9 Top Things to do in Andaman Islands
Located far away from mainland India, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a tropical island paradise known for its tranquil turquoise waters, exotic sandy beaches, evergreen tropical rain forests, and untouched environs. Not only perfect for a honeymoon getaway, but Andamans is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in India as it offers everything right from the beach bumming to exciting water activities, trekking, and bird watching. Have a look at some of the must-do things in the Andaman Islands.
Relax & Enjoy Watersports at the Beaches
The most striking thing about Andaman & Nicobar Islands is its stunning beaches, tucked in the various pristine islands like Neil Island, Havelock Island, Diglipur, Baratang, Long Island, etc. Serene blue waters, smooth white sands, and the pristine environment, there is nothing more you can ask for. One can relax & soak up the sun on any one of the beaches for the whole day. If you are a kind of adventurous, the islands of Andamans offer a wide range of water sports and activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, sea walking, banana boat rides, jet-skiing, and whatnot. Jolly Buoy Island, Havelock Island & Neil Island, are the popular places for snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions.
Witness Bioluminescence at Havelock Island
Perhaps one of the most romantic & exhilarating things to do in Andaman would be to witness Bioluminescence along the beaches of Havelock Island. It is a wonderful experience where one can row the boat through glowing water that mirrors a star-lit sky. One of nature’s most blissful delights, the magical phenomenon of Bioluminescence occurs because of the presence of phytoplankton in the sea waters and can be witnessed only on no moon nights during winter i.e, from November to February. If you want to make your vacation a fairy-tale by witnessing the galaxy under your feet then indulge in bioluminescent kayaking at the Havelock Island or simply stroll on the island on a moonless night! The magical experience is certain to leave you spellbound and create a visual delight to captivate for a lifetime.
Go Bird Watching at Chidiya Tapu
Bird Watching is another favorite activity amongst the top things to do in the Andaman Islands, especially for nature enthusiasts. Chidiya Tapu, the small island located 25 km from Port Blair, is the place to head for. Often called Bird Island, it is a verdant spot with forests, mangroves, and numerous species of birds such as sea eagles, emerald doves, parakeets among many others. Make sure to carry your cameras and captures the birds in all colors, shapes, and sizes flying from one tree to another. Chidiya Tapu attracts tourists in large numbers in the evening as the dramatic colors of the evening sky here to send you on a tranquil trip as you watch into the horizon, while the Sun plays hide and seek behind the clouds & taking shelter into the sea.
Head to Jolly Buoy Island for Coral Reef Expedition
Wikimedia Commons by: Nilanjan pathak
If you want to see the amazing marine life and coral reefs, then Jolly Buoy Island in Andaman & Nicobar Islands is the perfect place. Part of the famous Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Jolly Buoy Island is home to multicolored coral reefs that Andaman is famous for. Another destination that is popular for gorgeous corals is North Bay Island, about an hour away from Port Blair. This island houses an enormous quantity of coral reefs along with electrifying water sports activities. Snorkeling and scuba diving are the main activities at these islands. There is also a glass-bottom boat ride for those who want to witness these amazing creatures without getting wet.
Join the Light & Sound Show at Cellular Jail
An Andaman Tour is incomplete without visiting Cellular Jail in Port Blair. Earlier called Kala Pani, the jail has a dark past as it was once used by the British particularly to banish political detainees to the remote archipelago. The Cellular Jail is reminiscent of the freedom struggle of India. The architecture of the jail building is spectacular, with the seven wings stretching out from the bell tower, in the center but only three remained. All the cells were made for solitary captivity, with no scope of communication amongst the prisoners. Don’t forget to attend the light & sound show voiced by veteran actor Om Puri at the jail in the evening as it explains the history of the prison impressively both in Hindi and English.
Exploring the Limestone Caves of Baratang
Wikimedia Commons by: Ankur Panchbudhe
Another fascinated thing to do in Andamans is to explore the natural formations of stalactites and stalagmites inside the Limestone Caves of Baratang Island. There are massive sedimentary limestone formations inside these caves, some of which are hanging from the top and some are growing from the ground. The most interesting fact here that these limestone formations are constantly evolving in shape and size. Along with the cave exploration, the speed boat ride to the cave is also exciting with mangrove trees on both sides and the splashing water by your sides. The Baratang Island also home to an active Mud Volcano which is created by natural gases emitted by decaying organic matter underground.
Enjoy Mangrove Kayaking at Mayabunder
Considered to be one of the most amazing things to do in Andaman, trying your hand in kayaking can be a great experience as this place comprises of 1/5th of India’s total mangrove. The kayaking tour at Mayabunder takes you through the dense green mangroves and the serene backwaters of the Andaman Sea. Kayaking in Andaman is the best way to witness its stunning beauty while paddle along the calm waters and be mesmerized by the canopy of trees. The tour lasts about 2.5 hours and will be a reviving ride in the silent waters as you explore the rich and diverse eco-system while the sounds of birds chirping all along soothe your experience.
Visit Barren Island Volcano
Barren Island in the Andaman Archipelago is lying on a chain of active volcanoes that run from Sumatra in Indonesia to Myanmar. This volcano has erupted more than six times. As the name suggests, the island is largely uninhabited except for some animals and birds like goats, bats, flying foxes, and rats. Exploring the Barren Island is an unusual yet exciting thing to do in Andamans as it promises a fun-filled ride on the island located in the middle of the sea with no sign of human inhabitation insight. To visit the island, one needs to get permits from the Forest Department. The Barren Island can be visited by rented boats/ferries but the visitors not permitted to land on the shores and have to sustain with a view from the sea, which is equally memorable and breathtaking. One can also take a Sea Plane tour around the island.
Trekking to Madhuban
Wikimedia Commons by: Bodhisattwa
If you haven’t had enough of fun and adventures, then you can embark on an exciting trek from Mt. Harriet, the third highest peak in the archipelago to Madhuban as it offers an opportunity to explore the virgin places of Andaman. Often considered as one of the most famous trekking spots in Andaman, the 16 km trail begins from the rustic rough terrains of Mount Harriet and ends at Madhuban. The trekking route is interesting and impressive where one will come across gorgeous panoramas lined with Kala Pattar, glimpses of wildflowers in full bloom, and a vast variety of flora & fauna. Towards the end, this alluring Madhuban trek takes you to a stunning white sand beach where elephants can be spotted engaged in the loading work.
About The Author: Santhi is an avid traveler and one of the contributors for Travelgny.com. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.