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Tips For Traveling To Andaman Nicobar Islands

Discussion in 'By The Sea' started by Gautam007, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Gautam007

    Gautam007 New Member

    I would like to make a trip to the Andaman Nicobar Islands sometime soon. It is a place which is quite different from the rest of India and away from the big cities, so it is vital that I get some tips and help from people who have been there or have knowledge about the place. My tips have been presented in the form of questions to make it easier for you to answer and for me to understand.

    1. Do we require any special permit to enter the Island's. How does it work for non-Indian residents?

    2. What is the best way to get there from Delhi and Chennai?

    3. Are there any essential items we should bring with us on the trip which we would need on the island?

    4. What islands should be visited and why?

    5. Is there anything to do at Port Blair?

  2. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    All foreign nationals are required to have a RAP (restricted area permit). You can read more about it in Andaman Nicobar travel guide.

    My best may not appeal to you and vice versa. I personally believe it is better to take a flight to Port Blair which is the capital, instead of the three day cruise.

    Refer to Andaman travel guide.

    Both the questions have answers in the travel guide for Andaman that I have linked to in my reply above.

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    For a Non-Indian resident, you would need the following to enter the Andaman Islands:
    • Indian Visa
    • Passport with 6 Months Validity
    • Restricted Area Permit
    The Indian Visa needs to be obtained prior to entering the islands. The Restricted Area Permit can be obtained as soon as you land in Port Blair. It is free of cost and easily obtained in just about 15 minutes.

    If you're arriving by sea though, you need to obtain the Restricted Area Permit prior to reaching the islands. You can get the permit from the following offices:
    • Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi
    • Foreigners Regional Registration Office in Mumbai
    • Foreigners Regional Registration Office in Chennai
    • Foreigners Regional Registration Office in Delhi
    • Foreigners Regional Registration Office in Kolkata
    Additionally, you can obtain the permit from the Indian Missions Offices in other countries. You can also obtain it in Immigration Offices in the airports of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

    This permit gives you access to some of the islands for 30 days. But you can also have it extended for 15 more days if you'd like.

    You have two options:

    1. By Air - Port Blair has its own airport called Veer Savarkar International Airport. You can reach it from other cities like Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Cochin. Then, from Port Blair you can ride a ship going to the Andaman Islands. Here are some flights I was able to find:
    • Delhi to Port Blair - Jet 9W-2263 which departs at 2:30 and arrives at 7:35. Duration of journey is about 5 hours.
    • Delhi to Port Blair -Go Air G8-101 which departs at 5:50 and arrives at 14:20. Duration of journey is about 8 hours.
    • Chennai to Port Blair - Air India A1-549 which departs at 5:10 and arrives at 7:20. Duration of journey is about 2 hours.
    • Chennai to Port Blair - Jet 9W-613 which departs at 11:30 and arrives at 13:40. Duration of journey is about 2 hours.
    2. By Sea - From Chennai, you can ride passenger ships going to Port Blair. The journey can take anywhere between 60 to 65 hours. There are also ships going to Port Blair from Kolkata and Vishakhpatnam. There are four ships every month going to Port Blair from Chennai.

    From Port Blair, several ships and ferries go to the Havelock Islands. The cheapest is the Government Ferry at Rs. 550 per person. It departs at 6:20 am and 2:00 pm everyday. Then, there's the Makruzz at Rs. 700 per person. It departs at 8:00 am everyday from Port Blair.

    Here's a little list of your travel essentials to bring in your Andaman trip:
    • Essential clothing items like sunglasses, swim suits, hats, light cotton dresses or shirts and one formal attire.
    • Toiletries and sun essentials like sunblock, sunscreen, sunburn relief cream and sanitiser.
    • Prescription medicines and other medicines for headache, tummy ache and colds.
    • Travel documents like passport, ID proof, flight ticket, hotel vouchers, itineraries, passport photos and visa. Credit cards are also included here.
    • Gadgets like cameras, video cameras, extra memory for these gadgets and chargers.

    Here are the best islands to visit in the region:
    • Havelock Islands - There are seven beaches that you can visit here, so named Beach 1, Beach 2, Beach 3, Beach 4, Beach 5, Beach 6 and Beach 7. There are a lot of accommodation options in the island and a few eateries as well. It's probably one of the most visited islands in the region.
    • Long Island - This is about 47 nautical miles from Port Blair. The great thing about this island is that it has a lot of facilities for tourists like banks, a hospital and wireless internet. The beach here has a magnificent view of the surrounding mangrove forests and greenery.
    • Neil Island - This is located 37 kms to the South of Andaman Islands. The island itself is very small and can be covered in about two hours. It's also fairly deserted unlike the other popular islands. It has silvery sands with clear, blue waters.
    • Diglipur - By road, this is about 325 kms away from Port Blair. The highest point in the islands, Saddle Peak is located here. Kalpong River, the only river on the islands, is also located here.
    • North Passage Island - From Long Island, you can ride a ferry to take you to the North Passage Island, which can take about an hour. The Merk Bay Beach is located here, one of the most beautiful and virgin beaches in the islands. It's deserted as well, you won't find accommodations or food shacks nearby so bring a tent and packed food when you go here.
    • Baratang Island - This is about 100 kms from Port Blair. The Limestone Caves here are worth visiting but make sure you acquire a permit from the Forest Department before doing so.

    There are lots of water sports you can do in Port Blair like:
    • Jet Skiing
    • Paddle Boating
    • Bumper Boating
    • Row Boating
    You can also visit the following attractions in Port Blair:
    • Cellular Jail - This was built by the British as a cellular prison to exile political prisoners to the remote islands. Now though, this is a museums showcasing the freedom fighters of India. There's also a light and sound show held here during the evenings. It is closed during Mondays though but the light and sound show occurs every night, every week.
    • Ross Island - This is just half a kilometre across Port Blair. You can fins ruins of several churches here. There's also a graveyard of the British soldiers here.
    • Anthropological Museum - This museum showcases the history of the Negrito Tribes (Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges) and the Mongoloid Tribes (Nicobarese and Shompens). This is closed during Mondays though.
    • Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex - Here you can find all equipments for several water sports activities. There's also a swimming pool, a memorial for the Battle of Aberdeen and a nearby park here.

    I hope this helps!