Set in the picturesque landscape of the Bay of Bengal, Port Blair is the gateway to the enchanting Andaman Islands. It is the administrative headquarters and the capital city of the archipelago. Port Blair serves as the transit point for onward journeys to other Islands, including Havelock Island and Neil Island. So, tourists usually spend a day or two here and then travel to their next destination. Are you wondering which are the most amazing places in Port Blair to visit? Go through this post to find out.
A section on recommended one-day trips from Port Blair is also included in the post.
A Quick Glance Through
- How To Reach Port Blair
- Best Places To Visit
- One-Day Trips From Port Blair
- Best Time To Visit
- Where To Stay
- Where To Eat
How To Reach Port Blair
The best way to reach Port Blair is by flight. It has direct flights from cities like Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Another option is to take a cruise from Vizag port or Chennai port. Cruise travel is not recommended because it takes at least 2 days to reach Port Blair.
Best Places in Port Blair To Visit
Scroll down for a rundown of the top 12 places that are a must-visit in the island city of Port Blair.
1. Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex
Lying in the heart of Port Blair, Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex is a famous landmark of the city. It houses a life-size statue of India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and is named after him.
This place is commonly referred to as the Water Sports Complex. It offers a plethora of adventure water sports activities, like Parasailing, jet ski, banana ride, sofa ride and speed boating. But scuba diving and snorkeling facilities are not available here.
North Bay Island is the nearest spot, where you can enjoy underwater sports. Ferries to North Bay Island and Ross Island depart from Aberdeen jetty, located inside this complex.
It has two entrances. The main entrance leads to the Jetty through a pathway built over the sea. The other entry point connects to Marina Park, a popular hangout place for locals.
There is no entry fee for visitors. One can take a stroll inside the complex and enjoy the panoramic beauty of the place. You need to pay if you indulge in any of the water sports.
2. Cellular Jail
Once a dreaded penal colony under the British regime, Cellular Jail became a national monument after India’s independence.
The Cellular Jail, also referred to as Kala Pani, was used by the British to imprison the Indian political activists.
Isolated from mainland India, they established a prison on this remote island so that no prisoner can ever escape this jail. It was built in such a manner that no inmate can communicate to others.
This jail is a reminiscence of the brutal colonial rule in India. A light and sound show, held in the jail premises in the evening is a major attraction for travelers.
The heart-wrenching stories of atrocities against India’s bravehearts, exiled in this prison, is narrated using light and sound effects. This show is organized in the open air.
It is closed on Monday. So, you need to plan your visit accordingly if you want to enjoy the light and sound show. On all other days, there are two shows in the evening – 6 pm and 7:15 pm.
3. Corbyn’s Cove Beach
Corbyn’s Cove is one of the closest beaches, located within the Port Blair city limits. Nearly 6-7 km from the city center, it offers enchanting views of the vast Andaman Sea.
Adventure water sports, like jet skiing and parasailing, are offered here in the afternoon. This city beach is one of the most gorgeous places in Port Blair to visit.
It is a great place to relax and soak in the beautiful vistas of the surroundings. Swimming is not permitted at this beach.
4. North Bay Island
About an hour ferry ride from Aberdeen Jetty in the Water Sports Complex takes you to North Bay Island.
It is the nearest site from Port Blair to enjoy the undersea world of the beautiful Andaman Islands. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular activities in North Bay Island.
Tip: Tour operators usually recommend to buy adventure sports tickets from the Water Sports Complex. You should avoid that. There are ticket counters on the island as well. So, you can decide after reaching there. In our case, it started raining when we reached there. Rains reduce the underwater visibility and you may not see the corals and sea creatures clearly.
5. Ross Island
A bustling mini-town during its heyday, Ross Island stands as a symbol of colonial barbarism. British Raj in India used it as a penal settlement for political prisoners.
A stroll through this island makes you time travel in the past as you come across the structures overgrown with vines. You can see the remains of the commissioner bungalow, bakery, lavish ballrooms and an old church, taken over by nature and covered in roots.
All the edifices on the island were built by the inmates. They were forced to live in miserable conditions, starved and overworked. Ross Island has been handed over to the Indian Navy and it is managed by them.
The Indian Government has renamed this island as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep. It has become one of the popular tourist places in Port Blair to visit.
Check this post, if you want to know more about this historic island: Ross Island – 10 Things You Need To Know.
Tip: You should take Ross Island and North Bay Island trips on the same day. These excursions are mostly combined as a day trip from Port Blair. A shared ferry from Aberdeen jetty drops you to North Bay Island first, where you can partake in your favourite water sports. The same ferry picks you up and takes you to Ross Island afterward.
6. Samudrika Marine Museum
Given the Andaman archipelago boasts one of the richest marine reserves in the world, Samudrika Marine Museum provides great insights into the marine ecosystem of the region.
The museum exhibits a vast collection of corals, sea-shells and fossils of marine creatures. It is segregated into five sections.
Besides marine life, some sections in the museum display artifacts related to history, topography and indigenous culture of the Andaman Islands.
7. Chatham Saw Mill
Established in 1883 by British Raj, Chatham Saw Mill is one of the oldest saw mills in Asia.
