South Andaman - Port Blair and Around
South Andaman is today the most heavily populated of the Andaman
Islands, particularly around the capital, Port Blair. Foreign tourists
can only visit its southern reaches western shores at Wandoor, 35-km
southwest of Port Blair.
With one's own transport it's easy to find one's way along the narrow
bumpy roads that connect small villages, weaving through forests and
coconut fields, and skirting the swamps and rocky outcrops that form the
coastline. Port Blair Andaman, a characterless cluster of tin-roofed buildings
tumbling towards the sea in the north, east and west and petering into
fields and forests in the suit, merits only a short stay.
Andaman Water Sports Complex
This is a unique sports complex of its kind. Facilities for safe water
sports and adventure water sports such as Water Skiing, Water Scooters,
Gemini Boats, Parasailing, Sail Boats, Wind Surfers, Speed Boats and
Glass Bottom Boats For Coral/ Ship Wreck Viewing, etc. are available
here. Saline water swimming pool, promenade for morning/evening walk,
change room & Food Plaza are available near to the complex. There is
a memorial built to commemorate the battle of Aberdeen, fought between
the British and Andamanese aborigines in May 1859 in which many
Prime Attractions of Port Blair India
» Islands of Port Blair Andaman
Travel Port Blair to explore its amazing attractions, which can be listed as:
§ Viper Island :
The Britishers used to
harbour convicts here. The first jail was constructed here which was
abandoned after the construction of Cellular Jail. It has a gallows atop
a hillock, where condemned prisoners were hanged. Sher Ali, who killed
Lord Mayo, the Viceroy of India in 1872, was also hanged here.
§ Ross Island :
Once the seat of British power
and capital of Andaman Islands, it stands now as a ruin of the bygone
days with the old structure almost in debris. A small museum named
'Smritika' holds photographs and the other antiques of the Britishers
relevant to these islands.
» Beaches of Port Blair
§ Corbyn's Cove :
Corbyn's Cove, the coconut
palm fringed beach, ideal for sun basking, is 7-kms away from port Blair
town. Facilities like hotel, restaurant and bar, changing room etc., are
available near to the beach. Historical remains like Japanese bunkers
can be seen here. Snake Island situated nearby is famous for Scuba
§ Chatham :
The Chatham Saw Mill, one of the
oldest and largest mills in Asia, is built on a tiny island connected to
Port Blair by a bridge. It is a storehouse of timber like Padauk,
Gurjan, Marble, Satin Wood, etc. This island has the second largest
wharf of these islands, where island mainland ships can berth. The
island is near the Haddo wharf, which is the largest wharf in the
» Parks in Port Blair
§ Gandhi Park :
This beautiful park near to
the Raj Niwas has facilities like amusement rides, safe water sports,
nature trail around the lake, garden, restaurant and historic remains
like Japanese temple as well as a bunker.
§ Marina Park :
This park, right on the
seashore near to the water sports complex, has amusements rides,
children's traffic park and toy train. A suitable place for spending the
» Museums of Port Blair
§ Anthropological Museum :
This museum at
Phoenix Bay depicts the life of the Paleolithic Islanders. It also
houses the models of the aborigines and their tools.
§ Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum) :
opposite to Andaman teal house, Delanipur this museum is meant to create
awareness on various aspects of oceanic environment. A good collection
of shells, corals and a few species of colourful fishes found in these
islands are on display.
» Zoo / Aquarium in Port Blair
§ Aquarium (Fisheries Museums) :
Andaman water sports complex, it exhibits species of marine life
peculiar to the islands and found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Bay
§ Mini Zoo :
Situated at Haddo (Delanipur -
Chatham Road), it houses some of the rare species of endemic birds and
animals found n these islands.
Other Attractions of Port Blair
§ Cellular Jail :
Port Blair's only firm
reminder of its gloomy past, the sturdy brick Cellular Jail, overlooks
the sea from a small rise in the northeast of town. Built between 1896
and 1905, its tiny solitary cells were quite different and far worse
than the dormitories in other prison blocks erected earlier. Only three
of the seven wings that originally radiated from the central tower now
remain. Visitors can peer into the cells (3m by 3.5m), and imagine the
grim condition under which the prisoners existed. The Sound ad Light
show outlines the history of the prison, and a small museum by the
entrance gate exhibits lists of convicts, photographs and grim torture
Excursions of Port Blair
§ Chidiya Tapu (25-km. By Road From Port Blair) :
Chidiya Tapu is the southern most tip of South Andaman Island. The
lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the
sylvan sands and Munda Pahar beaches make it an ideal picnic site. One
can witness breathtaking sunsets over here.
§ Mount Harriet(55-km, By Road 55-km/15-km By
Ferry And Road From Port Blair) :
One can take a ferry service from
the Chatnam wharf to Bamboo flat. From there one can take a vehicle to
Mt Harriet, which is 365m. A natural trail takes to the top and one can
have a comfortable stay at the forest guesthouse. Towards the north is
the Mt. Harriet National Park and Madhuban. One can watch the elephants
being trained to carry logs over here.
§ Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Wandoor
(29-km. By Road From Port Blair) :
This park is made up of open sea,
creeks and fifteen small and large islands covering an area of
281.5-sq-kms. One can see mangrove forests along the creeks and
magnificent tropical forests, beautiful beaches, fascinating coral reefs
and schools of ornamental fish and marine life. Wandoor is the base to
visit the islands in this park like Jolly Buoy and redskin. Glass bottom
boats help to take a closer look at the coral colonies. A perfect place
for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling.
» Island Destinations
§ Rangat (170-km. By road And 90-km. By Sea) :
One can enjoy the quiet village life and solitude of virgin nature
here. You can also breathe unpolluted air, a rare commodity for the city
dweller. Cutbert bay beach is a turtle nesting ground. One can view the
nesting of turtles during December - February season.
§ Neil Island (36-km. By Sea From Port Blair) :
This beautiful island with lush green forest and sandy beaches is
the vegetable bowl of Andamans. Connected by boat from Port Blair four
days a week, it provides an ideal holiday for eco friendly tourists.
Hawabill nest guesthouse of the Directorate of Tourism provides
comfortable accommodation here. One can feel the sincerity and serenity
of village life here. Beautiful beaches at Lakshmanpur, Bharatpur,
Sitapur and the natural bridge formations on the seashore are the
§ Long Island (82-kms. By Sea From Port Blair) :
Connected by boat four times a week from Phoenix Bay Jetty, this
island offers an excellent sandy beach at Lalaji Bay, unpolluted
environment and evergreen forests. The sea around the island is
frequented by dolphin convoys. Lalaji Bay, 6-km away from the boat
jetty, is accessible by 15 minutes journey in Doonghies or trekking
through the forest. Island camping (tent accommodation) is available
seasonally over here.
§ Havelock Island (50-kms. By Sea From Port Blair
- Via Neil Island 62-km) :
This island, near to Neil Island, offers
beautiful sandy beaches and lush green forest. Radhanagar Beach, 12-km
from the jetty on the western side of the island, is one of the most
sought after tourist destinations in the islands. One can enjoy quite
holidays in the lap of Mother Nature over here.
§ Little Andaman Island (120-km. By Sea From Port
Little Andaman Island offers a perfect mix of white sandy
beaches bewitching waterfalls, boating through the creeks, exciting
elephant safari, elephant safari, elephant lumbering, elephant calls
training, surfing etc. All the places of tourist interest are
approachable by the road, leading northwards from the Hutbay by Jetty.
§ Island (139-km. By Sea From Port Blair) :
is the only active volcano in India. Erupted twice in recent past, once
in 1991 and again in 1994-95, after remaining dormant for about 177
years. This island, about 3-km in diameter, has a big crater of the
volcano, about half kilometer away from the shore. Barren Island can be
visited by special boats and the visit is restricted to on board vessels
only. Landing ashore is not allowed.
Place to stay in Port Blair
The options of accommodation in Port Blair vary from posh guesthouses
and tourist resorts to reasonable economy class guesthouses and tourist
PRACTICALITIES Port Blair has two jetties: Boats from the mainland moor
at Haddo Jetty, 1-km north of Phoenix Jetty, arrival point for
inter-island ferries, but you can also check the shipping news column of
the local newspaper, for details of forthcoming departures.
The Ramshackle Airport is 4-km south of town at Lamba line. Entry
permits are issued to foreigners from the counter in the corner of the
arrivals hall while the baggage is being transferred. Taxis are on hand
for the trip into town.
Road names are not used much in Port Blair, with most establishments
addressing themselves simply by their local area. The name of the
busiest and most central area is Aberdeen Bazaar, where one will find
the Superintendent of Police (for permit extensions), the SCI office for
Onward Bookings by Sea, and the State Bank of India (Monday-Friday, 9.00
am - 1.00 pm, Saturday 9.00 - 11.00 am). Some hotels also have the
facility to change Travellers' Cheques.
Nearby Cities of Port Blair
- 1190 Km
» Calcutta - 1255 Km
- 1200 Km
How to Get There
Port Blair, on South Andaman, is served by
fights from Calcutta (Kolkata) (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday)
and Chennai (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Sea: It's also possible to
get to Port Blair by ship. The principle sailings leave Calcutta
(Kolkata) and Chennai every one of two weeks, and Vishakapatnam once
every month or so.
Tourists arriving by plane can pick up the permit necessary to visit
the islands on arrival at Port Blair airport; passengers travelling on a
ship should obtain on at a Foreigners' Registration Office before
Local Transport :
Walking is tiring and
time-consuming in hilly Port Blair, even taking into account the minimal
amount of sightseeing the place offers, making transport essential.
Yellow-top taxis gather opposite the bus stand and they all have meters.
They are the best option one can have for a trip from the center of town
to Corbyn's Cove. No rickshaws, auto-or otherwise, operates on the
Local buses run in frequently from the bus stand in central Port Blair
to Wandoor and Chirya Tapu, and can be used for day-trips, though it's
best to rely on one's own transport to get around South Andaman.
Bicycles can be rented from Aberdeen Bazaar, but the roads to the coasts
are most easily covered on a Vespa or Motorcycle, both available for
rent. The petrol pump is on the crossroads west of the bus stand, and
there's another on the road towards the airport. Fill up before one
leaves town, as gas is hard to come by elsewhere.
So this holidays plan your tour to Port Blair to explore this elite place of India.