Andaman Islands, an exotic mixture of picturesque natural beauty and numerous pristine white sand beaches, are a perfect travel getaway and entice travelers from across the globe. Located in the Bay of Bengal and measuring 700 kms from North to South is a sprinkling of 572 alluring Islands of which only 36 are inhabited.
Mythologically, the name Andaman is presumed to be derived from Hanuman, who was known to the Malays as “Handuman”. Since pre-historic times, these islands were the home of aboriginal tribes. The tribes of the Andaman group of islands are the great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas and Sentinalese; all of Negrito origin.
Until the beginnings of colonial rule, the islands were populated mainly by indigenous peoples, but today the majority of the Andaman’s population are mainland settlers or their descendants who live in and around Port Blair, the capital, on South Andaman. The territory comprises 572 tropical islands (of which 36 are inhabited), with unique wildlife and lush forests, although the Nicobar Islands are off-limits to tourists.
The sea around the islands offer excellent scope for water sports. The rare flora and fauna, underwater marine life and corals, with crystal clear water and mangrove-lined creeks, offer a dream-view of the rare gifts of nature. With about 225 species, the A&N Islands house some of the larger and most spectacular butterflies of the world.
Corbyn’s Cove Beach:- The coconut-palm-fringed beach, ideal for sun basking. And, is 6 km away from Port Blair town. It is the only beach in Port Blair. The Snake Island, situated just across the beach is famous for Scuba Diving.
Radhanagar Beach:- Is rated as ‘Asia’s best beach’ by TIME Magazine and has also positioned itself in world’s top ten beaches. Radhanagar Beach situated 12kms from Havelock’s ferry pier. Fine white sand, turquoise blue waters and a lot of peace and serenity are the hallmark of this beautiful landmass. The beach is located at a distance of 7 km from Dolphin Yatri Niwas.
Elephant Beach:- Is further north from Radhanagar and is popular with Indian tourists. The shoreline here was largely swept away by the 2004 tsunami and the beach is a fraction of what it used to be; however, the coral here is probably the best on the island, making this an excellent spot for snorkeling. On Elephant beach in Havelock Island, people can watch training of elephants and elephants swimming in sea.
Henry Lawrence Island is the second largest Island of the Ritchie’s Archipelago, it has an area of 55 kms. It was named after Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence.
Long Island:- Long Island has very little infrastructure. The sea around the island is frequented by dolphin convoys. Lalaji bay Beach is 6 kms away from the boat jetty at Long Island. Close to Long Island are some wonderful uninhabited islands with lovely beaches, including Guitar Island, North Passage Island and the spectacular Merk Bay and further afield the intriguing North Button, South Button and Middle Button Islands. All can be reached by boat from Long Island.
If you are looking for that perfect getaway, where you can relax and rejuvenate in nature’s lap, watch time come to a complete standstill and hear the sounds of silence, its time to be hypnotised by the Andaman Islands.
Image Credit: Flickr