Travel Bucket List: India – Andaman & Nicobar Islands Part 4

Continuing on our island hopping from the last post…

Aves Island Beach: A a public island beach for individuals wishing to spend some time away from crowds and in their own solitary company, the The Aves Island Beach is an uninhabited beach, which automatically makes it isolated. Easily accessible with crystal clear, calm waters that add to the serene ambience of the beach, the beach is also known as coconut island due to the organic coconut plantations on the island.

North Andaman Island
Diglipur: A large island located in the North Andaman area, Diglipur is an ecological paradise. The island houses rows of tropical forests, mangroves, and lovely beaches rich in exotic marine life. Kalipur Beach, Ross & Smith Islands, Ramnagar Beach, and Pathi Level Beach are all located in Diglipur, which makes it a favourite destination among tourists. The highest point of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Saddle peak, is located at this island, accessible through the Saddle Peak National Park. One can also find the Kalpon river here, the only river to flow through the Andamans. The Ross and Smith islands, a mysterious mud volcano, and the Saddle Peak National Park are all located within the confines of Diglipur. The Alfred Caves, an elaborate labyrinth of 42 caves spread across Diglipur can satisfy the desires of the adventurous who are willing to undertake the challenging task of exploring and trekking through these caves. This largest town in the Andaman islands, does not heat up beyond 31-degree Celsius and also does not freeze below 23-degrees Celsius. For the tourists looking for a relaxing vacation, the shores of Diglipurs offer many wondrous beaches where one can get lost in the beauty of the sea all day long. Visitors to Diglipur can get there from Port Blair by car which is a 12-hour journey approximately. The waterway is another exciting option to cover this 325km distance. There are boat services available twice a week as a night long cruise. If money is not an issue, you can fly there in one of the helicopter services, or choose other special planes that fly you to Diglipur. If neither of these work, you may hop on to one of the buses available in the nights. The Sea Planes are a one-of-a-kind experience.

Lamiya Bay Beach: Located in Diglipur on the foothills of Saddle Peak, the dazzling Lamiya Bay Beach has polished pebbles laid down on the shoreline which further accentuates the beauty of the beach. A favourite amongst the honeymooners, this beach has become a highly instagrammed beach what with the shrubs and trees that contrast the sand and sea. The beach is surrounded by beautiful rock structures that add to the beauty. You can witness a magnificent sunset with the sky turning crimson and reflecting the last rays on the polished pebbles.

Kalipur Beach: Located in Diglipur, the Kalipur Beach is a beautiful beach with an endless number of turtles. These include several rare ones that come here to nest, including the Olive Ridley, the Green turtles, the Hawksbill and the Leather Black who come to the beach to lay their eggs during the winter months. The best time to visit the beach is from October to March as this is also the turtle nesting season. Kalipur Beach can be easily reached from Diglipur and the beach is at a distance of 18 km from the town.

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Stewart Island Beach: This quaint little Island situated on the north of Port Blair has an isolated beach amidst the middle of an uninhabited Island. This Island has a long narrow strip of immaculate white sandy beach located in the middle of the sea. The Island has a stunning shoreline with clear water ideal for snorkelling and gentle waves lashing against the sun-kissed sandy shore. Situated between Dotrel Island and Curlew Island, it is considered to be one of the most photographed Island beaches in Andaman by tourists in this part of the country with the sky changing colours very often. A long strip of coconut groves swaying gently to the tune of the breeze is not only soothing for the eyes but also gives relief during mid-afternoon when the sun is at its peak.

Ross and Smith Island: Located just 2 kilometres east of Port Blair, Ross Island is an island which was once the administrative headquarters of the British, but today is an uninhabited island that is known solely for its beauty and scenic views. Following an earthquake that hit the island in 1941, the British left the island and shifted their settlement to Port Blair and the island became abandoned. If you go to the island, you can still see traces of a prosperous past in the rubbles of the church, swimming pool and the chief commissioner’s home with its extensive gardens and magnificent ballrooms. There is also a cemetery and a small museum managed by the Indian Navy. Connected to the island by a sand bar is the Smith Island and the two islands are together known as the twin islands. From Smith Island, you can trek in the nature trails in the island which extend till Ross Island through the green tropical forests and breathe in the calm air of nature. A Marine Sanctuary on the island is the biggest highlight and it is considered to be the ideal place for watching the rare collection of invigorating coral reefs and colourful fish species. Both the islands are home to Olive Ridley turtles and the turtle nesting season is a sight to be seen. Sometimes, visitors can also see wild elephants which live in the dense forests come to play!

