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Port Blair

Port Blair hasn’t come that far since its days as a British penal colony where freedom fighters who took part in the Mutiny of 1857 were sent. It’s hilly streets are filled with exceptionally friendly people, mopeds and lots and lots of coconut water stand. This is the Andamans’ major city, central for air and water transport, and as such, it has good tourist amenities and is the only access point for the rest of the islands. The town with a population of about a lakh offers lots of tourist activities in and around however pure sea based activity is limited in the town as it has only one beach (Corbyn’s Cove) about 10 kms from Aberdeen market.

Port Blair is quite small, and almost everything is within walking distance, at the center of everything is Aberdeen Bazaar, at the end of which sits the bus stand. Uphill and east from the bus stand is a Clock-tower which is a common landmark. From the Clock-tower, the road to the Atlanta Point and then eventually to Corbyn’s Cove, is on the left.

The total population of the town is about 1 lakh.

With their unending capacity to divide and conquer, the British used the Andamans as a prison site for freedom fighters, lest the righteous rile up fellow prisoners on the mainland. The Cellular Jail, which once held rebels not mobile phones, is a monument to India’s freedom struggle. The museum’s two ground floor galleries chart the history and inhumanity of the prison and document the broad base of Indian resistance to colonialism. One upstairs room is devoted to the life and work of Subhas Chandra Bose. In the evening there is a light and sound show which tells the story of the Prison and the Prisoners.


A beautiful 15 minute coastal ride takes you to Corbyn’s cove, a pretty, white sand beach surrounded by green palsm that’ll ease you into the stupendous beauty before you explore the Andamans further.

The water at Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park is a world of mysterious, sometimes pulsating coral structures that provide a home for millions of widely colored elegantly and oddly shaped social and competitive marine life. Angelfish, clown fish, starfish, silver jacks, yellow butterfly fish, green parrotfish, and sea anemones – all your old chums are here. The Marine Park is located near Wandoor Beach about 25 kms and 45 minutes drive from Port Blair. From Wandoor you can take a glass bottom boat ride to view the coral. There are other options such as snorkeling and scuba diving. From Wandoor you can visit the Red Skin and Jolly buoy island in a boat ride.

30 kms from Port Blair, the beautiful beach at Chidiya Tapu is especially popular for its birds and sunsets, but there’s also some good snorkeling to be had, and the beach has some lovely spots for caping for the more adventurous. There is also a nature trail that leads to a string of beaches from the bus stop.

Island Visits

From the Jetty next to the Water sports complex, you may go for a tour of the Ross Island, North Bay and Viper Island. Ross Island is the nearest and can be visited in 4 to 5 hours including travel time in boat (about 30 minutes). Visiting all the three will take an entire day.

City Sightseeing

Within the city there are a number of smaller but significant tourist attractions. The Anthropological Museum located centrally is quite informative and a couple of hours here will be well spend understanding the different tribes and geography of Andamans. Samudrika, a ocean museum close to the Phonix bay jetty, showcases the variety of marine life including hundreds of different types of Corals. Chatham is a very small island connected with Port Blair through a bridge. This was one of the first bases of the British and is today sight of a very large government saw mill. Inside you can visit a small museum as well as sights where a large crater was created by the Japanese bombing during the Second World War.

Water sports complex is a must for the adventure seekers. From banana boats to jet skies and from snorkeling to underwater walk, everything is available here. Next to the Water sports complex is the Marina park which can be a good spot for an late evening stroll in a town where nightlife choices are quite limited.

There is also a marine aquarium next to the Water sports complex which can be visited while in the area.

Map of Port Blair

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