Andaman and Nicobar Islands Attractions, Things to do, Places to Go

Kept in splendid isolation from Indian mainland are the isles of Andaman and Nicobar, a rare testimony to nature’s brilliance. These huge cluster of small and large islands crowning the Bay of Bengal boast of immense bio diversity that inspire Eco-tourism profusely. These islands are over 1,000 km east of India, between India and Myanmar (Burma).

The Andaman and Nicobar islands are the best place for for adventure water sports like scuba diving, skiing, sailing, parasailing, wind surfing, snorkeling along with the options of trekking through their dense evergreen forests and island camping in the beach front forests.

Snorkeling is a great way to take a close look at the spectacular under-water marine life and the rarest varieties of corals in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Carbyn's Cove Tourism Complex, Havelock and other islands. This archipelago of 329 islands belonging to India located 405 miles North West of Phuket and is an absolute "Paradise" for game fishing.

Foreign tourists are allowed a thirty-day permit to visit the Andaman Islands; they are not permitted to visit the Nicobar Islands. Indians are not restricted and do not need permits.

There are so many amazing and fun things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. And if you need help deciding what to do on your vacation, check-out some of our favorite attractions and activities.

Port Blair
The hilly city of Port Blair, also known as Emerald Islands, is on the east coast of South Andaman Island and is the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Island, India

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a national park of India in Wandoor on the Andaman Islands and is located 29 km from Port Blair. The park is a combination of 15 lush green islands, creeks and open sea space that spreads over 280-sq. km. of sheer mangrove forests, tropical jungles, sandy beaches and exotic marine life under crystal clear water.

Corbyn's Cove Tourism Complex
Corbyns cove beach is situated around 7 kms from Port Blair and is one of the most picturesque sea-beaches, it is ideal for sea bathing and sun-basking. The peerless resort, Hornbill Nest Guest House and the Waves restaurant at walking distance makes this place irresistible.

Sippighat Farm
This is a Government Farm that spans an area of 80 acres. This is the place where research and development programmes for cultivation of cloves, nutmeg, coconut and pepper are carried on.

Bala Reef
Bala Reef is said to be one of the best sites in the Anadamans for bright-colored corals, the dive site on the western side of Corruption Rock is known for craggy undersea landscape with fantastic gullies, channels, ridges and canyons.

Sandy beaches of these islands are famous for turtle nesting for important species like Leather Back Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle.

Fishing the Andaman Islands
South–East Asia's Premier game fishing area
Black & Blue Marlin, Broadbill Swordfish, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna monster, Dogtooth Tuna and XXL size Giant Trevally are just some of the big fish available in this fantastic area. To fish this archipelago is a dream come true for most anglers.

Cinque Island
The charm of underwater coral gardens and the natural beaches makes Cinque Islands unique. The sand bar joining the two islands is simply irresistible. The Cinque Island is also the best place for water sports like scuba diving, swimming and fishing.

Havelock Island
The Havelock Island is located 38 kms from Port Blair. This island offers many exotic resorts in the lap of its virgin beaches. The unpolluted environment here is simply irresistible. Havelock Island will surely find a place in the guide book of Andaman and Nicobar Islands for its virgin natural beauty.

Barren Island
135 kms away from Port Blair is the Barren Island. This island is called the land of volcanoes. It has the only active volcano in India. This volcano crater rises nearly 500 meters above the sea. Travel in Barren Islands can be arranged on board vessels.

Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum) in Ross Island
The Samudrika or the Naval Marine Museum is located opposite to the Andaman Teal house. This museum is meant to spread the awareness of oceanic environment and marine species. The museum has a good collection of corals, shells, species of colorful fish etc.

Water Sports Complex
At the left of the Marina Park Complex is the Water Sports Complex. If offers all possible aqua-sport facilities like Water-skiing, Sail boats, Windsurfing, Speed Boats etc

Anthropological Museum
The Anthropological Museum, situated at the heart of Port Blair is one of its kind. It gives glimpses of the tribal native peoples of the islands.

Snake Island
Snake Island offers awesome rock faces and spectacular dive landscape.

Chidiya Tapu
Chidiya Tapu is the southern tip of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The green mangroves and lush green forests here are always live with the chirping of birds. The presence of two beaches namely The Sylvan Sands and Munda pahar makes this one of the best Andaman and Nicobar Islands tourist attractions.

Mount Harriet
During British rule in Andaman Mount Harriet was the summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner. This place gives the best view of the other islands of Andaman and Nicobar and the never ending sea. Mouth Harriet is also the highest peak in Andaman with an altitude of 365 meters. Trekking in Mount Harriet is very famous among the tourists.

