The gateway to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and
the Andaman Sea, Port Blair is the capital of the Union Territory located in
the Bay of Bengal. Located on the Southern Andaman Island, Port Blair is at the
very heart of tourism in the Andamans. Greatly connected with the mainland of
India, Port Blair is also the center of finance, culture, and other major
activities prevailing in the Union Territory.
Be it sightseeing, interactions with the
prevailing local tribes, knowledge of the history of the area, or water sports
in Andaman, Port Blair is truly the heart of all that makes Andaman a true
tropical destination worth exploring any time of the year.
Surrounded by the rugged yet beautiful
coastlines, and tropical yet mesmerizing forests, Port Blair is a culmination
of not just the most beautiful of sceneries, but also of various cultures.
Bengalis, Tamils, Telugus, Nicobarese, and Burmese are the main inhabitants of
the capital, with Bengali being the most spoken language, followed closely by
Major things to do in Port Blair includes the
name sightseeing at Cellular Jail, birdwatching at Chidiya Tapu, and shopping
at Aberdeen Market, and must visit places near Port Blair are Havelock Island,
Ross Island, Corbyn’s Cove, and Viper Island.
Places to visit in Port Blair:
As is clear from the name itself, Chidiya Tapu is
a heaven for bird lovers. With a lot of rare migratory birds approaching this island
and a number of other indigenous species calling this place their home, Chidiya
Tapu is a famous attraction near Port Blair. Another great thing to do here is
to watch a mesmerizing sunset from the beach which is flanked by hills on one
side and forests on the other.
Popularly known as the Kala Paani Jail, the
Cellular Jail was a colonial prison built on the Andaman islands because of the
remoteness of the place. The British sent exiled prisoners here, including the
notable names of Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
(in the honor of whom Port Blair’s airport was named). The place is now an
important historical monument and hosts an amazing light and sound show every
Named after the ship that brought Lieutenant
Archibald Blair to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1789, the viper island
was the site of the British Exile Prison before the construction of the famous
Cellular Jail. With the ruins of the old gallows still sitting on the top of a
hillock on the island, the place is a scenic as well as bio-diverse wonder.
Interestingly, the wreckage of the ship HMS Viper was also found near the
Samudrika Marine Museum
Ran by the Indian Navy, the Samudrika Marine
Museum is situated in the capital itself and was built with a great initiative
in mind. The museum works for generating awareness about the situations in the
ocean and about marine life. Divided into 5 sections, the museum presents
exhibits dealing with the Islands, the geography, people and demographics,
archaeology, and the marine life. It houses a great collection of cells,
corals, and a few colorful fish species
from the waters around.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
A stretch of unmatched natural beauty, the Mahatma
Gandhi Marine National Park was given its status on 24th May 1983. With the
main aim of preserving marine life, especially the rare coral life, and the
nesting sea turtles, the National Park is divided into 2 major island groups;
Labyrinth Islands and Twin Islands. Spread in an area of 281.5 sq km, the place
is a heaven for nature lovers and diving enthusiasts.
Rajeev Gandhi Water Sports Complex
Most of the water sports and related activities
are concentrated in one place, the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex. Offering
a safe place for enjoying water sports, you can enjoy joy rides on speed boats,
Jet Ski & Banana rides. Apart from these, there is also the availability of
Kayaking, Canoeing, Parasailing, Paragliding, Waterskiing, and Boat Tours.
North Bay Island
The heaven of life underwater, North Bay Island
is the adventurer's paradise. With a number of good diving sites, the island is
swarming with opportunities for exploration underwater. You can choose to enjoy
scuba diving, snorkeling, and sea walking, alongside glassbottom boat rides to
spot the rarest and most beautiful marine species. Don't miss our full guide on the top places in andaman to visit on your next visit.
A group of islands, the North Cinque and South
Cinque Islands are so famously known for being connected with sandbars in
between them. With this passage named the Manners Strait, both the islands have
some features that make them favorites of visitors all year round. While North
Cinque is famous for water sports like diving and snorkeling, the South Cinque
island is a part of the famous Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.
