What to See
Port Blair: The capital city, this is where you set your foot first. Located amidst the green hillocks, it is a somewhat modern city. The attraction for tourists here is definitely the Aberdeen Market, which has everything - shops for souvenirs, major hotels, bus stand and the dock for arranging your tours of the other islands.
Corbyn's Cove Complex: A picturesque beach located near Port Blair, it sees a number of tourists flocking here for sun-bathing. It also has a tourist complex which offers a range of water sports facilities.
Viper Island: At 3 km from the Fisheries Jetty near Port Blair, this island housed the political prisoners before Cellular Jail was built.
Cellular Jail: A three-storeyed prison, the British used it to house the Indian freedom fighters. It derives its name from the fact that individual cells were constructed for solitary confinement. This landmark structure has been witness to the numerous atrocities meted out to the freedom fighters. Today a declared National Memorial, it organizes a spectacular sound and light show of the times gone by and houses within it a museum and art gallery.
Open from: 9.00 am-12.00 noon and 2.00 pm-5.00 pm
Sound & Light show on all days (subject to weather conditions)
Ross Island: Located at the mouth of Port Blair this island is covered by small creeks. Once the administrative headquarters of Port Blair, today it is an uninhabited island and only has a light house, church, cemetery and tennis court as memories of the past. The forests have a natural zoo, which houses spotted deer and peacocks. This island is open to Indians and non-Indian alike and you can take the 25-minute ferry from the Phoenix Bay Jetty.
Open from: 8.00 am-2.00 pm (closed on Wednesday)
Jolly Buoy & Red Skin Island: This is one of the best places to catch a breathtaking view of the underwater coral and marine life. Get astride on the glass bottom boats to get a closer look at the coral colonies. Red Skin Island is also ideal for coral viewing and for catching an occasional glimpse of dolphins. Both these islands are ideal for sea bathing and basking.
Chidiya Tapu: Literally meaning Bird Rock, it is an enchanting beach complete with green hills and a narrow creek shaded by mangrove trees. The coral studded waters have several varieties of exotic fishes and bright birds and butterflies perched on the trees around. Visit it during sunset, when the setting sun creates a spectacle. 17 km away is Burmah Wala, where elephants are employed to carry heavy weights and tourists can watch the animals at work.
Andaman Water Sports Complex: This unique complex, the first of its kind in India, has every kind of aqua sports facilities including paddle boats, row boats and water cycle, and adventure water sports including wind surfing, wind skiing, Gemini boats, Para-sailing, Sail boats, Wind-surfers, Speed boats, Glass-bottom boats and water scooter. Also constructed here is a memorial for the Battle of Aberdeen waged between the British and the Andamanese natives in 1859.
Open from: 12.30 pm-5.00 pm (Monday-Saturday) 8:30 am-5.00 pm (Sunday & Holidays)
Sippighat: This is the site for the Sai Water Sports Complex that offers options of paddling, rowing and motor boats. It also houses the Sippighat Farm where research is carried on spices and various kinds of plants and trees, coco¬nuts, cloves, cardamoms, pepper and jai fruit.
Open from: 8.00 am-5.30 pm (closed on Sunday)
Gandhi Park: Believed to have been created within 13 days, this park has within it a children's park, amusement park, deer park, water sports facilities, Japanese temple, nature walk and a restaurant. The Dilthaman tank, which was once the only source of drinking water in Port Blair is also present here.
Open from: 4.00 pm-8.00 pm
Chatham Saw Mill: Located at the north tip of Port Blair, Chatham Island houses Asia's largest saw mill. Created way back in 1836, the enormous workshops are built in padauk wood.
Open from: 6.30 am-10.30 am (except Sunday & holidays) 11.00 am-3.00 pm (with special permission)
Likir Monastery:Also called the Klu-Kkhjil or Water Spirits gompa, it is situated 52 km from Leh. It was constructed over a Gompa that was burnt down in the 15th century and today houses the monks of the Gyalukpa sect. The monastery has a rich collection of paintings, robes and artifacts.
Anthropological Museum: Created in 1975, this small museum showcases the life and belongings of the four Negroid tribes of the Andamans, who were the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Andamanese and the Onges, and two Mongoloid tribes of the Nicobars, the Nicobarese and the Shompens.
Open from: 1.00 pm-4.30 pm (except Sunday & holidays)
Samudrika Marine Museum: This has on display over 350 species of sea-life, several rare varieties of corals and the vast riches of the enormous marine life.
Open from: 9.00 am-12.00 noon; 2.00 pm-5.30 pm (Tuesday-Thursday)
M.G. Marine National Park: Named after Mahatma Gandhi, this Marine National Park at Wandoor (29 km) from Port Blair is made up of open sea, creeks and 15 islands. It also has on display several kinds of coral reefs, a range of exotic coral fish and other marine life.
Barren Island: Located about 135 kms from Port Blair, Barren Island is the only active volcano in India. The island has a huge crater of the volcano, which rises abruptly from the sea. No special permit is required to visit it. However, you can only view it from the boat.
Cinque Island: Known for its coral-rich beach, this island is also a popular spot for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and camping.
Havelock Island: About 38 kms from Port Blair, this is claimed to be one of the most virgin of beaches, complete with white sand and crystal waters. There are also a couple of hotels offering cottage-like accommodations to let you enjoy the beach up close! Also enjoy sessions of swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and jungle trekking.
Rangat: This village-like retreat is known for its peace and solitude. Cutbert Bay beach (20 kms away from Rangat bazaar/jetty) is a turtle nesting ground. Between December to February you can view the nesting of turtles.
Diglipur: Situated in North Andaman, Diglipur provides is famous for its oranges, rice and marine life. Saddle Peak (732 meters), the highest point in the islands is closeby. Kalpong, the only river of Andaman flows from here. Enjoy a session of trekking to Saddle Peak or watch turtle nesting at the Ram Nagar Beach nearby.
Neil Island: Located 36 kms from Port Blair, this island with its lush green forest and sandy beaches is ideal for a quiet retreat. The beautiful beaches at Laxmanpur, Bharatpur, Sitapur and the bridge formation on the sea-shore known as Howra Bridge are the main attractions.
Long Island: An excellent sandy beach, this is one of the few places where you can view groups of dolphins.
Little Andaman Islands: Another beach site, this offers the beautiful beach at Butler Bay, a waterfall and plantations of oil palms. Catch excellent views of the area from the break water at Hut Bay. This is also the residence of the Onge Tribes. However, entry to tribal areas is restricted.