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A Slice of Paradise ... for you! Hyderabad to Andaman

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Those who say God is a great creator, I guess they forget to say He is a great painter too .... with his five fingers on each hands the way he painted Andaman in blue , green and white , one must travel himself to experience this slice of paradise in India.

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A destination with beautiful pristine beaches , multiple islands to explore, rich marine life and a great spot to begin your water sports in India. 

 

Andaman has two options to reach - Flight through Chennai or Kolkata or take a ship/vessel from Kolkata /Chennai.

 

The island has the beauty of Indian ocean and blessed with nature all around. I tried looking for a direct flight but had to fly via Chennai from Hyderabad. You dont need to change your flight at Chennai. Its not connecting but via Flight! .

 

Security quickly comes and check your boarding pass and then you fly again in less than 50 minutes from Chennai to Port Blair.  The total journey is four hours ( Hyderabad to Chennai - One hour and Chennai to Port Blair - 2 hours ). 

 

Port Blair has a lot of options to explore and of course a great place to visit around many other connecting islands or parts of Andaman. However I had a mission to step first  in Havelock - a well known water sports and honeymoon destination for Indians. 

From Port Blair you can take a ferry - ( Government Ferry/ Green Ocean /Mukruzz) to reach Havelock.

 

 The travel time with Mukruzz is one and  an half hour.  You need to keep your bookings either online from the website or through travel agents since the seats on each ferry are limited . Once you reach the ferry , you need to get your tickets checked in and stamped to board the ferry. Ensure you double check your timings and  make your flight and ferry bookings accordingly. 

 

The ferry from the airport is just 3 kms and cab drivers can charge you anywhere between INR 200 to INR 300 for a drop. 

The union is very strong so only option is to ensure you negotiate with calm and witty answers instead of any arguments. 

 

Mukruzz runs three times a day from Port Blair to Havelock and Neil Island. 

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As the vessel starts its journey over the ocean, you can see the beauty of the blue water with islands around and their silver sands stretched across the shore.

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Once you reach Havelock, collect your luggage from the disembarked part of the vessel and exit the ferry.  

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At the exit of the ferry itself you can see small boats which take  you to Elephant beach for INR 900 and offer you free snorkelling.  Other way of reaching Elephant beach is by trekking for 2 kms through muds and jungle. Choice is yours to select ! Pick whatever suits your temper or mood. 

 

You do have Taxi stand and water sports centers at the exit of the Ferry! Feel free to negotiate for both of them for a day trip.

 

We booked our resort at Vijaynagar Beach - one of the most beautiful beaches that connects you through the beach side of all good resorts in the same stretch till Kalapathar Beach. 

 

Our booking was at Dolphin Resort. A lot of other resorts are in the same road and can be a great option for family and couples. 

We hired a cab and reached the resort just 3 kms away from the jetty.  The reception was quite welcoming after a long traveling . The sea facing cottages will not only take your breath away, you can see haven of heaven and beauty of sea all around in the stretch of the beach with white soft sands, Mohua Tree and gentle cool breeze!

 

The skeleton of some old big trunks,  beds of wooden sofas, green lawns with beautiful flower and trees all around just bring out a fresh you after a long journey!

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The island has no network as such and have to be away from the technology . In a way its a great thing to reconnect with people around you and not with those who are away from you! You are forced to look back at the beauty of nature and interact with the people around you. It is a great moment to speak and discover that you have been pet of technology so much, this liberty if gives you nothing but atleast a light mind and a great mood to focus on your travel and trip with your companions. 

The options of dinning is actually very less. The timeline for all courses - Breakfast, lunch and Dinner are strictly within mentioned time frame and it is followed almost across all the islands in Andaman.  If you have an idea to drink and fish out any bottle from any bar anytime . I am sorry, you have to rework on that attempt. All licensed bars have rights to sell drinks only thrice in a month and no liquor is sold outside the permission day . 

 

The sunrise in Vijaynagar is the best! The beach is so clean and clear, you would not mind sitting and bathing in the water, soaked in the sun over the white sand for hours. Time is such a luxury in Havelock - no matter how much you spend, you still see time left in your pocket for the day. 

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Havelock is a place to book two wheelers for INR 500 a day and go around exploring the island. Ensure you fill petrol from the pertol Bunk at fairly cheaper rate of  INR 68 instead of paying INR 80 at the bike on rent outlet.  

