Woovly is a social experience platform that runs on three USPs – Discover, Wish, and Accomplish. The platform connects travellers, adventurers, and explorers. It gives them the necessary inspiration to broaden their horizons and get enlightened about what awaits them if they get out of their mundane routine of life. Keeping up with Woovly’s theme encompassed around adventure and travel, we bring you the Andaman experience of two travel souls. We are Travelories, avid users of Woovly and are in this blog we are going to give you all the chunks of information from our trip to Andaman and Nicobar Island. We will be covering Port Blair, Havelock Island, Neill Island, Ross Island, and Baratang.
We are Sunil and Chandana, travel nomads. We call our adventures ‘Travelories‘ which means Travel Stories. We found Woovly to be one of the most fitting social platforms to share our journey to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. We have taken over Woovly’s blog for a week to share our travel journeys with the readers, right here!
We have distributed our blogs place-wise, giving out as much information to readers as possible. In our rundown of experiences in Andaman, we are going to cover all the tourist attractions and places we are going to visit in Andaman. Our trip was an experience of a lifetime. Our first stop in Andaman was Port Blair, and below you will find every bit of information that you will need from an adventurer and traveller perspective. This week, we will churn out article turn-by-turn so stay tuned with us to get your daily dose of Andaman heaven.
Our Travel Itinerary for Andaman
Day 1: Arrival at Port Blair, Visiting Cellular Jail & Corbyn’s Cove Beach
Day 2: Havelock Island by Ferry (excursion to Kalapatthar Beach)
Day 3: Havelock – Scuba Diving & Elephant Beach
Day 4: Neill Island by Ferry (touring Lakshmanpur Beach)
Day 5: Neill Island (excursion to Sitapur and Bharatpur Beaches)
Day 6: Port Blair (Ross Island & Mount Harriet)
Day 7: Baratang (Mangrove Forest & Jarva Tribe)
Budget for the Trip: INR 38,000 (excluding flights) and INR 55,000 (including flights).
Places Covered: Port Blair, Havelock, Neill Island, Mount Harriet, and Baratang
What You Need to Know Before Heading To Andaman
Like every traveller, we were more than excited to visit Andaman. The place has earned quite a name for itself in the last decade. And from the pictures and Vlogs that we watched, we were all about exploring Andaman. However, one thing we missed out was the history of the place and how Andaman is substantially different from other places in India when it comes to culture, laws, and ethnicity.
Andaman is not your token tourist destination; the place holds a lot of history and vividness. To enlighten the readers about Andaman, we first want them to understand the location so that they know all about the destination, the essential points.
- The Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprise of 572 islands of which people inhabit just 37 islands. Nicobar island is still restricted for the public and is the home to protected tribals.
- The commonly spoken language here is Bengali, followed by Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam.
- Andaman has banned Commercial fishing as it is the only island in the world where fishes live their life and die at old age.
- The Neil and Havelock Islands in Andaman were named after officers of the East India Company. The names have now been changed, and The Neill Island is now known as Shaheed Dweep while Havelock is called Swaraj Dweep.
- Andaman inhabits varied marine cultures; the sea turtles acquire the major chunk though. In Andaman, one gets to see the biggest sea turtles in the world – Dermochelys Coriacea along with Olive Ridley turtles.
- Even though Andaman’s Port Blair area is developing and is stocked with hotel and resorts, you will not find any pubs or discs here or any place with loud music and lights. The locals are simpletons, and they prefer peace and tranquillity over loud music.
- North Sentinel Island is inhabited by the most isolated palaeolithic tribes of the world
- The sea cow named Dugong is the state animal of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- The old 20 Rupee note had the scenery of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the home to India’s first and only joint tri-service defence command
Experiencing Port Blair
Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Being the capital, Port Blair is the most developed among other islands in the region. It acts as the gateway to all the islands, accessible by both land and sea. We landed at Port Blair in the morning and headed straight to our hotel. The plan was to get some rest, freshen up and head to the major attractions in the area. We had Cellular Jail and Corbyn’s Cove Beach on our agenda.
Port Blair has your token coastal town vibe. For a moment, you may feel that you are in Kerala, but then you get psyched by even more beautiful surroundings and the fresh air that flows through the town. Moving around Port Blair is east, the roads are clean, and there’s not much crowd. Especially for the people visiting from bustling cities like Bangalore, it would almost feel like there’s no traffic at all. We must say that the locals here have a cumulative sense of road rules, and they are good at maintaining them.