This is a huge complex that houses a Forest museum, a timber processing unit and a Japanese bunker. The museum contains a nice collection of wooden artifacts, created using locally grown woods.
During World War II, the Japanese bombs destroyed the mill. You can see the bomb crater in the compound. It was rebuilt after India’s independence, but the same old machines are still operational.
Chatham Saw Mill is one of the historic places in Port Blair to visit. It lies very close to Haddo jetty, which is the embarking point for the ferry to Mount Harriet National Park.
8. Chidiya Tapu Beach
Located some 20 km from Port Blair city, Chidiya Tapu beach is famous for sunset viewing. This beach attracts a lot of birds, which is why it is named as Chidiya Tapu (Bird Island).
Enjoy a gentle amble along the quiet coastline or sit there and relax in nature’s midst. The blue-water sea in the backdrop of fallen trees is a sight to behold. Those trees were uprooted, when a devastating Tsunami struck Andaman in 2004.
Besides this, it also offers trekking opportunities. The Munda Pahad trek begins from this beach and passes through lush green forests.
9. Baratang Island
Baratang Island is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Some of the major attractions here include the fascinating limestone caves, mud volcano and a scenic pathway dotted with dense mangroves.
It is a full day trip from Port Blair and a scenic 4-hour journey through verdant forests and mangrove creeks takes you there. You may see Jarawa tribes on the way as the route passes through the protected forest, home to Jarawas.
Tip: Tourists are neither allowed to click pictures of the tribes nor interact with them. So, note this point when you make a trip to Baratang.
10. Wandoor Beach
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Wandoor beach is one of the most gorgeous places in Port Blair to visit. It lies on the westernmost end of Port Blair, roughly 25 km from the city center.
The scenic backdrop provided by lush green mangroves and coconut trees adds to its charm. Take a walk on this serene beach and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding vistas.
Apart from Chidiya Tapu Beach, Wandoor beach is another famous sunset point in Port Blair that draws many nature-loving travelers. You can visit Jolly Buoy Island in the morning hours and Wandoor beach in the evening as a day trip from Port Blair city.
11. Jolly Buoy Island
Famed for its beautiful coral reefs and unspoiled blue-sea, Jolly Buoy Island mesmerises travelers with its pristine beauty. It is accessible through Wandoor jetty, approximately 30 km from the city.
This island is declared a no-plastic zone. So you will need to deposit all plastic items before leaving the Wandoor jetty.
It offers breathtaking views of corals from the comfort of a glass bottom boat. In order to preserve the marine reserves of this island, scuba diving and snorkeling are not permitted here.
Tip: Jolly Buoy Island is open only for 6 months, usually from November to April. Make sure to check with your tour guide before planning a visit to this island.
12. Mount Harriet National Park
An unperturbed piece of land, Mount Harriet National Park is home to the unique flora and fauna of the region. It is nestled at an elevation of 1,257 ft on the Mount Harriet peak, the third highest peak in Andaman.
A visit to the park provides opportunities to sight some of the endemic birds of the archipelago, such as Andaman Serpent Eagle and Andaman Cuckoo-Dove. It is also known as a Butterfly Hotspot.
You may also like: Mount Harriet National Park – A Complete Travel Guide.
One-Day Trips From Port Blair
Here is a list of the best day trips you can take. Depending on the duration of your vacation, you can choose the places in Port Blair to visit.
|S.No.||Best Day Trips From Port Blair|
|1||Corbyn’s Cove Beach, Samudrika Marine Museum, Chatham Saw Mill, Cellular Jail|
|2||Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex, Samudrika Marine Museum, Chatham Saw Mill, Cellular Jail|
|3||North Bay Island, Ross Island|
|4||Jolly Buoy Island, Wandoor Beach|
|5||Jolly Buoy Island, Chidiya Tapu Beach|
|7||Mount Harriet National Park, Chatham Saw Mill, Wandoor Beach|
|8||Mount Harriet National Park, Chatham Saw Mill, Chidiya Tapu Beach|
Best Time To Visit
November to May are considered the best months to visit Port Blair. Avoid monsoon season, from June To September. High tidal waves and strong winds might hamper your visit to many places during the rainy season.
Where To Stay
There are a variety of lodging options available in Port Blair. If you are looking for a luxurious stay in Port Blair, Seashell hotel is a good choice.
Besides all the amenities, one can enjoy stunning views of sunrise and sunset from the rooftop.
Those looking for a sojourn away from the city, Peerless Resort is a decent option. It is located smack at the Corbyn’s Cove Beach, nearly 6 km away from the city center.
Aberdeen Bazar, the main market place in Port Blair offers a lot of budget accommodation.
Where To Eat
From small eateries to fine-dine restaurants, Port Blair offers a lot of options to foodies. We discovered Amaya, a nice rooftop restaurant that lies approximately a km away from the Cellular Jail.
They serve delicious seafood and vegetarian food too. In addition, great sea views from the rooftop add to the charm of the place.
New Lighthouse Restaurant, located in the vicinity of Marina Park, is another good place to have seafood in Port Blair. The ambience here is ordinary but the food is superb.
Over To You Now…
From this list of the 12 best places in Port Blair to visit, which ones are on your wanderlust wishlist? Tell us in the comment section below.
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