The mesmerizing fact about god’s architecture is that it’s beyond what a human mind could imagine. With all these amazing places around, I happened to have visited one of the most beautiful island- The Andaman Islands in India. Well I must say it’s beautiful islands are so gripping that it’s hard to take away those picturesque moments from your mind. This island is in the vicinity of the enormous Indian Ocean offering a scenic view. Andaman Islands lies to the east of Bay of Bengal and is famous for it’s incredible beaches and world class water sports activities.
Few months back, I made a trip to Port Blair (the island’s capital). The view from the plane was breath-taking. I thought to myself while gazing at the island’s beauty that it’s just so surreal. As I landed at the Port Blair airport, collected my luggage and stuff, I headed straight to the resort. I found the atmosphere of the city to be very simple and quiet. Not to mention, a bunch of coconut trees outlining the roads.
Boarded a ferry and it took about an hour to reach Ross Island. Admin headquarters were situated here but after a destructive earthquake it was shifted to port blair. Since then it has been preserved the way it was left after the earthquake. So you gonna find broken walls and rooms. Makes for a perfect scenery. There are remnants of church, chief commissioner’s room, ball room areas and museum.
Next stop was the Coral island also known as the north-bay island. There is a reason behind it being named “coral” island. The water is crystal clear and the mysterious life which is deep down the sea is waiting to charm you by its angelic beauty. This island is home to several different enigmatic corals. A glass boat takes you around and you can see down through it. Believe me its magical-I never saw such beautiful corals in different variety of colors from pink to golden to green and more. Now comes the thrilling part because this is the place where you can enjoy water sports activities like snorkeling, sea walking, diving, jet-ski etc.. You will find people from different countries who specially come for these. Now comes the food part. Interestingly, the island city has a lot to offer you from its very own regional food –sea food to Bengali and Orissa cuisines and lots and lots of coconut water. Fresh fruits are a treat there.
Next day started as early as 2:30 in the morning. Yes! had to get up real early for my next destination– The Limestone Caves. The intriguing part of visiting these caves is the route to these caves because you need to cross the remote tribal area and then Bartang island. I left from my resort around 3:30 in the morning. Early morning travel is preferred as you need to cross the tribal area and it’s a little risky to go there in dark hours of night or late evening as it is believed that the tribal people are active during those hours. Although, there was nothing much to worry about. Around 5:25in the morning while I was still in the car, I suddenly woke up and whoa what do I see… A few tribal people in their typical dress code of red colored strings hiding by the bushes. They do not come out in open as they feel threatened by anything unusual to them. It’s not allowed to pull over there so the driver had to continue. So my advice is to stay awake in the early hours and if you are lucky enough you might catch a glimpse of them.
After crossing the tribal area, I took another boat and it took me through the Bartang island. There is a point where all the small ships and boats carrying passengers stop, from here small boats will steer you through the mangrove grooves to the destination. Caution here! Crocodiles might wanna say hi from a distance though. Limestone caves are gigantic caves made up of calcium carbonate and sparkle like diamonds in the dark. That is why lights are not allowed inside. A guide takes you inside in groups, with proper instructions. The entrance passage is huge and dark. The caves are like drops of diamonds which turn blackish in color as you touch it. Taking a closer look, will enable you to see that some parts of the caves are molded into shapes of octopus, lord ganesha and three noses which as the people say depicts the trio of lord Vishnu, brahma and mahesha naturally.
This trip is totally incomplete if you don’t see The Havelock Island. It takes around two hours to reach there by a ship from port blair. Radhanagar beach is the heart of Havelock. It is the Asia’s cleanest beach. When I reached there, I was awestruck by the view. White sand, blue water, trees all around… it was a place where I could get lost all my life! It was so peaceful there just like you have landed in a paradise. Waves coming in and out, water over my feet brought tiny little fishes of white color and fiery orange. I tried catching them and they slipped swiftly through my hands. It seemed I didn’t need a camera to capture it..the scene is always alive in my eyes. Lying down by the beach n listening to the sound of waves was so therapeutic. Sunset view from the beach makes for an amazing evening. After an overnight stay, I bid goodbye to this island…
The Andaman Islands is known for its historical story of “Kaala Pani”. The cellular jail, located in the south of the Andaman Island, was built by the Britishers for those who raised their voices against the British rule. The light and sound show narrates the horrors of the severe punishment and cruelty on the prisoners and the great Indian history and is a must watch during evening. A part of the jail is opened for the tourists and the jail rooms are made available to see. It was called as Kaala Pani because the water surrounding the jail was poisonous and also if any prisoner tried to escape from the jail then he would unfortunately die because there was only water and nothing else miles from the jail. Also it has been recorded in the Indian history that this was the heights of brutality on mankind till date.
So, after all the major exploring was done, I decided to see some of the local places in the city. There are quite a few museums and local markets to see in the city. Good quality pearls-earrings, necklaces, rings and beautiful colored shells, showpieces and rings made of corals are key attractions for shopping. And my driver told me that “Madam, u r not gonna find a single beggar here”! I feel the best part about any place is its people and having known that port blair is a place where every single individual works.. be it driving cabs, restaurant business or just anything be it small or big.. people there are so honest and hard working.. this just makes it even more commendable.. In fact, it might also interest you to know that many foreigners come here during their holidays, invest a few dollars and start their water sports business for a period of six-months. Basically, Port Blair’s major earning is through its tourism sector.
And that’s how the last day of my trip ended.
Moto says… pin Andaman Islands to your travel list for an out of the world experience! Bon Voyage!