The capital city of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Port Blair is the first stop for everyone visiting this archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Port Blair gets lion’s share of tourists thanks to its historical importance. If you are heading to this union territory, chances are you will first visit Port Blair. Today, Cellular Jail in Port Blair is a major tourist attraction, which was a British Penal Colony in pre-Independence era. It serves as a tribute to freedom fighters who were kept imprisoned here. 

After visiting this attraction, you can head to several interesting museums to learn about local tradition, culture and history. The Anthropological Museum is one of these places and it focuses mainly on its indigenous tribes.  


About the Museum 

Established in 1975, the Zonal Anthropological Museum is one of the best museums to visit in Port Blair. This museum is well maintained to introduce you to every detail of the history of local tribes in this island. These tribes are also known to be one of the world’s oldest tribes. There are six main tribes that live in the islands – Sentinelese, Onges, Andamanese, Jarawas, Nicobarese, and Shompens. They don’t connect to the world and there is very limited information about them on the internet. You cannot enter the tribal zones without special permission. Hence, the museum is the way to know and learn about Andaman’s tribal life. 

Timings – 9AM to 1PM and 1.30 PM to 4.30 PM. The museum remains closed on Mondays. 


Duration and Things to Do 

Basically you can spend 1 or 2 hours in the museum to have a complete tour. Here are few more things you can enjoy here – 

  • Learn about Paleolithic Islanders and their lives.
  • Watch several exhibits, including Jarawa chest guard and shamanic sculptures. 
  •  Other amazing items placed on display are arts and crafts, handicrafts, photographs, tools, clothing, and weapons dating back to ancient era. 
  • Learn about the lifestyle of tribes by looking at models made of clay and hay. You can learn about the utensils and equipment they have used, houses they had and ornaments they wore. 
  • Watch short films and documentaries on the social customs, lives of tribes, and culture of Andaman. 
  • Explore the souvenir shops across the museum and look for interesting and innovative books, journals, and other items here. 


Other Museums You Can Visit 

If you are a museum-goer and a history buff, you should definitely check out some of these amazing museums and add them to your itinerary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands package


Forest Museum 

It is another popular tourist attraction on the outskirts of the city. You can explore a huge range and collection of trees in the museum. The museum has artifacts made of oak, timber, and several types of wood. The museum also reflects flora across the islands. You can also find zoological gardens and zoos. Take your time and visit this beautiful museum. Timings are from 10 AM to 2 PM only. 


Samudrika Naval Marine Museum 

As the name suggests, Samudrika Naval Marine Museum is run and operated by Indian Navy in Port Blair. It is aimed to spread awareness of marine life and environment as well as aquatic ecosystems. You can explore a huge number of corals, vivid fishes and other species found on the islands. The museum describes the history of Andaman Islands in five different sections. It consists of archeology, geographical details, marine life and locals. When it comes to timings, the museum opens from 9 AM to 5 PM. 


Getting There 

Tourists can easily reach Anthropological Museum by riding a local bus or auto from any point in Port Blair to MG Road. Port Blair is well connected to Chennai and Kolkata through direct flights. You can also get there by water as passenger ships sail from Kolkata, Chennai and Visakhapatnam. 


Anthropological Museum – FAQs 


What is Anthropological Museum?

The Anthropological Museum describes the works done in the museums by anthropologists. They work full time or part time and are employed in various settings. 


What are the timings of Anthropological Museum?

Anthropological Museum opens every day except Mondays and the timings are from 9 AM to 4.30 PM. You can learn some interesting facts about Andaman and its tribes. 


What can you expect in an Anthropological Museum? 

You can visit the Anthropological Museum to see a lot of tools, artefacts, handicrafts, photographs, weapons, crafts and clothing which were used in ancient times. 


How to reach the museum? 

Getting to Anthropological Museum is very easy in Port Blair. The museum is strategically located on MG Road. Local bus and auto are always available to get there. 


Why should you get there?

Once you visit Anthropological Museum, you will directly get back to the previous era and dig deep in the past. You can learn a lot about the local tribes and get an insight to their lifestyle. 


Where else can you visit in Port Blair? 

After visiting the Anthropological Museum, you can also head to Samudrika Naval Museum and Forest Museum as they are well known and attract plenty of tourists all the year round. 


What about the entry fee to visit the Anthropological Museum? 

The entry fee to Anthropological Museum is very minimal. It is just Rs. 10 for adults and Rs. 3 for students with ID card.  


How much time do you need to visit the Anthropological Museum? 

You can easily explore the whole museum within one hour or two. Don’t miss the section where you can explore the life of Paleolithic Islanders. 


Bottom Line 

Anthropological Museum is one of the interesting museums to visit in Port Blair along with Forest Museum and Samudrika Naval Marine Museum. You should definitely add these museums to your itinerary. Book your Andaman and Nicobar Islands package to cover these attractions. 


