This story was written by guest writer Rohit Agarwal for Oblique / Travel. 

Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is a union territory of India situated in the Bay of Bengal. It is connected with mainland India by both air (2-hour flight) and sea (3 to 4 days). Port Blair is the local administrative sub-division of the islands, the headquarters for the district of South Andaman, and is the territory’s only notified town. It also serves as the entry point for visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

It is a real pleasure to visit a place that has diverse landscapes like beautiful cliffs, pristine beaches, low lying plains, amazing islands and lush green fields. While such diversity can be found all over India, Port Blair is a unique destination to experience it all. A visit to the islands, especially the unexplored spots, will definitely make it a fascinating trip to talk about. It is the lifestyle and culture of the people, as well as the spectacular view of the sea, that awakens your senses and ensures that you go home revitalised.

1. Adventure Lovers’ Wonderland

Port Blair - Water scooter ride
Photo by Ankur P, CC BY-SA 2.0

Those who love an adventure and the adrenaline rush, Port Blair is the perfect place for them. Scuba diving, fishing, deep sea diving, snorkelling and other sea sports are available at your disposal. You can try out the ones that fascinate you and have real fun. An outing away from the humdrum of the city life along the azure sea waters will rejuvenate and invigorate you. You can also go trekking amidst Mount Harriet and witness the flora and fauna of the land. The best time to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is between April to July. To know more about climatic conditions, click here.

2. Nature’s Paradise

radhanagar beach, havelock
Photo by Joseph Jayanth, CC BY 2.0

Vivid nature is sure to soothe and pacify any kind of apprehension which one has abundant of in the busy urban life. Time comes to a standstill and spreads tranquillity at the pristine beaches like the Ferar Beach, Wandoor Beach and Radha Nagar Beach. The occasional sound of the waves of the cerulean waters is so soothing that will leave you asking for more. A visit to any one of the beaches is guaranteed to relax you. Take a walk on the paths amongst the thick forests laden with lush green trees. Observe and enjoy what nature has to offer. For all the attractions in and around Port Blair, check here.

3. Witness Culture and History

Jarawa musicians/dancers
Photo by Jeremy Weate, CC BY 2.0

If you return from a tour without witnessing the local culture and lifestyle, the vacation would have felt incomplete. Hence, while mingling with the locals at Port Blair, try to learn about their lifestyle and traditions. One of best way (and it’s free!) would be to walk the streets and the countryside. Take a look at the British-era cellular jail for an understanding of the colonial history. You can also visit the local museums, such as the Anthropological Museum and the Samudrika Marine Museum, to know more about some of the oldest tribes of the world. The exhibits throw some light on the Palaeolithic islanders and a visit is sure to quench the thirst for knowledge of both the history enthusiasts as well as culture buffs.

4. Gourmet Trip

Photo by MabelAmber, CC0 1.0

Food and culture go hand in hand. A new place has sure on offer some lip smacking fare. Not tasting at least a few dishes will be foolish and sheer stupidity. Sea food is very common here due to its proximity to the sea. Good ambience and mouth-watering dishes of different kinds of cuisine, south Indian, continental and more at The Mandalay Restaurant, Ananda Restaurant, Lighthouse Residency and so on. Dining here will be good value for money too.

5. Shopping Spree

Photo by hmauck, CC0 1.0

It is a must to go on a shopping spree and buy the local produce as gifts to your dear ones and friends back home. The government emporium, the Aberdeen Bazaar, is a good shopping spot to start. On display in the bazaar are plethora of items like funky bracelets, earrings and chains made from sea shells. Other fascinating curios include items made from coconut shells and bamboo unique to this region.

There is a lot more to Port Blair than the activities listed here. You can also visit Havelock Islands, and for nature and animal lovers, there are a number of wildlife sanctuaries in Andaman. More information is available on to help you plan your itinerary for a visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Rohit Agarwal

Rohit Agarwal an avid travel buff maintains the blog Visit his blog for more information on what the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has to offer for the traveller.
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