Vampire myths we have debunked with Twilight, right? Let’s now turn our attention to Andamans-a place which is a bit far in kilometers, but very close to the heart.
Cellular Jail is haunted by the ghosts of the prisoners. Ross Island is inhabited by hidden robbers. Hence surely, India is situated beside the Swiss Alps! Come on Santa Claus believers; let’s boost up our credibility ladder a bit. Andamans is usually not on our casual places-to-go-to list. It is not the Maharashtra and Rajasthan of an average Indian tourist. Hence people love gossiping about it more than actually visiting it. The terribly tiny tales of myths that have spread as rumors need to be debunked ASAP. So gear up for a serious process of de-mythification!
Andamans is an island. That doesn’t mean it is separated from the Indian Territory. It is a part of the Indian subcontinent. So if you are an Indian citizen, just pack your energy (don’t forget your shoes) and set off! Stop worrying about paperwork. You DO NOT need it. Passports and visas are needed only for foreigners or non-Indian travelers, who also need a Restricted Area Permit to visit the islands which are issued conveniently in Port Blair’s Veer Savarkar Airport.
The literal dictionary meaning of island is isolated. True. But do you plan your visit with an Oxford dictionary in your hand? Andamans is in no way a desolate planet with aliens. The two main fears are:-
Being dinner to a shark or a beastly croc! Relax! Crocodiles will not be hiding under your beds! There are hundreds of water sports and sea travelling, but everything is done with extreme care and precaution. No boat ride will take you to say hi to a croc neither will they come to greet you when you swimming or snorkeling. Believe me; they are not that fond of humans.
Safety of women is the first concern of the world today. Andaman has a very well organized tourism sector that takes measures along with the police to keep the islands safe for women. The unknown doesn’t mean the unsafe! So chill and dismiss the rumors about safety hazards. It is in fact recommended for single female travelers to go and explore the beautiful beaches, seas, and even forests.
Yes, you can see a Jarawa or a tribal. And they will not be too glad to see you. That is because you will be told not to intervene in their daily processes, and curious as you are, you will. This is a serious issue. The tribals form an integral part of our indigenous community and contacting them illegally or trying to disrupt their activities is an offence. They do not need or want us to interfere in their lives. True, their sight and lifestyles are fascinating. But they are not exhibits of a zoo. The matter of their comfort and safety should be treated with care.
Prawns and lobsters have never dueled with paneer and potatoes and never will. Sea food is a specialty of Andamans. It is present in abundance and you will be thrilled to get a piece of the oh-so-delicious crab soup! It is a stupid myth that vegetarian food is unavailable. The many restaurants in Port Blair have great vegetarian and Jain dishes. Popularity of the sea-food has not and will not wipe out the availability of other cuisines. Most dining services (from five stars to street stalls) have both veg and non veg. So please stop believing that the veggies will starve here!
Andaman is not an ancient Caribbean or Chinese artifact that you will need guides at every step to discover the places. The innumerable islands and many sights can seem confusing, but a little time with your google map and talking to friendly people (like us) who are more than happy to help you will do just fine. All you need is a well planned itinerary that would best suit your needs (which we would gladly chart for you.)
Andaman Islands are definitely exotic. But exoticism doesn’t always come with a price. Andamans is blessed with Nature’s grace. But to experience its beauty, you do not have to get bankrupt! Budget friendly hotels and local travel are easily available. If you want a luxurious resort and chauffeur driven cars, that is also available. There are hundreds of possibilities for every range in your purse. Just get the proper information and plan a trip out (we will help) just like you want. From VIPs to backpackers, Andaman welcomes all with an open heart and a radiant smile.
So, instead of wasting your time worrying about things that don’t exist, start planning a trip- to the island of mysteries, uncovering and re-discovering your own myth ☺