Top 8 ‘Non-Water’ Activities in Andaman
Even if you are not very comfortable with water sports and activities in the water there are still plenty of things for you in Andaman. Andaman is a place of great history, a place of adventures and a gorgeous place to relax.
Here’s a list of 8 activities you can do in Andaman if you are not into water (quite literally)!
There are many trekking routes in Andaman. Starting with the easiest one, the Elephanta beach trek in Havelock island. It’s a 45 min trek in the jungle with a rewarding beautiful beach, in the end. One can also go to the Mount Harriet trekking route. Mount Harriet is the closest to Port Blair. Take a ferry to Bamboo flat, you will get plenty of jeeps in Bamboo flat and ask them to get you to the Rs 20 note viewpoint. You might be wondering what is this “20rs note viewpoint”, take an old Rs 20 note, turn it around and you will see the scenery of a lighthouse and coconut trees in the foreground that was taken from Mount Harriet itself. When you reach the summit of Mount Harriet, you will see a magnificent view. There are small huts and a small park on the summit so you will have plenty of places to rest but be sure to take food along with you because you are not going to get any food up there, there’s a small canteen at the top but it is ridiculously expensive.
The third one on my list would be Munda Pahad’s view Point trekking; it is a small trekking route from the Munda Pahad beach to its viewpoint. The viewpoint is quite splendid. If it’s a cloudy day you could see clouds casting shadows and other parts left out all sunny it sounds dull but seeing it happening is truly magical. And if you are truly an adventurer you can travel to North Andaman to Diglipur and trek your way to the top of saddle peak, the highest point of Andaman group of islands. But remember it’s not for everyone, you need to have that adventurer spirit in yourself and the physical fitness to climb for 7 hours in the jungle trek. Make sure to keep every kind of supplies starting with first-aid, extra pairs of clothes, food, and water. The trek to the summit of saddle peak will be a personal “man vs wild” episode for you.
- While trekking in any of the places in Andaman try to be in boots because the jungles of Andaman are filled with leeches. And after reaching your destination after the trek be sure to remove your boots and check for leeches.
- Dehydration in these islands can happen very suddenly so keep drinking water even if you don’t feel thirsty because the island is very humid and you won’t feel thirsty.
#2 Get Immersed in History
Our islands have an intense history spread across its land. These lands have seen both sides of World War 2 ie. the islands have been occupied by both Japanese and British. We have memorials, Bunkers, jails, Flag point, and museums a perfect place to dive yourself into intense history. The places that must be on your list should be Cellular jail , Ross island, and Viper Island. Ross Island was once known as the Paris of the east, the island was home to officials of highest Rank that had to serve in Andaman, the island has been home to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose for a day in December of 1943. Viper island is a very crucial part of Andaman’s history because that’s where Sher Ali Afridi was finally sentenced to death for killing Lord Mayo the Viceroy of India appointed directly by the Crown, Viper island can be reached by taking a boat from Phoenix bay jetty which roughly takes 20 minutes. The island is filled with bunkers on all its shorelines; these bunkers are signs of what these islands have faced in the past. Another place of great historical importance is Humphrey Gunj. Humphrey Gunj is a place to be visited where at a memorial called Balidan Devi Japanese ruthlessly killed many Indians and buried them in a grave that was dug by them before being shot. Everywhere you go in Andaman you will be surrounded by history.
#3 Glass Bottom Boat Ride
Ever wondered what if I could see all the beauty of underwater life without actually getting wet. Stop wondering and hop on to a glass-bottom boat and enjoy the underwater world. Andaman has very rich coral reefs surrounding its shorelines. You can enjoy these beautiful animals (Fun fact corals are animals) with the facilities of glass bottom rides around these reefs. The most popular and the biggest glass bottom boat in Andaman is the Andaman Dolphin where you can just sit and watch through the bottom of the boat and see all the underwater beauty beneath it. Everything you see under the glass bottom boat seems really close to the boat’s bottom sometimes because the water magnifies the things you see and also the glass through which you see is convex. So if you are seeing a coral reef that is about to touch the glass don’t worry about it.
Who doesn’t love shopping. Paint a picture of this in your mind –“Walking down the streets of a tropical island buying stuff made out of seashells, wearing an Aloha themed dress with a cool pair of sunglasses and a Hat”, sounds like a movie’s scene but this could be you. You can find several small shops of locals along with the beaches in Port Blair and Havelock where you can buy hats, earrings, Necklaces bracelets. Here you can find the perfect handmade beach bling to match your outfit. Port Blair city also offers a lot of art and craft shops that sell stuff made out of Seashells. The best area of Port Blair to do such kind of shopping would be MiddlePoint where there’s a Govt. outlet for this called “Sagarika” this outlet sells Khadi items as well as many other handicraft items. There are many other private shops around this place too so you are never out of options and choices. They are a perfect place to buy something as a memento of your stay at Andaman.
Andaman will give you more than enough photos for your social media to keep posting them for a year. Not a good photographer, don’t worry about it, the scenic beauty of the islands will make every photo you take look magnificent. You can have some awesome photography sessions with your loved ones, and you can also hire a professional photographer to have a beach photo shoot with your partner. Here’s a simple equation:
“Beautiful beach + Professional Photographers of You and your partner= Thousands of likes + Perfect way to preserve memories”.
In Andaman, you won’t have to wait for perfect spots. In Port Blair walking down every major street you will notice something unique and distinctive. For example, every major retaining wall in Port Blair city is painted with beautiful messages and doodles and the Port Blair city is always lit up with tons of LEDs throughout the year, so you are always filled up with good vibes everywhere you go.
Andaman is filled with fauna. Birding can be a fun thing to do in Andaman as you can catch a glimpse of birds in their natural habitat. The best places for bird watching in Port Blair are Chidiya Tapu, Sipighat and Mount Harriet. Chidiya Tapu, as the name suggests this place is famous for its protected forests filled with birds. For the best experience, you can visit the zoo in Chidiya Tapu where you will get binoculars from the zoo officials and you can go on a tour in a battery car around the whole zoo. The next good spot for birding is Sippighat where you can find some Andaman teal swimming around in the marshy waters. Another great place for birding is Mount Harriet, which is famous for its birds and butterflies where you can spot kingfishers and many other species of birds.
#7 Cruise Dinner
Cruising around the beautifully lit harbor of Port Blair and having dinner with your family or your partner is one of the best ways to end a day here. TSG Bella Bay offers cruise dinners, the ship slowly glides across the harbors of the Port Blair city and serves you with delicacies. The boat leaves from the Junglighat jetty which is in the heart of the city and you can enjoy the local Nicobari music and the DJ.
#8 Spa and Massages
There are many Spa and Massage centers in Port Blair and especially in Havelock island. Getting a massage is the best way to rejuvenate your body and fill it with energy. There are many hotels and resorts which offer in house Spa. One of the best ones is Qua Spa in Port Blair. It has the perfect ambiance and gives you the best massage experience with very friendly staff. In Havelock you can go to Kerala massage center, it provides a proper Ayurvedic massage experience with very soothing surroundings and experienced masseuses.
So even if you are not very comfortable with water-based activities there’s still plenty to do in Andaman. Walking down the beaches, capturing the scenic beauty, shopping in the streets of the city, eating local dishes, rejuvenating yourself with the massages, getting immersed in the history of the islands, birding in the untouched jungles, these activities are the best way to experience Andaman without getting wet in the water.
About the Author: Aditya was born in Rangat, Middle Andaman. He has traveled all over the Andaman and Nicobar islands, lived with Nicobaris and been to Baratang over a dozen times. He is a 3rd generation resident of the islands.