Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dream Destination - The Exotic Andaman & Nicobar Islands

When we Indians think of dreams destinations, we always fantasize about exotic locations abroad. Be it Venice, Bangkok, Istanbul, Malaysia we always have our wish lists updated. However, we often ignore the amazingly beautiful places India has to offer. 

When we were planning our last vacation, we read about a lot of places both in India and abroad before zeroing in on the very beautiful Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Though we did a thorough research  on the places to visit in the Andamans before travelling, nothing prepared us for the sheer beauty that awaited us there.The unbeatable combination of lush green forests and clear blue waters was simply mesmerizing. 

Earlier popular as the infamous Kala Paani, Andamans has stood witness to our long battle of freedom. The natives there proudly tell you that Andamans was the first place where the Indian tricolor was hoisted before India got its independence.

From sad yet extremely heroic tales of the Cellular Jail to the pristine white Radhanagar Beach to the virgin Neil Islands and the various shades of blue that its waters display to the sheer excitement that Badatang islands offer, Andaman and Nicobar island is a complete package.

Though Havelock islands is pretty popular among the tourists, Neil Islands is relatively lesser known and less crowded. But let me tell you, once you see the beaches of Neil Islands, you will look no further. Bharatpur Beach and its myriad shades of blue is pure ecstasy. It is as if someone has painted it on a canvas. You can also experience the exotic marine world in the Neil Islands as they offer you a lot of adventure options like sea walking, diving, snorkeling at affordable prices.

You can easily spot star fishes and the little nemo fishes swimming around in the little puddles of water in Neil Islands. If you are brave, you can also easily pick up and pose with a star fish. if you are the romantic kinds and like beach walking, you can easily walk along the cool blue shores and sip on coconut water.

There are a lot of beach resorts at Neil Islands. We were lucky enough to stay in one such warm little cottage which was surrounded by the backwaters. The experience of having  my evening tea on the shore of the sea while looking at the vast expanse of water, the moonlit sky and the glittering stars reflected in the blue waters is something that I will remember all my life :) I crave for little moments like this in my busy city life where I mostly do not get time to even enjoy my daily cup of tea.

Another defining moment of the trip was the journey to Baratang islands through the Jarawa Reserve Area. On your way to the Baratang Islands, you can spot the native tribe of Andamans, the Jarawas on your way. Though people criticize the concept of human safari, I found it to be a good reality check. We often forget about how our ecosystem is balanced and how each of its part play an important part to maintain a harmony.

If you are more of a sea person, you will love the journey to and fro from the various islands to Port Blair. My Recommendation is go for the Government ferries rather than the fancy Cruise options that your tour operator will provide. Government ferries allow you to go on the deck and experience the Bay of Bengal in its full force. The lovely sea breeze, the sunset that you might be lucky to experience are things that will stay with you forever.

The people of Andamans are very friendly and warm people. There were instances when the people went out of their way to help us out. One such incident was when our suitcases got exchanged right at the beginning of our trip. Our vacation would have been a nightmare without the support of the locals who ensured that we got back our luggage.

The cost of the trip might be around 30000 per person. The experience is priceless.

You can get more information about the beautiful islands here: http://www.andamans.gov.in/


  1. I was thinking of going to Havelock islands if I ever go to Andamans but now Neil islands look fascinating too. Great post :). I will post about my Maldives trip tomorrow.

  2. Yes its beautiful :)
    Will look forward to your Maldives post.

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