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Friday, January 14, 2011

Exotic Andaman

Soon after our wedding was planned and finalised to be in December 2nd week, we started our planning for all the arrangements to be made and honeymoon plan was one such thing which needed to be booked in advance due to the jam packed crowds in any beautiful spots during december, the holiday season.

Since me and Vineet both love travelling and discovring new places and for the love we have towards beaches, we decided on to go to some Island and Andaman was the one to which we found flight tickets,hotel bookings etc.

3 days after our wedding we started our trip as planned and headed to Chennai and from Chennai to portblair by a flight.
Soon after our landing, we were received by our agent to help us transfer to Hotel Sentinel where we had planned to stay.
Our visits started the same day from 2pm and I am going to write day to day visits details:

Day1 noon:
We sailed in a ship to Viper island which was an hour journey from PortBlair. The place as explained by the guide got its name due to the viper snakes which were abundant there and also for the bad memories of the independence struggle, where the freedom fighters were sentenced to death.We could only see the remains of gallow,a court and nothing much as most of it was destroyed by the earth quake which had shaken the place quite some years back.
At around 4.30 we were taken to the cellular jail for the very much talked light and sound show which showcased the struggle of the freedom fighters in those times and made me go back to those days. But I felt the effect would have been stronger of the length of the show was quite shorter as there was too much repeatation of the things. We couldnt see the jail as it was time for these shows and we planned to come back for the same later on.

In case you are short of time, avoid this show and visit the place in day.

The sun sets here quite early and by the time we came out of the cellular jail it was pitch dark outside although the time was just 5.30 pm!!

Day 2:
I was very curious to go to Havelock Island and we started off to Havelock island via Makruz a speedster which took half the time the govt ferries would take to reach the place.It was breathtaking seen to see the deep blue ocean on all the sides and the lush green islands which made me feel fresh.
Our stay was in Symphony Palm Beach resort which I loved to the core for the scenic beauty it provided and the clean beach by the side our resort. Altough it was sunny outside, our resort was very cool due to the coconut grooves it had and we spent our half day resting on the beachside and clicking some pics.
Post lunch we went to Radhanagar beach, one of the famous beaches of the place. I had read about this place before our trip and was expecting huge crowd over there. To my surprise it was so calm with hardly any people on the beach. I was happy to see the beach at its best and could click some pics of the place without any human being captured in it ;)
We enjoyed in the place till sunset and set off back to our room and enjoyed the beach side where the moon and waves gave us some company in silence :)

Day3 was for some adventure which we were looking forward to. We went For scubadiving along with some experts. It was one of an experience where we saw school of fishes with amazing colors,sizes, clamp shells,sea cucumbers and many creatures which we had seen only in channels like discovery. No you dont need to know swimming to go for suba diving as you will be accompanied by a guide to take care of you.All you have to do is just relax as if in air and let your body free and go on admiring the fishes!
And by this time I was damn tanned and adventurer soumya hid and the girlie soumya started worrying about her skin! :D
The whole afternoon was for our relaxation and yeah do not miss the sea food over here. I just loved the marinated fish and went on hogging as if I had starved for quite a while!

We visited a beach by name Kaala pattar(It gets its name for the black rocks it has on the beach ) and then after a feast of food, we set back to Portblair with lots of good memories of the place.
Day 5, 6 and 7:
We were taken to North Bay island whose picture can be found in our indian currency on 20 Rs note. Yes the coconut grooves amidst which stands a tall light house. The guide said it had the coral reefs and suggested for snorkeling. But I didnt enjoy snorkeling so much as the equipment given was not a good one and I would suggest you do it somewhere else and not over here.
Ross Island was one good experience where we strolled through whole of the island seeing the buildings,church constructed by the British officers then.The place looked so beautiful with lots of deers and peacocks,ducks at your armlength that I went on bugging Vineet comparing the place to one which I imagined to be like the place where Sri Rama did his Vanavasa(God knows why I felt so! )
The place is now being occupied by our Navy and oh yeah I forgot to mention one lonely beach(Ferrar beach) which is hidden here.

We had a visit to Corbyn's Cove beach on the way back to room and moon looked much brighter and beautiful spreading the milky light on the ocean.
The next day we went to Mt Harriet which was the highest point from where we could see North Bay Island and Ross island in a glance and also from another view point we could see some cultivation done by the localites.
Although we couldnt visit Baara taang to see the tribals,We had a visit to anthropology musuem and got a overview of their living style and wish to visit back to Andaman to explore more of Andaman s beauty which we missed out in our trip.

Some feelings are better felt rather than reading and so I would suggest you to chalk out a plan soon to Andaman and have some fun,peace,adventure and ofcourse sea food (yeah I tried lobster over here!).We made use of all means of transport in our trip(bus,train,flight and ship) and I am content that we planned a trip to this place and have come back with memories, sea shells, pearls,corals and a pledge to go back again! :)

PS: There are much more places to be seen and many more islands which could be touched but decide on time you have and what not to miss(definitely scuba diving is one thing you have to try).

Shopping: Pearls,corals and some semi precious stones.
Fruits available: Banana and Papaya.
Food: try out some Thai food in Light house restuarant in Port Blair and anything in Barefoot Havelock.
Must see: radhanagar beach(Radha Nagar beach),Cellular Jail(due to which Andaman was called Kaalapattar),Ross Island, Havelock Island,Baara Taang, Jolly Bouy, Mt Harriet...
Adventure: Scuba diving,snorkeling(wont be much of interest if you do scuba diving), speed boats.
Flights : 2 fligts from Chennai - Jet airways and Kingfisher.
Ship to havelock: I suggest Makruz to save time and for comfort.
Must carry: Camera,Sunscreen,Hats, Mosquito repellents if you plan some stay outdoors in the night for long), any medicines needed,adequate no of clothes.

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