Places to Visit in Port Blair
After getting over our part of the plan at the hotel, we got ready to visit the Cellular Jail. This was going to be our first part because there’s so much history attached to the land of Andaman than what catches the eyes of travellers. We are explorers, and we wanted to measure every inch of the place to understand what it was like back when the East India Company captured our freedom fighters at the Cellular Jail aka Kaala Pani. We explain it all in the next paragraph.
The gigantic Cellular Jail was constructed between 1896 and 1906 for keeping Indian freedom fighter. The guide at the Cellular Jail narrated the horrors that our freedom fighters went through at this jail. They were kept in solitary confinements, and the jail itself was away from the mainland, one could imagine their plight. Alone in their cells and away from the noise of the living and bedevilled every day. It is also known as “Kala Pani”, a name it acquired for being one of the most excruciating and torturous places for prisoners. The place now stands as a national memorial, reminding us of the great deal of sacrifice and pain that our freedom fighters went through to get us the freedom.
We can’t begin to explain the stream of thoughts that were flowing in our mind as we took further steps to explore the jail. The Cellular Jail was constructed as a seven wing prison and had a total of 663 cells – one for each prisoner. In present times, the jail has only three wings; others succumbed to disasters and natural damages.
After going around the jail and not taking a lot of photos due to restrictions, we were waiting for the light, and sound show that takes the audience through the story of Kala Pani. Before the show, we headed to the museum too, which has on-display the belonging of the freedom fighters. We checked out the museum and counted our blessings and privilege of being a part of free India.
The next stop was the Sound and Light show, narrated by a Peepul tree (metaphorical), it brings to life the ordeals of freedoms from more than 100 years ago. We recommend everyone not to miss this show. It will not only enlighten you on history but touch those emotional points and bring out the nationalist feels.
Cellular Jail Museum Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM & 02 PM to 5 PM (entry closes at 4 PM)
Cellular Jail Light & Sound Show Timings: Three Slots – 5:15 PM, 6:20 PM, and 7:25 PM.
Language: Available in Hindi on all days & in English versions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
After getting done with Cellular Jail tour, we made our way to Corbyn’s Cove, which is the closest beach to Port Blair. It is a crescent-shaped beach surrounded by Coconut and Palm trees. We found it ideal for swimming, relaxing, and basking in the sun. There are plenty of water activities available at this beach, including Jet Ski and Speed Boat rides. We relaxed and unwinded at the beach, tasted delicious beach snacks from the shacks.
Corbyn’s Cove Beach is an unspoiled and neatly kept beach, which around 8Kms away from Port Blair. It has turquoise blue seawater that will leave you mesmerized for some time once you spot it. The beach has seating too that will help you unwind in front of the majestic ocean.
How to reach Corbyn’s Cove: We took an auto-rickshaw to reach Corbyn’s Cove from Port Blair, costing us INR 150.
The beach is flocked by a large number of tourists enjoying their vacation under the sun. We loved the vibe of the beach and the weather during this time of the year.
Our next and final stop at Port Blair was the Chatham Government Sawmill. It dates back to the year 1883 and is one of the oldest and largest sawmills in entire Asia. There’s also a museum inside the mill that showcases decorative items like Padauks, Marble, Peauma, Gurjan, Satin Wood and wooden furniture, and more. There’s a lot to see
The Forest Department handles the maintenance of the mill. Situated in the far end of Port Blair, the Sawmill is often missed by many tourists. We got to know about the mill from some of our friends who visited Andaman before, and they asked us to visit it. The inside environment of the mill is not pleasant to the year as you get to see wood being chopped and turned into equipment and other important pieces like Boats. In the mill, the wood is first sorted and then cut and stored in the warehouse. The next step is to turn it into wooden planks. An interesting experience one gets here.
There’s also some history nestled into the busy work environment of the Sawmill. It has been the location of several horrors from history. During World War II, the mill had to take the brunt of Japanese bombs, look for the crater which was formed when the bombs hit the surface. The mill is connected to Port Blair through a bridge. It is around 6kms away from Port Blair bus stop/STS bus stand/Aberdeen bazaar.
Timings for Chatham Sawmill: 8 AM to 2 PM Daily, Closed on Sunday.
Entry Fee: INR 10 per person
Closed on industrial holiday and Sunday
After strolling around Port Blair, we finally came back to our hotel and called it a day. Our next stop was going to be Havelock Island. We had big plans for the next day as we were to explore one of the most popular places in Andaman and also go for Scuba Diving. Stay tuned with us as we take you through our trip in Havelock on Day 2, succeeded by other beautiful places in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Bookmark Woovly blog and stay updated with the latest happenings!
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