Lying in the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands comprises islands, divided by the 150 km wide Ten Degree Channel (on the 10°N parallel) with the Andaman islands to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobar Islands the south.
With its capital being Port Blair, the Islands are distributed to three districts: North & Middle, South, and Nicobar district.
No. of islands: 572
Area: approx. 8,249 km2
Population: 4.34 lakhs (2019)
State Animal: Dugong
State Bird: Andaman Wood Pigeon
Latitude & Longitude: 6° to 14° North and 92° to 94° East
Languages & Religion
The official language of the Andaman Islands is Hindi; however, the most widely spoken language in the islands is Bengali. The other languages spoken are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and a few tribal languages.
The majority of the population contains Hindus (69.45%), Christians (21.7%), and Muslims (8.51%).
The only civil airport of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair. It is connected to the mainland from Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Visakhapatnam.
The other mode of transportation is through the ship from Chennai, Kolkata, and Visakhapatnam.
The Andamans were first visited by the navy of the English East India Company in 1789 and again in 1872. The two groups of islands were linked administratively by the British. And thus, they became the Republic of India in 1956.
The Andaman Islands was a penal establishment in the British reign. The Indian Revolters were held prisoners at the Cellular Jail, also known as Kalapani, located at Port Blair. It is now a National Memorial and is open for tourists and history enthusiasts. It consists of an art gallery and a photo exhibition and offers an evening light & sound show, which demonstrates the hardship of the great martyrs.
Another historic place in Port Blair is the Flag Point. On 30th December 1943, the great Netaji Subash Chandra Bose unfurled the first tri-color flag in Andaman and Nicobar Island, declaring the islands free territory from British rule, even before India achieved had its independence.
The Andaman Islands include various places of significance, thus known as the Historic Treasure.
Places to visit in the Andaman Islands
Port Blair is the capital town of the Andaman Islands, the most developed, and has the maximum population amongst the other islands. It is the only entry, and exit point into the islands since the Veer Savarkar International Airport is located here. Direct flights from Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Bangalore are available here. The multilingual state has various rich cultures and diversity.
1. National Memorial Cellular Jail
The National Memorial Cellular Jail showcases the history and the Indian freedom movement during the British Era in the islands. This jail was the colonial prison and a penitentiary for the revolutionaries who revolted against the British. Thus, it is also known as Kalapani.
This national memorial consists of a museum, an art gallery, and a photo exhibition. It is a famous tourist destination in the Andaman Islands. Another attraction at the spot is the evening light & sound show, which demonstrates the hardship of the martyrs.
2. North Bay
North Bay is known as the hub of water sports in Port Blair. The island is surrounded by crystal clear water and dwells rich diversity of vibrant corals and fish. Water Sports activities like Scuba Diving, Under-Sea walking, snorkeling, Glass-boat, and Jet Ski ride are available on this island.
North Bay also makes for a perfect hike from Mount Harriet while encountering dense palm groves and amazing views on the way.
3. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island (Ross Island)
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, formerly known as Ross Island, was the once headquarters for the British in the islands. However, it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1941. After that, the Japanese converted the site into a POW camp and built war installations. The ruins of which remain on the islands. The island is now under Naval control and is a famous tourist spot in Port Blair.
4. Chidiyatapu Beach
The southernmost point of Port Blair is Chidiyatapu Beach. Chidiyatapu is mainly famous for its extensive range of endemic and migratory birds and is a heaven for bird watchers and nature lovers.
The dense forests, stunning views of the ocean, and the faraway islands make for a stunning sunset at the famous sunset point.
5. Corbyn’s Cove Beach
Corbyn’s Cove Beach is the only beach in the city. It is the most visited by the locals and almost every tourist that comes to the Andaman Islands.
The crescent-shaped shoreline lined with coconut trees offers mesmerizing views of the sunrise. The beach also has Japanese Bunkers built in their reign, likewise, in Ross Island. You could sit on the pavement and enjoy this view early in the mornings.
6. Wandoor Beach
Wandoor is a village situated at the entrance of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, renowned for its beautiful beach, magnificent sunset views and its pristine waters, spectacular beauty, peaceful environment.
It takes about 30 minutes to reach Wandoor Beach from Port Blair. Tourists can visit this beach either in the morning or in the evening. A great line of beach-facing resorts are available near Wandoor beach, and it makes for a great day trip and picnic for families and honeymooners.
7. Jolly Buoy Island
The two islands, Jolly Buoy and Red Skin, located in the Wandoor area, come under the Mahatma Gandhi National Park’s Marine Sanctuary and are protected by the Government of Andaman Islands. The trip requires a drive to Wandoor Beach and a boat ride to Jolly Buoy Island.
Either of the islands is open one at a time to preserve the ecosystem.
They are known for their cleanliness and the rich biodiversity of aquatic life.
8. Mount Manipur National Park
Mount Manipur is the highest peak, about 1,257 ft. in South Andaman Islands and a National Park located in Port Blair.
It is excellent for trekking or hiking intended for nature and adventure lovers. The route consists of a thick jungle, exotic fauna, and a hill with a view. Far away islands, as well the city could be seen from the peak of this mountain.