 

From Vijaynagar beach, Kalapathar beach is very close . It is on the same stretch and connects you through a nice shadeful road.  Kalapathar on a cloudy afternoon will remind you of your ride towards Chapora Fort drive in North Goa from Sinquerim Beach after Taj Resort! 

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From Kalapathar beach you can head directly to Radhanagar Beach. This beach is known for its sunset. I did see some videos on Youtube before but my first sight at the beach blowed million cucumbers in my eyes for its cooling soothing effect. The crescent shape beach with trees all around and sea so blue and shimmering is just too good to be true! The white soft sand , less people and clear water is strong reason enough to sit quietly and enjoy the breeze and the sunset. 

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If you want to have lunch before Radhanagar beach entry, you can pick up one of the small outlets offering typical meals and a non veg menu of your choice. 

 

I would recommend for a stay at vijaynagar beach over Radhanagar beach because Radhanagar beach will cut you off from every thing else in the world. 

 

The 3rd day was to take a cruise again and reach Neil Island in the morning. The travel time is one hour. Neil island is a 7 km island with three places to visit

 

Sitapur, Lakshampur Beach I , Lakshmanpur Beach II and Bharatpur Beach.

 

Bharatpur Beach is for water sports and Lakshmanpur Beach I is for Sunset and Lakshmanpur Beach II is for visiting a natural bridge  formed of rocks . You can also visit Mangrove close to Sitapur beach. In my opinion best option is to book a jetty in the morning for Neil Island and then return by afternoon to Havelock or Port Blair. Other than the blue water, I didnt find much to get excited or spend money on! Bharatpur beach is a place for water sports -you can go for snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Paragliding, Glass Bottom Boat ride , jetsky all at a package or select and make your own package. As the day pass, the demand for water sports decreases and your negotiation power increases. However you do miss the beauty of water sports that can really thrill you in the early morning over late afternoon. 

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4th day, we had a ferry booked to Port Blair. We decided to stay at Mega Pode . Thanks to Sruthi for recommending this resort. Megapode is just a little over 1 Km from the jetty. The resort is big and faces the ocean and jetty. The maintenance and room services are also great! It has multi cuisine restaurant, Bar and also garden area to sit and relax your evening or late afternoon looking at the ocean. 

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The same afternoon we booked a cab and traveled almost 29 kms from the resort to a spot known as Chidiyatapu! There is no entry fee for this sunset hilly region. You get to explore a lot of places on your way to this destinations. You get to run next to the airport runaway and can click take off or landing of flights! There are few really nice off beat photography location on your way to Chidiyatapu! There are spots where you need to little conscious to ensure its not a landing for crocodile and if not can have great photography of the sea and you together :) . Try to reach the spot by 3 PM so that you can hike/treck for 2 kms up hill and look at beautiful andaman, the ocean and the sunset ! I am confident like many you will enjoy the beauty of the place.  

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If you want you can go to Cellular Jail for lights and sound show , Mahatma Gandhi Water Complex for sport Activities, Handloom Industry at port Blair. In the interest of time, we decided to go and relax in Karbon Beach and spend time watching others enjoying the waves and water sports. 

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The time we visited , Andaman was hosting a festival known as Milan ( meeting ) having all neighbouring countries brought their vessel in Port Blair.

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5th Day. 

We wanted to visit Jolly bouy island . This island comes under Mahatma Gandhi National Park controlled by Forest department . There are multiple islands that comes under this region and also controlled by the forest department. To travel to the permitted island , we would need to have permission from the forest department and you cannot carry any plastics. Your bags are checked and permits are stamped. You can get your permits by travel agents . Jolly Bouy speciality is - the island remains closed for 6 months and remains open for 6 months -October to  March every year. The break of six months is to increase the richness of marine life in the sea. The season when Jolly bouy remains closed, Red Skin island remains open. 

 

You are not suppose to carry any plastic bottles. You can rent two water bottles for a security deposit of INR 200 for each bottle you rent and fill it up with sealed water bottles . After security check you board the boat and journey through the clear water for close to 40 minutes. The jetty is close to 40 minutes drive from the resort . It is close to wandaroor beach almost 29 kms away from Port Blair. 

The journey can be fascinating since you get to hear and see a lot about Andaman during Tsunami and its impact and effect and other islands around. 