Ross and Smith Island
Located far away from the mainland of Andaman are
these twin islands connected by a sandbar in the middle. The entryway to this
majestic pair of islands is from the small town of Diglipur, and one needs a
formal permission from the forest department to visit. The clear blue waters,
and an amazing marine life, alongside animals in the forests make this place a
great experience to visit
Mount Harriet National Park
Covering the area around the third highest peak
in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Mount Harriet National Park is named
after the wife of Robert Christopher Tytler, an avid naturalist, and
photographer of British Origin. It must be noted that the picture on the back
of a 20 Rs currency bill was actually taken in this National Park. Don't forget to check out our full guide on the top things to do in andaman on your trip.
A famous attraction of the Andamans, the Forest
Museum is located in Chatham, on the very outskirts of Port Blair. Managed by
the forest department, the place is famous for exhibiting artifacts made with
timber, gurjan, oak, satinwood and paduak. As an added flavor, the museum also
has a mini zoo and a small zoological garden inside the complex.
Home to more than 350 species of marine animals,
including creatures like fishes, turtles, sharks, and crabs, the place was
built with the thought of preservation and showcasing the natural assets of
Andaman. Ideal for all age groups, you can also see a lot of corals, clam
shells, and lobsters as well.
With a rather sad history attached to it, the
ruins present on the island speak volumes about the time that this place has
seen. Once the administrative headquarters of the British colony in Andaman,
the place was abandoned after the earthquake in 1941. The place is now taken
over by forests that add an unsettling feeling to the whole place.
Jolly Buoy Island
Home to majestic corals and an unmatched beauty
of a beach, the Jolly Buoy is a part of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National
Park. A haven for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, the corals here are in
their most pristine form and have been attracting travelers and adventurers
from all around the world.
3 km away from Port Blair, Chatham Island has had
an important part to play in the history of Andaman, as this where the earliest
of British Settlements arose. The British established the Chatham Saw Mill in
the year 1883 to help with supplementing the need for timber and is now an
attraction in the Andaman group of islands.
Things to do in Port Blair
Attend the Light and Sound show in
The cellular jail sound and light show is one of
the best things to do in Port Blair. Displaying the story of the struggle
behind fight of freedom in India, it is a popular attraction between tourists.
The show runs in both, English and Hindi, taking care of all the audience that
comes to view it.
Spot beautiful birds at Chidiya Tapu
Chidiya Tapu is one of the most colorful places
around Port Blair to explore, as it is not just visited by the tourists, but
also by some of the rarest bird species in migration and native to the
archipelago. You can spot the Andaman Serpent Eagle, White-breasted Kingfisher,
Oriental Scops-owl, and many other such rare species.
Visit Rajeev Gandhi Water Complex
The Rajeev Gandhi Water Complex, named after the
deceased ex-Prime Minister of the country, is a great place to go to when you
seek adventure and a calling for water sports, You can enjoy jet skiing,
parasailing, banana boat riding, kayaking, water skiing, and more adrenaline
spiking sports right here.
Visit at Munda Pahar Beach
Located right on the Chidiya Tapu, the Munda
Pahar Beach is covered by hills on one side, and with mangrove forests on the
other. Apart from the views of some of the rarest birds, this secluded beach is
a great spot to witness a mesmerizing sunset, and thus attracts a large number
of visitors. You can also take a look at our article on the best beaches in andaman which you must visit on your vacation.
Visit Mount Harriet
The third highest hill on the Andaman and Nicobar
Group of Islands, the area around the hill is densely forested and makes for
what is known as the Mount Harriet National Park. Named after Harriet Tytler,
the British Officer who documented the buildings and monuments of Delhi and her
notes on the 1857 uprising in India.