Jolly Buoy Island: Nestled away in a small corner of Andaman and Nicobar is the Jolly Buoy Island, an uninhabited and ecologically preserved island known for its clear waters and beautiful coral reefs that make it one of the most sought-after sports in the Andaman for scuba diving and snorkelling, and truly being able to experience the beauty of nature that has been unaffected by man-made dirt and pollution. It is a part of Mahatma Gandhi National Park and it takes some time to get to the island as you need to take a boat ride of some 30 minutes from Wandoor Beach. Visitors will be able to explore the rich marine life including colourful corals reefs and fishes when you do water activities. The Jolly Buoy Island is only a day’s visit as the jetty that transport people here starts from 9 am and returns at 2 pm as people are not allowed to stay here post-sundown. There is a very strict no plastic policy on the island and people who visit the island are all required to make a list of all the plastic items in their possessions as they enter the island, and make sure that they show the same plastic covers to the authorities at the time of departure. There are also heavy fines charged for loitering on the island, so make sure to be extremely careful with your belongings and make sure not to litter on the island. The island is also famous for its rich underwater life. A lot of colourful corals and fishes habitat in the sea which can be seen easily. Acropora, Pacillopora, Montipora, Fungia, Leptoseris, Forties, gorgonians and tubipora are the important corals that can be seen in Jolly buoy Island. Beautiful starfishes, ocellaris clownfish , False Percula Clownfish, butterfly fishes, parrot fishes and Angel fishes are the ones that can be easily spotted and are a treat for the eyes because of their vibrant colours and fluid motions. There is a beautiful jungle filled with trees for tourists to explore and seek some shade from the sunny beach.

Havelock Island
Named after a British General and comprising of Ritchie’s Archipelago and a collection of five villages, Havelock Island is one of the largest and most popular islands in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago and is a paradise of silky white sand beaches, crystal blue water, rich corals and verdant forests. Officially named Swaraj island, the island is spread over a massive area of 113.93 square kilometres and is situated 57 km north-east of the capital city Port Blair. The long stretches which have been declared among the best beaches in the world are here, all closely connected to the island’s main boat jetty. The lighthouse established in 2005 at the northern part of the island gives a wonderful place to catch the sunrises and sunsets. You also have a a wide options of accommodation in the island.

Radhanagar Beach: Crowned Asia’s best beach in 2004 by the Times Magazine, the Radhanagar Beach on the western coast of Havelock Island with its turquoise blue waters and powdery white sands lives up to the moniker even today. Its vast shores of endless white grains stretch across 2 kilometres, making it a prime attraction of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This crescent shaped 2 kilometers long beach is known for its soft silver sand with high carrying capacity. Located at a distance of a mere 7 kilometres from the much-adored Vijaynagar Beach and approximately 10 kms from the Havelock Jetty, this beach is the prime attraction of Havelock Island. Swimming is a popular activity here. Neil’s cove on one side of the beach offers a fantastic snorkelling experience in its freshwater streams. Apart from enjoying the spectacle of the beach and the melange of colours, visitors can also enjoy water sports like boating, parasailing, and scuba divingYou can also book beach beds, parasols, and umbrellas while they spend hours merely lounging at this exquisite wonderland. It also very common for tourists to spot some elephants on the beach, so make sure you keep your eyes open and cameras ready! The beach tends to get crowded with visitors around late mornings and afternoons usually between 10 am to 4 pm. The best time of the day at the beach has to be the early mornings as you get time to enjoy the beach in its rawest, most secluded form. Sunsets at this beach are stupendous as well, but the forests guards might not let you stay past 6 pm, as it starts growing darker by the minute. Swimming in the waters is also not allowed post 5 pm due to high tides that might prove to be dangerous.

Elephant Beach: Located close to the Radhanagar Beach, the Elephant Beach can be reached after a twenty minute ferry ride. One of the more popular beaches in the islands, the beach attracts many visitors every year. The beach is famous for the bright coral reefs that one can find at a depth as shallow as one meter. Note that the beach doesn’t stay open for the whole day so you must plan your visit during the first half of the day, with the beach opening from early in the morning, and ferries arriving from around 7 am nd then last ferry leaving the beach at 3:30 pm with the entire beach shutting down around 4 pm. Some of the most popular attractions around the beach include swimming, fishing, kayaking and an array of other super exciting water sports that are famous in Andaman.

Vijaynagar Beach: Also known as Beach #5, Vijayanagar Beach on Havelock Island is said to be paradise on this planet. Not as frequented by the other beaches on the island, the beach boasts of a palm-fringed coastline which creates a stunning contrast to the green and blue of the sea. Unlike the other rocky beaches, the Vijaynagar Beach is a rolling beach which makes it a perfect relaxing haven to experience stunning sunrises and sunsets across the vanishing point of the Bay of Bengal. Some of the common activities you can indulge yourself in are beach hiking, snorkelling, swimming, bird watching, wildlife photography, fishing and trekking.

Kalapathar Beach: A long stretch of white silky sand with black rocks beside the blue sea, Kalapathar Beach which literally means Black Stone Beach is located on the tip of Havelock Island. The beach is named after a black road which runs parallel to the seashore. A small beach with mesmerising views of the sunset makes it a perfect destination to spend some alone time as this beach is usually not very crowded. The black rocks the lie along the seashores make a bright contrast with silver sand and green dense forests surround the beach from all the sides. Being a relatively isolated and protected beach, Kalapathar does not have the usual shacks and resorts that other beaches do and hence can be visited as a stopover attraction.

There are more islands waiting for you, so keep watching this space…