India >> Andaman and Nicobar Islands >> Port Blair Travel Guide
Port Blair Hotels and Travel Guide
Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, that comprises of 350 odd islands. Out of these huge number of islands only few of them are Inhbaited. These are islands are yet to be touched by the amenities of the modern life, these islands are truly provides a perfect tropical paradise. The history of this island is not a very hapy one as this was used as a torture cell for the Indians who were caught by the Britishers while trying to fight against the British raj in India. The prisoners brought to this place were sent here never to be seen again by there families. Earlier feared and dreaded by the people this tropical haven was named 'kala pani' or the place of black waters.
These islands are a true paradise for ecologists and ornithologists with more than 242 species of birds, 46 species of mammals and 78 species of reptiles, some of them almost extinct still walk these islands. Port Blair supports a population of around 300,000 that are mostly dependent on the tourists for their lively hood. Port Blair also supports a lot of museums that are part of the town. The best museum is the city is the navy museum that is about various coral reefs and shells that are found around this city. Also zoological park and the mini zoo in the area offering various wildlife species are quiet popular with locals and tourists.
Andamans is more a place to swim, breathe the fresh airs than shop. Nevertheless, Port Blair's markets have muti hued and multi sized corals and sea shell souvenirs for sale. Mother of pearl jewellery and artifacts, objects d'art in local wood and palm mats are also available.
MAHATMA GANDHI MARINE NATIONAL PARK, WANDOOR (29 KMS, FROM PORT BLAIR)
This Park is made up of open sea, creeks and fifteen small and large islands covering an area of 28.15 Sq. Kms. One can see mangrove forests along the creeks and magnificent tropical forest, fascinating coral reefs and rare under-water marine life. The Park is the base to visit islands like Jolly Buoy, Red Skin and Cinque famous fore exotic marine life, rare colourful under-water corals and mangrove creeks. Glass bottom boats help to take a close look of the coral colonies, a memorable experience. Snorkeling equipment is available on hire. Conducted tours are available from Andaman Teal House. Port Blair Te: 34060/32642, Boats are available from Wandoor for the coral islands of Jolly Buoy and Red Skin.
CINQUE ISLANDS (26 KMS, FROM PORT BLAIR) Declared as a sanctuary these are enchanting islands with rare corals and under water marine life and tropical rain forest. The inost fascinating part is a rare sandy beach with a sand joining the islands, the North and South Cinque. Chartered boats of permitted category are allowed which are available from Port Blair, Chidiya Tapu and Wandoor.
CHIDIYA TAPU (25 KMS, FROM PORT BLAIR) Generally known as Bird Island, at the southern most tip of South Andaman, the lush green mangroves and the beach make it an ideal picnic site. The forest guest house situated on top of ahillock provides a fabulous view of isolated islands, submerged corals and the breath taking sunset. Conducted tours are available from Andaman Teal House, Port Blair.
Flooded area near Port Blair
On the route from Port Blair
MOUNT HARRIET (55 KM, BY ROAD 15 KM BY FERRY AND ROAD FROM PORT BLAIR) The summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj, it is an ideal place for a nice and fascinating view of the sun, sea and sand. It is 365 metres high, the highest peak in the South Andamans. One can trek upto Madhuban through a nature trail and can find rare flora and fauna, endemic birds, animals and butterflies. Conducted tours to Mt. Harriet are available from Andaman Teal House.
SIPPIGHAT FARM (14 KMS) Sprawling over an area of 80 acres is a Government farm. Research and development programmes for cultivation of spicies like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut and pepper are conducted.
Research and Demonstration farm of the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) is nearby.
ROSS ISLAND A short boat ride from Phoenix Bay Jetty. Ross Island, was the seat of the British Administration. Important ruins include a Church, Cemetry, Swimming Pool and Chief Commmissioner's residence. A small museum of Indian Navy, Smritika, has a good collection of old records. Boats are available from Phoenix Bay Jetty, Port Blair daily except Wednesday.
VIPER ISLAND HARBOUR CRUISE Viper Island is very near to Port Blair and was the old Jail were Britishers used to harbour convicts. It has ruins of gallows atop a hillock. The Jail was abandoned when Cellular Jail was constructed in 1906. The Harbour cruise available daily from Phoenix Bay Jetty provides a panoramic view of severn points from the sea, Harbour, Chatham Island, etc. and includes a trip to Viper Island.
NEIL ISLAND (36 KMS FROM PORT BLAIR.) The beautiful island with lush green forest and sandy beaches is connected by boat from Port Blair four days a week. It provides an ideal holiday for eco-friendly tourists. Hawabill Nest guest house of the Directorate of Tourism ins situated here.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Port Blair
1. Samudrika Naval Maritime Museum, run by the Indian Navy. An interesting exhibition of the marine life, including all kinds of shells and molluscs.
2. Anthropological Museum, which is an ethnographic museum. Andaman & Nicobar Islands are inhabited by four Negroid Tribes ? Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges -- and two Mongoloid tribes of the Nicobar ? the Nicobarese and the Shompens. The museum showcases utensils, dress and weapons from their life, creatively displayed in life-size huts once occupied by tribals.
3. Forest Museum displays decorative pieces of woodwork made from timber such as Padauk, Marble, Peama or Satin.
4. Zoological Survey of India Museum.An unbelievable number, about 2,000 species, of animals are housed in the museum, which also exhibits the typical group of animals found on these islands.
Cellular Jail is horrendous monument of human torture constructed by Britishers in 1906 to crush the bodies and the spirits of the freedom fighters.
Nature has created Port Blair with great care and it shows in every view that catches your eye, whether it is the setting sun or the luxuriant mangroves or the colourful panorama of the wild orchids.
How to Reach Port Blair
Ferries leave from Phoenix Bay in Port Blair every Wednesday and Friday.
Havelock Islands (45 km)
Havelock, full of Bengali settlers is the largest of a scattering of islets northeast of Port Blair. The island, popular for its long white beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs with dolphins, turtles and large fish is slightly hilly and very fertile. Elephants brought here to work now offer rides to tourists. Fruit and vegetables are grown for sale.