A visit to Andaman is incomplete without experiencing its exotic eco-friendly beaches, especially those in Havelock and Neil Island. Together, these 2 islands harbor the most beautiful beach destinations in India.
Thus it’s no surprise that the largest beach of Andaman, Havelock’s Radhanagar beach which already holds 7th position in Time Magazine’s World’s Best Beach List, has received the prestigious blue flag certification.
The pristine clear blue waters of Radha Nagar beach set amidst the rusty sand and green jungle foliage gives it an ideal beach vibe that is rarely seen on the other certified beaches namely Shivrajpur of Gujarat, Ghogla of Diu, Kasarkod, and Padubidri of Karnataka, Kappad of Kerala, Rushikonda of Andhra Pradesh, Golden Beach of Odisha.
Now before we delve into why Radhanagar beach is unique and suitable for the Blue Flag let’s first check out the phenomenon which has suddenly spellbound India.
Blue Flag Certification
1. What is Blue Flag Certification?
This year India became the first country to get 8 Blue Flag Certificates at a time for its beaches which drove attention to this ecotourism initiative. Blue Flag is an international ecotourism model initiated by Denmark to recognize eco-friendly beaches and their endeavor to protect the marine environment along with fostering access to all kinds of people. Presently, the program is running in more than 40 countries protecting more than 4000 beaches, wildlife, and boats.
The key objective of this program is to connect people with the beaches and make way for protecting the marine environment. It’s the biggest voluntary award in the world that recognizes beaches, boating, and touring of beaches and marine biodiversity.
The international certification agency, the Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark carefully chooses the beaches based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads
- Environmental Education and Information
- Bathing Water Quality
- Environment Management and Conservation and
- Safety and Services on the beaches.
Thus having such an honor showcases that we are doing tourism in the right way without harming the environment.
2. How Does the Blue Flag Certification Help?
The Blue Flag certification is a recognition of the consistent eco-friendly efforts of maintaining beaches by governments, local people, tourists, and travel and tourism agencies. So, this provides validation for better work and maintenance of beaches and also enhances the prospect of the recognized beaches like Radhanagar in Havelock to the global audience.
But apart from these obvious advantages of the certification, there are certain benefits of the Blue Flag Certification that helps the beaches to survive better.
- The blue flag tag ensures that the beach is recognized by the international community
- This helps in attracting sustainable tourism ventures thereby boosting the livelihoods and incomes of the locals in the area.
- The foremost objective here is to educate people about eco-friendly ventures. So, this certification fosters a good understanding of nature and culture of the area.
- Another crucial objective of this is to protect and conserve the natural treasure of the beaches and showcase its cultural aspect of it. With this international tag, one is assured that beaches like Radhanagar will be recognized as natural wonders and people would like to visit it more.
- Lastly, the blue flag ensures more responsible tourism is followed on the beach and hence the sanctity and security of the beach are maintained at all costs. So, the beach environment will be more safe, secure, and healthy. Showcases the beach to the international community
3. Why Radhanagar Beach Got It?
Although there are 7 other Indian beaches that received the accreditation, it is the crescent-shaped Radhanagar beach that is the highlight.
The Blue Flag Certificate is awarded to the safest, cleanest, and most environment-friendly beaches in the world. The award is judged by a prestigious jury so, only the best of the best make it through. Radhanagar Beach in Havelock is already a well-known beach having been judged as the best Asian beach and 7th best beach in the world by Time magazine back in 2004. It also features TripAdvisor’s top 25 beaches in Asia. All this because of the healthy and friendly atmosphere of the beach which is loved by all.
The beach has an extensive well-maintained area that is perfect for beach activities including bathing and swimming. In fact, they have small huts and kiosks to accommodate tourists with the necessary facilities like a locker room, showers, etc. There is security personnel to help you in case you face difficulties.
All this is maintained in a perfectly eco-friendly way. The beach is squeaky clean and safe. You won’t find any plastics or other litter on the beach. Rather it’s filled with broken coral pieces, shells, pebbles, stones, and other creatures washing ashore. A huge body of forest trees lines the beach giving it the healthy fresh air atmosphere that beaches deserve. With all the benches, logs, and trees, it forms a people-friendly beach where you can easily sit and relax the beautiful ocean scenery that’s out on display. Also, there’s a strict time limit to stay here and you simply can’t go much deep into the water as there’s a set boundary of 50 meters to ensure the safety of the place. Lastly, the water on Radhanagar beach is very fresh and clean and it doesn’t run that deep which is extremely safe for swimming. This is exactly what the Blue Flag Program wants to showcase and conserve. Hence, Radhanagar Beach of Havelock was always the front runner amongst the Indian beaches and was rightfully given the award.
4. How Different Is It from the Other Certified Beaches?
Unlike all the other beaches given the blue flag certificate, Radhanagar is an island beach destination that is, quite frankly, the best beach experience that one can have.
While all others are eco-friendly beaches that welcome the tourist, none welcomes them like Radhanagar. This beach is way ahead in terms of health, safety, and security. The water here is as fresh and clean as you can get in the sea. The waves aren’t ferocious and the water doesn’t run very deep to drown you. So, basic swimming, sunbathing and all other beach activities can be done quite peacefully here.
The well-organized facilities also make it a friendly beach and easier to operate to preserve the natural elements of the place. This one is quite a long beach beautifully lined by big tropical forest trees making it quite a fresh and healthy atmosphere. It’s less crowded than other beaches. So much so that you can literally have the whole beach to yourself. Also, the place has eco-friendly stays available where all the noises are shut off. Being on the Radhanagar beach is being close to the sea and hearing nothing but the waves and seeing nothing but the emerald blue waters. The other beaches on the other hand are often in the densely populated area where you are bogged down by other noises and can’t explore the tranquility of the sea. This makes Radhanagar Beach a one-of-a-kind entry on this elite list of Indian blue flag beaches.
5. How Can Tourists Preserve the Sanctity of the Beach?
Radhanagar Beach is already a famous destination for travelers visiting Havelock and with this blue flag, international tag people are sure to throng this place. While this is a boon for the region and its people, it can turn into a problem very quickly. To ensure that the beach remains in pristine condition tourists must follow certain basic things
- Be aware of the biodiversity and local flavor of the place and don’t try to exploit it.
- Don’t take wildlife from the beaches like shells or corals
- Don’t litter the beaches with plastic and other kinds of debris.
- Don’t harm any wild creatures
- Maintain the facilities in good condition after using them. Facilities like the locker room, toilets, and shower rooms should not be made dirty
- Remember not to throw away eatables and other things into the water or on the sand.
- Think about the environment and wildlife before taking any action and educate yourself about ecotourism.
So, that’s how the largest beach of Andaman, Radhanagar Beach should be cherished for being the natural and cultural hotspot that it is.
Hello! We’re a bunch of content enthusiasts writing about all things Andaman. Our blogs are the result of our immersive first-hand travels to the Andamans and the experiences of those we know closely. We keep a close watch on the travel space in the Andamans, so we can always bring to you the most updated information. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as we enjoyed writing it!