Port Blair Tourism
Beach

Port Blair Tourism

Port Blair Info

  • State: Andaman & Nicobar
  • Famous for/as: Beach
  • Altitude: 13 m
In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair is the largest town and the capital city of this Union Territory of India. The town is located in the east coast of Southern Andaman Island and serves as the main gateway to enter the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Presently, it serves as a major base for the Indian navy and Indian Coast Guard.

History of Port Blair

During the British rule in India, the Chatham Island was established as a centre of detention and it was named Port Blair in honour of the lieutenant. More and more prisoners of the Indian independence struggle were sent to this island by the East India Company rule. As the number of detainees increased with the years, this prison island required renovation.

The Viper Island, near Port Blair was originally used for housing the convicts but the diseases and living conditions caused a lot of deaths during those days of British rule in India. In the later part of the 19th century, the area came to have the Cellular Jail which was termed by the Indians as Kaala Paani. Before Indian independence, Port Blair served temporarily as the headquarters of the Azad Hind Fauj led by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

People & Culture of Port Blair

A visit to Port Blair and its surrounding areas, gives an idea of the culture of the land which is mostly based on the heritage of the tribal populations that stay in the area. Although it is restricted to visit the lands where tribes are still located, with the help of special permits, people can visit these areas. In the Tsunami of 2004, many areas of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were affected, but Port Blair escaped the wrath and served as the base for relief operations.

It is the only point with banks, tourist offices, and hotels. Port Blair being the entry point to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there has been major infrastructural and community development by the local government. It has a number of hotels, restaurants, office buildings, transport facilities, which cannot be seen in other places in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Things to do in Port Blair

Tourists can have a glimpse of the tribal culture in the museums and the various cultural programs. Port Blair is the only place which has a good amount of population in comparison to other islands and areas, which is around 1, 00,000, roughly.

Port Blairís rich history can be seen in some of its major attractions like Cellular Jail, Anthropological Museum, Ross Island, Gandhi Park etc. In Port Blair and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, tourists can visit the multitude of beaches, and islands. Activities like snorkelling and boating can be done in the region. Tourists who are interested can choose among the several Port Blair packages which combine hotels, sightseeing as well as various activities.

Food & Shopping in Port Blair

Sea food delicacies as well as Indian, Continental and Burmese delicacies are found usually in most of the eateries. Coconut water is one of the most commonly available drinks. Restaurants are mostly concentrated in the Aberdeen Bazaar area.

In Port Blair, souvenirs can be purchased in the local shops in Aberdeen Bazaar. Artefacts and trinkets can be bought in the museum sale counters of the marine, forest, and anthropological museum. The shopping arcades in the Aberdeen bazaar sell different types of jewelleries, trinkets, wood carvings, etc. The government emporium Samudrika contains a number of items like photographs, stones and tribal weaponry, replicas of fauna, etc related with the history and geography of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Travelling to Port Blair

Due to a well laid transportation facility, the accessibility to the various holiday spots in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, are possible through Port Blair. There are flights that connect the Indian mainland to the Veer Savarkar Airport in Port Blair. Private and government airlines operate their flights from different cities in India to Port Blair. The airport is situated 2 km outside the city centre from where taxis, auto rickshaws and buses are available to reach Port Blair, especially during flight times.

Travelling within Port Blair

Bus services are provided by private operators as well as state owned transport buses for moving within the island. Buses to different parts of Port Blair and nearby islands leave from the central bus stand from 4.30 am till 12 noon. Local STS buses to different areas inside the city limits run throughout the day.

Accommodation options in Port Blair

Hotels in Port Blair range from government run guest houses and youth hostels as well as privately owned hotels and resorts of different categories. There are also guest houses of the forest and plantation departments.

There are municipal lodgings and guest houses as well, which are mostly low cost accommodations and are found in Aberdeen Bazaar and Delanipur. Various budget hotels can be found in the Aberdeen Bazaar and Marine Hill as well as in Link road. Luxury hotels are found in MG Road, Link Road, Marine Hill and the sea front.

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Best time to visit Port Blair in the next six months

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Port Blair Traveller Reviews

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with average rating of 5.8/7, 1
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Sarbajit Ghosh

  • Expert
  • Sarbajit Ghosh
  • Beachbum
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 32 Reviews
  •  128 helpful votes
  •  19221 readers

"Sublime experience" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 days ago
Andamans is one the finest places, I have ever been. With its unparallel scenic beauties it offers sea, greenery, hillock and natural abundance, all in one platter. The climatic condition of the place, being temperate throughout the year, helps visitors to travel at all times.

