The most intriguing destinations in the Andaman Islands
Have you ever seen a live Volcano? If not, the Andaman Islands can get you near to the only live Volcano in India. There are many such intriguing and exotic locations in the Andaman Islands that are rarely covered in the usual Andaman tourism packages. I will take you through some such exotic locations not many would have seen or experienced in the Andaman Islands. Firstly, we should know the background story of the Andaman Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands belong to the Union Territories of India since 1950. Earlier, the Andaman Islands were ruled by the Chola and Maratha Empires many centuries back. In the 18th century, the Dutch invaded these resourceful islands and won over the territory. They had to face a lot of trouble colonizing the islands because of many unfavorable natural calamities. The British won over these islands and established their colony here for a while. They build the Cellular jail to confine the deported Indian and Burmese freedom fighters and used them to build their colonies. During the World War II, the Japanese invaded the islands and they ruled the Andamans till 1945 when Indians attacked the Japanese and they were forced to retract their troupe from the islands. So the Andaman Islands have remains of many of these rules some of which were destroyed in the Tsunami of 2004. If you are starting your incredible Andaman tour packages from Chennai you can reach the Port Blair airport in about 2 hours.
Barren Islands — The only live Volcano in India
The Barren Islands have the only live volcano in India and hence the only way to see these islands is through a sea plane or boat ride. You can book a ride from Port Blair for around 15000/- which can be availed at a discounted rate during off season. Even if you go by boat no one is allowed to get down as the volcano is very much alive. This is not usually a part of the usual Andaman holiday packages.
The Elephant Beach — Havelock Islan
If the Barren islands can give you chills, the Elephant Island will be an enjoyable trip. The beach is very pretty. The adjoining forests have elephant families living. You can see these elephants swimming in the sea which is an amusing sight. Some tour operators also offer Elephant rides through the beach. You can enjoy the beach and the ride here. The coral reefs in turquoise blue waters are very enticing. The Elephant Beach is usually covered in most of the Andaman holiday packages.
3 Islands — Ross, North Bay and Viper Island
The Ross Islands used to be the administrative headquarters of the British once. A strong earthquake destroyed a lot of buildings in the 1940s and the British just left the islands to rot. Later nature took its toll and dense forests with a lot of Banyan trees now make this island a nostalgic place to visit. The Indian authorities have rebuilt some of the old buildings from where tourists can buy some souvenirs. The North Bay islands in Port Blair are a popular place for water activities like snorkeling, boating and scuba diving. 30 minutes boat drive can take you to deep sea where you can see colorful coral reefs through the boat’s glass deck or even venture out for a sea walk with proper equipment and guide. This is a popular tourist activity in Port Blair and is usually included in most of the exciting Andaman holiday tour packages. The boat ride will last for 3 hours and you will be back in Port Blair before the sunset. The Viper Island’s only specialty is the women’s jail which is atop a hill and it is in ruins. Not many people visit these islands as there’s nothing else here to see. The panoramic view from the harbor is extraordinary and that’s probably the only highlight of the tour of Viper Island.
Trekking from Madhuban and Mount Harriet
Though both Madhuban and Mount Harriet are regular tourist spots in Andaman holiday packages, the 16-kilometre trek is an amazing activity during which you can breathe in some fresh air and also capture some breathtaking images of the colourful flora and fauna of these islands. The view from the top point of Mount Harriet is another highlight. You can reach this place by a vehicle also. You can capture some amazing pictures of Mount Harriet and the islands from the top of Mount Harriet during the monsoons.
Jolly Buoy and Red Skin Islands
These 2 islands are open for 6 months alternatively to protect the live corals. You can take a boat ride to the Wandoor beach early in the morning and enjoy the coral reefs and underwater marine life through the glass-floored boats. You can also get down and do some snorkelling or scuba diving for a short while to see this deep aquatic flora and fauna closely. Since the place is a regular tourist spot it will be crowded and there are very little arrangements available for changing dress for kids and ladies. These islands are regular in Andaman tour packages from Kolkata.
These islands are again not a regular place for the tourists though they have some beautiful beaches. The Moorys Dare here is rocky mountains where the adventure enthusiasts can enjoy trekking. The Panchavati hills have a beautiful waterfall and some beautiful farms which attract the botany enthusiasts.
Ray Hill and Forest Museum in Mayabunder
Ray Hill has an eco-village maintained by the ANIFPDCL. They have some eco-friendly guesthouses, elephant safari, rock climbing for kids and a small library. The Forest Museum has a lot of information about the trees, corals and the fauna of the islands which interests many students.
Beaches, creeks, mangroves, and tropical forests make Diglipur an enchanting place for the tourists to breathe in fresh air and relax. The Diglipur National Park offers trekking and there are some exquisite trees here including sandalwood and timber. The Mud Volcano here is really intriguing but the administration has to take some solid steps to improve the tourist information and other facilities provided here.