It was when I got back home from college on a regular tiring day, everyone at home was busy in phone calls, surfing on the net for some travel guides and my sister super excitedly ear spying the phone call conversation. I had no clue of what was going on. And a few hours later, it was decided. We are going on a trip to the Andaman Islands! That was probably the best surprise I ever got from my parents since birth. (Yeah, the second best surprise because it can never compete with “Don’t go to school today!”). Anyways, after all the pre-trip excitement, the shopping, plannings, revealing about the trip to friends, the big day unknowingly arrived very soon. Here we gooo!
A Trip to the Andaman Islands!
Day 0: Visakhapatnam- Chennai- Port Blair
I am a native of Visakhapatnam. So we boarded the train here in Visakhapatnam to our first destination Chennai, with our friends joining our group from different stations on the go. While we were having a good time because we met after so long, time just flew and we got down at the station around 2 am. We quickly freshened up and boarded our flight to the big day’s star destination: Port Blair- Capital of Andaman Islands. I was super excited as it was my first time boarding a flight and also traveling to the most dreamt, desired, whatever would mean the most ‘craved for’ holiday destination.
Day 1: Port Blair- Cellular Jail, Corbyn’s Cove Beach
It was past noon by the time we reached Port Blair. We checked-in into our hotel rooms and quickly got out to have lunch. Post lunch, we first headed to the most infamous Cellular Jail a.k.a Kala Pani. It is a massive jail turned memorial monument which a part of the struggle for Indian Independence. The beautiful architecture spread out with seven wings, with long balconies and dark cells were once home to different social activists and prisoners. The jail museum also located in the interiors draws your memories back to the days you read of the freedom struggle.
Later, we drove off to the Corbyn’s Cove Beach which is seven kilometers from the main town. It’s a prominent sightseeing place and has water sports like jet ski and speed boating, surfing, etc. Further, we felt it a perfect location to take pleasure of seeing colorful corals, fishes, and the waves of water and coconut trees playing together. It’s like nature left undisturbed to enjoy its freedom. After having a pit stop to enjoy the fresh felt coconut water, our first day ended at the hotel.
Day 2: Drive away- Zonal Anthropological Museum, Forest Museum, Fisheries Museum, Munda Pahar Beach
With continued anxiety for more beaches, experiences, and adventures, we woke up way too early. We finished our breakfast at a restaurant that served our native Andhra food. Having pumped up with energy, we went to the Zonal Anthropological Museum. It depicts all the facts that reveal the history of the Islands and the bio-cultural heritage of various tribes in the region. It showcases wax statues, tribe’s tools, their dresses and the method they used to build their houses.
Then we drove to the Forest Museum which is 10 kilometers from the main city. It contains all the things related to the forests of Andaman including the artifacts that are made from timber, gurjan, oak, satinwood and paduak. The Timber Mill is the most significant one in the complex.
PS: While on our way to the Forest Museum. We stopped at a beautiful breathtaking sight near a bridge centered between the city and the mill complex. We stood by the stone pathway and looked at the clean shore water splashing on to the rocks and the tender droplets spilling on us. The sky was magnificent and the total scene was one which we couldn’t take our eyes from.
We then proceeded to the Fisheries Museum that houses various collections of fishes, corals, and shells. It also provides information on the various marine life and over 350 species of fish. Though it had a lot of stuff to discover, I didn’t enjoy the experience at this museum much. So we wnt to a street side shop and had sufficient pani puri, bhel puri and sev puri for lunch and resumed.
Beach, beach, and beaches everywhere! Set in Chidiya Tapu, 25 kilometers from Port Blair, we reached Munda Pahar Beach– the best sight I could see in my entire lifetime. From thick mangroves to mesmerizing sunsets, it stays as the best Andaman experience to me.
It was an adventurous ride to the beach on a lonely narrow road with the beach on one side and thick forests on the other. We got into the beach and turned into little kids who love to play with the water. But suddenly after it started raining really bad, we realized that the water level just rose up from the waist level to our neck. We quickly got out of the beach and ran from the place. It was an adventurous experience, though!
Day 3: Drive to- Marine Interpretation Centre, Jolly Buoy Island, Snorkelling, Wandoor Beach
Hungry for more, we reached the Marine Interpretation Centre after breakfast. It initially looked like any other museum in the Andaman but to our surprise, we could feel an entirely different world inside. There were real crocodile species, turtles and the local state animals inside. We also made friends with a cute kitten which never left us throughout our visit around.
Then, a call to another enthralling experience- Jolly Buoy Island. This is a must visit in Andaman. With pure nature accompanying you and pristine clear water caressing your body, Jolly Buoy Island is a no-plastic zone where a guard is accompanied with each visitor throughout the visit. The boat rides with glass bottoms provide a view of all the alluring corals and marine life underneath. Scuba diving and Snorkeling are the activities to help you see 12 different types of corals, fish like Nemo, sea cucumber, etc.
The Wandoor Beach is a one hour drive from Jolly Buoy Island, prior to it. The water was so pure that we could see every grain of sand shining under water. Since it is a beach, you know how it feels like 😀
Day 4: Havelock Island- Blue Corals Dive, Radha Nagar Beach
Ahh morning! And we geared up with our puffy faces to Havelock Island– beach number 5. All the elders who weren’t confident to dive drove back to the Radha Nagar Beach. Being a beach in the Andaman, they shared with us that it can no less than be any best experience one can have. We got on to a ferry at 9 am in the morning to reach Havelock. Here we come to encounter the best ever Scuba Diving experience, I can say.
At the Coral Reef Resort, there were beautiful houses made of wood. A guide for each explained us hand symbols to gesture underwater during an emergency. And then, we suited up, took permission from the authorities and were ready to dive in! He lowered the pressure of the cylinder and I dived in. In the beginning, it was a bit difficult to sustain the new atmosphere, but later I really enjoyed every minute underwater. I slept on the seabed, toured around different corals, swam and lived the experience to the core.
Out of days: Bye Bye!
After a few photograph sessions underwater, we rode back to the main city. The whole 4 day’s excitement just felt like a minute. I never felt like letting go of the Island. From admiring the beauty of nature at Andaman, endorsing into a thoughtful state while reading a book on the return, I reached home. To the same usual routine. It all felt just like a minute. But a fulfilling dream come true!