 

Jollu Bouy island is really beautiful like any other untouched island. You dont get to eat or drink anything at this island. The three hours trip includes swimming, snorkelling and glass bottom boating! The charges are usually INR 200, INR 500 & INR 1000. The crystial clear water and marine life is so so rich in this island, one really needs to see it to believe it! The school of fish of different color and sizes, the huge size of oysters , variety shades of star fish and corals are breathe taking and of course quite an experience. 

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Incase you want to do any other  trip , you can definately go to Ross Island, Twin Island, Ross and Smith Island,  Batarang Island Trip and have Mud Volcano experience. Though we do have multiple choices to go and explore in Andaman, it is still an island with certain restrictions like lots of island across the globe. 

Keep these in mind - 

Night life is zero after six PM. 

No Drink options unless your hotel keeps bottles .  

Meals are kind of tiring to eat and have very limited options across the island. So dont be particular or choosy. Keep an open mind. 

Water Sports -discuss and judge your sense before paying and jumping in the water. you should go for snorkeling and scuba diving early morning. 

Union is strong for cabs and bikes. Prefer to take two Wheeler  for your trip in every island. 

Book your ferry before you reach Andaman  . Opt for online or Agency support to book them.

Population is good enough to speak in Hindi and English. 

Pick a hotel next to the beach or else your trip will lost the purpose and have no value of return

Try visiting during Full moon day or just after full moon day. You will experience high tides and water just next to the beach resort. Or else you get to see only dead corals. 

Try Chidiyatapu for a drive, learn about culture, business, life style of the locals. 

 

 

This was the last view of Andaman from the flight! 

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Beautiful pictures Pinkai.

11 hours ago, Pinaki said:

Those who say God is a great creator, I guess they forget to say He is a great painter too

 

Excellent information.

I have few questions for you.

How much does the whole trip cost?
What is the best mode of transport? (Bike/car)
How expensive are hotels?

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We were group of four and it cost each roughly around INR 24000  excluding Airfare. Airfare for both side cost me INR 5600 . I did block my tickets Last November . 

There are few hotels in Port Blair if you want to go to a nice place and stay . The cost may vary and can range high. I select Mega Pode and got 50% discount from Agoda.com being frequent user. Other good resorts can be really expensive. 

I didnt see much great options at port Blair. Before selecting a resort, I did try reviewing and communicating many resorts. Either there was no response or online feedbacks were negative. 

 

Havelock has some quite nice and famous resorts and pretty expensive. I decided to go for Dolphin resort and managed to got a discout through a source. The room costing INR 4700 was offered for INR 3000. Its a really good resort and sea view cottages are great! Other resorts can charge you somewhere between INR 8000 to INR 12000 per night. There are other resorts as well but I am not sure if it will have sea view, or close to the beach or any of the charm. 

 

Neil Island is very small so the options were also very slim. I consider it was a waste of money for me to spend INR  3000 for a night for a cottage which was as very small and smaller than the washroom at Dolphin Resort. 

 

The trip across island can be covered by two wheelers. There is no point having a car in Havelock or Neil Island. 

At port Blair you can go for a car and cover south or west Andaman and quite a new extended part of Andaman by driving. However you need to be very careful since a lot of areas require permissions and you probably wont prefer to enter them from safety purpose. A good guide can definitely help you. 

 

 

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No words man..place is a beauty.
Thank you for sharing.

Never knew Andaman has some clean beaches!
 

12 minutes ago, Ranger said:

What is the best mode of transport? (Bike/car)

 

I think boat is the best mode :P

 

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Between Islands - definately either -mukruzz or Green Ocean or Government ferry. Some may be slow and take longer to reach your destination and some may be loud and not as good as expected. I did try Mukruzz and heard from many, much better than the other ones. For Bachelors, probably a ride in government ferry or Green Ocean make sense. You can enjoy the open air , experience the rise and fall of waves and click pictures from outside. 

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@karthik After Bali, I figured out Andaman is very clean and clear! You should visit and see the beauty. Of course, remember to visit around full moon time when the water will be closer and high tides are on for long! Otherwise you might get disappointed to see dead corals and sea far away from the resorts. 

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IMG_4974.jpg

 

I love this view..I can sit there for one full day, watching the nature.
Good read and pictures made it more interesting. 
 