You can access the giant ships and cruises from the ports of Chennai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam, which are operated and run by Shipping Corporation of India. These cruises make a great odyssey for 3 to 4 days from Indian mainland to Andamans. Among all three coasts, Chennai port is most popular with most ships being operated. MV Nancowry, MV Nicobar, MV Akbar, MV Swaraj Dweep and MV Harshavardhana are the cruises available from Chennai. You can book an Andaman tour package by cruise to make things easier.


1. Kolkata – Port Blair 

Out of three major routes, Kolkata to Port Blair is the longest sea route to Andaman. January, February, March, April and November are the best months when you start the trip from Kolkata to Andaman. You are least likely to suffer seasickness during these months if you are used to suffering a lot. 

Total distance – 1302 km

Availability – 3 to 4 times a month or once a week

Starting at – Kolkata 

Total Time – 70 hours approx. 

Towards – Port Blair 


2. Chennai to Port Blair 

Chennai to Andaman route is very convenient if you live in the city of Chennai. You can easily book and board the cruise here. If you are from outside Chennai and planning to board from there, be sure to calculate your expenses and time to reach the city. You may ask your tour operator who can help you with bookings. 

Availability – 3-4 times a month or once a week 

Total distance – 1362 km 

Starting at – Chennai Port 

Total Time – 60 hours 

Ending at – Port Blair 


3. Visakhapatnam – Port Blair 

You can definitely take your excitement to a whole new level by exploring Andaman and traveling to this island in India. Airway takes less time to get there but cruise is always recommended. 

Availability – once in a month 

Total Time- 56 hours 

Total distance – 1224 km 

Note – Currently, you cannot book your cruise to Andaman online. You have to buy tickets offline at official STARS counters in Kolkata, Vizag or Chennai. 


5 Sea Cruises to Andaman Operated by Government 

Government operated cruises are the only way to reach Andaman from India through sea route. Around 3 to 4 cruises sail per month from Chennai and Kolkata and only 1 cruise sails per month to Port Blair from Vizag. So, you need to book your cruise in advance. The price of tickets varies from Rs. 900 to Rs. 10000 as per the accommodation class you want. 

You should have government id proof, 2 passport size photos, and address proof with requisition form. The cruise takes up to 4 days in ideal weather. Here are some of the most frequent cruises for Andaman trip. 


1. MV Nicobar 

It sails to Port Blair from all three major cities of India, i.e. Kolkata, Vizag and Chennai. You can rest assured to have a great trip by ship to Andaman. There are 900 decks/bumps and 300 cabins in the ship. It can hold up to 1200 passengers. 


2. MV Nancowry 

This majestic cruise is well regarded to carry cargo and it operates between Port Blair and Chennai and is a beautiful ship to go for. The whole departure and proceeding of ship can be started at Chennai from SCI office. The ship has 900 decks/bumps and 300 cabins with a capacity of 1200 passengers in total. 


3. MV Harshavardhana 

MV Harshavardhana is one of the most popular cruises operating from Vizag and Kolkata to Port Blair. It is one of the best companies to start your memorable trip. The ship has 595 docks/bunks and 153 cabins with a capacity of 748 passengers in total. 


4. MV Swarajdweep 

MV Swarajdweep is a popular cruise among several other well-known cruises. The cruise sails from Chennai and reaches Andaman on Day 3. It has 900 bunks/decks and 300 cabins and is capable of carrying 1200 passengers in total. 


5. MV Akbar 

MV Akbar is the oldest ship which is being operated to Andaman. It mostly sails from Visakhapatnam to Port Blair and from Kolkata to Port Blair. The ship has 1414 decks/bunks and 121 cabins. It can carry 1535 passengers in total. 

Note – It is important for foreigners to seek permission for 30 days before getting to the island. You can further extend up to 15 days. Indians also have to get special permits from the Deputy Commissioner of the Andaman office at the port if they need to travel to the closest islands. 


Best Time to Cruise to Andaman 

You can easily plan a cruise trip to Andaman any time of the year. But it is best to plan your cruise from January to April when you are less likely to have seasickness onboard. Monsoon remains in Bay of Bengal from October to December and the sea is prone to storms and cyclones. So, avoid the cruise during this period.  


Do You Need Passport to visit Andaman?

Indian citizens don’t have to use a passport to enter Andaman as it belongs to India. But you need to seek special permission to enter some tribal areas. 


Is Private Cruise Available?

Currently, there are no private cruises available from mainland India to Andaman. The Shipping Corporation of India operates the ship from ports of Chennai, Kolkata, and Visakhapatnam. 


What are the Famous Foods in Andaman Islands?

You can taste different varieties of seafood like crab, lobsters, cuttlefish and prawns. These are some of the best fish dishes served in local restaurants there. You can also try Chinese and Indian food over there. 


Bottom Line 

If you are craving to hear “welcome aboard” after getting all the above details, why not plan a cruise trip to Andaman? You can rest assured with serene views of the sea on different routes. Andaman has to offer plenty of things that can amaze you.