Watch the only active Volcano in India at Barren Island
Home to the only active volcano in South Asia,
the smoking hill on Barren Island is also the only active volcano in a chain of
volcanoes that runs from Sumatra in Indonesia to Myanmar. Just like the name,
the place is barren yet beautiful, with the latest eruption recorded in the
North Bay Island
A beautiful island full of beaches, the North Bay
Island is one of the best places to visit near Port Blair. You can enjoy many
water-related activities on the North Bay Island, with the most amazing ones
being Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sea Walking, and Glassbottom boat riding.
Visit Japanese Bunker
Telling the story of the Japanese invasion of the
Andamans, these bunkers located at various strategic locations across the town
of Port Blair. The Japanese came here during the time of the second world war
and constructed these bunkers to help in the process, one of which is quite
close to the Corbyn’s Cove. You can also check our best andaman honeymoon packages.
In the very center of the city of Port Blair not
far away from the water sports complex and on the main bazaar road, the
Aberdeen Clock Tower is surrounded by many shops and is lit up in the evening,
making for a great place to hang around. Forming a reference for the city, this
landmark is also amongst the most photographed one.
Do Shopping Aberdeen Bazaar
The most popular shopping area in not just Port
Blair but also in the entire Andaman Island, the place is also the commercial
hub of the capital. Be it the festive season, weekends, or any normal day, the
place is just packed with shoppers buying clothes, household items, coconut
shell lamps, bamboo cane craft and jewelry made out of shells as souvenirs or
just for use.
Divided into 5 sections dedicated to Andaman and
the marine life around it, the famous museum is a great place to gain knowledge
about the history, geography, and biology attached to this amazing tropical
destination. Also, get to witness some rare species of corals and fishes in the
Go on Samudrika Museum tour
Other Essential Info about Port Blair
The mobile connectivity in Andaman has always
been a concern for the modern traveler, and is a question often asked. The
prefered connections that usually work in Port Blair are Vodafone, BSNL, and
Airtel, with Vodafone being the best service. Reliance Jio and Tata Docomo do
not work in Andaman at all.
Unlike the rest of India, people in Andaman and
Nicobar enjoy free healthcare services from government hospitals, meaning the
people do not pay consultation fee or medication prices. On Port Blair, the GB
Pant Hospital and ANIIMS together form the best medical facility, with the
Maricar Hospital following closely in keeping the people of the islands, and
the travelers healthy.
Cash is something that you will always need when
you are traveling to a new place. The same applies to Port Blair, and the
question of unavailability is something that will surely inconvenience anyone.
As it turns out, many major banks have ATMs at strategic places in Port Blair,
including Canara Bank, HDFC, United Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Bank Of
Baroda, and United Commercial Bank.
Places to eat
Food is another major concern of a traveler.
Although the experience of going to a new place and trying their cuisine sounds
exhilarating and tasty, the best thing is always to enjoy it all from the best
of the restaurants around. Some of the most favorite and highly rated
restaurants of Port Blair are Icy Spicy, Hotel Kattabomman, Amaya, Annapurna,
New Lighthouse Restaurant, Ananda Restaurant, Brewberry’s and many more. The
taste here ranges from Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Continental, Seafood, to
Cafes and Breweries.
Minimum Duration for Visiting Port Blair
For covering all that Port Blair and surrounding regions have to offer, you
would need at least a 4 day trip to Port Blair. If you're looking for hotels to stay in andaman, there are many amazing options to choose from.
Things to Keep in Mind
Following are a few pointers for keeping in mind
while visiting here.
Mondays are a holiday in Andaman
and you will find most of the places closed on that day, including the Cellular
For foreigners and NRIs arriving
here, a Protected Area Permit is a must for entry into the capital, as well as
the Union Territory.
The locals are very helpful and
cooperative, and you must talk to them for a better experience of everything.
The local transport here is as
effective as public transportation, and again the people are very cooperative
in this scenario. You can also go on a cruise ride for leisure.
ATMs are easily available
throughout the city. Also, cards may or may not work here because of the
network issues, so it is advised that you keep some cash handy at all times.
6. Port Blair Weather can change any time of the
year because this is a tropical monsoon zone.
Do not litter as the locals do not
like tourists who do that.