As a traveller, you’re always a seeker. You leave your home each time seeking grasses which are greener, waters a little bluer and existence, perhaps, a little truer. This quest for greener pastures may never ever come to an end, but the Andamans are sure to become an important bookmark in your travel diary, once you visit the place.
The Andaman Islands are one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India today. Famous for its serene, white sandy beaches, the islands are characterised by sparkling turquoise waters, sure to enchant anyone who sees them.
Sprinkled over a corner of the Indian Ocean, the islands are part of India, but are geographically closer to Myanmar and Thailand. Mythologically, the name Andaman was presumed to be derived from the Hindu deity Hanuman, who was known to the Malays as ‘Handuman’.
The picturesque undulating islands, numbering around 572, are covered with dense rain-fed, damp, evergreen forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna.
The charm of the Andamans lies in its amiable coral islands, alleviating white beaches, dense green tropical forests and most importantly, its absolute seclusion.
The islands have been blessed with sublime landscapes and equipped with beautiful small markets which makes them the perfect destination for sightseeing and shopping, or even just to relax.
In addition to this, the Island Tourism Festival is celebrated in Port Blair for 15 days between December and February which attracts a large number of tourists every year.
It is not just the union of the serene skies and turquoise waters which make the Andamans unique, but also the fact that the people of this island, who belong to different faiths and speak different languages, live together in complete harmony. Inter-religion and inter-regional marriages are thus common here, giving Andaman the title of Mini-India.
The Andaman Islands are no less than a heaven for nature lovers and thus attract a large number of tourists all year round. This archipelago is a beautiful place that caters as a superlative holiday destination.
Highlights – The entire group of islands is filled with various activities and sights that are sure to leave you mesmerised; but there are some you surely can’t miss out on.
- Port Blair: Surrounded by tropical forests and a rugged coastline, the lively Port Blair serves as the provincial capital of the Andamans. It acts as a gateway to the pristine islands, and is full of an interesting history as well as monuments.
- Havelock Island: Around 38k from the capital, filled with sublime silken beaches, twinkling teal shadows and some of the best diving locations in South Asia, Havelock has the well-deserved reputation of being a traveler’s paradise. For most of the visitants, visiting Havelock is as good as visiting the Andaman in entirety, as they choose to stay there for the extent of their trip.
- Neil Island: Although with beaches not as luxurious as its famous neighbour, Havelock, Neil Island has a charm of its own. Peace, tranquility, and relaxation are synonymous with this place.
- Diglipur: Located towards the north of the island, this place is a giant outdoor park for adventure and nature. Home to a world-famous turtle nesting site, the Andamans’ peak, inactive volcanoes and a network of caves, Diglipur is a must visit as well.
Getting around Andaman – Air/Boat/Bus/Local transport
Nearest Airport – Veer Savarkar International Airport (Port Blair Airport)
Capital – Port Blair
Language – Bengali is the most widely spoken language across the Andamans, followed by Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
Average temp and weather – 23°C to 31°C (Tropical climate)
Best time to visit – Year-round (January to December)
DEC – MAR: Warm, sunny weather (Good for diving and turtle nesting)
OCT – DEC & MAR – MAY: Mixed weather (Fewer tourist and lower costs)
FEB – AUG: Pumping waves (Great for surfing)
Activities to do – Scuba-diving, snorkeling, camping, surfing, trekking, sea-cruises, swimming and sight-seeing.
Food specialties – Huge variety of sea food
Average suggested stay – 7 days (Minimum)
Cost – 50,000 average (per person per week, flights included)