Blue Paani of Andamans – Namrita Gill

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Who needs the Maldives, when u have the Andamans in your back yard. I’m someone who always looks forward to a beach holiday. The sun, soft sand at your feet and clear blue waters -ahhh bliss!!!

So when we planned a trip to the Andamans, and by ‘We’ here I mean me, my husband and his two friends ( yes being the only girl meant I didn’t have to lug heavy bags. The gentlemen did it all! For once I thought why not?!) little did I know that this beach holiday would be one of my best ever.

Nothing prepared me for the sheer beauty of the Andamans. Lush, wild jungles and the bluest water I have ever seen. Water so clear, you can literally see the hair on your legs through it!

We started our journey in Port Blair. Nothing much to see here except the Cellular Jail, or Kala Pani.

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This place left us feeling a little depressed. The sound and light show at the jail is supposed to be something that’s not to be missed, but be warned there’s a one hour wait in the hot sun between the jail closing and the show starting.

We chose to skip it and instead spent our evening drinking a couple of cold ones and staring out into the water. An evening well spent! Not to forget the little snack we had at Andaman Fried Chicken aka AFC (yes Kentucky fried chicken you have competition in the Andamans)

Port Blair for most travelers is just a stop gap. The destination is mostly somewhere much more blue and green. We were going to Havelock island. Home to one of the best beaches in the world. A catamaran from Port Blair takes you there in just under two hours. While it leaves at 9 in the morning, be sure to be there one hour before boarding. And don’t forget to pop in an Avomine, things can get tricky!

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The minute you reach Havelock you can feel your troubles slipping away…thick mangroves and placid blue waters greet you.

Now Havelock is divided into seven villages – villages 2,3,5 and 7 are beach facing , but it’s village 7 you’d want to head to. Radhanager beach in village 7 is the best beach in Asia and one of the best in the world. There’s one resort on Radhanagar, and unfortunately it is also the most expensive one, The Barefoot Jungle Resort. But worry not there are plenty of motor bikes available to rent here so you can travel back and forth.

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Sunset on Radhanagar Beach

We chose to stay in village 2. It’s about 12 km from Radhanagar and the drive is very pleasant. Don’t forget to wear your helmet! Cops on the island are very strict. Radhanagar beach is the prettiest beach I have ever been to…white sand and aquamarine water…what’s more it is the only beach I’ve seen that has a jungle around it!

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Trees the size of fifteen storied buildings face these waters…it is smart to carry your own beach towels, umbrellas, water etc since there’s nothing available.

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You’ll spot very few people here, most of them foreigners looking for some sun. If you’re looking for calm waters on Radhanagar walk a couple of minutes down the beach and you’ll reach Neil’s Cove. This is Beach 7’s best kept secret.

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Even the crocodile warning didn’t keep us out of these waters.

There’s also an elephant beach that’s a must visit for most travelers. You can either head there by boat or trek it. We chose the long walk and much to our disappointment were met by underwear wearing, bathrobe donning uncles and aunties! Truly a sight and one I cannot forget easily.

There are plenty of places to eat in Havelock. The Full Moon Cafe and Anju Coco restaurant were my favorite. The bar at The Barefoot Resort was where we spent the afternoons. Prateek and Gaurav made us some killer Margaritas and Chi Chis here. As the sun sets Bella’s soulful voice fills the place, but as the evening progresses, you might catch a couple of merry holiday makers singing ‘Baby Got Back’!

The Andamans are a hot spot for deep sea diving and snorkeling. Sadly the coral reef is bare, but never the less it is an experience you’ll never forget…clams the size of Texas and fish in all imaginable colors. You can also go kayaking in the mangroves or the sea. There’s something for everyone.

I always thought beach holidays meant travelling abroad. After visiting the Andamans I stand corrected.

OTHER MUST DOS WHILE IN THE ANDAMANS

Visit Chidiya Tapu (Island of Birds) for the ultimate sunset.

Catch a ferry to Ross and Smith islands. During low tide a ribbon of sand connects the two islands. Truly a sight to behold.

Take a diving course, I was too chicken to do so!

Spend a couple of days at Neil island. According to the locals, it is THE place to chill.

(By – Namrita Gill. Namrita, the smart Entertainment anchor of many Television Channels is on a serious sabbatical. Now she walks around the streets of Kolkata, eats at Flurry’s and gorges on Chelo Kebabs. Good for her. We are only complaining ‘coz we don’t have those gogs!!)

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4 thoughts on “Blue Paani of Andamans – Namrita Gill

  1. Hi
    You guys are doing a great job..plz let me know when are you featuring my poems?

    Thanks
    Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

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