Andaman introduction

Why Andaman?

Once upon a time, only the rich travelled. Even the thought of a recreational vacation was a luxury. But, modern men and their gadgets have made it possible for us to go to the dream vacation destination within hours. In an era where the vacation goers have aplenty options to choose from, why do we urge you to choose Andaman?

Located just 2-hour plane ride away from major metros of India, The Andaman and Nicobar are The Paradise Islands of The Indian subcontinent. They are the nature’s retreat from the degenerating modern cities. A visit to Andaman Islands acts like a tonic to the soul. When we picture a beach we add crowd, traffic, and noise to it. Imagine a beach that is made of pure turquoise water without a hint of pollution. Imagine strolling on the silver sand without any clatter or clamor. Andaman Islands lets you experience the best beaches like you never have before. The simplicity and purity of these sea structures leaves you in awe.

  • Andaman, to date remains untouched by the contingent evils that have wreaked havoc on the world. They are cleaner, greener and purer than any conventional destination like Goa, Pondicherry and Maldives. Andaman hosts the only active volcano in South Asia. The Barren island, after remaining dormant for 150 years erupted in 1991 and has been active intermittently ever since. The black sand slopes, vertical walls and ridges form the gory beauty of this island.

  • The Island is the only part of India to ever come under Japanese hold. Every piece of land in this glorious archipelago has its own story to sing. Andaman is also the only place in India to let you walk among the marine creatures as one of their own. The Sea Walk in the ocean water is truly an unforgettable reverie. A visit to the reclusive Islands will be a treasurable experience. Pack your bags and head to The Kingdom of Nature’s Wonder.

History:

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been inhabited for several thousand years, at the very least. The earlier archaeological evidence yet documented goes back some 2,200 years; however, the indications from genetic, cultural and linguistic isolation studies point to habitation going back 30,000 – 60,000 years, well into the Middle Palaeolithic. In the Andaman Islands, the various Andamanese people maintained their separated existence through the vast majority of this time, diversifying into distinct linguistic, cultural and territorial groups. By the 1850s when they first came into sustained contact by outside groups, the indigenous people of Andamans were: the Great Andamanese, who collectively represented at least 10 distinct sub groups and languages; the Jarawa: the jungle (or Rutland Jarawa); the Onge; and the Sentinelese (the most isolated of all the groups). The indigenous peoples of the Nicobars (unrelated to the Andamanese) have a similarly isolated and lengthy association with the islands. There are two main groups: the Nicobarese, or Nicobari living throughout many of the islands; and the Shompen, restricted to the interior of Great Nicobar.

About Andaman:

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the east of the Indian mainland geographically, float in splendid isolation in the Bay of Bengal. Once a hill range extending from Myanmar to Indonesia, these picturesque undulating islands, islets numbering around 572, are covered with dense rain-fed, damp and evergreen forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna. Most of these islands (about 550) are in the Andaman Group, 28 of which are inhabited. The smaller Nicobars, comprise some 22 main islands (10 inhabited). The Andaman and Nicobars are separated by the Ten Degree Channel which is 150 Kms. wide.

 

These islands also boast of freedom fighting days’ historically significant landmarks viz. Cellular Jail, Ross Island, Viper Island, Hopetown and Mount Harriet. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been declared as two of the 218 endemic bird area of the world. As many as 270 species and sub-species of birds have been reported existing in these islands, 106 of them being endemic. The Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Padauk and Dugong are declared as State Bird, State Tree and State Animal respectively. There are about 96 Wildlife Sanctuaries, nine National Parks and one Biosphere Reserve in the islands. These islands are blessed with the bounties of both south-west and north-east monsoons.

