Syrupy apples floating in Blue Curacao – what the Andaman and Nicobar Islands look like from a distance. 37 golden nuggets brimming with infinite possibilities. The archipelago that defined the 3 S’s - Snorkelling, Surfing, Scuba diving. A wonderland of teal and turquoise. Where the seafood is more flavourful, and the fruits are juicier. Where black hair turns amber and freckles get darker. Sun-kissed and stunning, with truckloads of history books.
|Andaman and Nicobar: A Quick View of the state|
|Official Language||English and Hindi|
|Population||427,246 million (as of 2018)|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Time Zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Area||8,250 square km|
Located on the south Andaman Island, like a gleaming pearl in the sand, is the capital city – Port Blair. Infused with historical properties and heritage notes, Port Blair offers its visitors much more than postcard-perfect beaches. Cellular Jail speaks of a complicated history - a colonial prison for political prisoners (Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar). Now a shrine for the deceased, the very walls whisper thoughts, ideas, and stories of the past. The Anthropological museum will immediately draw you in. Its sky-blue coloured constitution is painted with vibrant and vivacious tribal imagery. Upon entering, you will be encapsulated by the traditions and lives one of the oldest tribes in the world. Do check out the major exhibits that shed light on the Jarawas, the Onges, the Sentinelese, the Shompens and the Nicobarese.
Renowned for its buttery waterfalls, mangrove forest trails, and maple glazed beaches, Little Andaman is a traveller’s aspiration. Plump with culture, it has been a tribal reserve since 1957.
Butler Bay has been knighted as one of India’s premium surfing spots. Because of its unique concave shape, one can gaze at the entirety of the beach from any angle. Chic tourist huts line the seafront, shaded by the tranquil haze of palm trees. Now doesn’t that sound lovely? What sets Kalapathar Beach fiercely apart from the other exquisite blue-green landscapes is its black rocky limestone formations. Little Andaman Lighthouse stands poised at 41m. You must climb all the way up for a panoramic view of the island’s treasure cove.
Havelock Island, perhaps one of the most enticing crowd pullers, is nurtured with eco-tourism and glistening water sports. To relish an ivory-sapphire world, head to Radhanagar Beach - a page right out of a luxury travel magazine. Its sugar-white sand and blueberry waters exude a beauty so compelling; it seems unreal. A 10-minute walk across the soft sands will lead you to Neil’s Cove - an enchanting lagoon cocooned in crystal serenity. Elephant beach, with its magical underwater flora and fauna, will spellbind you. Think of the little mermaid’s kingdom! You must partake in snorkelling and sea walking for a glimpse into the colourful coral reefs.
The gorgeous waters surrounding Barren Island are recognised as one of the leading scuba diving destinations in the world. Here, you can observe the fascinating Manta Ray and view intricate basalt rock formations. Because it is remote, you will require the assistance of a ship and scuba instructors to get there. Although uninhabited by humans, the island boasts goats, rodents, and a variety of bird species. But we haven’t even told you the best part yet! Barren Island is the only confirmed active volcano in South Asia. Infact, the volcano is located on an oceanic crust which is approximately 106 million years old. Now isn’t that cool?
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a magnificent archipelago. Is it any wonder that its cuisine is primarily seafood? Yes, that’s right. You will find fresh lobsters, crabs, prawns, and cuttlefish that are oh-so succulent. We recommend the traditional fish curry and Macher Jhol (fish cooked with chilies, coriander seeds, and turmeric powder). Mangos, Guavas and Pineapples are also found in abundance. Furthermore, you can get fresh coconuts from local stalls all over. So, don’t forget to indulge your taste buds with some quintessential island treats!
150 km north of Indonesia, and a sea away from Thailand and Myanmar, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands glitter proudly. Separated by the Ten Degree Channel, the Andamans claim the region north of this latitude and the Nicobars lay stake to the south. The Andaman sea beckons from the east, while the Bay of Bengal allures from the west.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, like magicians, wield good weather all year round. With minimal fluctuation in temperatures, you have ample opportunity to plan your trip. A perpetually pleasant pasture! Summer months are meant for snorkelling, scuba diving, and surfing. Winter months are meant for honeymooning or family get togethers. It is advisable to keep away from the monsoon season as rainfall leads to high waves, incessant winds. What’s more, all water sports remain shut during this season for safety reasons.
