If you are thinking about going to the Andaman Islands, chances are you will have a stop to Port Blair. Port Blair is the provincial capital of these islands and it’s most likely going to be the first city you will visit during your stay. Indeed, this is where flights from Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata take you to and where passenger ships arrive. Basically, and in other words, Port Blair is your door to paradise. That said, that city shouldn’t be just a quick stop on your itinerary. It’s worth a visit as there are any things to do and to see. Where to start? Here are 15 things to do in Port Blair to satisfy all kind of travelers.
If you like… Historical sites
1. Japanese bunkers
If you are a history buff when it comes to World War II, you can’t miss the Japanese Bunkers. It was constructed during this well-known war and it’s located on a small island, the Ross Island. Ross Island itself is worth a visit. It’s a good reminder of the Japanese occupation during the war. Surprisingly, even though the island was terribly affected by the tsunami in December 2004, the Japanese Bunkers are still intact. Also, note that during the night, there is a light and sound show.
Entry fees: unavailable
2. Cellular Jail
The Cellular Jail of Port Blair might actually give you shivers. It’s actually the number one sight to see in the city so make sure it’s on your list. Constructed in 1906, this British prison used to be used to exile political prisoners. When built, it was containing 698 cells, but Japanese destroyed some of the original wings during the World War II. Now, it’s a museum opened to everyone to visit. There is also a light and sound show at night.
Entry fees: INR 50/25 for adults/children. INR 30 for permits video recording. INR 200 for a guide.
Closed every Monday.
3. Chatham Saw Mill
Established by the British in 1883, this Mill used to be a well-known food processors in Asia. It’s going to give you a good idea of the history of the island and the economy back in the years. It’s located on the Chatham Islands and it is easily accessible by crossing the road bridge. Just like a lot of places in Port Blair, Chatham Saw Mill also have some scars from the World War II: take a look at the bomb crater left by the Japanese.
Entry Fees: INR 10
If you like… Museums
1. Samudrika Marine Museum
If you are looking for a museum where you can learn about marine life, indigenous tribes, plants, animals and all of the ecosystem, this is the place you have to go. Samudrika Marine Museum combines everything you could possibly be looking for and this is why it’s well appreciated by travelers. Run by the Indian Navy, the museum also has a display of a young blue whale’s skeleton which is very interesting to see. It also has a small aquarium.
Entry fees: INR 50/25 for adults/children. Between INR 20-50 for cameras.
2. Anthropological Museum
This is your chance to learn more about the indigenous tribes of the Andaman Islands and of India. This colorful anthropological museum is a good stop for families as well as backpackers because it’s not too expensive. Not to mention it’s a true delight for art enthusiasts with the great sculptures and murals.
Entry Fees: INR 10 for adults, INR 20 for cameras
3. Fisheries Museum
Since you are on very paradisiac islands in the middle of the ocean, you can guess that Marine life plays an important role in the ecosystem of the Andaman Islands. You don’t want to miss your chance to learn more about it. To do so, head to the Fisheries Museum. It’s a big aquarium where around 350 species from the Indo-Pacific region and the Bay of Bengal are being preserved. Since you are around, go to the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex to enjoy some water sports.
Entry fees: unavailable
4. Zoological Survey of India Museum
This is another chance for you to enjoy the marine life and the wildlife of the islands. The Zoological Survey of India Museum displays an impressive number of different animals like mammals, reptiles, and birds. You can also see some insects including beautiful butterflies and beetles. It’s the perfect museum to visit with children.
Entry Fees: unavailable
If you like… Nature
1. Corbyn’s Cove
You are probably coming to the Andaman Islands to see the beaches and enjoy the sea. If so, head to Corbyn’s Cove, the best place in Port Blair to enjoy the sand, the blue water, and the palm trees. It’s a little bit out of the way, but you’ll drive in front of the Japanese bunkers so you can hit two targets with one bullet. It’s a good spot to enjoy the sunset after a big day of traveling around.
2. Chidiya Tapu
After a busy day discovering all of the museums and the historical sights of Port Blair, you might want to spend a day enjoying the nature. Chidiya Tapu is a famous spot in Port Blair to do so. You’ll have beautiful views over the water, a great spot to have a relaxing picnic and an opportunity to enjoy bird watching. Also, there’s an easy 1.5 trek to do nearby called Munda Pahar.
Note that this place is located 25 kilometers from Port Blair, but It’s easily accessible by road if you rent a private vehicle.
3. Gandhi Park
It’s no surprise that Port Blair, just like many places in India, has a statue of famous Gandhi. Ghandi Park is not just about the statue though. It’s also a nice place to enjoy the green trees and to get away from the busy city. There are some historical monuments to look at as well and the remains of a Japanese Temple. The best part? There is no entry fee!
If you like… Shopping
1. Sagarika Emporium
If you like to do some shopping and you are looking for handicrafts, Sagarika Emporium is a nice place to go. It’s your chance to buy your souvenirs from the Andaman Islands! Try to look for handicrafts made of sea shells and if you have the budget, look for pearls. Coconut shells souvenirs are also a must.
2. Aberdeen Bazaar
Brace yourself, you are about to enter in the bustling heart of the city. Aderbeen Bazaar is worth of a visit for whoever wants to enjoy some local shopping and street markets. It’s also a great place to grab a bite and it might be the place you will want to stay the night, just like many other travelers. Are you looking for an ATM or a travel agency? You will find anything you need at Aderbeen Bazaar.
Bonus: if you have some time to travel around Port Blair
You have a couple more days and you can afford traveling around Port Blair? Here are 3 places you should go to if you have the chance.
1. Sippighat Agricultural Farm
If farming and cultivating is the kind of things you enjoy and you would like to learn about gardening, Sippighat Agricultural Farm might interest you. You will see a large variety of fruits, trees, plants and many spices acres. Also, there are some medicinal plants which are always interesting to learn about.
Situated 14 kilometers away from Port Blair.
2. Jolly Buoy and Red Skin islands
Jolly Buoy and Red Skin Islands is the greatest place around Port Blair for adventure seekers and water sports lovers. There are many activities you can do including scuba diving and snorkeling. In fact, Jolly Buoy is one of the best places on the Andaman Islands to enjoy scuba diving. Don’t miss the glass bottom boat, you might see some fishes! Since you are around, make a stop the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.
Situated 30 kilometers away from Port Blair.
3. Mount Harriet National Park
To reach Mount Harriet, you will have to take a ferry, but this is part of the fun. This is a nice place to enjoy the jungle and to explore around. Actually, there is a nice 16 kilometers trek which any kind of hikers will appreciate. If you are lucky, you might spot some wild animals like wild pigs, robber crabs, turtles and… crocodiles!
Situated 15 kilometers away from Port Blair in the ferry.