Andaman Islands tourism is a perfect destination in India that covers many aspects of a travelers requirements. Be it a solo, family, adventure or a honeymoon traveler coming to the Andaman Islands, Andaman Tourism has to offer everything to each segment of travelers. The island has gained quite a lot of popularity among travelers who are looking into both leisure and adventure trips in India. The underwater experience in Andaman is quite unique and still in its pristine state. The different shades of green can actually be seen in the Andaman Islands. The tourism at the islands has seen a steep increase for the past 2 - 3 years. With the international airport expected to be operational from 2022, Andaman tourism will start getting international travelers.
Operational Islands in Andaman Tourism
The Andaman Archipelago has over 570 islands out of which only 36 are inhabited. Andaman Island tourism offers varied kinds of experiences for travelers on a visit to the islands. Please note that tourism is open only in the Andaman Islands and is closed for the Nicobar Islands. Nicobar Island entirely falls under the tribal restricted area and travelers are to visit Nicobar without valid and permissible reasons. Even the Andaman Islanders cannot go to the Nicobar Islands without government orders. The government employees are posted in Nicobar which is the only way they can see Nicobar in their lifetime.
However, lately, discussions are underway were some parts of Nicobar to be open for tourism purposes as well. Let's see over time if anything positive comes out from Nicobar tourism as well. We will discuss the Nicobar Islands separately.
Major Islands that are open to tourism as of 2021 :
- Port Blair - Know More
- Havelock Island - Renamed to Swaraj Dweep in December 2018 - Know More
- Neil Island - Renamed to Shaheed Dweep in December 2018 - Know More
- Baratang Island - Know More
- Rangat - Know More
- Mayabunder - Know More
- Diglipur - Know More
- Long Island - Know More
- Little Andaman - Know More
- Barren Island - Know More
Brief History of Andaman Tourism
The Andaman Islands were accessed as a trade route by the British who later settled down here for a while before converting the island into a place for punishing the convicts. They built the Cellular jail and the island was mainly used for exiling the freedom activists from the mainland. The Cellular Jail became a hub to transfer prisoners from mainland India to a remote location such as the Andaman.
The islands were earlier known as Kaalapani (Black Water) because of the harsh punishments that Indian freedom fighters had to go through. Today, this jail is a National Memorial that can be visited when you are in Andaman. The British had set up a colony at Ross Island from where they used to govern the entire Andaman Islands. This colony was also said as the Paris of the past because of its well-planned architecture that helped the British to govern the entire Andaman Islands with much ease.
In 1941 an earthquake hit the islands which led to the devastation of Ross Island. The British then moved to Port Blair for a brief period. A few years later the Japanese took over the Andaman Islands from the British during World war II. World war II ended in 1945 and then the islands became a part of India in 1947. The era of the Japanese occupation has also left a bad mark on the people of the islands. It was one of the toughest periods as said by many locals who survived the era of Japanese occupation on the Andaman Islands.
Ross Island has been renamed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island in 2018, and is still present where we can visit to see the ruins of the colony that was built by the British. This island is one most recommended places to visit in Andaman Tourism.
Read more about the history of Andaman.
Andaman Islands Post Independence
The island slowly recovered from its past anguish and started welcoming people gradually for both settlement and tourism. People from all parts of India are currently settled in Andaman Islands. We say Andaman as a mini India because of its cosmopolitan environment. Major settlement of the people is from Tamilnadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Know more about the people in Andaman Islands.
The people of mainland India initially feared to enter the island post-independence as the Kalapani horrors haunted them for quite some time. Eventually, people started visiting the islands to make a living and later started promoting tourism across India. Andamans Islands has white sandy beaches, dense emerald forests and rich biodiversity that attracts tourists from all parts of the world. Also, the island is a place of great historical significance and has a lot of historical evidence of the British colonization.
All major sightseeing places have been well maintained for tourists to come and visit.
Tourism in Andaman is taking shape
At present, the Andaman Islands have tourists traveling from domestic and international platforms. People from all over the globe visit Andamans annually and it has become a favorite destination to a lot of travelers.
The Andaman administration has worked hard over the years on providing the best of facilities to the tourists visiting the islands. They have developed tourist infrastructures that suit all your needs and all the amenities are improved to provide you with comfort throughout your journey. The islands can be accessed via air and sea only. Numerous aircraft and ships keep traveling from the major cities to the islands regularly. Refer How to reach to know about various ways to reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The islands prefer to promote themselves as an eco-friendly destination, and are inclined towards maintaining their natural resources. Andaman has a rich biodiversity that in itself is a major tourism booster. The island has both basic and modern amenities to cater to the requirements of all kinds of travelers. In the coming future, various new islands with private pool villas as per international standards are expected to come up in Andaman. The tourism authority of India and the island maintain the islands well and keep them away from exploitation.
Major Island Connectivity under the Tourism
The top islands in the Andaman are Port Blair, Havelock and Neil Island. All these 3 islands are well connected with Private ferries . Other islands in the Andaman archipelago can be reached via Government Ferry The major attractions are the beaches and water sport activities. Swaraj Dweep (Earlier known as Havelock Island) houses the 7th best beach in the whole of Asia that gathers tourists from around the globe every year. Lately, Radhanagar beach in Andaman was awarded the prestigious blue flag certification in 2020.
Over the years the tourism in the islands has boosted rapidly and people keep visiting it to experience the charm of this spectacular island territory.
The island that was once feared and was a nightmare to many people is now an island that is loved by all and visited by many. Even with the growing competition the Andaman Islands tourism stands out and has an increasing number of tourists coming in for its charm.
Do we recommend Andaman as a Tourism Destination?
Andaman Island is one of the best tourism destinations in India, and we recommend travelers to make a visit here once in a lifetime. Its safe, pocket-friendly and offers varied kinds of experiences. Andaman as a tourist destination offers something to everyone. The only drawback that we may say is that the island does not support much nightlife. However, slowly various tours that are conducted at night are coming up. One such activity is the night cruising in Andaman also known as the Dinner cruise.
The Island is preferred by all types of tourists (Couples, Family, Friends, and Solo). The tourism industry has evolved to a great extent in the years and has achieved a lot of accolades and has captured the favorite destination in many people’s hearts. With the growing popularity and an upcoming International Airport, we see Andaman tourism shining bright in the days to come.