Port Blair is considered to be the veritable Garden of Eden. In many ways, that is a very apt description of this enticing place. Port Blair is also the largest and the capital city of the Andaman and the Nicobar Islands. At first sight, the city may not seem very different from the many small cities in mainland India. However, as time passes, you will notice that the sea has had an effect in adding an indescribable charm to the place. Some of the many lovely sights of the area are mentioned below.
How to Get There
By Air :
Port Blair is connected with Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Bhubaneswar by air. Foreign charter flights are also permitted to land at Port Blair subject to the fulfillment of guidelines of the Director General of Civil Aviation.
By Sea :
Traveler ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailings every month from Kolkata and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is one sailing for Visakhapatnam in a month.
The Andaman Islands occupy an important place in the history of India’s struggle for freedom due to the Cellular Jail. This jail is now a monument dedicated to the many freedom fighters that were once imprisoned there. Declared a National Memorial, the Cellular Jail is a must visit for those who wish to understand the tribulations that a patriot must undergo for the sake of the country’s freedom.
Apart from the important historic aspect of the Cellular Jail, the architecture of the building is also worth noting. The jail comprises entirely of individual cells which gave the prison its unique name. It was once an impressive structure with seven blocks which radiated from the base of the central tower. There were 698 cells at one time. However, the Japanese destroyed most of the structure during the Second World War.
The Indian Navy is responsible for running and maintaining the marine museum. The diverse range of the exhibits makes the museum a great place to study the fascinating marine life of the region. The exhibits cover a range of topics including the tribal communities and the ecosystem of the islands. Visiting the museum is a thoroughly informative and enriching experience. It is enjoyable too, starting with the awe-inspiring skeleton of a magnificent young blue whale that had washed up ashore on the island. It is displayed outside the museum.
Chatham Saw Mill
The magnificence of the Chatham Saw Mill is assured in its reputation of being the largest wood processor in the world at one point of time.
The saw mill is still operational and provides and informative glance at wood processing.
The Andaman and the Nicobar Islands is home to a number of interesting tribal cultures. In order to learn more about these fascinating people you can simply visit the Anthropological Museum. The museum hosts many artifacts on these cultures.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Built in 1983, the national park offers a fascinating insight to the enchanting ecosystems of the islands. The park consists of 15 islands but not all of them are open for tourism. Ecotourism is possible and it can help you understand the fragility of this wonderful world. However, this is only allowed during certain seasons. The national park was built to protect and study the alluring coral reefs and marine life of the region.
Gandhi Park is a brilliant integration of natural beauty, manmade innovations and historical monuments. The incredibility of Gandhi Park has made it a perfect destination for tourists. The park offers a serene environment perfect for relaxing in the cool breeze. An amusement park is situated within along with an entertainment park and a children’s park to give you the complete package of enjoyment. If your interests tend to the natural world, the Gandhi Park offers a fascinating insight to the avian life on the islands in the bird park located inside. You can also enjoy relaxing activities at the lakes and gardens. The historical significance of the park is showcased through the Japanese Temple and the bunker built during the Second World War.
For Foreign Tourist
Andaman and Nicobar Islands being the restricted area under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, no foreigners can enter or stay in the Islands without obtaining permit from the competent authority. At present foreigners can visit the following places for 30 days after obtaining Restricted Areas Permit from the competent authority.
Day and Night Visit Allowed; Municipal Area, Port Blair, Havelock Island, Long Island,Neil Island, Diglipur, Mayabunder, Rangat.
Indian national needs no permit to visit the selected areas in Andaman.