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The Andaman Islands are the perfect Indian getaway with their beautiful blue waters and ancient forests on each side. It features persistent purple sunsets and sun-toasted beaches that seem to be melting in the sunlight. The Islands have the aura of paradise. Stay at one of the opulent beach resorts on the Andaman and enjoy the island’s natural splendor.
The population here is an intriguing blend of South, and Southeast Asians, and the Negrito ethnic groups. Moreover, the remoteness of the islands is an add-on splendor to them. The location of Andaman and Nicobar Island is at a distance of 1370 kilometer east of the mainland of India. Although, its distance from Indonesia is only 200 kilometers, and 300 kilometers from Myanmar.
Among the total 572 islands of Andaman and Nicobar, it is flabbergasting that people have settled in only 36 of them. Though few islands out of these 36 are open for tourists. As of now, the most popular of them is Havelock Island for its incredible seashores and diving.
The Andaman Islands are notable for their endemic feathered animals and untamed flora and fauna, some of them unique to the island. This place serves as a home to various native species, including the Narcondam Hornbill and the Andaman Crane. It is an unquestionable destination for any genuine birder because of its 16 endemic birds.
The permission requirements for visiting the island were simplified back in 2014. But, the southern area of the island is under complete restrictions. The authorities ensure that tourists do not cause any harm to the island. They also prevent the species from any type of vulnerability that the tourists can cause.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India
Port Blair Airport
Port Blair is capital of A&N, connected by air with Indian metros
Pristine emerald islands and beaches, birding hotspot with 29 endemics
Oct to Mar
WHAT TO SEE
Places – Port blair, chidiyatapu, havelock island, mt harriet national park, ross island, viper island, niel island, jiratang
Wildlife – Andaman Green Pigeon, Nicobar Scops Owl, Nicobar Imperial-pigeon, Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Scops Owl, Narcondam Hornbill, Andaman Crake
Some of the key birding regions of Andamans are:-
An hour’s journey from Port Blair is Chidiyatapu. A variety of habitats may be found in Chidiyatapu, including seashores, mangroves, patches of grasslands, and evergreen and deciduous forests. This birding hotspot is home to 118 different bird species. The Andaman Drongo, Andaman Coucal, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Cuckoodove, Andaman Bulbul, and Andaman Shama are a few of the important species. Olive-backed sunbird, Pacific Reef Egret, White-headed Starling, Spot-breasted Pied Woodpecker, Andaman Flowerpecker, Andaman Bulbul, Andaman Hawk Owl, Andaman Scops Owl, Walden’s Scops Owl, Hume’s Hawk Owl, Long-tailed Parakeet.
Kalatang is another birding hotspot and is a safe haven for endemics. The habitats include Evergreen Forests & Mangrove habitats including Ograbranj Wetland and Sippighat Wetland. Birds to expect include Andaman Green Pigeon, Andaman Cuckooshrike, Andaman Woodpigeon, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Andaman Crake, Ruddy Kingfisher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, and Mangrove Whistler.
Jirgatang is located on the periphery of the Jarawa tribal reserve. Along with Mt. Harriet National Park nearby, Jiratang is rich in bird life but the tall and dense canopy makes birding a bit challenging. There are nocturnal species as well. Birds to expect include Hume’s Hawk Owl, Ashy Minivet, Edible-nest Swiftlet, and Violet Cuckoo in addition to the birds mentioned earlier.
Places to See
Havelock Islands is Andaman and Nicober’s largest island. It is admirable for its white-sand seashores, stone blue water, coral reefs, and lush green forests. The sunset and the sunrise here are sights for sore eyes. Moreover, you can go scuba diving, deep-sea diving, and snorkeling. You can take a walk barefoot at Havelock and explore this beautiful island. There are many Andaman Islands resorts, but the Sea Shell Havelock outperforms the others.
Radhanagar Beach is at Havelock Island. Awarded as the ‘Best Beach in Asia’ by Times Magazine in 2014, it is an exquisite beach. Apart from this, its water sports are also popular among travelers. You can go scuba diving, parasailing, boating, etc.
The beach not only pleases the eyes but the taste buds too. The vendors at the shore of the beach sell seafood and beverages. Get your taste buds charged with the local recipes of these food stalls.
Cellular Jail is the famous Kala Pani Jail in Port Blair. It has an air of history, for it was used by the Britishers to exile those political leaders who rebelled against it. For instance, Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla, Veer Sawarkar, and many more were put in jail here and sentenced to death. At present, this national Memorial Monument is under the Government of India. When you visit this place, you will be able to feel the wave of patriotism in your bones. It is a fundamental bit of our history, and ought to be kept.
Snorkeling on the Island:- The Andaman and Nicobar Islands hold an exceptional position in the Indian Ocean. As a result, it is perfect for water sports, including snorkeling. Through snorkeling, you can watch life under the ocean without having to dive deep into it. There are several Andaman Islands you can try this at like Havelock Island, Red Skin Island, North Bay Island, Jolly Buoy Island, Rutland Island, Long Island, and Neil Island. You can also try it in Wadoor, Andaman Water Sports Complex, Henry Lawrence Beach, and Kalipur. Do not miss out on doing this. It is a kind of activity that people keep on their bucket lists.
Neil Island comes under the South Andaman Administrative District. The ocean bisects it from Havelock Island and Ross Island. The beaches on this Island have tall trees that make them aesthetically pleasing. It is flawlessly clean and connected with the mainland. Possibly its most beguiling aspect is its three sandy coastlines, specifically Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, and, Lakshmanpur Beach. It is an ideal place for one can explore through a long walk.
Baratang Island, also called as Ranchiwalas Island, Baratang Island is 100 kilometers away from Port Blair. It is remarkable for its mangroves and limestone caves. One requires approval from the Forest Department of Baratang to go into the caves. The only mud volcano in India is here. It is a lovely little island yet to be popular among tourists. It is apt for those who like to explore the unexplored.