Andaman Islands- Hidden Gems of India

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean and dense mangrove forests, far from the hustle and bustle of the cities, about 850 miles east of the Indian subcontinent, you will find Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Along with the crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and green serene view, Andaman is an ideal location for tourists who want a tranquil and reviving vacay. From hills, rivers to valleys, from forest to blue coastlines, beautiful breathtaking views are to be found everywhere.

Andaman has more than 300 small islands, only some of them are inhabited. The three major islands are North Andaman, Middle Andaman, and South Andaman—closely positioned and collectively known as the Great Andaman. Of the two ways to reach there, by air and by ships, we opted for air from Kolkata to Port Blair, the capital town of Andamans. After staying a few days in Port Blair we took a ferry ride to the famous Havelock Island. Havelock island has one of India’s prettiest beach stretches. Our beachfront resort had a private beach access. The moment I stepped on the beach, I felt smooth white sands under my feet.

I was in awe, I was surrounded by the lush tropical trees and in front of me was the endless blue horizon. Havelock island is one of the popular tourists’ destinations, famous for pristine coastlines and luxurious hotels and restaurants.                                          Next, we visited the Long Island, famous for snorkeling and scuba diving. The Andaman Islands are a world-class destination for scuba diving, and the area around Long Island has some of the best dive sites in the Andamans. Since I don’t know swimming, I was very scared to go. Then I found an efficient snorkel guide, who was very helpful, after a couple of shaky trials, and then I was able to see Andaman’s marine life, so many colors, full of corals, colorful small fishes in batches, it was unbelievable, almost dreamlike, I was floating away with the fishes in the colorful water kingdom.

The next day, we visited Little Andaman, the best surfing destination in India. We missed their famous elephant safari. Andaman is full of surprises, away from the mainland, where you can find isolated beaches and if your adventure mind wants something exciting, then you can choose any kind of activity like water sports, fishing, beachside camping, trekking, sea walking, mangrove creek safari, bird watching and many other fun activities. Besides the snorkeling, another interesting discovery for me was to meet with Jarawa, one of the primeval tribes, they are quite popular among the tourists. Like most tribal peoples, Jarawa also live self-sufficiently on their ancestral Jarwas are believed to have lived in Andamans islands for up to 55.000 years. We had to travel quite a distance just to take a glance of them.

Our next destination was Baratang Islands, where we visited the limestone caves and the mud volcano.

In the last couple of days of our trip, we stayed again in Port Blair. Port Blair is the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, famous for many historical sights. The Cellular Jail is the main historic attractions in Port Blair. It is a National Memorial of India. We attended their popular light and sound show in the Central Jail. The show narrates the saga of the Indian freedom struggle.

It was a great trip, away from cities, relaxing on the white sand beach, watching the magnificent sunsets, snorkeling, the red snapper and crab feast, adventurous trekking, the mad ferry ride on the Indian Ocean, Cellular Jail, wow, we had spent almost 2 weeks there, but it seems not enough, we have to go there again,there is much more to discover, much to see, much to experience, again to the Andamans.

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