You could visit this stunning place with your family and have a fun picnic day. The place also hosts a restaurant.
9. Samudrika Naval Marine Museum
Samudrika Naval Marine Museum is designed to create awareness of the various aspects of the oceanic ecosystem. It is located at the northern end of Port Blair, at Haddo. There are several aspects to the museums, such as the geographical history of the islands, the tribes, different corals and shells, and an aquarium containing numerous fish and sea animals.
10. Fisheries Museum
The Fisheries Museum is located near the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex. It is now turned into an aquarium that comprises over 350 species of marine animals. The display contains both live and specimens of the preserved animals such as shellfish, corals, crabs, sharks, and starfish. The most attractive are the life-sized skeletons of a dolphin and whale. The museum is very similar to the Samudrika Naval Marine Museum at Haddo.
11. Zonal Anthropological Museum
The Zonal Anthropological Museum endures spreading awareness about the history and cultures of the tribal communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The four Negrito Tribes of the islands include the Andaman’s Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese, and Onges, and two Mongoloid Tribes of the Nicobar’s Nicobarese and the Shompens.
12. Chatham Saw Mill
The Chatham Saw Mill is the largest and the oldest in Asia. Set up in 1883, with the intent to provide saw and timber for constructional purposes and other industries across the globe. It is located at Chatham Island, connected to Port Blair by a 100 meters long bridge.
The mill holds a great value of history as showcased in its museum with pictures of its different phases.
13. Biological Park, Chidiyatapu
The Chidiyatapu Biological Park is located very close to the sunset point at Chidiyatapu Beach. It is developed to preserve and offer a place to examine the biodiversity of Andaman’s endemic and endangered birds and animals. There is also a variety of rich flora and fauna and various animals.
14. Munda Pahad Beach
Lying about 30 km from the city, near Chidiyatapu Beach, this place is known for trekking and birdwatching. The pathway is rocky, covered with dense, tall trees on either side.
You could either tour this hill early morning for an adventurous and refreshing start of the day or in the evening so that you can visit the sunset point for a stunning sunset view.
The trek takes about 40-50 minutes, after which you reach the summit with an incredible view of the faraway islands and the reflecting sun in the water.
15. Manjeri Jetty
The stunning Manjeri Jetty lies about 15 km away from Port Blair. It is famous amongst the locals yet rarely visited by tourists. The road to the harbor is adventurous, with dense forests on either side and sudden jumps of seaside views and mangroves.
You have to obtain a permit of INR.50 each to get inside the gate of the harbor. As you enter the gate, the unmetalled road begins, accompanied by thick wildernesses which keep you close to nature. When you reach, you encounter a serene view of the nearby islands and the reflecting sun. The unreal see-through water dwells vibrant corals, sea cucumber, and fish. The location place is ideal for photography.
Swaraj Dweep (Havelock Island)
Havelock Island, which is now known as Swaraj Dweep, is the most visited in the Andamans. It is recognized for a perfect blend of tropical wilderness and white sand beaches. Radhanagar Beach at Havelock is the 7th best beach in Asia. The island is a paradise for nature lovers and island wanderers.
1. Radhanagar Beach
Radhanagar Beach at Havelock Island is an iconic beach for honeymooners, nature, and adventure lovers. It is certified as a blue flag beach and is known as the 7th best beach in Asia.
The crystal clear water and sand are so white symbolize an ideal exotic beach found in distinct foreign countries. Many resorts are located in and around the beach, with their different ambiances.
Thus, it is adored by travelers of all kinds, large groups, and families as well as the locals.
2. Elephanta Beach
Elephanta Beach is the hub of water sports activities in Havelock Island (Swaraj Sweep). The exciting marine life consisting of distinct vibrant corals and fish offers activities like Scuba Diving, under-sea walking, snorkeling, and many more.
Way to Elephanta Beach is an adventure in itself. It requires a speed boat ride from Havelock Island jetty, which is available easily.
You can also trek to Elephanta Beach, which takes about an hour. You will encounter various animals and birds through your trekking, which will ultimately lead to the charming beach, where you can engage in water sports or merely swim in the turquoise blue water.
3. Kalapathar Beach
The route to Kalapathar beach is picturesque. The white sandy beach lies on your left, and dense green vegetation on the right. The name ‘Kaalapathar’ is derived from the big huge rocks available on the beach. The beach is comparatively silent most of the time as very few people are seen wandering around. There are various eateries at the beach as well as small souvenir shopping places apart from swimming to keep you engaged the entire day.
Shaheed Dweep (Neil Island)
Neil Island is one of the most popular islands in the Andaman Islands. The tiny island is renowned for its vibrant corals and marine organisms. The serene beaches of Neil Island provide peace and tranquility.
1. Bharatpur Beach
Bharatpur Beach is the hub of water sports activities in Neil Island. Clear turquoise water and colorful corals make it a special place for adventurers and island wanderers. It has one of the best views of marine life you can find in the entire Andaman Islands. You could spend time doing fun water sports like Scuba Diving, Glass-bottom boat rides, Jet Ski rides, and snorkeling.
