this natural and cultural paradise has to offer. Its sun-soaked beaches, coral life, azure blue horizon, a variety of museums showcasing a variety of aspects of tribal life, fishes and marine life, the tranquil beaches, and scintillating water sports can transport you to a different world altogether.
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