6 Landmarks In Port Blair Worth Seeing
Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the Union Territories of India. It is one of the most picaresque places in the entire subcontinent and the place also has a remarkable history, given the fact that it was a prime center under British rule in India. The city has mesmerizing beaches and those who come here, do so for its tranquility and peaceful surroundings. There are many beaches in India, but what sets Port Blair apart is its somewhat secluded location because of its being an island city. Here are some of the top places you should definitely visit when you are here.
Top 6 Things to do in Port Blair:
- Cellular Jai
- Anthropological Museum
- Corbyn’s Cove
- Chidiya Tapu
- Ross Island
1. Cellular Jail
The history of Port Blair is inextricably linked to the Cellular Jail and it is today, the main Port Blair point of interest here. The jail was set up and used up by the British to imprison Indian revolutionaries who dared to raise their voice against the colonial rule. It is today considered a national monument. What made the jail so secure back then was that since it was completely detached from the mainland and there were no other forms of transport in and out except for the British vessels, the imprisonment was absolute and complete. Even if the revolutionaries could get out of the jail wall, which was next to impossible, they could never leave the island. The construction of this formidable prison was completed in 1906. It originally had seven blocks with three storey that was around a central tower. All the cells here were single cells, which meant solitary confinement for the prisoners and from where the jail gets its name. Today, a museum is also housed within the jail premises, which narrates the story of the revolutionaries and their struggles. The prison remains open on all days except on national holidays, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and again from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm. Camera charges are extra.
Port Blair is one of the principal coastal cities of India which is striving to promote the ecological balance in the oceans and for the preservation of aquatic life. There are a number of museums in the city which help to promote awareness among the tourists about the importance of preserving marine life and Samudrika is one of them. Also known as the Naval Marine Museum, the museum is located in the Delanipur area of the city and there is a stunning collection of shells, corals and marine fossils to be seen here. There are also all kinds of marine fish and the museum is a great educational experience. There are tables and charts that narrate the importance of particular species in the food chain and how they help to maintain the ecological balance of the oceans. The museum is open from 9 am to 12 noon and from 2 pm to 5pm except on Mondays and on holidays.
Considering the fact that there are many other similar museums in Port Blair, one can also visit the Fisheries Museum and the Zoological Survey Museum to know more about aquatic flora and fauna. Be sure to come here with enough time to spare as you are sure to get engrossed.
3. Anthropological Museum
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were predominantly home to many tribes and some of them are the Jarawas, Sentinelese and the Onges. There were also two Mongoloid tribes of the Nicobar, the Nicobarese and the Sompens. A study of these indigenous tribes of the region is most interesting and you can find details about them in this museum. It is amazing how some of these tribes are still among the last uncontacted people on the planet, especially the Sentinelese. Those who visit Port Blair, especially those who come here for research and anthropological missions, often visit remote islands for their study. Tourists however, have restricted access and they can only know about the interesting facts about these tribes from such museums. One can see the weapons and day to day items used by the various tribes, their clothing and their tools and equipment and also learn about their history and evolution and how they have adapted to their changing surroundings. Visiting this museum is one of the most interesting things to do in Port Blair. The museum is open from 9 am to 1 pm and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm on all days except on Mondays and government holidays.
4. Corbyn’s Cove
If you have a desire to visit the most stunning and beautiful beach of Port Blair, then you have to head towards Corbyn’s Cove. The chaos and cacophony of a busy city life is left far behind in this pristine location. It is in fact, one of the most beautiful spots in the entire Andaman and Nicobar islands. The beach here is about 6 km long and is lined with coconut and palm trees. You can see sea gulls and various other birds flying in the distance or swoop down into the waters to catch a fishy prey. There are small rocks and hillocks by the beach where you can sit and enjoy the view around. This beach is also one of the most popular ones for swimming and sun bathing. All kinds of water sports and can be enjoyed here as well and some of the activities to do in Port Blair are paragliding, jet skiing and boat rides as well. The Snake Island, which is just opposite Corbyn’s Cove, is also extremely popular with scuba divers. The waters here are very clear and it is so interesting to see corals, fish and various kinds of aquatic insects and reptiles in their natural habitat. The Waves Restaurant and the Beer Bar are run by the State Tourism Department and the food here is quiet delicious. Do not forget to try out various kinds of sea food that you get here and most of them are fresh catches of the sea for the day.
5. Chidiya Tapu
The region of Chidiya Tapu is about 28 km from Port Blair but it is quite easy to reach this place because it is very well connected by local bus service. It is actually at the southernmost end of the South Andaman Island, and it is truly a bird watcher’s paradise. All sorts of known and unknown birds are to be found here and you will have a field day photographing them. Tourists are requested not to make loud noises or to litter the place. The sunset here is very magical and to watch the birds return to their nests at this time of the day only heightens the atmosphere, and you feel truly one with nature. The sea is calm and tranquil here. You should also make it a point to visit the nearby Biological Park but it is important to follow the instructions and the boards around because this area has crocodiles roaming around. It is best not to wander off on one’s own. You should also keep a track of the bus timings because there are not too many overnight accommodations at this region.
6. Ross Island
One of the most interesting places to visit near to Port Blair is Ross Island and almost all those who come to Port Blair, visit here for some interesting things to do in Ross Island as well. The island is located merely 3 km east of Port Blair and is famous for its ruins and forests. The island was named after Captain Daniel Ross and this island too served as a prison at one time. The barracks that were built here were also built by the prisoners till they were sent to the nearby Viper Island. The Government House, which was the home of the Chief of Penal Settlement was once here but now only sections of it remain standing. The island was once a major seat of power under the British till its importance started dwindling around the 1880s. Later, the island was also captured by the Japanese in March of 1942 during the Second World War. There is also a lighthouse here but it can be accessed during low tides. From here, one can see the beautiful sea around and the lovely forests at the center of the island. While it can be quite an adventure to visit these forests, it is advisable not to go without a guide and not to venture too deep as the islands are home to a number of reptiles in the thickets.
How to Reach Port Blair?
With tourism really picking up in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there are a number of direct flights to Port Blair from almost all major Indian cities. What will make your visit truly special, however, is to take a ship to this island and you will sail across the majestic Bay of Bengal. You can travel by ship from Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam. It is so interesting to watch when the silhouette of the island slowly comes into view in the distance!
Do visit this enchanting beach town and you are sure to fall in love with this island.
Hi! I am Paridhi. When not downing endless cups of coffee and binge-ing on Masala Fries, I can be found deeply engrossed in contemporary novels. Delhiite by birth and nomad by passion. I travel and I know things. I write travel blogs by day and binge watch thriller and rom-com by night.
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