The Andamans - Trip Report

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Varloo, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    The Andamans


    I am a water lover and have always wanted to visit a beach resort. So when I got a chance to visit the Andamans Islands, I ws very excited about the trip.

    My husband is working in the Refineries and we had the oppurtunity to visit the Andamans as a one time previlage as part of the leave travel benefit. Many of his colleagues had visited the place and they all gave their ideas as per what they experienced. I was told that vegetarian food was not much available and was advised to carry pickles, powders etc. from here. So I was apprehensive about that. But being a person who expects the unexpected, I was ready for anything.
    We planned to visit the Andamans in April. We checked ith a travel agency in Chennai, Hanuman Travels. They arranged our hotel room, vehicle and air tickets.
    Andaman can be reached easily from Chennai, by air and by sea. But sea travel may cause sea sickness and also there is the chance of bad weather. So we opted for air travel. There are daily flights from Chennai and weekly flights from Kolkatta. So better fly from Chennai. Also plan your return trip and book the tickets, or else you may be stranded in the island. The flights are always full, especially during the summer holidays. The islanders and the mainland people working there will be travelling that time and they will be given priority.

    The flight was in the early morning and the journey took 2 hours. It was wonderful seeing the sea, in different shades of blue and green. The air port in Port Blair, the capital, is low lying. As soon as we reached there, we met with our vehicle and driver, Mr.Marimuthu. He had brought a Maruti Omni for us. We were three, myself, husband and my son.
    Our hotel was the Megapod Nest Hotel. It is run by the Govt. (Almost all the hotels are run by Govt.) It ws in a slightly elevated place, with rooms on diffferent levels, only ground floor. There were long verandahs on the front and also open space on the otherside with balcony. The room was spacious, with glass doors and window. There was a TV and cable, telephone and all the other amenities. Bed coffee and breakfast were free there.
    We had breakfast and went for sightseeing. The main attractions are the Cellular Jail, the Navy museum and the Boat Jetty. We visited the Jail in the day time and also in the evening for the Light and Sound show. This explains in a dramatic way, the sufferings of our patriotic people during the Independence struggle. It is very well created, it moves people to tears.
    Then we visited the Ross Island, which is the base for the Indian Navy. We can reach the island by sea only, by a large vessel which plies many times to and from Port Blair.This is more nearer to Sumatra. It seems that we can see the lights of Sumatra on clear days. This was the headquarters of the British from 1876 till the II World War (the Japanese then conquered this island). It is in ruins and it is better to hire the guide to know this place. It is worth seeing this place.
    Next was an overnight trip to the Havelock Island. This is a 4 hour journey by a fast vessel, on the Indian Ocean. It was wonderful to travel through the mangrove lined shores, with occasional rain. Havelock is a beautiful island. We could see the sea from the cottage. We visited the Radha Nagar Beach to have a enjoyable time bathing in the sea. There is a changing room with shower also near the beach. We came back by 7 pm and were surprised to see that the tide had risen. It was a full moon day and specially Chithra pournami day. We just enjoyed the sea in the moonlight. I have to mention about the food, it was purely vegetarian only, with vegetables grown in the island itself. Excellent food.

    Continued.............
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
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  2. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    Started off well but................

    Dear varloo ,
    Where is the rest of the article.I am stuck in in the Radha nagar beach. How do I come back? the trip is very fascinating
    Regards,
    Meenu
     
  3. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Sorry folks. Here we go back to Andamans.

    Dear Meenu,
    we have come back from the Radha Nagar Beach to our hotel and then we saw the sea in the moonlight, right. Now we are going back to Port Blair.

    The next day, we went back to Port Blair by a big vessel, which was very slow compared to our previous day's journey. It took more time to reach Port Blair. While waiting for the boat at Havelock Islands, we happened to roam aroud the local market. It was a very colourful sight with lots of local produce like whole moong, rice etc. and vegetables and fruits. And I bought a Calcutta pan from there, as a sovenier. Most settlers are from Calcutta in this island.

