Port Blair- The Complete Guide

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Port Blair

Port Blair

Port Blair is the capital of the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is located on the east coast of the South Andaman Island. Port Blair is the gateway to the pristine islands. This island is a conduit to a world of treasures and scenic beauty which you cannot imagine. This is also the central point of attraction while you visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The amazing attractions that Port Blair holds are all mentioned down below.

Cellular Jail

Cellular Jail

The Cellular Jail as advertised is not just a way to reconnect with one’s history but this jail which is located in Port Blair has stood time and again as a mute witness to the most excruciating and barbaric exploitation and torture that was witnessed by the freedom fighters and who were incarcerated in this jail. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the screams and cries of the pain of those prisoners. The jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name ‘Cellular’ because it was entirely made up of individual cells for solitary confinement. It originally was a seven-block structure with three stories and a central tower acting as its fulcrum comprising of honeycomb like corridors. Jail Museum opens from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm all days except National holidays.­­

Sound & Light Show

If this isn’t enough to explicate the significance of Cellular Jail, this will push it to the edge- The Sound and Light Show that is presented in the Cellular Jail. This show walks you through the life of the prisoners and its significance in the freedom struggle. It seems like you are not hearing an account but actually living those moments. This show is very popular among the tourists who come here and is personally recommended by almost every tourist that passes by the Cellular Jail.

Anthroplogical Museum

This museum started in Port Blair in the year 1975-76. It is an ethnographic museum. It showcases the history of that island and the ethnic beauty and significance of the tribes and the people living there for so long. It showcases the four Negrito Tribes of the Andaman viz. the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges and two Mongoloid Tribes of the Nicobar viz. the Nicobarese and the Shompens. This museum is closed on Mondays and Govt. Holidays.

Timings: 09:00 AM to 01.00 PM and 01.30 PM to 04.30 PM.

Samudrika Museum

The Samudrika Museum exhibits the richest and finest collections of Andaman’s animal and floral lives. It also contains various less known species of fish, plants, corals and other animals. This museum is located just opposite to Andaman Teal House. It contains five sections- The History of the islands, the geographical features, about the people and their lifestyles, the archaeological history and the marine life. It gives you a peek at the history of the scenic beauty which the Islands now have and how it should be preserved.

Giving any more information about this museum will be like spoiling the entire fun and suspense of what holds it together. So, Go and see for yourself!

Fisheries Museum

This museum is located adjacent to the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Port Blair. This museum gives you a sneak peek into the marine species that are present in the islands and are found in the Indo-Pacific and Bay of Bengal. It is much like the miniature form of marine life of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. More often than not, you are not able to see all the species of fishes and other marine animals while you are in the water or roaming around it. So, this museum helps you cover all the bases and you can see all the major marine species that are found here.

Chatham Saw Mill

When you see this mill, you will get to know that the Chatham Saw Mill is one of the oldest saw mills in Asia. It is located in a tiny island and connected to Port Blair by a bridge. You can see a store house of timber varieties like, Padauk, Gurjan, Marble, Satin Wood etc. Within the saw mill premises, there is a museum which gives you an insight into the forest activities through scale models and diplay decorative pieces made of  Padauk, Marble, Gurjan, Satin wood etc. Closed on Sundays and Industrial Holidays. Forest Museum (Chatham) timings: 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM

Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex

This water sports complex is the first of its kind in India. It offers aqua-sports facilities including safe water sports and adventure water sports within its premises. In the safe water sports complex paddle-boats, row-boats, glass-bottom and bumper boats are available. In the adventure sport front, Jet Ski, parasailing, banana boats, speed boats are offered. This complex also offers open air eateries. The spectacle of marina park that surrounds the complex is enchanting. The Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex houses a memorial of the ‘Battle of Aberdeen’ fought between the Britishers and the Andamanese aboriginals in 1859.

Gandhi Park

This is not like a regular boring park that one witnesses here and there. This park has great attractions like amusement rides, safe water sports and nature trail around the lake, garden, restaurant and historic remains like Japanese temple as well as a bunker. The former Dilthaman tank was the only source of drinking water for Port Blair and around. This itself has been developed as Gandhi park and that too in a span of 13 days. It is open for access to tourists on all days.