2. Laxmanpur Beach
You will encounter one of the best sunsets of your life in Laxmanpur Beach at Neil Island. The view of the beach is picturesque, with white sand and fringed by tall tropical dense forest. The fascinating part of this beach is the triangle shape for which puts forward a wide view of the complete horizon from the beach. It is also one of the most romantic places for honeymooners.
3. Natural-Bridge (Howrah Bridge)
This natural bridge was formed due to natural living corals and is also known as Howrah Bridge. During low tides, you could see marine animals such as sea cucumbers, sea urchins, starfish, and on some parts you will find colorful corals and small fish. The guide will give you a brief explanation of the fish and their aquatic lives.
4. Sitapur Beach
Sitapur Beach is the quietest and the most serene beach on Neil Island, surrounded on three sides with wonderful greenery and the other side opening to the beautiful turquoise blue sea. It is both peaceful and picturesque and known as the ‘Sunrise point’ of the islands.
North and Middle Andaman Islands
The virgin beaches of the North and Middle Andamans are serene and mesmerizing. One of the most famous beaches of the North Andaman Islands is the twin islands: Ross and Smith Islands.
1. Karmatang Beach
Karmatang Beach is located about 12 Kms away from Mayabunder Island. It is neat and clean with blue water and covered with dense green forests. The eco-friendly huts present at the beach provide shelter and resting spots to visitors. The beach is ideal for a day picnic, swimming, and photography. The main charm of the beach is Turtle Nesting Farm. Thus, it is also known as the Turtle’s Paradise.
2. Avis Island
Avis Island is a small island in Mayabunder. The tropical island has a dense coconut plantation. The white sandy beach is surrounded by a clear blue sea and makes an ideal place for a picnic on an island.
Special permission is required from the forest department to visit this island. It is a 20 minutes boat ride from the Mayabunder Jetty to this island.
3. Amkunj Beach
Amkunj beach is artistic and picturesque. Small huts are built to provide shade and rest to visitors. It is one of the cleanest beaches in the Andaman Islands and ideal for unwinding with nature. The beach is characterized by crystal clear water and rocky black sand. The peaceful atmosphere also makes for a good bird-watching session of endemic and migratory birds of the island.
4. Cutbert Bay Beach
Cutbert Bay is famous for its golden sandy beaches and the nesting Olive Ridley and Leatherback Turtle. This place is ideal for relaxing within palms, fresh wind, and reveling in the glory of nature. It is one of the most peaceful locations to be. The beach has promoted the use of eco-huts.
5. Moricedera Beach
Moricedera Beach offers a tranquil and breathtaking experience. The beach is not ideal for swimming as it is very rocky. You can indulge in photography and enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature. There are no facilities such as shops or restaurants, so you are advised to carry your water and food. Be careful not to litter the beach!
6. Dhaninala Beach & Mangroves
Dhaninallah Beach is one of the most stunning nature walkaways and beaches on Rangat Island. It is about 18 km away The peaceful beach is ideal for swimming and sightseeing. The Dhaninallah Mangroves, being 713m long, is the longest in the country. The diversity of mangroves nests various marine animals such as crabs, shrimps, and fish.
7. Long Island
Long Island is a small island of about 18 km sq. located in the North and Middle Andaman district, detached from the mainland. To reach this island, you have to board one of the speed boats from Yeratta Jetty at Rangat Island. One of the best activities for adventure lovers is trekking to Lalaji Bay. The beautiful beach is known for its magnificent view of the mangroves and sometimes a sight of dolphins.
8. Yerrata Mangrove Interpretation Centre
This mangrove center was developed by the Department of Environment and Forests to provide information and create awareness about the significance of mangroves. The 13m high Mangrove View Watch Tower provides an exceptional panoramic view of the mangroves.
9. Ross & Smith Islands
A 20-minutes speed boat ride and you reach Ross and Smith Islands from Ariel Bay Jetty in Diglipur Island. The twin islands are connected by a natural sand bar. During low tide, you could walk up to the other island. And during high tide, the sand bar disappears, dividing the two islands.
The sea is crystal clear, and the Marine Sanctuary situated on the island makes it ideal for sighting beautiful corals, vibrant fish, and the Olive Ridley turtles.
10. Saddle Peak
Saddle Peak, at Diglipur Island, is the highest mountain of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, at about 732 meters. It lies within a rich bio-diversity of nature, having various indigenous species of birds and insects. Due to this reason, it has become a National Park, the Saddle Peak National Park.
Tourists come here for trekking, hiking, and bird watching. The path consists of distinct flora and fauna. River Kalpong flows through the forest and contains fresh drinkable water. After trekking for about 6 hours (9kms), you would be standing at Saddle Peak. You could see the fantastic view of the whole of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from this peak!
11. Lamiya Bay Beach
Lamiya Bay Beach is situated ahead of Kalipur Beach and at the foothill of the Saddle Peak. One can find tranquility and serenity at the beach at this quiet beach. The view of the beach is enhanced by the eco-friendly huts and huge rocks around it. This place is ideal for a romantic date for honeymoon couples or a picnic with your family.