We visited Andaman three years after the destructive Tsunami which rocked the southern part of India in 2004 and it was devastating to see the after effects of Tsunami. But, what really surprised me was that, the place still had so much to offer. It was simply one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to, so far. People were still bouncing back to normal life with the agriculture land having been turned into small lakes, most of the marine life having been washed out and most importantly, having lost the loved ones. I remember, one of the locals saying they are happy to see the tourist, it gives them hope.
The reason I pick “Andaman” as my first travel destination article in India is mainly because, after our trip, we hardly saw any of our friends or family vising this beautiful Island and I personally feel, it should definitely not be missed.
I was quitting my first ever job with “Infosys Technologies” which was a big deal for my dad, he thought it was one of the gravest mistake of my life and I would never find another job like that in my life (if any Infoscion reading this article would only know the real truth). Not only did I quit my job, I also wanted to go on a vacation very same day that I was out. Thus, started my destination hunt and I stumbled upon some breath taking pictures on Orkut (Yes, I feel old) posted by one of my friend (Rajendra, if you are reading, that’s you I am talking about). After getting all the required information and some amazing tips from the friend, we were all set. Luckily, I still have the information and the travel company is still in business, in spite of all the big players in the market today.
Travel Company that we booked our all-inclusive package
Moon travels which was run by Mr. Kariappa. Surprisingly, I found the website as we had made all our bookings via phone (Fortunate to have lived in the time where trust was just a call away).
It was a very well organized trip with no complaints and it was personalized according to our needs. Our entire 7 days trip including the air fare cost was about 30k (CAD 600 dollars) for 2 people. We had a chuffer driven car and we were lodged at very good hotels. Try your luck, you might get lucky too.
Some Memories that still lingers
Cellular Jail or Kaala Paani: “Sound of Music” show that we attended here on the very first day, left us spell bound. It gives you chills to even think of how the prisoners were treated by the British, but to witness it in the form of a play is something completely different. It is with mixed emotions that you come out of this place.
Havelock Island: This is such a gem and highlight of our trip. We went snorkeling at Elephant Beach, it was hubby’s 1st and mine 2nd time and it was absolutely gorgeous. Havelock was not affected much by the Tsunami hence the corals were still beautiful. The other beach we visited here was Radhanagar Beach. These two places are a must visit and there is no fun if you don’t go snorkeling or scuba diving (which we missed). We stayed here for 2 days and would have loved to stay for longer.
We missed seeing the Bioluminescence(light by living organism in the water) at beach in Havelock Island. This is something you should surely not miss seeing it. Very few beaches in the world offers such miraculous beauty.
ROSS Island: This was our first experience witnessing what Tsunami had done to the Island and it was one of the worst affected place. The entire landscape of the island has changed due to Tsunami. This island also is hard to forget because of our guide, the lady who had lost her family to Tsunami but had not bogged down in life, she was so cheerful and extremely knowledgeable. Very beginning of the tour she asked us not to click any pictures of her, but later offered to pose just with us. Now, if I think of it, the Island reminds me of the island in the television show “Lost”, its mysterious and most of the residents of this Island died because of some mysterious disease which could have been Malaria or Cholera but it still remains a mystery.Oh yes! How can I forget, it was British Headquarters, until Japanese took over. We were also told, Japanese hid their treasure in the Island which is yet to be located (anybody wants to get rich?).
Viper Island: The island reminds you about the cruelty which was bestowed upon the prisoners, they were left in the viper(kind of snake) infested island to be bitten by the snakes as a punishment.
Red Skin Island: This is another location that we went snorkeling, this is for sure a snorkeler’s delight island with such colorful corals. If you are not much of a snorkeling person, they also have a glass bottom boats though you can’t see much, it’s still a good alternative. Red Skin Island is a better option for snorkeling than Elephant Beach in Havelock.
North Bay Island: Apart from more water sport activity, this Island is famous for Light House and this is also the island which is on the 20 Rupee currency. I was really trilled to have visited a island which is on the currency.
Chidiya Tapu: This place is a must visit if you loving seeing the sun melt away in the ocean or rise to brighten up the world. We went there for the sun set and we totally lost track of time and made our driver come looking for us, that’s how mesmerizing the sunset was.
As I end this article, I also realize its time for us to re-visit this island again to unleash the hidden gem which we missed during our first visit, this time not as a tourist, but as a traveler. Soon, very soon I hope!
It’s a holiday season, go explore, get lost in the beauty of the ocean and re-energize yourself!