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“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen.
The Andaman Islands are an Indian archipelago floating in splendid isolation in the Bay of Bengal is an abode of palm-lined, white-sand beaches, mangroves and tropical rainforests and coral reefs making for popular diving and snorkeling sites.
Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is a remote harbor, clustered of tin-roofed houses, shops, restaurants and offices. It is the arrival point for the islands, and the only place with a bank, tourist offices and hotels. Port Blair offers a variety of sea food delicacies, besides Indian, Chinese, Continental, and Burmese cuisine.
The most important center of attraction here is the Cellular Jail reminding of its gloomy past, the sturdy brick Cellular Jail or Kala Pani overlooks the sea. Seven wings running from the central tower out of which only three remain, the rest was destroyed by the Japanese. The goose bump worthy sound and light show outlines the history of the prison. Another stoppage is Corbyn’s Cove which is 7 km walk away, is the nearest beach to Port Blair. Apart from sea beaches Andaman Island is also boast of several museums. The Samudrika Marine Museum run by the Indian Navy has tanks brimming with exotic fish and coral from the islands’ reefs. The five sections of this unique museum display history and geography of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands with miniature models of islands, pictures of tribal and their life-style and archaeology. This aquarium-museum has a collection of some 350 species of marine animals found in the Andaman Sea.
Another museum is the Anthropological Museum in the west of town, illustrating the lives of the aboriginal tribes, their dresses and photographs of their life style. Ross and Havelock (45 km away from the capital) are another major tourist attraction here. Ross Island was the administrative headquarters of the British during World War II. The island is under naval control. Ferries from Phoenix Bay take 20 minutes for the ride to Ross Island. Whereas, Havelock Island is full of Bengali settlers, is the largest of a scattering of islets northeast of Port Blair. The island is popular for its long white beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs with dolphins, turtles and large fish is slightly hilly and very fertile.
Snorkeling and scuba-diving are the majorly enjoyed water sport here. Coming eye to eye with fish or swimming with dolphins and barracudas is unforgettable, and at prices that are among the lowest in the world, it’s an opportunity not to be missed. The seas around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are some of the world’s finest, relatively unexplored, unspoiled and multi-hued is the must visit for every traveller.
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