Andaman and Nicobar are a group of several islands which cover an area of 8,073 sq. kilometres. A union territory of India, it was first inhabited by several indigenous tribes and then was turned into a penal colony by the British.
Famous for its white sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters, Andaman and Nicobar Islands happen to be one of the best tourist destinations in India. Every year, thousands of tourists visit these islands, which include tourists from varied parts of the world.
We have put together a list of places that you should visit if you ever find yourself in the islands.
- The Cellular Jail
Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is home to a very prominent historic structure, The Cellular Jail. Built in 1896 by the British, the jail housed some prominent Indian freedom fighters like Batukeshwar Dutt and Veer Savarkar who were involved in the freedom struggle in the Indian mainland.
The construction of this jail began in the year 1896 and went on till 1906. Comprising of 7 wings, the entire structure was designed in a criss cross manner with the centre of the jail being a tower which was used by the guards to keep an eye on the prisoners. The cells were built in a manner where each cell faced the back of another cell. Every evening a Sound and Light Show is put up which tells the story of the heroic struggle of these freedom fighters.
- Samudrika Museum
Samudrika Museum is managed by the Navy. The whole reason behind setting up such an establishment was to make people a lot more aware regarding the importance of the conservation of the aquatic life as well as resources that are found in the Andaman and the Nicobar Islands. There is also plenty of information about tribals.
The entire museum can be divided into 5 different sections: the history of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Geography of the Islands, People of the Islands, Marine Life and lastly the Archaeology. The museum has a rich display of natural coral reefs while also displaying the rich flora and fauna of the region which are unique to this part of the world.
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The Museum is open at all days except Monday between 9 in the morning and 12 in the noon. It again opens at 2 in the afternoon to 5 in the evening.
- The Anthropological Museum
Anthropological Museum situated at Port Blair was built back in 1975 and has a beautiful display of artefacts from the islands like weapons, clothes, boats, baskets, models, photographs etc not to mention the fact that it also houses the records of the expeditions that have been undertaken back in the day. The library that is present in the museum too has a rich reference regarding the tribal culture of the island.
- Viper Island
Before the infamous Cellular Jail came into existence, people were incarcerated in the Viper Island. On top of this island stood a jail which housed the criminals and the revolutionaries from the British era before they set up the Cellular Jail. The ruins of the jail that was built in 1867 by the British can still be found today. The island can be reached easily via cruise from Port Blair. If you overlook the fact that the island used to house a gruesome prison, you will see that the island is very beautiful. The sunset at the place is worth watching.
- Havelock Island
Located about 54 kms from Port Blair, Havelock Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is especially famous for its beautiful beaches and is known to have some of the best snorkelling and diving sites. Reaching Havelock is very easy since there are regular ship services which run between Havelock and Port Blair.
Two of the most famous beaches on Havelock Island are Elephant Beach and Radhanagar Beach. While at the Elephant Beach you can witness the Elephants swimming around in the beautiful water or even getting trained.
The biggest activity at the Havelock Island is scuba diving. Apart from this you can laze around on the beaches and eat some tasty sea food.
- Limestone Caves
The limestone caves at Baratang Island are a site that must be visited while you are at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The caves are a natural wonder and you will be left admiring it for hours. It has several stalagmites and stalactites which will grab your attention immediately. What is also fun is the speed boat ride which gets you to the island. It passes through the canopy of forests which also happens to be home to the Jarwa tribe.
Having an experienced guide will make this experience a lot more memorable by filling you in about all the interesting facts about the history of the caves.
- Corbynís Cove
Corbynís Cove is nothing but a beautiful, perfect and serene beach with its soft sand and picturesque background complete with coconut palms and blue sea. The major attractions of the beach like most of the places in the island are the water sports activities. The major water sport attractions here include boating, scuba diving and surfing. There are several resorts, guest houses and restaurants at just a stone throwís away from the beach, offering great choices for accommodation.
- Mount Harriet
This was once a summer headquarter of the British Chief Commissioner. The highest point in all of Port Blair, it is ideal for a trekking or even for a picnic. Just 55 kms away from Port Blair, it can be reached by road as well as a ferry. At the height of 365 m you will find a guest house.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a beautiful place to spend some time away from home. There are several beautiful beaches and historical sites to explore.
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