Google doesn’t have answers to all our questions.
Though it can throw answers in the form of suggestions to most of your questions, some of the most intricate questions on human life and emotions just can’t be answered by Google. If you ask Google where you can find caviar, it will show you the details of the restaurants they serve caviar or the market you can head to buy it. But if you ask it where to find where you can find tranquility or peace of mind, Google gets baffled. It doesn’t know that amidst a group of islands populated by lush mangrove forests, arising over turquoise waters and sugar-white beaches far away from the maddening crowd of the cities lies a land…A land so blissful you’ll find the peace of mind and happiness you’ve been craving for years. Yes, that’s Andaman for you!
India’s most beautiful response to all these pristine destinations, the Andaman Islands. With a coastline that blends the sky and the water over a thin line of white sand, Andaman is one of the most idyllic places located in the Bay of Bengal. From your flight, the archipelago will make you wonder if the islands are pearls scattered over water, offering you a glimpse of what the island has to offer and how beautiful your vacation is going to be. So, if you’re a honeymoon couple, a solo traveler, group of friends or a family uniting for a holiday.
When you’re surrounded by Bay of Bengal, unspoiled beaches, diverse cultures, traditions and ethnicities and amazing people, there are so many different things you can do! In Andaman, there’s no place for a frown or a dull moment as every corner or rather every direction has something new to offer you. Though tourists are allowed only in a few islands, the number of islands that allow you ensure you have a whale of a time for as long as you’re there.
As Indians, we have very little exposure to spelunking and even less places to venture into it. However, Andaman lets you get hands on with the adventure activity in its limestone caves and it’s the closest you’ll get to cave exploration in India after the caves of the north east. Besides, you also have the amazing Havelock Island, one of the few islands allowed for the development of tourism by the authorities. There’s also the NeilIsland and attractions like the Cellular Jail, Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Barren Island, and more exciting water sport activities like banana boating, parasailing, scuba diving and more await you. For those of you looking for interesting and unique things to do in Andaman, a visit to the Barren islands will have most of your adventure goals ticked off.
The islands may be a little laidback and relaxed but that doesn’t mean they aren’t up for challenges, adventures and unique experiences. The archipelago of Andaman is full of surprises and enchantment. There are activities which you thought never existed in India and wondered if you had to burn a huge hole in your pocket to experience thing you will get to see in continents like Europe and Australia.
Well, Andaman is home to a diverse range of activities and the more you stay, the more you’ll discover new things to do. Apart from the regular watersports like banana boating, parasailing, snorkeling and the likes, Andaman goes an extra step and offers you experiences like witnessing bioluminescence, spelunking, a trip to the only active volcano in Southeast Asia and more.
To shed light on the more regular activities like the water-based sports, you can indulge in them on the Havelock Islands, the Mahatma Gandhi National Park, Neil Islands and other places. What we are going to share are some of the hidden gems in this island.
Currency: Indian Rupee
Time Zone: IST (UTC +5:30)
Area: 6,408 square kilometer
Capital: Port Blair
Official Language: English, Hindi
Capital’s Calling Code: 3192
Islands often emerge as the most exotic holiday option whether it is a family of four or honeymoon couples, or even for a solitary retreat. So what better place than India’s prized possession- The Andaman & Nicobar Islands. An archipelago in nature, Andaman is formed as a result of the coalition of 572 islands, which lies proudly on the Bay of Bengal. Popularly known to be one of the most picturesque vacation spots India has to offer, these islands thrive on its beautiful beaches, world-class diving facilities, and it's rich and compact culture and heritage, which is precisely why India’s best-kept secret attracts tourists from the subcontinent as well as different parts of the world.
All those wanting to avail the Andaman & nicobar holiday packages should do so immediately with their preferred travel company in order to get the best deals as soon as possible and discover what these majestic islands have to offer. Individuals or groups interested in water sports should also avail the tremendous facilities that these islands have to offer by selecting from the various Andaman tour packages which are up for grabs. Even though you just long for some peace and tranquillity, Andaman & nicobar is the place to be because of its glistening beaches as well as its widespread greenery.
Open and appropriate for people of all ages and likings, Andaman & nicobar travel packages include the visiting of famous sites such as The Cellular Jail, Gandhi Park, Corbyn’s Cove and Viper Island. Holidays wouldn’t have been the same had the Andaman Islands not been discovered!
Located on the Bay of Bengal, this archipelago of 572 islands lies closer to Myanmar and Indonesia than India. Distanced at around 1,370 kilometers from the Indian subcontinent, the Andaman Islands are just 150 and 190 kilometers away from Indonesia and Myanmar respectively. Out of the 572 islands, only close to 12 islands are open for Andaman tourism offering the best of the beaches, resorts and holiday experience to visitors despite. You will be surprised to note that the Andaman archipelago is a continuation of the archipelagos of Indonesia and the Burmese in the south and north respectively. The Andaman Islands are also separated from the Nicobar Islands by the Ten Degree channel, making it off tourism limits for visitors.