    A very lovely trip was to the Jolli Bouy Island. This is a very tiny island, which gets flooded when the tide is high. The importance of this is, we can see the coral beauty and under water life here. We get the needed equipments here and the guide is also available who helps us in seeing the corals.
    The tourists are taken in a large boat and it is moored at a distance from the island. Then we have to get into smaller boats with fibre glass floors, to see the underwater life and corals from the boat itself. Then we are dropped on the island. We could just laze in the water with a rubber tube around us, we could see the underwater life with the guide and generally have a good time. The whole day is spent there. Then, we are again transported to the big boat and then back to Port Blair. It is advisable to wear clothes which make it easy to get in and out of the boat. One also gets wet while getting in and out of the smaller boat from the island.And lunch, water all should be carried. You get nothing there. But separate dressings rooms are provided for men and women and it is very safe also.
    We had a wonderful time just lying in the water at the Chidiya Tapu Beach. This is a very secluded place, but nothing to fear. We are taken there only in the afternoons and the sea is so calm and clear, you will lose your heart. And the main attraction is the sight of green parrots, flyin here and there and creating such noise. I just loved this place that we went a second time.
    The grand finale was the second trip to Ross Islands in the eve of departure. We were sitting on the shore, reading and relaxing and having snacks. Suddenly I saw my son feeding a large deer with magnificient branched horns. It was eating fruit cake from his palm. I was wonderstuck. Another deer also joined this one and we had a wonderful time feeding them. But they would not let us thouch them.
    There are lots of deer and peacock in that island. They come out in the evenings only- to avoid the tourist who flock the island in the morning.
    Another superb experience was the heavy rain just at that time. It was pouring so heavily that we were not able to see Port Blair through it. And only after the rain stopped, our boat also arrived. Then we saw a huge rainbow while travelling. I felt that we were rewarded well by nature- the beautiful and clean beaches, the ship ride, feeding the deer, rains and rainbow as bonus. I am awaiting our next trip.
    Some information- The Andamans are as hot as Chennai in summer. And the sun rises early there but the clock is set as per Chennai. So by the time work starts, it becomes very hot. The best time to visit would be from September to March.
    I hope you too enjoyed this trip with me. I shall post some pictures also.
    1. We at The Hotel Megapod Nest 2. Myself and son Aravindh relaxing at the Havelock Island
    3. Me and sonny at the Jolli Bouy Island 4. Sonny feeds the deer as hubby looks on.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2006
  4. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Enjoyed

    Dear Varloo,

    It was a pleasure to read about your Andaman holiday. That was a wonderful description of your vacation and the island. I remember you mentioning that you have written for magazines and papers. You can easily take up writing for a travel magazine. Your vivid description made me feel like I was in Andaman myself.
    The photos only gave form to the picture that I already had in my mind after reading your account. Good job Varloo.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely holiday and the pics with us.

    L, Kamla
     
  5. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sujata,
    thanks for the compliments. It was one trip we enjoyed to the full. I just love waterbodies, rivers, lakes, sea etc. Our house is on the banks of River Karamana in Trivandrum and I used to be in the water for hours together in my younger days. I never miss an oppurtunity to have a dip in rivers. On our second trip to Rishikesh, we spend the entire time in the Ganges only. My family also shares this trait and we just freak out in water.
     
  6. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Varloo,

    Your vivid description brought back memories of our 3 day trip to this beautiful island, about 9 years ago !! And what co-incidence, we too stayed in Megapode lodge only !! Even now, when I think of Cellular jail , and the gallows etc. I feel so moved and sad . Esp. the Light and Sound made everyone so solemn ...I feel every Indian must make a visit to this place, once in their lifetime.

    And yes, the plenty of coloured fish and coral in Jollybuoy is brilliant ; I didn't know swimming then but thankfully there was their guide. I just put on the life-buoy [ that rubber wheel, don't know the exact name] & he literally dragged me across the water 'cos I was intently watching the fish, unaware of the time ....

    We missed a trip to Havelock 'cos of lack of time but instead trekked deep into Mt. Harriet . But we came back half-way as forest became thickeer, could hear sounds of animals & since only me & husband, we were not so brave either...:hide:. But the view from up there was truly breathtaking ; like watching from above a cloud .

    And in some other island [don't remember the name] there was a separate gallows for women . In Ross Island only, that song 'Uyirin Uyire...' from 'Kaakha kaakha ' was picturised isn't it.

    I literally relived every minute of our trip Varloo ; :thumbsup enjoyed your enthusiastic narration very much.
     
  7. Saraswathipv

    Saraswathipv IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Varloo...

    Thanx to Grace's post here, I stumbled into this thread...though very late:hide:.

    It was wonderful reading your description of that trip. Could visualize the waters as you flew to Andamans and the Cellular Jail. Boating seemed to have been fun too. Would love to visit there soon.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

    bye
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008

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