Known for its clean beaches, clear blue waters along vast expanses of white sand, Port Blair is nothing short of a dream for beach lovers. Nestled in South Andaman, it boasts of a rich history and is replete with markets, restaurants and pocket sized islands. Here is how you can spend 24 hours in Port Blair.
Feast on a South Indian Breakfast
Start your day with a wholesome South Indian breakfast from Hotel Kattabomman. This small restaurant is tucked away into the nooks and crannies of the Aberdeen bazaar. Constantly buzzing with locals and tourists, their special Idli-Sambar, Podi Uttapam and Ghee Roast will not disappoint if you are looking for authentic South Indian food.
Go Island Hopping
Take the 9 am ferry from Wandoor beach to the Jolly Buoy Island. An absolute no man’s land, this Island is pristine and more or less untouched by man. The island is completely plastic free and there are no food or water facilities here. Visitors are advised to carry their own snacks and water and are advised against carrying any plastic items. If you’re looking for clear blue waters to dive into, Jolly buoy is the place for you. Visitors are allowed to spend 4 to 5 hours at the island before all boats bring them back. While the island is not open throughout the year for protection of live corals, its alternative, the Red Skin Island will be open on the days that Jolly Buoy is closed. Visitors can enjoy a number of water activities like snorkelling and scuba diving, or they can just relax by the beach and marvel at the beautiful blue waters.
Time for Luncheon
After a riveting morning take the seaside view for lunch and dine at the sea shell restaurant. This rooftop bar and restaurant offers fabulous views and fabulous food. If you want to take the vegan route, stop by at the Annapurna restaurant which has a variety of good quality vegetarian food and an assortment of vegan options. If authentic seafood is your calling then head over to the New Lighthouse restaurant for fresh fish, crabs and lobsters.
Slice of history
Port Blair is a haven for history fanatics; it provides a brief but unique glimpse into India’s freedom struggle and the Second World War. Explore the cellular jail commonly known as ‘Kalapani’ and witness the mesmerizing sound and light show. Visit the trenches of the Japanese bunkers near Ross Island, Corbyns Cove Beach and Gandhi Park. Gandhi Park, which is now a beautiful picnic spot, with gardens and a lake used to be the only perennial water body in Port Blair and the lifeline for all its inhabitants. You can also visit other touristy spots like the Kalapani museum, Samudrika, the Anthropology Museum or the Mount Harriet National Park. Visitors can also visit the clock tower, a war memorial which happens to have the names of all martyrs inscribed on it in Hindi, English and Urdu.
For someone more driven by adrenaline you can also visit North Bay, for a trained course of sea walking, scuba diving and other thrilling water sports including, parasailing, jet skiing, sofa rides and banana boat. The picturesque lighthouse at North Bay also happens to be behind your 20 rupee note. Nature enthusiasts can opt for bird watching where they can spot up to 20 different species of endemic birds, a trip to the butterfly garden or a glass bottom boat ride with the dolphins!
Take a break from water sports and museums and head over to Brewberrys for some freshly brewed coffee and delicious snacks. This cosy nook was one of the first cafes in Port Blair. Visitors can also go to Icy Spicy, tucked away in a basement this place has excellent sweets and lip smacking chaat. End the day with a long walk along the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex and enjoy the sunset. The complex, which spans over 2 kilometres, is teeming with trees and benches, perfect for families to spend time with each other. Revel in the gentle sea breeze which refreshes your mind and soul as the sun sets over the pristine waters of the Andamans. Visitors can also enjoy the sunset from the Chidiya Tapu or the Munda Pahad. One of the best sunset spots in the Andamans, a short trek among tropical trees will lead you to the highest peak in South Andaman and the most captivating sunset in Port Blair.
Wine and Dine
For dinner, panoramic views and a lavish dinner buffet await you aboard the Bella Bay luxury cruise. Enjoy the delicious spread of food as a Nicobari band serenades you. If you’re someone who gets sea sick easily, then The Love Garden is the place for you. The terrace garden turned bar has the perfect ambience to set the mood, with rustic interiors, live music and a variety of cuisines to choose from.