My Travel Diaries - Andaman Islands!

December of 2010. A year ago..

Dad has always surprised me, when it comes to going on a family-trip.. for the best of reasons, he just never tells me! Saves me the cut-throat anticipation, yet throws me, a 22 year old (an experienced child is what I'd call myself), off-my-ground when he opens up, declaring that we're going somewhere.. and thankfully its always a new place.

So last year on Christmas and for the New Years' eve, we decided to leave our worries back in Kolkata and Chennai to leave for the pristine beaches and uninhabited and unclaimed jungle islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.. and it happened to be my favorite family-trip, at least in terms of the number of scenery and photography..

Although I mildly dislike beaches and prefer mountains (comes from my hatred for water, especially salt water!).. this trip was GRAND! I even did my bit of snorkeling and scuba diving and swam among the brightest colored fishes I've ever seen in open waters..

Its a no-rush, untouched, pristine and the most picturesque place I've ever set foot on (thus tarnishing it in the process, I guess..) From the early morning Jet Airways flight, as soon as we were near the islands, it seemed from up there as if we've reached the Caribbean! The water was turquoise and we could see the widespread coral reef around the islands. Most of the islands seemed uncivilized and were full of greenery everywhere inside - not just coconut trees like I expected, but tropical vegetation. It was a heavenly site and I'm not ashamed to say that I had my mouth hung open in awe as was everyone else round me too (or maybe because most of them were Bengali, Noelle says we don't have shame anyway..)

Can't believe its been a year since the trip.. The trip itself - the islands, beaches, forests, limestone caves, corals, scuba diving, tribal communities away from civilization - it's all still vivid in my mind's eye..

Sometimes I think we should've left this place alone.. let it brew in itself, or else it'll end up being as corrupted as every other commercialized tourist places in this country.. The beaches of special importance were the Radhanagar beach at the Havelock Island, the numbered beaches of Neil Island, Corbyn's Cove, Wandoor beach, North Bay and so many more.. some neighboring islands were just unclaimed, with absolutely no sign of any kind of animated life in there.. spooky yet so primeval! Our guide at Havelock Island suggested that we can just go in and live like a Tarzan there..

The idea appealed to me so much that I think I didn't get the joke till it was a matter of weeks since I got back.

An amusing fact, for which I'll have to face another one of those 'I-told-you-so, Bengalis are everywhere!!' as claimed by some friends of mine is that more than 80% of the islands are inhabited by the Bengali communities (most families seemed to be refugees from Bangladesh, having lost everything in the Indo-Pak War of 70's, but only to gain a new home in these islands of Andaman). Then a part of the rest of the majority are Tamil, few speak Malayalam, rest are Anglo Indians.

The minority includes the  fast-diminishing populations of tribes such as the Nicobarese, Onge, Sentinelese, Shompen and the Jarawas. Few of them are hostile and attack with bows and arrows laced with natural toxins! We caught glimpses of a few naked and semi-naked Jarawas while speeding away through the forest road on the Baratang Island. Few of the tribes are reportedly cannibalistic!

That last information scared the hell out of me and definitely explained, at least to me, why the tourist convoy sped away, crazily, through the winding roads surrounded by dense forests on both sides.

Below are certain photos that I have taken in and around the Islands.. it's beaches and a few places of interests. Take a look! Whenever I see em, I get a strong urge to go there again..

You should too..

Radhanagar beach, Havlock Island, Andaman
A Hermit Crab, just before it hid itself inside its comforting shell
Turquoise sea at the Neil Island, Andaman
Wandoor Beach, Andaman
A Presbyterian Church ruin at the Ross Island, Andaman
Starfish vareity found lurking on the shallow beach in the early hours, Havelock Island, Andaman
Ferar beach at Ross Island, Andaman
The Cellular Jail, Port Blair, Andaman
Radhanagar beach, Havelock Island, Andaman
Sunset from the Radhanagar beach, Havelock Island, Andaman
North Bay from the Cellular Jail Tower, Port Blair, Andaman

4 comments:

  1. was in 9th standard when I visited Andaman n Nicobar Islands; made me fall in love with beaches and the affair continues. My fav was Corbyn's Cove beach. Visited it at night.Never seen anything more beautiful.. :) the pics are as usual great Deep. I took an oath that the next time I visit Andamans, it will be with my friends or the love of my life.. btw..!!! Go to Lakshadweep.. heaven .!!

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  2. I'm kinda bent on the idea of NOT visiting sea for quite sometime now.. it's getting saturated! Though we'll be in Goa this December.. but that's with friends and for a Birthday, Christmas and New Years' eve celebrations.. so that doesn't count! lol..

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  3. Replies
    1. 'Aim to visit the entirety of your country, before you would want to travel abroad..' that's one axiom I totally believe in!

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