11 hours ago, Pinaki said:

Those who say God is a great creator, I guess they forget to say He is a great painter too .... with his five fingers on each hands the way he painted Andaman in blue , green and white , one must travel himself to experience this slice of paradise in India.

 

Fantastic :x

 

How mays days are sufficient to explore the place?
How are the temperatures during summer?

 

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2 minutes ago, Pinaki said:

remember to visit around full moon time when the water will be closer and high tides are on for long!

 

Great information @Pinaki
Will note this point. 

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@driveking In my opinion you should spend two days in Havelock for a disconnection from rest of the regular routine spammed life . Neil if possible just go in the morning and return by afternoon ?( Just my opinion. Apologies in case people found Neil great to stay. ). Spend sometimes in Port Blair to cover the local spots and visit Chidiyatapu. You can have one more day going to one of the day trip islands for water sports or explore tribal life in Batarang . 

 

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@Ranger We were lucky to experience water level touching us since 8 pm till 2.30 next afternoon. Otherwise water goes far away soon and you dont get to touch or feel them until late night! Such stay in a resort is a sabotage. 

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Super post.. awesome pictures.. Thanks for reminding our trip back in 2014. Andaman is gem! I would love to go once again.

Right now in office, around evening will try to share my snaps taken back then.

 

Thank you once again for your lovely write-up, thoroughly enjoyed..

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In love with your post.
Enjoyed every bit of it. 
Good work Pinaki.

 

2 hours ago, driveking said:

How are the temperatures during summer?

 

It is better to avoid in summer. 

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Thanks Uday.

 

Yes the summer is not the season to be! The season starts between October to Early March! I heard from the locals, best time is Nov to Jan,

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Andaman and Maldives are the best/economical places to visit for the beach lovers.
Fantastic report Pinaki.
I have visited Andaman last December, It was a very good experience.
My next target is to visit Maldives. :D


 

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@shivaMy detailed research shows Maldives is expensive and have a lot of limitation if I look at the type of exploration I keep on my mind. Though it is a honeymoon destination but the charges and tax costs you a lot in food, jetty and travelling. Each island has one hotel or resort or boutique. You are locked down at the same place for three days . You don't have options to move out unless and until you are ready to spend again and go for another island. I have gone through a lot of island details and pictures and when I read the feedback, looks like a lot of these resorts are not well maintained and have good views only when you are ready to upgrade. The one which are impressive comes for a high cost and  leave a hole in our pocket! Ideally we should have someone who has visited Maldives to guide us on the stay and Itinerary and that can give us best experience and savings both. 

 

On the other hand - Indonesia /Bali is a great spot for me. I have Kuta , Lambok and few more island trip on my list for next year once again. I did overspent last time but I know how much luxury I can still receive at a much cheaper price. Give it a try once... I am sure you will like the culture, luxury at a dirt price and nature all around the archipelago. :-)

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Wonderful re @Pinaki too good!! One clarification, when you say we don't get daaru, how does this work? Resorts will have it stocked up? Or do we have to carry it while we go there? If we have to carry, how many bottles are allowed to be carried??

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Tandra Hotels do have stock I guess , the high end ones and the cost may be high or the stock may be really limited to brand /option of choices. The Government has made a point to ensure all the licensed bars at Havelock have get only three different days in a month to sell drinks. There are multiple restaurants and beer or Bar counter across the Vijaynagar street however all declared it dry day. The last day, we managed to get a bar to pull drinks. We paid INR 1200 for four bottles of beer!  

Flight rules are simple. I guess you can carry only two bottles in your check in. Enquire with the customer care team of your airline before you fly. 

We were told that our luggage gets checked /scanned by the Jetty security . We found no one's bag was checked but your ticket and ID card. 

 

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Guest Kuttan

Hi @Pinaki, Firstly thanks a lot for sharing the information on your trip. Excellent way of putting things together which are very helpful.

I have read in a blog about the swimming elephants and a dive into the water along with it. Have seen some beautiful pictures of these too.. But, I am hardly able to find information about these rides. Could you please throw in some light on it? :)

Thanks in advance.

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@Pinaki Superb post with amazing shots of one of the most beautiful beaches:x...Loved reading it all through..very informative and ofcourse the title and starting stroke that you made in your own style is something I should not miss making a mention here:P...great job bhai..Keep rocking!!!

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