Joggers Park

It’s a beautiful morning and you have had enough of watching beautiful landmarks and the famous places in Port Blair, You need to get refreshed and energized. For those people I have one destination- Jogger’s Park. For those fitness freaks or nature lovers who just need a break, this is a must visit place where you can have a good jog and feel refreshed for the entire trip thereafter. It is near the VIP Road. It is a quiet, peaceful location with greenery all around it.

Carbyn’s Cove Beach

This beach is six kilometers away from Port Blair. It is ideal for swimming and sun-basking. You will find many tourists walking about around the shores and enjoying a peaceful time. Hotel, Restaurant, Bar, water activities are available here. You can see Japanese Bunkers on the way to this Beach. There is a Snake Island which is quite famous for scuba diving. The Restaurants and Bars run by the Tourism Department provide delightful meals at reasonable and affordable rates and guarantees a peaceful ambiance.

Science Center

If you think that this island sidelines the Science enthusiasts in any way, you could not be more wrong. The Science Centre at Goodwill Estate is a great place to spend time with your family. This museum was established in 2003. It has a very ambient atmosphere. It has a playground with innovative slides and swings within its premises. It has innovative models on display which explains and talks about interesting natural phenomena like the behavious of fishes according to climates and how the oceans work. It is an engaging place for both adults and children.

It also houses experiments which explain some scientific principles and facts. The Centre also has the remains of the first ever aircraft to have entered the island. . The amphibian surveillance plane called ‘VT AAN’ crashed after a week. The broken pieces were later reassembled and restored by engineering students on the island and is now kept in the museum, the access to which will soon be available to general public, along with the new Jurassic Park-themed light and sound show.

Chidiyatapu

It is the southernmost tip of South Andaman Island situated at a distance of 28 kms. from Port Blair. Frequent bus service are available from Port Blair. It is famous for bird watching, sunset view, panoramic scenic beauties, and many colours of oceanic view. Swimming can be done at Chidiyatapu.  Safety places boards are erected in Chidiyatapu. But beware of crocodiles. The biological park at Chidiyatappu is the added attraction.

Wandoor

Wandoor is about 29 kms. west of Port Blair. This beach is known for its scenic beauty and is personally recommended by tourists. It has a picturesque view of the scenery. It is great place for swimming and coral sighting. It has clear blue waters which makes a beautiful contrast against the dried trees. The trees were uprooted during the Tsunami of 2006, makes for beautiful picture captures.

There are natural caves here to which you can take a short trek. It is advised that the trek is taken up in the morning because the tides are low and you can get back by the evening. It is a calm place and also a must visit place here in Port Blair.

Mount Harriet

Mount Harriet is the highest peak in the South Andaman archipelago and is named after Harriet Tytler, the second wife of Robert Christopher Tytler, a British soldier, naturalist and photographer, who was appointed officiating Superintendent of the Convict Settlement at Port Blair in the Andamans from April 1862 to February 1864. Mount Harriet, stationed at 55 km by road and 15 km by ferry from Port Blair. This place is ideal for fascinating overview of the nearby islands and the sea.

The greenery that this place offers is unmatchable. At Mount Harriet, there is a Forest Guest House where tourists can take rest and refresh themselves.

North Bay

North Bay island is one of the most popular destination at the Andaman Islands. Didi you know that the iconic light house of North bay appears on every 20 rupees Indian currency note. North Bay beach which is north of Port Blair provides snorkeling opportunities around its fringing coral reefs. Private ferry service takes you from Aberdeen Jetty across North Bay and brings back after a three hour stay. The corals at North Bay are spread over a large area. During snorkeling, one can spot many species of fish, lobsters and even clams on the coral reef. Sea walk is the latest addition of facilities there to watch under water life.

Ross Island

This is a small island- less than a square kilometre. This island served a s acapital to the Britishers from 1858 to 1941 when the Japanese occupied it and converted it to a ‘POW site’. his island homes the ruins of the church, Chief Commissioner’s house, the Cathedral and graveyard of the Britishers and few other important landmarks which today is hugged by wild wines and huge roots and trunks of century old trees. To reach Ross Island, private ferries are available from Aberdeen Jetty except on Wednesday. Sound & Light show narrating the history can be seen on all days except Wednesday at 5.30 pm.

 

 

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