Port Blair being quite an affluent place, offers good market, good food, good places to stay at and the ambiance of the whole place is traveller friendly. For travellers with economy budget, the biggest constraint is the airfare, which eats up almost half of the total tour budget.
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Sisir kumar Bera

  • Connoisseur
  • Sisir kumar Bera
  • Lives in Baharampur
  • 6 photos
  • 5 Reviews
  •  580 readers

"A dreamy destination" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Overall view is like a garden in heaven. Entire city is clean. People are good. All kind of goods are available in this city. A various kind of sea fish is seen in the local market. The jetty is a place where one can spend entire day. All kind of sports activities are organised here. These activities is the chiefest than other island. Indeed, this is really a dreamy destination.
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Pratyus nayak

  • Scout
  • Pratyus nayak
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  769 readers

"A good destination" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
The climate in Port Blair is normal, it's a very clean city with full of natural scenery. You have to must visit Bartang to see limestone cave, live volcano & green forests. You can see jarawa (tribal people) on the way. In Portblair food costs are affordable but in Havelock island it is very costly. But you have to visit Havelock island for ship journey.
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  • 5 votes

Swapnil shekhar

  • Scout
  • Swapnil shekhar
  • Lives in Hazaribag
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  889 readers

"Andamans - The exotic holiday destination" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
"Emerald, Blue and You" is the perfect phrase to describe the location. The excitement starts right as you approach the archipelago as you get an eagle eye's view of small, green islands spread across the Bay of Bengal. The famous lines said by Jahangir for Kashmir re-materialise for this island group as well, "Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast" for The Andamans are no less beautiful than the God's Abode.

While on one hand you find the greenery spread across numerous hills in the islands, the other leads you to the blue oceans on the edge that provide the perfect vantage points for sunrise, sunsets, coral views, sun bathing, water sports and what not!

The better thing about this island destination is that it remains untouched by the pollution and over crowdedness that haunts the other beautiful tourist places of the country. The beaches are all different in nature: some are the purest blue, others are simply white while the rest are green. Having been to many different beaches of India, I found that the sea-water of the Andaman were the tastiest (I mean least salty).

We visited in June and our concern was that we might encounter a lot of rain. Yet, the weather was mostly dry.

I am sharing the itinerary we followed based on the suggestion of our travel guide. The place is a bit complicated and things need to be managed a lot so it is better to have a travel guide with you.

Day0: We started our tour in the evening so, didn't have much time. We went for a light and sound show at the cellular jail and the Corbyn's Cove Beach.

Day1: Limestone caves in Baratang and the mangrove creek. Both are quite good. There is another point- mud volcano which we couldn't cover. You cross the area through a tribal reserve forest where if you are lucky, you see one of the indigenous tribe that lives there- the Jarawa tribe.

Day2: Havelock is a must visit. One could stay there overnight though all you have there are beaches. Radha Nagar beach is awesome, good place to take a sea-bath; and so is the Kala Pathar beach. The Elephant Beach is (supposedly) good for watersports like scuba diving and sea walking but we didn't do it there. Havelock is a must visit in the Andamans and the beaches are too good with cyan coloured water and silver sand. I could spend days in those beaches.

Day3: Two Island tour- North Bay Coral Island and Ross Island. We did Sea Walking off the shores of the North Bay Coral Island which is a private island close to Port Blair. Apart from this, there is the option of snorkelling and scuba diving as well. There is also the facility of glass bottom boats for those who do not want to get wet or are too afraid of going into water. These are basically boats with magnifying glass panelled in their bottoms to facilitate clear viewing of the corals. One should do this because this shows many more corals and fishes than scuba diving or snorkelling. If you are doing these elsewhere like on the Elephant beach in Havelock, there isn't much to do in the North Bay Island. The second island we covered was Ross Island which is a historical place and contains the glimpse of life during British-Raj. You will find a lot of deer and peacock there. One could also club a third island- Viper island with this tour.

Day 4 - City Tour

We went to the important points to cover within the city boundaries- Cellular Jail which is a national monument and stands as a proof of the atrocities committed by the British on the zealous freedom fighters of India; Sea Museum showing different varieties of fishes, corals and shells; Anthropological Museum which shows the tribal life of the Andamans; and the Chatham Saw Mill which was established by the British and is still functional. There is another fish museum which was closed. One of the points to remember is that one should do the city tour before the glass bottomed boat ride for then, they would be able to better enjoy the coral viewing.

Day 5 - Wandoor and Chidiya Tapu

Both of these are beaches and have their own attractions. Wandoor is a rocky beach with lots of dead coral. Chidiya Tapu is a sunset point and is gravel beach. Both are quite good though.

