Andaman & Nicobar Islands are one of the leading union territories of India and are the breathtaking archipelago of Bay of Bengal. There is no lack of places to visit in Andaman like beaches which are blessed with beautiful marine life and coral reefs. The landscape here is truly breathtaking to offer an ideal beach holiday for a perfect getaway from the hustles and bustles of daily life. It is a heaven for both adrenaline junkies and nature lovers.
There are daily and weekly flights to Andaman on time. Port Blair is the primary and closest air terminal in the Andaman Islands. You can choose Jet Airways or Indian Airlines flights.
There are three ports to sail to Andaman if you are planning to travel through sea – Chennai, Kolkata, and Vizag. These ports also have different durations and timings. If you are heading there from another place, you can choose Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, and Chennai. Here are the five ships operate to and from mainland India to the island –
- M.V. Nancowry
- M.V. Nicobar
- M.V. Harshavardhana
- M.V. Swaraj Dweep
- M.V. Akbar
For airport pickup and drop and for one-day sightseeing a cab usually costs up to Rs. 500 to Rs. 800 and around Rs. 1500 respectively, to cover various points. You can easily rent bikes and scooters from Port Blair for up to Rs. 500 per day. But tourists are prohibited from driving their vehicles, especially in North and Middle Andaman as there are some restrictions in tribal areas.
All roads and ferries lead to Port Blair, South, Middle and North Andaman have proper road connectivity with ferry crossings and bridges. You can hop on a bus from Port Blair to Baratang, Diglipur, Rangat, Mayabunder, and Wandoor.
You need to travel by boat for most trips to the islands. You can have a pleasant trip to the backwaters to visit some unexplored beaches and also avoid haggling around public transports. You can avoid long queues by booking in advance. All islands are not open to tourists. Be sure to check at Tourist Information Center before planning the trip.
What to Carry?
- Carry light cardigan for winters or light cotton clothes for summer
- Umbrella, dark sunglasses, trekking shoes, and raincoat should be kept handy for Madhuban trekking
- Plenty of sunscreens
- Essential medications like glucose supplements to avoid dehydration and anti-allergic medicines
- Snorkelling and scuba diving kits are provided for hire. So, you need to carry your beachwear.
Only BSNL, Airtel and Vodafone are active in the Andaman Islands, and Vodafone is strongest in these regions. Jio doesn’t work over there. If you are using Jio only, it is better to add another SIM to your mobile device. There is no mobile network in places like Elephant Beach, Havelock, Radhanagar Beach, and Jolly Buoy at Port Blair, no matter which SIM do you use.
The healthcare facilities are free and efficient across the islands. The emergency aids are available through speed boats. Some of the healthcare facilities are medications from the pharmacy, doctor’s help, operation, nursing, and hospitalisation.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands have no lack of ATM facilities. But you should still keep the cash handy. The ATMs are sometimes not reliable due to network disturbance.
What and Where to Eat?
Andaman is also a foodie’s paradise with a vast range of delicious cuisines like seafood. There is a range of seafront food joints in the islands offering different delicacies available at your service. If you are a vegetarian, you don’t have to worry. Love Garden, Pink Fly, and Waves are some of the best places to chill out by the seashore with live music.
- Seafood – Seafood is a speciality of Andaman like any other coastal region. Don’t miss the whole lobster in Port Blair at New Lighthouse Restaurant or Red Snapper’s seafood platter. For the morning’s catch, you can try some fresh fried fish on any island.
- Other places – Be sure to try some tasty samosas by reaching Havelock. For some delicious and affordable meals, you can taste some Indian thalis at the best prices at several small restaurants. If you don’t like or allergic to seafood, you can also try Thai, Italian, and Continental dishes at some local joints.
When to Visit?
From October to May – In this region, winters are not that cold, and the weather remains almost the same. October to May is the best time for water sports.
January – If you want to explore the local tradition and culture of the Andaman, be sure to visit in January. It can keep you engaged with lots of festivals and fairs. It also hosts a 14-day long Island Tourism Festival to showcase different traditions that tribes follow here. To commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, it also hosts the annual Subhash Mela. It captures the rural life of locals and the diversity of culture.
May to October – Despite having heavy rains during the whole monsoon, the Andaman Islands never stop showing a unique beauty to the tourists.
- April to June (Summer) – 24°c – 37°c
- May to September (Monsoon) – 22°c – 35°c
- December to February (Winter) – 20°c – 30°c
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are known for their rich cultural diversity and topography. Hence, several tribes are located here and a vast population. The total population recorded in the 2011 Census was 380,581 in the Andaman Islands. Hindi and English are the official languages spoken in the Andaman Islands. But the most spoken language is Bengali. Most people also speak Tamil, Telugu, Nicobarese, and Malayalam.