National Memorial
This is a prison that was constructed by the Britishers in 1906. This place was a pilgrimage destination for the freedom fighters during the Indian Independence struggle. This jail has witnessed the most inhumane and treacherous atrocities during the British rule. This place is now maintained as a National Memorial.

Anthropological Museum
The Anthropological Museum is located at the Phoenix Bay. It depicts the life of the Paleolithic Islanders. Display the habitual of aboriginals of these islands in miniature and types of tribals at Andaman.

Forest Museum
The forest museum is situated in Haddo. An insight into forest activities using scale models can be found here. These models and displays are made of precious wood like Padauk, Marble, Satin Wood, Peauma, Gurjan etc.

Ross Island
Ross Island was the capital of Port Blair during the British Rule is a tiny island that is standing like a guard to the Port Blair Harbor. The Ross Island houses the remains and ruins of the old building that were used during the British regime. The ruins of Chief Commissioner's House, Ballrooms, Churches, hospitals, Swimming Pools Press and Troop Barracks are a living memeory of the glorious British Rule in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Viper Island
Viper Island is a small, serene and beautiful island which has witnessed the untold miseries and sufferings of the Indian freedom fighters. All the significant freedom fighters were put to misery on this island. There is a jail on this island. This was built by the British. The island got its name owing to the terrible working conditions on the island.

Cellular Jail
Built between 1896 and 1908, this jail was home to hundreds of freedom fighters.

Island Tourism Festival
A festival is organized by the Andaman and Nicobar Administration each year lasts a fortnight. The festival that takes place during the months of December and January imparts a festive mood to the visitor and the inhabitants. Various exhibitions arranged during this festival is visited by many people from all over the world. Cultural troops that represent the glorious heritage of India are invited to perform here during the festival. Together with this many water sports competitions are also organized during this time.

Water sports competitions such as Nicobari Hodi Race, Canoe Race and Scuba Diving are organized and the festival focuses on eco-friendly tourist destination.

A wonderful mixture of the most precious delights of nature makes Andaman and Nicobar a hot spot for vacations.

The popular dive sites neat South Andaman Island or Port Blair are Cinque Island considered one of the best dive destinations in the island with clear emerald water and visibility upto 80 feet.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park Islands
Alexandra, Bell, Boat, Chester, Grub, Hobday, Jolly Boys, Malay, Pluto, Red Skin, Riflemen, , Rutland, Snob, Tarmugli and Twins Islnad

Twins Island is an important breeding ground for turtles within the park.

There are various other dive sites in the islands including Mac Point, Aquarium, Barracuda City, Turtle Bay, Seduction Point, Lighthouse, Pilot Reef and Minerva ledge at Havelock and Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park with hundreds of colorful varieties of coral reef fishes and more than 50 types of corals in the park.

Since pre-historic times aboriginal tribes have lived on these Islands. The Andaman group is inhabited by tribes of Negrito origin, while the Nicobar Islands are inhabited by Mongloid stock

The Nicobar Islands are still inhabited by primitive tribes and backward communities.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Weather
Best Time to visit is from December to March

The southwest monsoons come to the islands between roughly mid-May and early October, and the northeast monsoons between November and December.

How to Reach Port Blair
By Air : Port Blair is well-connected to Chennai, Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata by flights that operate almost regularly.

The flight time is approximately 2 hrs from Chennai and Calcutta

Veer Savarkar International Airport, commonly known as Port Blair Airport (IATA: IXZ, ICAO: VOPB)

Tourism info:
Government of India Tourist Office (ITDC)
Super Shoppe Complex
Tel: 03192 - 233006
Andaman and Nicobar Tourist Office
near the GPO

Permit for Indian nationals to visit Nicobar Islands from the Deputy Commissioner, Andaman District, Port Blair.

Permits for foreign nationals from Indian Missions Overseas, or Foreigner's Registration Offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta.

Not all of the islands are open to foreigners. Foreigners are permitted to stay overnight in South Andaman, certain places in Little Andaman, Middle Andaman, Neil Island, Havelock, and only in Diglipur on North Andaman. Day trips are permitted to the islands of Viper, Ross, Interview, Jolly Buoy, Red Skin, Cinque, Narcondum, Brother and Sisters. There are regular boats only to Viper and Ross islands. A boat can stop at the volcanic Barren Island, but you are not permitted to leave the boat. Most of the islands in Mahatma Gandhi National Park can be visited. Foreigners cannot visit any of the Nicobar Islands.

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