One of the places that we missed was the Red Skin Island which is known for the glass bottomed ride.

Some Key Ideas about the Andamans:

1. Go there if you love sea
2. Connectivity is very bad; most of the places do not have good phone network and internet connection is also very weak.
3. Most of the places are beaches and might appear similar.
4. Food is bad here but seafood is good
5. Climate is quite good and you might often find yourself confused between whether you are on a beach (relatively warm place) or at a hill station (relatively cool place)
6. Culture is heavily influenced by both Kolkata and Chennai.
7. Overall, it is a costly place.

All in all the place is a good destination if you want to remain cut-off from the rest of the world for a few days and spend time sun bathing or sea-bathing.
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  • 1 vote

Monika Agrawal

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  • Monika Agrawal
  • Lives in Ahmedabad
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1307 readers

"For those who love nature and love the life" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
Superb holiday it was. Though in month of May, it's a bit hot. But still, when you have one of the best beaches of Asia near you, you don't have to complain. Excellent destination. So many places to visit but to start from the historical place - the Cellular Jail. Where you can enjoy the light and sound show describing the history of freedom fighters who spent their life at the jail. Then you have Ross Island, North Bay Island (the Island shown on the currency note of INR 20/-), Havelock where one of the best beaches of Asia - the Radhanagar beach is situated.

We stayed at Radhakrishna resort at Havelock. The beaches are so fine that you just don't want to leave from there. And yes, the most important and a once in a lifetime experience was - Scuba diving. Yes, you don't have to be a swimmer for trying this. The trainer is always with you. They are so well trained people and you can actually feel yourself with the sea creatures, floating and swimming in the water. Dont miss this for any reason.

At Port Blair, we stayed at Hotel Maya but a nearby hotel named "Hotel Anmol" was also excellent.

Overall, a must visit place at least once in your lifetime.
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Bhusan

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  • Bhusan
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 7 Reviews
  •  9 helpful votes
  •  2638 readers

"Must visit"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
You will find all the facility in Port Blair. Experience Ross island and North bay for snorkeling. I will not recommend Scuba at North Bay. Changing room and lockers room are quite helpful. Staff is very co operative. Food one can try fruits and coconut water. Glass boat is not at all helpful to watch marine fish. Snorkeling was amazing as we spend more than one hour. Touches sea-honeymoon and corals was wonderful experience. For thrilling experience one can do Under sea walk. Ross island is also cool place to watch.
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  • 7 votes

Sh soni

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  • Sh soni
  • Lives in Ahmedabad
  • 7 Reviews
  •  22 helpful votes
  •  3003 readers

"A beautiful place to visit in India"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
This is airport that is too hectic but totally disciplined one and having all facilities required therein. Airport is well maintained and generally busy through morning to evening. It is small and small is always beautiful. To enjoy the trip, one must visit Havelock Island, Kala Tapu, Government Emporium and Fishery Emporium. Port Blair is totally risk free place where we can go out even late at night. We are lucky to have such beautiful place in our India. One must visit again and again.
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  • 19 votes

Anagh Agrawal

  • Explorer
  • Anagh Agrawal
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 5 Reviews
  •  36 helpful votes
  •  3275 readers

"Spectacular 3 Days in Port Blair"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Its a great place to be if you like sun sand and sea. There are lot of places to visit in Port Blair like Cellular Jail, Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor Beach, Baratang Island etc. Local food is like a mix of South-Indian and Bengali food but the food is yummy.

You can go for local sightseeing and lot of beaches. Plus there is a lot of world war 2 heritage available. Travel light and stay at a nice resort Eg. Fortune Bay Resort, Probably the best one in Port Blair.

Enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
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  • 24 votes

Md Javed

  • Scout
  • Md Javed
  • Lives in Gulbarga
  • 1 Review
  •  22 helpful votes
  •  2903 readers

"A nice holiday point"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Very nice, specially scuba dive over there and enjoy the corals, shells. With a trained scuba trainer. I love to go there for a holiday. Very best place in India.
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  • 22 votes

Soumendra Banerjee

  • Connoisseur
  • Soumendra Banerjee
  • Beachbum
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 46 photos
  • 12 Reviews
  •  26 helpful votes
  •  7040 readers

"The best ever tour being a bengali"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
The Whole trip to Andaman is a must have in a lifetime type of trip. It is best especially for honeymoon couples as the couple can be away from all the world. The beautiful nature as well as the aquatic world will surely mesmerise the senses. Even the Pataya Beach in Bangkok feels less beautiful in comparison to the beauty of Andaman. Andaman has two of Asia's most exotic beaches which will surely leave a mark in your mind. Do visit Andaman.
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  • 16 votes

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