There are direct daily flights to Port Blair (Veer Savarkar International Airport) from cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai. Furthermore, on some days, there are flights available from Visakhapatnam. While the flight duration from Mumbai/Delhi takes approximately 5 hours, Kolkata/Chennai/ Visakhapatnam experiences significantly lower flying time of 2 hours. International flights coming in are subject to fulfilment of criteria from the Director General of Civil Aviation.
Regular passenger ship services to Port Blair can be availed of, from cities like Chennai, Kolkata, and Visakhapatnam. While Kolkata and Chennai charter 3-4 sailings every month, Visakhapatnam offers only 1. The average journey takes about 3-4 days. Do plan well in advance so that you can book your voyage.
While the early inhabitants of the Andaman Islands may have been isolated from other populations, the Nicobar Islands appear to have been inhabited by many diverse people.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were once used as a strategic naval base by the Chola Empire.
This was followed by European colonisation. The Danish set up their colonies, trailed by the Austrians, and finally the British.
During World War II, the islands were practically ruled by the Japanese, with partial authority given to The Provincial Government of Free India. Eventually, the Japanese surrendered the islands to the commander of 116th Indian Infantry Brigade and Chief Administrator of the Indian Civil Service.
Post-Independence, the British made one last claim to the islands. They wanted to relocate all Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Burmese so that they could form their very own nation. This intention did not materialise.
In 1950, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were incorporated into independent India. In 1956, they were deemed a union territory.
Indian Rupee (INR)
Andamans, 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 this blissful land. Visit the Andaman's & you're sure to find peace of mind, serenity and utmost happiness that you’ve been craving for. Andamans, located in the Bay of Bengal has a coastline that blends the sky.
|Economy Incredible Andaman - Land Only||6 Days / 5 Nights||Rs. 17,999|
|Simply Andaman Budget (Oct-Mar 2019)||6 Days / 5 Nights||Rs. 30,999|
|Experience Andaman||6 Days / 5 Nights||Rs. 35,999|
|Experience Andamans With Neil Standard||6 Days / 5 Nights||Rs. 36,999|
|Experience Andaman with Neil - Deluxe||6 Days / 5 Nights||Rs. 40,999|
|Andaman Magic with Private Tour||6 Days / 5 Nights||Rs. 33,999|
|Experience Andaman with Neil - Deluxe||6 Days / 5 Nights||Rs. 40,999
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 traveller, group of friends or a family uniting for a holiday, you will surely enjoy what Andaman has to offer you.
The islands may be a little laid back and relaxed but that doesn’t mean they aren’t up for challenges, adventures and unique experiences. Andaman's is full of surprises and enchantment. There are activities which you've never thought of and they are pocket-friendly as well.
The more you stay in Andaman, the more you’ll discover new things to do in Andaman. Apart from the regular watersports like banana boating, undersea walk, parasailing, snorkelling 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. Enough said, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and explore the beauty of Andamans. We've got specially curated Andaman Tour Packages just for you.
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 kilometres from the Indian subcontinent, the Andaman Islands are just 150 and 190 kilometres 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 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 traveller 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 evidence suggests 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 the 18th century.
During the timeline, 800 CE to 1200 CE, one of the most renowned Tamil rulers Rajendra Chola 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 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. Palanga is said to be their deity and the god responsible for anything happening on this planet. People have a strong belief in spirits, ghosts and souls and they avoid indulging in any practice or action that may displease Palanga. 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 for 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 Andaman Islands. 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 accommodation would be approximately Rs. 700 (either a backpacker hostel with a dorm bed or a budget guest house) and the price range goes through around Rs. 2,500 toRs. 18,000 per night. For an average traveller, 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 cash 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
Andaman Islands are a very serene and ecologically sensitive zone and any travel plan is needed to be made with extreme care and caution. Thomas Cook didn’t only create an itinerary but also selected the best eco friendly resorts for our stay. It was an amazing trip with them. Exploring the crystal-clear Andaman sea on a glass boat was the best thing I did on my trip.
Andaman Nicobar is one of those destination that you need to get it right during your first visit. We gave Thomas Cook to handle the plan and we were not disappointed. 6 of us even had one day Scuba Diving program that was just out of the world. The resort chosen for our stay was extremely close to nature and the managers took care of all our needs.
Traveling to Andaman is really a complex process. The island is small so all your travel plans are needed to be made in advance. This issue was sorted by Thomas Cook who made our bookings and arranged everything. Every day’s plan was explained in detail and we knew the places that we are going to explore during this trip.