It was a long time desire to visit Andamans - discussion were on with my friend Riyas Kottayam for more than 6 years as his sister is settled there. The planning became live when we shared the travel plan with Safir, Siraj, Raheem bai and later with Navaska. Finally we decided to have a family trip of 6 families (12 adults& 10 kids under the leadership of Riyas bai) to Andamans in Octobar 2015 and booked the flight tickets in early May. The most fantastic part of the trip was the team.
- In a sense it is a special region in the geographical map of india. It has 572 islands and out of which about 34 are permanently inhabited. There are indigenous people living in these Islands. Some of the Islands in ANI need special permission to enter, that too not permitted for tourist purpose.
- There are five indigenous Andamanese groups in these Islands – Jarwas, Onge, Sentinelese, Grate Andamanese and Shompren. Some of them are forager (hunters) groups. All of them are very specific to this region and all of them differ each other in their culture and way of life. At large the interactions and attempt to stream line these groups to the main stream have affected their existence itself.
- Considering the decent cleanliness maintained all throughout the city and other villages, it is very different from other part of India.
- It is a land of offspring of freedom fighters who exiled for life from their mother land. Central Jail at Port Blair is an evidence for this historical fact.
- Indian subcontinent has 4 major sea coral sites (ANI, Lakswadeep, Gulf of Mannar,Rann of Kutch). As per scientific survey results, ANI boasts of having more than 177+ verities of coral species out of the identified 793 species in the world. Scientists say that, we can find more if we do further explorations in this area.
- Once you wander in ANI, you will become a fan of sea shells, fishes, diving, corals etc. There are many species that we can see without eyes, the diversity of creation by the Great Creator, All Praise to Him!
- Beaches in Andaman are excellent, what I felt is all beach that we visited were different. All of them are clean and lovely. The vastness, beauty, pinch of loneliness, serene view, water clarity with bluish touch etc will always keep these beaches in our minds. Many beaches are shallow and takes distance to go deeper, which helps to play around safely. Your entire family can peacefully enjoy playing in the waves. In low tides, playing beach football was also possible as the sea bed is uniform and horizontal.
- It is a land of nice people. In the modern era, people have reached this Islands from Tamilnadu, Karala, Bengal, Malaysia etc and so it is a mixed community but yet living in harmony.
- As we visited ANI in Octobar and end of Octobar being start of tourist season, we had a mixed feeling on the climate. There were heavy rain on the day we reached at Port Blair, but climate was pleasant after that day. Most of the day sky was clear and climate was hot. Islanders say that, normally Andaman climate is unpredictable. But thank God, none of our plans were influenced by bad weather.
- Planning a visit to ANI need two main things to take care. Proper stays and commutations plans across Islands. In tourist seasons (Oct to March), it is very tough to find tickets and overall cost will be high. So preferably better to go just before starting of tourist season like we did (Actually it was not planned intentionally, we realized by chance that we came there at the proper slot)
- We will love the lunch here. Simple and ‘fishy’. Food was satisfactory through out.
There was no difference of opinion that we all decided to go once again to Radha Nagar beach. There is a small forest area near the beach, we all wandered through and then went on to beach. Walking on the vast sandy beach watching the tides and longing for a dip; it was awesome. The pattern made by Sand bubbler crabs is a surprise which occupied the whole beach. Frankly, it is a fabulous experience at the Radhanagar beach and the only worry was is it going to have sunset soon. The design at the sky for the sun set is magical and unique.
We played a decent football match at the beach before leaving. Mr.Hussain had arranged dinner at Forest guest house which is near to the Forest beach. It is on the way to Kalapathar beach. This beach is also decent and good for a visit. We had some group games while waiting for the dinner.
|Just reached Neil Island - Way to Hotel|
Next we went to the visit Natural Bridge. This was another surprise for us. It is a beach side with special rocks. The initial part was small specially formed monolithic rock structure, but on the ground and walkable. This is vast and home to so many species of creatures. Moving to the left side there were small natural ponds and through their side we can walk along. We observed many special sea creatures live (clams, anchovies, sea horse, crocodile needle fish, mud spiny lobster, mud crab etc). Many other types, we couldn’t identify. The ambience of the place was special and the natural bridge in the Howra bridge shape was extraordinary.
|View of Neil Jetty in the morning|
Lots of mangroves around and serene water through out. The boat took a peaceful left turn inside the mangroves through the small water ways which lead to a small jetty. Limestone caves are very rare in India. We need to walk some distance to reach Lime stone cave. It is dark inside, but the boat driver had a torch and showed us the patterns and differences in colors because of presence of water in some areas.
|Inside Lime stone cave|
|Mangroves near Limestone caves|
|Machan's younger kids|
|At Rasheed Sahib's house|
After this we had a surprise lunch from Syndicate Mess. It is a mess by Tamilians near the Syndicate Bank. This was the best meal we had all throughout our trip. We went to Gandhi Park after lunch. It is well maintained beatuful park. Our kids enjoyed much there.
|The pack - From Rose Island|