Adorning the Bay of Bengal like deep green emeralds, stand the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands! Located mid way between India and Burma, this island group is said to be once inhabited by various tribes who refused to go along with any attempts at civilization. Andaman and Nicobar group of islands comprises of 572 islands (36 among these are inhabited), islets, and rocks.
It is said that aboriginal tribes lived on these islands since pre-historic times. These islands are rich with evergreen forests and endless variety of flora and fauna. From trekking and island camping to snorkeling and scuba diving, many attractions await the adventure freaks. Indian nationals require no permit to visit Andamans; however, prohibitions are applicable in visiting certain tribal areas of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Katchal, the fabled island for witnessing the millennium’s first sunrise, needs no introduction! A 174 sq. km land mass in the Central Nicobar Group of islands, Katchal is one among the 36 inhabited islands. The island is not open to foreigners and Indians are required to get special tribal passes to visit. Katchal is famous for its beautiful forests and one can find pythons, black monkeys and more wildlife here.
Diglipur, located in North Andaman Island, is sure to stupefy the nature lover in you. The only river of Andaman, Kalpong, flows from Diglipur. The island is known for its oranges, rice and the rich marine life. It is indeed the calm and serene ambiance of the villages in Diglipur which lures tourists here.
Another not-to-miss destination in Andaman and Nicobar group of islands is Mayabunder. Picnic spots including the Avis Island beach, Karmatang beach and the mangrove-lined rivulets make the place enchanting. You can also try Lagoon Cruise here.
The islands put on a festive look during the fortnight long festival organized by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration. This is conducted every year during the months of December – January. If you make it during this time of the year, you can witness the performances of world-famous artistes. From water sports competition to scuba diving many events will be conducted during this time. Neil Island, Long Island, Little Andaman Island, Barren Island are few among the other must-to-visit destinations in Andaman and Nicobar group of islands.
Port Blair is connected to Chennai and Calcutta by air
Regular passenger ships connect Port Blair to Chennai, Calcutta and Vishakapattanam