Welcome to Andaman Islands
With sparkling turquoise waters fringed by primeval jungle, fantastic diving, and sugar-white, sun-toasted beaches melting under flame-and-purple sunsets, the far-flung Andaman Islands are the perfect Indian escape.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the east of the Indian mainland geographically, float in splendid isolation in the Bay of Bengal. Once a hill range extending from Myanmar to Indonesia, these picturesque undulating islands, islets numbering around 572, are covered with dense rain-fed, damp and evergreen forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna. Most of these islands (about 550) are in the Andaman Group, 28 of which are inhabited. The smaller Nicobars, comprise some 22 main islands (10 inhabited). The Andaman and Nicobars are separated by the Ten Degree Channel which is 150 Kms. wide.
These islands also boast of freedom fighting days’ historically significant landmarks viz. Cellular Jail, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, Viper Island, Hopetown and Mount Harriet. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been declared as two of the 218 endemic bird area of the world. As many as 270 species and sub-species of birds have been reported existing in these islands, 106 of them being endemic. The Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Padauk and Dugong are declared as State Bird, State Tree and State Animal respectively. There are about 96 Wildlife Sanctuaries, nine National Parks and one Biosphere Reserve in the islands. These islands are blessed with the bounties of both south-west and north-east monsoons.
As far as pristine, hidden beaches in India are concerned, it doesn’t get any better than the picturesque Andaman & Nicobar Islands. And their capital city, Port Blair, is the only way to reach the archipelago by air, making it a gateway to one of India’s greatest natural treasures.
Surrounded by tropical forests, natural harbours, and a vibrant island culture and cuisine, Port Blair is a lot more than just a stopover and is definitely worthy of your time. So if you’re planning a trip to the Andaman Islands, here’s how to get the best out of Port Blair.
Getting to Port Blair
The only direct flights to Port Blair from the mainland are from the coastal metro cities of Chennai and Kolkata. However, several local airlines offer connecting flights to Port Blair from most major cities in the country. The flights from Chennai and Kolkata to the Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair take just under two hours and since the airport is comparatively smaller, you don’t need much time to find your way out of it. If you’re a foreign national visiting the Andaman Islands, however, you would need to get prior permissions and registration from the embassy and undergo a checking process in Port Blair, which could take up to half an hour.