Andaman or Kala Pani is actually azure. I am not sure why people talk about only the water and not mention emerald green island. From top it looks like emerald embedded in sapphire. The range of color itself is highly inviting.
For Indian a visit to Port Blair has to start with paying homage to freedom fighters who were packed off to Cellular jail .
Cellular jail is perhaps the best of British Architecture available in India. It combines extreme administrative efficiency with medieval brutality. Now part of the jail has collapsed in earth quake. Originally, it had a central watch tower flanked by seven spke like rows of cells. The result was height of efficiency. Only four guards were sufficient to keep watch on 800 odd inmates. Cell doors were designed in such way that it was impossible to access the lock from inside.
As such nothing much was to be achieved by jail break. Nearest land was 1000 Km away. Most islands around used to be inhabited by tribal, who would kill aliens on sight. Some example of the life is displayed in the model.
British rule Andaman from Ross island. It a tiny island about 1 Km from Port Blair. It offered ideal fortification for the colonial rulers. Now this has been converted into a nature park. As we arrived, its current inhabitant came down to check the visitors.
Ross has rather large number of peacocks and deer. It is better to visit the island at afternoon. Last boat leaves island around 4:30 PM. As tourists leave, the animals come out.
Now nature is in process of reclaiming the once famous city. Some of house have vanished but trees have preserved the form.
While you are there, watch out for falling coconuts. There are plenty of them.
Best of Andaman is barely visible from far away. Best things are there below the water level.
For a change, one can see bottom of the sea from boat. But to touch it one needs to dive.
It is a nice feeling to be inside a huge aquarium
Pity that I did not carry a underwater camera to take some really good view. I was told that one could hire it at Port Blair. That was a misinformation. Port Blair market is primitive. All you can get their is some toy camera or p&s type which the shop will rent at more than its cost price.
Elephanta Beach, Havelock Island is a good spot for snorkeling and diving. Other spot is Neil which we missed. Tourism promotes Jolly Buoy Mahatma Gandhi Park, which is better to avoid.
There is lot of current in the water around that prevents inexperienced swimmers to explore on their own. The guides around are like temple panda - only interested in making some quick buck. They wont let you see anything properly.
Chidiya tapu is another beach that you must visit. It has some huge collection of birds. Beach was good but it has been washed away in tsunami. One feels sad to see submerged colony and huge lakes that was once a agricultural land.
But nature has its own way to provide nest out of fallen trees. Here snails and crabs have made some nice design in a piece that was once a tree.
After eight days it is now time to raise the oars
Return trail just leaves some ripple
Only some memories remain like this sunset at Radhanagar Beach