the Town of Port Blair
Port Blair is the gateway to the enchanted islands of Andaman and Nicobars set on the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean.
Port Blair is the capital city of the islands and is a melting pot of people from all parts of India who have come to adopt these Islands as their home. Andamans is a land of tranquillity where settlers from all parts of India live in complete harmony. Port Blair is the seat of Civil Administration and also hosts a Tri-Service Command of the Armed Forces.
The serenity of these islands was unfortunately disrupted in 2004 by the tsunami that caused a great deal of damage in the Nicobar Islands. However the populated areas of Port Blair and Havelock were unscathed and all geological indications report that the islands are safe.
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Important Places in and around
The Cellular Jail, located at Port Blair, is a mute witness to the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this jail. The Cellular Jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name “CELLULAR” because it is entirely made up on individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. The jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, has been declared a National Memorial.
“Sound and light Show”. The saga of the heroic freedom struggle is brought alive in a moving Sound & Light show. The show is conducted every evening in the grounds of the cellular jail and gives us a brief idea about the happenings in the jail prior to the independence.
Ross Island was once the administrative headquarters of the British Administration. The island, with historical background and preservable ruins, is spread along an area of 0.6 sq. kms. The British had a fine settlement here and despite its rather small size, many visitors came here to enjoy the tropical atmosphere and luxurious facilities Ross offered. It was due to these luxuries that Ross was titled “The Paris of the East”.
Today Ross Island is under the supervision of the Indian Navy. Most of the old buildings and monuments were destroyed by the 1941 earthquake which rocked the island and brought everything on a stand still. For example, The Chief Commissioner’s residence, modeled on Windsor Castle, now lies in ruins as does most of the other buildings on the Island.
Ross Island is open for tourists to visit during day time except Wednesday’s. Boat services are available from the Water Sports Complex, Port Blair. The navy has established a museum on the island known as ‘Smritika’ depicting the history of the island.
The tiny, serene and beautiful island “ The Viper” is situated inside the Port Blair Harbour. Viper Island derived its name from the vessel “Viper” which carried Lieutenant Archibald Blair to this island in the year 1789 . The purpose of his visit was to construct a system of punishable laws. An example of his punishable laws were, “if any convict held disobeyed the rules, he was gagged and put to work on Viper Island.
Now, the ruins of jails and gallows can be seen on the island. The jail at Viper, where prisoners deported from the mainland were confined, was built by the British during 1864-1867.
Harbour cruises are organized by private boats from Water Sports Complex, Port Blair, provides a panoramic view of different points around the harbour and includes a trip to Viper Island.
Chatham Island , at the north tip of Port Blair, houses one of Asia’s largest saw mill. Dating back to 1836, these enormous workshops were built to manage the durable (and expensive) padauk wood. The Chatham Saw Mill is a store-house of timber like Padauk, Gurjan, Marble, Satin Wood, etc and built on a tiny island,which is connected to Port Blair by a bridge.The island has the second largest wharf in the area, and where island-mainland ships can berth.
The island is an attraction for its small size and the view of the island amidst the sea water, seen from the bridge is mesmerizing. Chatham only needs a few hours to finish the sightseeing of the whole island.
The Second Highest Peak in Andamans and once the summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during the bygones of the British era, this mount is the highest point in Port Blair and ideal for trekking.
A short distance by ferry or about 55 km from Port Blair via road, Mount Harriet has a Forest Guest House with lovely eco-friendly huts at a height of about 365 m from sea level. From this elivation you can enjoy Port Blair and also excellent sunrises and sunsets.
Corbyns cove beach is the only beach in vicinity of Port Blair, situated about 7 kms from centre. This coconut- palm fringed beach, is ideal for swimming, surfing and sun- bathing. You can enjoy the distant Ross Island, the cool sea breeze and kaleidoscopic view of the blue waters. The complex has a restaurant, a bar and an exclusive beach-side resort named Peerless Sarovar Portico.
Rajiv Gandhi Water Sport Complex is centrally located in the Port Blaire. It has a small harbour from where tourist boats depart for nearby islands, namely Ross Island, Viper Island, and North Bay (Coral Island). The complex offers aqua-sport facilities such as Water-skiing and Speed Boats etc. At the entrance there is a Memorial reminding the Battle of Aberdeen fought between Britishers and Andamanee aboriginals in 1859.
Chidiya Tapu is the southern most tip of South Andaman Island. The lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the Sylvan Sand Beach and Munda Pahar beaches make it an ideal picnic site. The forest guesthouse situated on top of a hillock provides a fabulous view of some isolated islands, submerged corals and the breath-taking sunset.
The Island (often just called Havelock) is one of the most beautiful and largest island of Ritchie’s Archipelago. Situated 57 km north east of the South Andamans with an area of 92 Sq.Kms offers a breathtaking trail of serene nature. The island is primarily populated by Bengali settlers.
This picturesque Island with beautiful sandy beaches and lush green forest hosts two of the world’s most renowned beaches; Vijaynagar Beach and Radhanagar Beach. The Island also has got the biggest concentration of diving and snorkeling sites, thus one hell of a paradise to marine world explorers.
IDEAL FOR : Beach-walk, Snorkeling at Elephant Beach & Niels Cove Beach, Scuba Diving, elephant riding, Bird Watching, Ayur Vedic Massage and spending time with nature. An excellent chill out, get away !!!
Shades of blue, white and green. You name it and there it is in all its wilderness: the majestic Neil Island. An ideal island for eco-tourism. With plenty of marine life, the Island dwells in lush green surroundings of small stretches of paddy fields, banana plantations and tropical trees. Pristine sandy beaches at Sitpur, Bharatpur and Lakshmanpur are some of the best beaches unspoiled and raw. Definitely an absolute heaven for back packers. Its breathtaking view of sea and the lusting greeneries in the island are really rejuvenating and soul rendering.
This is one of the main islands of the Great Andaman group. Baratang Island is located 100 Km from Port Blair on India’s Last National Highway No. 223 (known as Andaman Trunk Road) which leads towards Diglipur. The total length of the Island is around 22 Kms and encapsulated by creeks and sea. The island is densely populated by a flora of tropical forests ranging from tidal swamp, evergreen to littoral forests with beautiful sandy beaches which connect at coasts. It has two very beautiful beaches, namely Baludera and Roglachang Beach. For special groups activities (such as jungle trekking, creek safaris, island camping, beach tours, bird watching tours, scuba diving and snorkeling trips), can be arranged from Baratang directly.