Port Blair is the capital town of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory located in the Bay of Bengal, India. The islands have gained popularity among the folks of India and of International nationality. Tourism and its related activities are there only in Andamans. Nicobar is part of these islands but it is a tribal restricted area and hence is not allowed for Tourist visits. Port Blair is the only entry point to the Andaman Islands. The only commercial airport in Andaman is located in Port Blair.
In this article we have brought to you an introduction and detailing on the capital town of A & N Islands - the Port Blair. Port Blair is the gateway to the entire island and Port Blair can be accessed by air and sea.
How to reach Port Blair?
The capital city of the Andaman Islands, Port Blair can be reached by air and sea. There are flights and ships available from different points in mainland India. Airlines such as Air India, Spicejet, Vistara, Go Air, and Indigo fly to Port Blair from all major cities in India. The best connectivity is from Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Ships also sail to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Vizag
You can find more details on reaching this island in our How to reach segment.
Are there any entry formalities to enter Port Blair?
No entry formality has to be followed to enter the Andaman Islands for Indian Nationals.
For foreign nationals, a valid visa is required. Restricted area permit from 30 islands which are usually visited by tourists has been removed. For some remote islands still, entry formalities are required and necessary permits has to be obtained from the administration.
Brief History of Port Blair
“Port Blair” got its name from the Bombay Marine lieutenant Archibald Blair who discovered this place. The city does not have all the facilities that are available in mainland India, but still, Port Blair is the lifeline of the entire group of islands. People from all the corners in this island are dependent on the capital town for the urban facilities - at least for the reason that the services or commodities brought in as imports from mainland India, is easily available here.
The famous Battle of Aberdeen took place in Port Blair that was fought between the native Andamanese and the British. The islands were captured by the Marathas and the Cholas for a while before the British took control over the islands and exercised their rule on the islands until independence. The Japanese too has occupied the island forcefully during World War II and moved out later. In 1943 the first flag hosting took place in Port Blair. This same location now has been developed and tourists can see the flag point when they visit.
The rich history of Port Blair is still preserved at various places in the islands. When you visit the islands you can take a tour to the top historical places in Port Blair and get deep insights into the history of Port Blair.
Is Port Blair tourist-friendly?
The city offers great amenities for tourists. Tourist-friendly accommodations are located near Phoenix Bay and restaurants, local food joints and hotels near the Aberdeen Bazaar and Junglighat. People from all cultures and traditions from around mainland India live in Port Blair making it a ‘Mini India’. Cuisines of all kinds are available here, Port Blair has a wide variety of choices for restaurants and all of which are situated in and around the major locations of the city. Some of the prime locations to stay at Port Blair can be referred to select which locations are best to stay in Port Blair.
Port Blair is the lifeline of the Andaman Islands because it is the most prominent city which is connected to all the other islands in the territory. The major drawback the city has is the lack of super-fast internet, as of now, 3G is the only fastest connection that is available that too only in certain hotspot areas. As of 2021, Internet connectivity in the islands has improved.
Port Blair has several attractions for tourists such as museum visits, historical tours, adventurous water sports, extraordinary boat rides, strolls at parks and shopping.
How is the weather in Port Blair?
The weather in Port blair is usually the same throughout the year with the humidity quotient going up and down. Monsoon sets sail from the end of May and lasts until July. This schedule may change a little. Refer to the real-time weather forecast at https://www.accuweather.com/en/in/port-blair/70/weather-forecast/70
How to reach other islands from Port Blair?
Port Blair is the only point from where all the other islands in Andamans can be accessed and there are various ferries, boats, and available cruises. Transfers from Port Blair to Havelock Island and the other islands are possible through the following ways:
Regular government ferry services are available from Port Blair to almost all the major islands. The sailing schedule for these ferries is published in the Administration's News Paper i.e. The Daily Telegrams and Dweep Samachar or on the official website. But the ticket booking has to be done offline at the STARS counters in the Phoenix Bay harbor or from the government authorized Common Service Centers nearby. The tickets have to be booked three days before departure or on the day of sailing due to the high demand.
There are private luxurious cruises that carry out from Port Blair’s Phoenix Bay Harbor & Haddo Wharf for Swaraj Dweep (Havelock) & Shaheed Dweep (Neil) daily. These cruises mention their sailing schedules and offer pre-booking facilities of tickets on their respective websites which makes the transfers definite well in advance. The cruise operators to these islands are Makruzz, Sea Link Cruise, Green Ocean Cruise, and ITT Majestic. All ferry bookings to Andaman can be done online.
Only the Middle and North part of Andaman can be visited from Port Blair by road. The islands in the North Andamans are halfway connected via road and private car rentals are available for hire in Port Blair. You can visit Diglipur, Mayabunder, Rangat and Baratang from Port Blair via road way.
Food Options in Port Blair
Port Blair offers all types of cuisines. You will not face much difficulty in finding food to your liking. Pure Vegetarian, Multi-Cuisine, Seafood, Chinese, Fast Food, Bengali and South Indian Cuisine are all available in Port Blair.
Things to Do in Port Blair
Port Blair has some of the best things to do. If you compare with other islands you will come to know that Port Blair has the most things to do in Andaman.
To cover the top things in Port Blair, you need at least 3 days. Sharing below are the various things to do in Port Blair.
- Visit Ross Island - The first settlement of British in Andaman
- Visit North Bay Island - Coral Island of Port Blair - Known for its water activities
- Visit Jolly Bouy Island
- Visit Chidiatapu for sunset
- Visit Cellular Jail along with Light and Sound show
- Indulge in some unique activities such as Semi submarine Glass bottom boat, Andaman Dolphin, Dinner Cruise
- Go for local shopping in Port Blair
While there are many more things to do, the recommended ones are one of the best in Port Blair.