Nature Tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The flora and fauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are such that the tourists are provided with ample scopes to bask in their nature's bounty. There are ample scope of nature tourism In Andaman and Nicobar Islands for its geographical location that contributes to its rich flora and fauna including pristine beaches, reserve forests, and green mountains.
City tour: Excursions can be arranged from Port Blair to the Botanical Gardens, Burmah Nullah and Wimberlygunj Lumbering Centres in the jungle. The zoo at Haddo Promontoiy has saltwater crocodiles, hornbills and crab-eating monkeys.
Marine Park: Being an island it has Marine Park at Wandoor, a beach town in Port Blair, where tourists can witness the well-preserved coral reefs at Jolly Buoy and Red Skin islands. It is also the right place to gather more information on the aquatic life.
Lime Stone caves and Volcano: Andaman has the only active volcano in India which makes it an interesting visit for travelers. It also has natural limestone formations in the Baratang island that is accessible from Port Blair. Adjacent villages to this island are occupied by the tribal folks. Hence a trip to these villages will also bring the tourists face to face with the tribal lifestyle.
Chidiya Tapu: Nestled amidst a reserved forest area, Chidiya Tapu is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. The meandering road through a dense forest will take one to a beach that offers mesmerizing views during sunset. It also has a lesser-known sandy beach flanked by forests known as Munda park.
Adventure tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The adventure tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands attracts most of the inland and out land tourists. Having a wealth of coral reefs, mountains, forests, and beaches, there is no dearth of adventure sports opportunities in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. It is a haven for adventure lovers seeking the thrill of water sports like para-sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, etc. or even surfing, swimming, and trekking.
Northbay Island: It is a neighboring island to Ross island, the erstwhile capital of Andman and Nicobar during the colonial rule. Uninhabited and serene, Northbay island boats of some of the exquisite marine life below the azure waters. From different forms of live corals to beautiful fishes, this island’s topography offers endless thrill for snorkeling, scuba diving, sea walking, kayaking, glass bottom boat rides, and semi-submarine rides.
Havelock island: Connected with Port Blair through ferry services, this island, also known as Swaraj Deep offers multiple adventure sports like kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea walking and more.
Elephant beach: It is an uninhabited island that can be reached by a 20 minutes boat ride from Havelock jetty. It has rich marine life due to blooming coral reefs that can be explored through underwater diving, scuba diving, snorkeling, etc.
Bharatpur Beach: Located in Neil island, or Shaheed deep, Bharatpur beach is a treasure trove for adventure lovers. Its crystal clear water makes underwater sports like snorkeling, sea walking, scuba diving and also overwater activities like jet skiing and surfing an enthralling experience.
Mount Harriet: This green mountain offers matchless trekking and hiking options for adventure lovers. The trekking trail is replete with dense forest and Mount Hariet boasts of an enriched flora and fauna due to the presence of a natural sanctuary.
Baratang Island: It offers a different kind of a hiking experience through a limestone cave. People can also explore a thrilling trek to an active mud volcano in this island.
Leisure Tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands house several museums, emporiums and other places of interest. The beaches, however, remain the dominant factor in attracting tourists.
Port Blair, the capital, on South Andaman, was named after Lt. Reginald Blair who conducted a survey of the area in 1789. Until Second World War it had remained essentially a penal settlement. Many historical monuments and places of interest are situation in this city.
Cellular jail: The Cellular Jail, now a museum, where a total of 400 freedom fighters were held during the struggle for independence, is a massive 18th-century building that faces the sea. Freedom activists like Veer Savarkar, Diwan Singh Kalepani, Yogendra Shukla, Batukeshwar Dutt, Shadan Chandra Chatterjee, Sohan Singh, have been confined here during the colonial rule.
Museums: Other places of interest are the Anthropological Museum of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, exhibiting mini-reproductions of villages of local tribes and the Samudrika naval museum exhibiting offering an exotic view to the real world marine life of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The naval museum boasts of exquisite corals of different types, shells, fishes, and even a journey through the lifestyle of the natives of the region. Another museum located in the Chatham mill is a great source of learning about the history and ecology of the island. You can also find a bomb pit and a Japanese bunker located in the premises of the mill.
Historical monuments: A Burmese temple at Phoenix Bay and the Chatham saw mill boats of its historical significance. The saw mill, situated on the Chatham island, was established in 1883 was a centre of timber export and exquisite wooden handicrafts that’s still functional. Other attractions include Ghol Ghar spice stores, and the Cottage Industries Emporium. Items made out of shells are a big attraction here for the tourists. Beaded jewelleries are trendy and popular on the islands. Straw hats will also be quite useful and at the same time they are the perfect accessories for the beaches. Andaman and Nicobar islands are the best place to try out the sea foods.
Adjacent islands: From Marine Jetty, ferries ply across the harbour to Aberdeen Market, Vyper Island, where executions take place. Ross island, once the British capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands, offers a glimpse into the history with multiple dilapidated buildings like the old ball room, courtroom, electricity generation plant, printing press, administrative buildings, etc. It is also famous for a lighthouse that was constructed in 1977.
Beaches: For a leisurely walk, the closest beach is CorbynCove Beach, 6 km from town. There are beaches too at Wandoor at the southern tip of the island. As most of the islands are reserves where tribes are protected from contact with the outside world, only a limited number are open to visitors.
Tribal Tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The main aboriginal groups are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Onges, who live on Little Andaman. Onges, like other Andamanese tribes, are of Negrito stock. They practice food gathering, hunting, honey-collecting and fishing, and are the only tribe on the islands who freely accept contact with the outside world.
In the Nicobars, the only aboriginals are the Shompens with whom little contact exists. The Nicobarese, the largest group, seem to be of mixed Burmese, Malay, Mon and Shan origin. They are cultivators producing fruit, vegetables, copra and coconut oil. They also raise pigs and cows which were first brought to the islands by erstwhile Danish settlers in the 18th century.
Visiting Information on Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Accommodation is easily available here. In case the tourists are planning an extravagant vacation then they can check into the resorts. Sea cruises are also popular in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Comprising India's most remote state, the Andaman Islands are situated 1000 km off the east coast in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, connected to the mainland by flights and ferries from Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam.
The tourists come to Andaman and Nicobar Islands by air ways and sea ways. Port Blair, on South Andaman, is served by Indian Airlines flights from Kolkata and daily flights from Chennai on both IA and Jet Airways.
The smart, newly extended Veer Savarkar airport terminal is 4 kilometres south of town at Lamba Line. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are on hand for short trips upto town but if one have booked a room in any of the middle- or upper-range hotels or do so at the counter in the airport, he or she should find a shuttle bus waiting outside. Local buses also frequently ply the route to town from the main road about 300m from the terminal building.
It is also possible to get to Port Blair by ship. Services to and from Chennai can be reasonably relied upon to leave in each direction once a week. However once the tourists get to the islands, thirty day permits are obtainable on arrival in Port Blair. Permits are usually extendable for fifteen days but the authorities sometimes only allow staying in Port Blair for that period. The boats from the mainland moor at Haddo Jetty, nearly 2 kilometres northwest of Phoenix Jetty, arrival point for inter-island ferries. The Director of Shipping Services at Phoenix Jetty has the latest information on boats and ferries.