Port Blair Tourism
The Ballpark of Eco Tourism
|Territory||: Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
|District||: South Andaman|
|Type of Tourism||: Eco Tourism, Beaches|
|Population||: 100,608 (As per Indian census- 2011)|
|Altitude||: O meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: December to April|
|Telephone Code||: India (03192), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 744101|
|Languages spoken||: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, English|
|What To Buy||: Wood Carving Articles, Sea Shell, Beads & Pearl Jewellery, Pearl Necklaces, Bamboo & Cane Furniture, Bamboo, Cane & Coir Handicrafts and Artifacts, Wooden Trays, Walking Sticks, Coconut Lampshades, Palm Leaf Mats, Shell Ashtrays, Souvenirs, Home Décor Items, Miniature Nicobari Canoes, CD/DVD on Andaman and its Natives, Port Blair T Shirts, etc.|
|Clothing Recommended||: Light cotton in summer, light woolen in winter|
|Food Specialties||: Sea Food, Different Recipes of Fish, Prawns, Lobsters, Shrimps, Sardines, Mackerel, Crabs & Turtles, Meat, Fruits, Honey, Different Roots and Tubers, Other Cuisines like Tandoori, Chettinadu, Tibetan & Continental, Coconut Water, etc.|
|Must Do||: Snorkeling, Diving, Boating, Glass Bottom Boat Ride, Light and Sound Show|
|Local Transportation||: Walking, Auto Rickshaws, Local Buses, Inter Island Buses, Bikes, Cars, Ferry Boats, etc.|
About Andaman & Nicobar
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a beguiling archipelago of 572 islets embellished with exuberant sylvan landscapes, extensive stretches of creamy white sand, palm fringed coastlines, calm and composed beaches submerged in the plethora of natural bloom and diverse ecosystems dot the sapphire blue waters of the Bay of Bengal like a bunch of glittering jewels scattered across a pearly strand. Popularly reckoned as the ‘Emerald Islands’, this cluster of world’s last natural rain forest isles is essentially the summits of an underwater mountain range that elongates from Myanmar to Indonesia. Blanketed under the woodsy cover of dense tropical forests, studded by entangling mangroves and ornamented with colorful coral reefs, this chain of intermittent atolls unrolling for about 750 kilometers is rapidly emerging as a vital leisure & recreational destination on the eco tourism map of India. A home to the greatly dreaded prison of ‘Kalapani’, and the repository of India’s awe inspiring antiquity; the Andaman & Nicobar Islands today beckon thousands of vacationers, travelers, historians, researchers, naturalists and peace seekers to this Utopia incarnated. Only 25 islands of the Andaman District and 13 islands of the Nicobar District are presently inhabited.
About Port Blair
Positioned on the eastern seaside of the South Andaman Island, Port Blair; the largest city and a municipal council of the Andaman & Nicobar Archipelago serves as the administrative capital of this Union Territory of India. Also operating as the main entry point to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and burgeoning as the chief commercial hub of the province, Port Blair functions as the command center of the ‘Tri Services Command’ and the Chief Base of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Air Force. This dandy chocolate-box civic bequeathed with stunningly picturesque beaches featuring velvety shorelines, swaying palms, multicolored corals and the mesmerizing vistas of the rare marine life offers tranquil and relaxed holidays in the caressing cradle of Mother Nature. The ethereal grandeur of the dawn and the equally entrancing splendor of the dusk leaves the beholders absolutely dumb founded. One can spend hours just staring at the lucid blue waters of the sea and tuning your soul with the symphony of cosmos at Port Blair.
History of Port Blair
The Government of Bengal functioning under the British administration established a disciplinary colony on the Chatham Island of Andaman in the year 1789. The colony was christened as ‘Port Blair’ in the honor of ‘Lieutenant Archibald Blair’ a naval surveyor of the British East India Co. Two years later, the colony was shifted to the northeastern portion of the Great Andaman and was rechristened as ‘Port Cornwallis’ in the honor of a Royal Navy officer; Admiral William Cornwallis. Due to the countless cases of illness and death reported here, the British Government stopped operating this penal colony since May 1796. For more than half a century, the Andaman Nicobar Islands were dominated by the indigenous tribes who would attack and kill the mariners landing here.
Post the First War of Independence of India in 1857, the British Government renovated the Port Blair and established a new penal colony at the Viper Island where the political prisoners from India were jailed to serve their life sentence. These prisoners had to undergo hard labor and extremely cruel and mean treatment. Many of them were hanged and the rest died of sickness or starvation. Another penal colony was founded at the Ross Island between 1864 & 67, which is in ruins today. With the ever increasing Freedom Movements in India and the escalating number of the political prisoners, the British east India Co. built a gargantuan Cellular Jail at Port Blair. The construction of this titanic penitentiary took ten long years (from 1896 to 1906).
This Cellular Jail, widely reckoned as the ‘Kalapani’ imprisoned the Indian Freedom Fighters in solitary confinement where they were welcomed with unimaginable torment and incredible maltreatment. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was one of the most prominent Indian Freedom Fighters who served the sentence of Kalapani here. During the World War II, Port Blair operated as the H.Q. of the Azad Hind Government under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. After the Independence of India Andaman & Nicobar Islands were made a Union Territory of India with Port Blair being its capital. During the Tsunami of 2004, when multitudinous islands of Andaman Nicobar archipelago were devastated, Port Blair served as the relief base from where the relief activities were conducted.