Places of Interest In Andamans
The Andaman and Nicobar islands cover an area of about 8073 square kilometers. It has emerged as a preferred holiday destination both for Indians as well as foreigners. Given below are some if the places which must be visited if you ever happen to visit here.
1. Cellular Jail
The cellular jail, famous by the name of Kaala Pani has a gruesome past. It is now considered as an important historical site which tells the painful story of the struggle for Indian independence. The construction of this jail which is located at Port Blair started back in 1896. It took almost a decade to be constructed and on its completion in 1906, these prison cells saw the incarceration of several freedom fighters like Batukeshwar Dutt and Veer Savarkar. The building has a total of 7 wings and these are designed to form a criss – cross pattern. The centre of these wings has a watch tower from where the guards kept a strict eye on the prisoners. Today this historical site has been converted into a hospital consisting of 40 doctors and 500 beds.
2. Bharatpur Beach
This beach located near Neil Islands is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands present in all of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is especially famous for its white shores and the coral reefs. The mornings are considered to be the best time to go snorkeling and view the corals. Even if you do not particularly enjoy snorkeling, the beach is simply great to laze around. There are a number of benches found all over the beach to rest your tired feet.
3. Samudrika Marine Museum
Samudrika Marine Museum is located at Port Blair. Managed by the navy, the museum aims at spreading awareness about the importance of conservation of aquatic life as well as resources. The museum also provides information about tribals who live on the island. The museum is divided into five sections and each one is specifically dedicated to marine life, history of the islands, people of the island, archaeology and geographical information.
4. Limestone Caves
Anyone who is planning on visiting these spectacular islands should make space in their schedules to visit these caves. Located on the island Baratung, these caves have a number of stalactites and stalagmites which will render you speechless. The speed boat journey which you will need to take to reach the island is an adventure in itself. The speed boat takes you through a canopy covered forest which is the home of the ‘Jarwa’ tribe. There are quite a handful number of salt water crocodiles in the water which you may spot if you are lucky enough.
5. The Viper Island
The Viper Island gets its name from the vessel ‘Viper’ which crashed into the island. The island is a reminder of the pain that the freedom fighters of India endured in order to make the country free. Before Kaala Pani (Cellular Jail) was constructed, the prisoners were locked up in a jail which stood on this very island. The ruins of the gallows are still found here. Although the island has such a gruesome past and has been a witness to the ruthless incarceration of the freedom fighters, one can’t help but notice the beauty that surrounds it.
6. Chatham Saw Mill
The saw mill that is present at Chatham is not a typical tourist spot but is very famous nonetheless. Lt. Archibald Blair turned it into a stronghold of the British. Constructed in 1883, the Chatham Saw Mill has witnessed and also been a part of history. The mill was largely used to meet the local timber demands. Later the mill produced enough timber to meet the demands of New York, London and several other cities. There is a small museum attached to the mill which displays the intricate work done on wood. During the Second World War a bomb directly hit the mill heavily damaging it. It remained inactive during the time the Andaman and Nicobar islands were under the control of the Japanese post which it saw a revival in 1946.
7. Ross Island
Ross Island is an island so close to Port Blair that it is visible from the capital city and hence can be reached in just a few minutes. The British made the island their headquarters and you can find several ruins from that period. Watching these ruins will definitely force you to reminisce the times that are long gone. The ruins include those of Market, Mansion, British Church etc. It also boasts of a museum which has pictures taken or drawn from that time. The island is picturesque and if you are lucky then you may spot peacocks, ducks and deer.
8. North Bay Island
North Bay is another island close to Port Blair. A jetty usually takes an hour to reach while a speed boat can get you to the island in less than an hour. The island has a number of water activities like boat ride, jet skii, snorkeling etc. Sea Walk is a new addition to the long list of sports. Though it’s the water sports that attract people to the island, the island itself is very beautiful and serene. If you aren’t interested in participating in any of these water sports then you can pass time on the beautiful beach.
9. Havelock Island
Named after a general from the British era, Havelock Island seems to be a favorite among the visitors, especially the honeymooners. Comprising of a number of Bengalis who settled here, the island has a number of picturesque beaches like Radha Nagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Govindnagar Beach, Kalapathar etc. Several of these allow the visitors to snorkel in the pristine water. The island has people primarily of Bengali origin who moved here during the India Pakistan War of 1971. A visit to the above mentioned places is a must if you are going to these wonderful islands which are a perfect mix of both historical and natural beauty.