Don’t miss these places to visit in Andaman
Have the Andamans been on your list because of its pristine beaches? There is so much more to this wonderful destination that’ll leave you mesmerized. Andamans offers some of the best tourist attractions – it has historical sites, natural wonders, adventure activities and beautiful beaches. It is like having an all-in-one vacation put together exactly the way you want – to enjoy, relax, see wonderful things, do activities that challenge you and come back home rejuvenated. Here’s what you can see in Andaman
Historical Places in Andaman
The Cellular Jail stands witness to a black period in India’s freedom struggle. Built between 1896 and 1906, this massive jail has stories of atrocities and sacrifices. It was built in these remote islands as a way to ensure that the prisoners never found a way to escape. Even today, when visitors leave from this jail, they do so with a completely different perspective – one that values their very existence much more as it is a result of the supreme sacrifices of those souls in the jail.
Ross Islands in South Andaman was the administrative headquarters of the British for 81 years until the 1941 earthquake shook up the island. The island was named after marine surveyor Captain Daniel Ross. In 1942, the Japanese invaded the islands and took over control during World War II which lasted until 1945. Eventually, in 1979, the Indian Navy established a post here.
What’s unique about the islands is the remains. The dilapidated structures have been reclaimed by the forests growing huge root structures over them. It gives an ethereal feel to the island.
Take the Andaman Heritage Walk to visit more historical sites in the Andaman Islands
Museums and attractions in Andamans
The Samudrika Marine Museum is located at Delanipur, Port Blair. From the huge blue whale skeleton in the entrance to the corals and shells, there are quite a few interesting sights here. Read more about the Samudrika Museum
MG Marine national park
The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was established in 1983 to protect the marine life like corals and sea turtles around the area. Around 20 islands like Alexandra, Bell, Boat, Chester, Grub, Hobday, Jolly Buoy, Malay, Pluto, Red Skin, Riflemen, Snob, Tarmugli, West Twin, East Twin and North Hobday come under the national park area. Of these Jolly Buoy is the most popular among tourists for its coral viewing activities. Know more about the Jolly Buoy island here
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park
The South button national park covers around 5 square kilometers (2 sq mi). Along with the neighbouring North button and middle button national parks, these form the Rani Jhansi Marine National Park in Andamans. Though known for its shallow water coral reefs, these are not included in regular tourist itineraries because of their distance from the mainland
Zonal Anthropological Museum
The Anthropological Museum is located in the heart of Port Blair and depicts the biological and cultural heritage of the Andaman islands including those of the indigenous tribes. Ideally, you should be visiting this museum before the start of your tour so that you get a better perspective on the islands.
Forest Museum / Chatham Saw Mill
The Forest museum in Andaman is located inside the Chatham Saw Mill. Located 10 kms from Port Blair, the museum displays artefacts made from different woods like timber, satin wood and the endemic Paduak. Andaman’s rich rainforest is home to many species of trees and animal life. The museum has a mini zoo and and small zoological garden inside too.
The Chatham Saw mill was set up in 1883 to meet the local requirements of timber. It was the largest and oldest saw mill in Asia. Eventually, the timber was sent to other locations too.
‘The Pillar of the forest ‘ is a memorial inside mill which was made in March 2009 to commemorate 125 years of forestry on the islands.
The Kalapani Museum is often deemed as a must-visit by those who’ve been there. While history buffs are bound to love it, even other people see it as an eye-opener to the Andaman islands. The museum houses dioramas, original documents, pictures, diaries, registers, stories and newspapers that give you a different picture of the pre-independence era on the islands. The museum is not generally high on the regular tourist list but is a must visit for students.
The Balidan Vedi sheds light into an other history chapter witnessed by the Andaman Islands. Between 1942 -45, when the Japanese took control over the islands, there were many atrocities conducted by the Japanese soldiers too. One of the most outrageous was the killing of 44 inmates from the Cellular Jail at Humfrey Gunj, where they were shot dead. The memorial here commemorates the sacrifice of these martyrs
Early in the morning of December 26, 2004, and 9.1 magnitude earthquake from the Sumatra coast generated Tsunami that killed about 230,000 people in 14 countries. The Tsunami Memorial in Andaman is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives. Take a minute at this memorial – it’ll remind you of the shocking destructive power of nature. It is located just near the Cellular Jail.
Saddle Peak National Park
The park is located in the North Andaman Island. Surrounded by evergreen forests and tropical vegetation, Saddle Peak National Park is home to Andaman wild pig, Andaman hill myna, Andaman imperial pigeon, water monitor lizard, dolphins, whales and the Saltwater crocodile. The park is reserved entirely for the natural biodiversity to grow and develop and any activity like forestry or grazing is not allowed. Tourists, though, are allowed to trek through the park to scale the Saddle Peak, which is the highest point in the island. The vantage point on the top of the peak is artificially created so that trekkers can spend some time relaxing there. You can visit the park when you plan to visit the Ross and Smith islands, Ramnagar beach, Kalipur beach or Lamiya Bay beach. There are also a few mud volcanoes nearby.
Mount Harriet National Park
Mount Harriet has the highest peak in the South Andaman archipelago. The view from the top is depicted on India’s INR 20 rupee note until date. Beautiful and green, it is a great way to spend a free day in Andaman Read more about Mount Harriet here
Natural Wonders of Andaman
Beyond beaches, Andaman is home to a few natural wonders that will transport you to a whole new world. But these are attractions that everyone would like to include in their trip. Some require quite a bit of travel but we can assure you that it is well worth it.
Volcanoes of Andaman – Mud Volcano / Active volcano / Dormant Volcanoes
Before you get super excited about the term Volcano and imagine a lava-spewing experience, let us get the air clear.
Mud volcano: Andaman is home to a natural phenomenon of mud volcanoes where hot mud, gases and slurries erupt from the ground to form a dome-like mud structure. They are fun to watch.
Active Volcano: Andaman’s only active volcano is located on Barren Island. The volcano most recently erupted in February 2017 after which there hasn’t been much activity. The area around the volcano is very good for scuba diving and sport fishing.
Dormant volcano: The dormant volcano of Andaman is located at Narakondom. The island is uninhabited and is both a wildlife sanctuary and protected reserve. It is very remote and not typically on a regular tourist list.
Read all about Andaman’s volcanoes here
Formed over millions of years, the natural structures of stalactites and stalagmites offer such an interesting sight to tourists. You can interpret your own shapes within the caves! The journey to the caves is an interesting one which can be taken both by road and sea. Know all about the Andaman Limestone caves here
Natural Sand Bar
Would you like to walk between two beautiful islands on a thin white sand bar with the sea on both sides. This marvel of nature exists between the Ross and Smith islands and is visible during the low tide. Know all about it here
Natural Stone Bridge
Did you know that Andaman too has a Howrah bridge. Located in the Neil Island, this is a super popular tourist spot for everyone who has Neil Island on their itinerary. The naturally formed stone bridge arch is quite a sight to capture for photographs. Here’s all the info about the natural stone bridge at Neil Island.
If you are looking to read about the beaches in Andaman, here’s our complete review list of 30 of the best beaches in Andaman and which ones should be in your itinerary