Havelock island, recently renamed as Swaraj Dweep, is one of the most visiting places in Andaman and Nicobar island. The beautiful white sandy beaches, rich coral reefs, lush green forest, and picturesque natural paradise lures travelers. It is also known to be the most populated island in Andaman with an area of 113 sq. km. and is located 39 km of north-east of Port Blair. Till date, it is known to be the island unaffected from modern technologies and enables gateway to the middle of nowhere for globetrotters.Havelock island, recently renamed as Swaraj Dweep, is one of the most visiting places in Andaman and Nicobar island. The beautiful white sandy beaches, rich coral reefs, lush green forest, and picturesque natural paradise lures travelers. It is also known to be the most populated island in Andaman with an area of 113 sq. km. and is located 39 km of north-east of Port Blair. Till date, it is known to be the island unaffected from modern technologies and enables gateway to the middle of nowhere for globetrotters.
Radhanagar is without doubt the most famous beach in the Andaman Islands. The beach’s utopian white sand, saxe blue water, undefiled environment justifies its title of ‘Asia’s best beach’ and ‘7th best beach of the world’ by the Time Magazine. The simplicity of this beach is its strongest selling point. It truly is an unforgettable curve of white sand with perfectly coloured blue waters, lined with palm groves to give a lush green appearance to the beach. Due to its reputation and popularity one would expect horde of people rushing to the beach, but most amazingly Radhanagar remains mostly sparse compared to other popular beaches of the world. It can get bit crowded straight down the entrance but if you walk couple of hundred meters away, you will be alone again.
Kalapathar is a small, picturesque and serene beach. Its stretch of white silky sand and big black rocks beside the blue sea looks exactly out of a postcard. It is one of the best beaches to observe and dwell amidst nature in quietude. You can carry a hammock and bind it to a tree. Resting in the hammock and viewing the stunning beach is a great recreational activity. The coconut groves along the beach promenade present a spectacular sight.
The beach gets its name from the surrounding Kalapathar Village and the black rocks (known as Kalapathar in Hindi) that adorn the coastline here. The beach can get a bit crowded in high season. There is a small lodging path through the green jungle, where once an elephant training camp operated, but nowadays all you’ll find is a secluded beach. The water is deep enough to swim and is not affected by tides. There are some rocks and corals so do take care while going into the water.
Very near to the Radhanagar Beach is the Elephant Beach. This secluded area is accessible only through a boat or by trekking. Turquoise coloured water, fallen tree trunks, mangrove creek, exquisite coral reef is what attracts thousands of travelers each year to this location. A picturesque view of open sea with few island hills in the back drop is an exotic view one must experience. You will feel like you are in a different world, one that is free from pollution, noise and uproar, on this beach.
Apart from North Bay in Port Blair, the Elephant Beach is the only place in Andaman that offers Sea Walking. Walk on the bed of the sea with only a helmet and stroll like a mermaid. Anybody with a zest for adventure can indulge in this underwater fun.
The location is also known for other activities like swimming, bird-watching, trekking and kayaking. You will find a rich diversity of marine creatures which include species of fishes and sea flora. Dense mangroves surround the beach. Bird watchers must visit the beach early morning and evening to have a close look at the birds.
Elephant Beach is a shallow water haven for snorkelers. The coral reefs in this beach are increasing, unlike most islands where reefs are drastically decreasing. It is considered one of the ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. The reef here starts at 5 feet deep. You may either snorkel by yourself or may hire a guide to help you snorkel at the Elephant Beach.
Thirty minutes away from the main dock of Havelock Island is one of the oldest lighthouses of Andaman. This place is known for its pristine surroundings and its amazing coral reefs. The lighthouse functions well even today despite it being extremely old. This place is very popular for deep diving. Lots of tourists come to this place to admire the coral reefs and the marine life through a glass boat. The tourists who are a little bit adventurous take to the water and enjoy nature’s beauty by either snorkeling on the surface or by scuba diving into the deep waters.
The Light House can be reached by a 30-minute dinghy motor boat ride from the Havelock Island main dock. This place is open for tourists when Elephant Beach is closed during monsoon season or can be reached by a private chartered boat.
Part of the Rani Jhansi Marine National Park, the South Button island is nature’s spectacle of marine life. The fishes and other sea creatures here are so vibrant and lively that it is one of the new budding snorkeling spots in Andaman. The South Button supports unexplored but immense variety of biodiversity. This national park covers an area of 5 sq. km and has emerged as a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkelling. However, a lot remains to be known about the South Button Islands. It is a great opportunity for adventure junkies and nature lovers to go on an exploration spree.
An oceanic type of climate prevails on the islands. The average temperature lies between the range of 20˚C to 30˚C. The island receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon months of June to October. Best time to visit South Button Island is from December to April
An astonishing variety of marine life of every color can be found on South Button Island National Park. Of the known species, the animals found here include dugong, water lizards, sea turtles, shrimps, and dolphins. Schools of fishes found here are snappers, sweetlips, nudibranchs, lion fishangel fish, butterfly fish, devil ray, manta ray, barracuda etc. This island is reportedly a significant breeding ground for sea turtles and the endemic Andaman grey rumped swiftlet. Very few terrestrial animals are found here.