The Havelock islands are the most popular tourist destination in the Andaman Islands and serve as the ideal place for diving, chilling out and sunbathing. Being known for a place of prison during the British regime, the islands have a come a long way to become a holiday destination. Though the Nicobar Islands are not open for tourism, the Andaman still compensates for it by offering stunning views of the Bay of Bengal and the range of recreational activities. Port Blair is its capital and the other popular island includes the Neil Island. From spelunking to long treks, the Andaman is all about that perfect laidback vacation you’ve been only reading on blogs.
The name Andaman probably still remains a mystery. While historian theories claim that Andaman translates to ‘Andoman,’ which is a form of Hanuman or the monkey god, verses from the books of an Italian traveler claim that the island’s name refers to the land of gold.
One of the most fascinating facts about the Andaman Islands is that it is home to the Sentinelese people, a community who have no contact with the outside world and live in seclusion. They are untouched by the intricacies of the modern day civilization, have no recorded agricultural practices and speak in a language which is unclassified. Though it has been very difficult to crack the time of their settlement or inhabitance, architectural evidences suggest that one of the first settlements happened some 2000 odd years back. Dating back to a period as historic as Middle Paleolithic, the indigenous inhabitants of the Andaman are said to have had no communication with the outside world until the onset of 18th century.
During the timeline 800 CE to 1200 CE, one of the most renowned Tamil rulers RajendraChola conquered the Andaman Islands and set up naval bases to support his expansion and wars. Under the British-occupied-India era, the Andaman Islands were a penal colony, where prisoners were sent to exile to the Chatham island. This place is known as Port Blair today. After a couple of years of establishment, the penal colony was moved to the island’s northeast regions and became to be known as Port Cornwallis. Andaman has also been home to a war, where the Great Andamanese tribe waged a war against the British in 1859. Even today, a memorial stands at the premises of the Andaman Watersports Complex to commemorate the lives during the battle.
Besides, Andaman was also occupied by the Japanese during World War II and came under the authority of Dr. Subash Chandra Bose. With the alliance with the Japanese, Dr. Bose frequently visited the islands during the war. After the World War II, the islands came back under the control of the British, after which it became a part of India.
This is perhaps the most interesting aspects of the Andaman Islands. The native tribes in the islands believe in a faith that has one god and that all the creatures, objects and places have a unique spiritual essence. Palunga is said to be their deity and the god responsible for anything happening in this planet. People have a strong belief on spirits, ghosts and souls and they avoid indulging in any practice or action that may displease Palunga. They also firmly believe in dreams and let their dreams decide their actions in life. Besides this faith, the other prominent religions in the islands include Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Bahai and Jainism.
English and Hindi are the two official languages prominent in Andaman. However, the most dominant language is Bengali, which accounts to 26% of the speaking population. Besides these languages, people also speak Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Nicobarese. Traces of languages like Oraon, Kharia and Mundan can also be seen in the islands. The mix of the languages is because of the immigration of people from the Hindi, Bengali and Tamil speaking regions in India during the days of British colonialism.
Currency notes and the Andaman Islands have a long history. For the less curious souls out there, the scenic beach on our Rs 20 notes is from the AndamanIslands. Some trivia on that! Coming to the point, the islands are part of India and so the currency used for transactions is Indian Rupee. The denominations for coins include Rs. 1, 2, 5 and 10 and for notes, the denominations will be Rs. 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 2000.
The thing about tourism in Andaman is that your budget and preferences decide your expenses. There are diverse classes of accommodations available for tourists and each has its own budget and facilities it offers. There are budget hotels, ecotel properties, deluxe hotels and luxury resorts that offer you the best of facilities and pampering. The lowest rate you can get an accommodation would be approximately Rs. 700 (either a backpacker hostel with a dorm bed or a budget guest house) and the price range goes througharound Rs. 2,500 toRs. 18,000 per night. For an average traveler, a cost to visit Andaman can range from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 for a 5-day trip approximately.
While ATMs used to be a concern a few years back, now you can find a lot of ATMs and hotels accepting credit and debit cards. This has been primarily due to the rise in Andaman tourism. Today, Andaman offers optimum convenience to tourists through adequate ATMs and card machines. However, if you’re indulging in adventure sports or taking cabs and ferries, be advised that you pay in cashcash as they don’t accept cards. There are close to 14 ATMs of SBI, 8 ATMs of Syndicate Bank, 17 ATMs of other banks spread throughout Andaman.
My holidays were not good...they were the BEST ! Thanks to the Team of Thomas Cook