By Air:

The Veer Savarkar Airport, an International Airport is located in the capital town of Port Blair, the gateway to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair, is connected with Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Bhubaneshwar by air. Air India, Jet Airways, Jet lite, Go Air & Spice Jet, Indigo and Vistara Airlines operate regular flights. Foreign chartered flights are also permitted to land at Port Blair subject to the fulfilment of guidelines of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

By Ship:

Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailings every month from Kolkata and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is only one sailing for Visakhapatnam in a month. The voyage takes about 70 hours during fair weather.

 

Indian:

There is no need of Visa OR Passport for Indian Nationals neither any restriction on length of stay.A valid photo id card is required which should be issued by Govt. of India (Passport,Driving License and voter id etc..) However, visiting to tribal reserved areas in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is prohibited.

Foreigners:

All foreign nationals required a permit (RAP - Restricted Area Permit) to visit the Andaman Nicobar Islands, which is easily available on arrival at Port Blair by flight or ship from the Immigration Authorities for 30 days subject to availability of valid visa. This is extendable for another 15 days in certain cases with permission and the delegated authority to extend permission is the Superintendent of Police, FRO/CID, Port Blair. The Restricted Area Permit can also be obtained from the Indian Missions overseas and also from the Foreigners Registration Offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and from the Immigration Authorities at the Airport of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

 

To visit Andaman Nicobar Islands (Restricted Area), prior approval of Ministry of External Affairs is required by the foreign diplomats and members of the United Nations and International Organisations holding Diplomatic (D)/Officials (O) or UN Official (UD) visa/passport.

 

Foreign journalists, TV cameraperson etc. including a foreign journalist already based in India (having Visa Type J), who desire to visit Andaman Nicobar Islands are advised to apply through Ministry of External Affairs (External Publicity Division) of special permit giving full particulars, inter alia, of the purpose and the date of the proposed visit. These applications will be processed in consultation with the agencies concerned and a permit may be issued or authorized by Ministry of Home Affairs.

Citizens of Afganistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are required to obtain prior approval of Ministry of Home Affairs to visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

What you need to Do and you shouldn't?
  • Foreign Nationals should obtain the required permit from the immigration authorities soon on landing at Port Blair.
  • Do not enter into restricted/tribal areas. Taking video, film or photographs of any indigenous tribes on these islands is a crime and is punishable by law.
  • Visit only the permitted areas in the Islands. Do not enter the National parks without permission.
  • Do not remove or take any corals, sea stars or seashells unless specific permits are obtained from the Fisheries department.
  • Do not collect dead coral or touch/break live coral.
  • Shells (even those you see lying on the beach) are the homes of crabs. Crabs outgrow their shells often and change to new larger shells as needed. Taking a shell from the sea or from the beach deprives a crab of a possible home. Even those that you feel are too large, too small or broken are used by these lovely creatures to live. Do not collect, remove or take any shells from sea or from the beach.
  • Do not stand on the coral reef or cause damage to the reefs while snorkeling/scuba diving. Stay streamlined and watch where you put your hand and feet.
  • While driving, follow the traffic rules and keep left. Carry legal documents like driving license, permit, passport etc. Wear a helmet at all times when riding a motorbike.
  • Consult life guards before entering the sea and pay heed to any warnings that may be posted. Swim in safe areas only.
  • Do not swim in unsafe waters during monsoon. Do not swim after consuming liquor.
  • Do not stay on the beaches or the forest areas during nights by putting up own tents/hammocks.
  • Do not take video or film without permit, wherever such permits are required.
  • Do not light bonfires in the forest or beach areas.
  • Keep the beaches and environment clean. Avoid plastic as far as possible.
  • Do not throw garbage and plastics in public places, beaches and into the sea. Dispose off the garbage and plastics at proper places/dustbins.
  • Do not collect, destroy or remove any living or dead animal/plant. Do not hunt birds/animals.
  • Keep in mind the sentiments of the locals and their traditions.
  • For scuba diving, avail the service of scuba diving institutions having affiliation to internationally recognised organizations like PADI, CMAS, NAUI, BSAC or SSI. This is highly recommended for your safety.