About Howrah Bridge
Nestled on a coral laden side of Neil Islands in Andaman, Howrah Bridge is a sought after destination on the Laxmanpur Beach. It is just a naturally stacked up huge coral rocks which together form a bridge-like structure. The island was severely affected in the Tsunami disaster of 2004 which washed off uncountable dead corals on the shore. As the island is largely inhabited by Bengali immigrants, the bridge was first coined as the Rabindra Sethu but later changed its name to Howrah Bridge. The bridge can be accessed only during low tides, hence, you will be taken to this coral island only pre-sunset hours.
There are guides available who take a fixed amount to make you tour the entire shore where you are introduced to sea creatures such as sea Cucumber, starfish, crabs, etc. The bridge overlooks the grand Indian Ocean, plus the dead coral stretch where you stand in ankle deep water and can see the school of colorful fish and sea animals living on the dead corals which are partially submerged in shallow ocean water. Howrah Bridge is a unique site in Andaman and so is Laxmanpur beach, nobody regrets coming here.
How to reach Howrah Bridge
- From Port Blair: Howrah Bridge or the Neil islands, in particular, is situated 40 kilometers from Port Blair. There are two government boats that ply once a day- one at 6:30 am and second leaves at 11:00 am for Neil Island. The journey time takes around 2 hours. Another way of traveling to Neil Islands is by air-conditioned catamarans suchlike Mackruz which takes merely 90 minutes to travel from Phoenix Bay to Neil Kendra Jetty.
- From Havelock Island: There are 3 ferries depart daily from Havelock to Neil Island- one at 6 AM, 11:30 AM and 2 PM.
1. Places to visit near Howrah Bridge
The places that can be toured on Neil Island beside Howrah Bridge are:
Other nearby places which can be traveled around the island are:
Jolly Buoy Island
North Bay Island
2. Things/ Activities to do in and near Howrah Bridge
You can enjoy a list of activities in and around Howrah Bridge. The place features varied sort of corals such as brain corals and finger corals which will be demonstrated and explained to you by your guide. Other than the tour around the Bridge, the island can be surfed in several other ways. From treading upon the dead corals to filming the school of fish and sea cucumbers lying around the bridge; Neil Island is blessed with flamboyant marine life which can be explored by several means such as:
Glass bottom boat ride
3. Places to eat in and near Howrah Bridge
From Chinese, Italian, Indian to marvelous seafood; you are spoilt for options in Neil Islands, especially restaurants around Howrah Bridge. Some of the renowned restaurants are listed below with the cuisine served in their menu:
Dugong: Indian, Seafood, Asian
Garden View Restaurant: Indian, Seafood, Asian
Sea Sand Restaurant: Seafood, Asian
Blue Sea: Indian
Waters-Wet Bar: Chinese, Italian, Indian
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4. Places to stay near Howrah Bridge
Neil island encompasses a mix of high-end beach resorts to premium properties overlooking the sea. With amenities such as swimming pool, loungers, bar and beach view, here is a comprehensive list of uber-cool places to stay near Howrah Bridge.
Coco n huts beach
Sea Shell Neil Islands
Silver Sand Beach Resort
Pearl Park Beach Resort
Tango Beach Resort
Sea Shell Samssara
Summer Sand Beach Resort
Holiday Inn Beach Resort
Elephant and Four Wise Men Resort
5. Best Time to visit Howrah Bridge
The island of Andaman and Nicobar experiences gently warm and humid weather conditions throughout the year. The average temperatures in all the three seasons that are:
Summers (April to June) ranges between 24°C to 37°C
Monsoon (May to September) ranges between 22°C to 35°C
Winter (December to February) ranges between 20°C to 30°C
It is advisable to visit the place during the peak season which includes all the winter months. Monsoon is totally not suggested especially if you are visiting the Howrah Bridge as the bridge can only be accessed when the water level in the ocean is low. The ideal time is to go in the afternoon and come back before the onset of sunset hours. Summers can also be considered to be a suitable time to go, only if you can bear the heat.
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6. Travelers' Tip before visiting Howrah Bridge
Hire a guide to experience a detailed tour with first-hand demonstrations of sea corals, starfish, crabs, cucumbers, and many other sea creatures found in the shallow water that often looks like a natural oceanic aquarium.
Do carry an underwater camera or a waterproof case for your camera or phone to capture marine life.
Keep water bottles with you, the striking sun in the afternoon happens to drain and dehydrate a human body.
Do not leave the group or go deeper into the ocean, the Tsunami wrenched island brim with dead corals and a few sea snakes can also be seen.
The shore is fringed with wild trees, make sure you do not touch anything or eat any wild fruits. It can be dangerous.
Be a responsible traveler and kindly do not litter the island and degrade the oceans.
7. Entry Fee and Photography allowance in Howrah Bridge
Neither the use of camera costs you anything nor the entry to the shore where the rock-bridge is located. You only pay to the guide that you hire for taking you around the beach.
8. Visiting Time & Duration for Howrah Bridge
It is boldly mentioned on the signboards and also by your guide to visit Howrah bridge during low tides. If the time is not watched properly one may get stuck in knee-deep water and stepping on the rocks to return may become difficult and risky. The duration of the visit is not more than half-an-hour. A small walk around the bridge to explore the natural aquarium under the bright sun and some moments captured against the backdrop of the magnanimous natural rock-bridge.