Snow-white beaches, endless emerald waters, mangrove plantations, a paradise in the middle of nowhere – that’s the beautiful Andaman for you. An archipelago of nearly 300 large and small islands, Andaman is your gateway towards the ultimate source of peace and contentment.
The month of May had just ended and I was too depressed or unable to meet my cousins for the sixth time in a row. Yes, you heard right. It’s been six long years since I failed to be part of the summer holidays where cousins from all jam up. Somehow my father felt it and called me one afternoon asking, “Do you think you’ll be able to get a week’s leave?”
“I do not know. Depends on my boss. What happened to the road?”
“We did not have a family trip for a long time. I thought of taking you to the Andaman at the end of this week. You always wanted to go there, right?”
I do not think I like that in the office ever jumped in excitement. I hung up saying that I will only check and let him know. If you work in a travel agency and a travel freak (and great) boss, you get easy browsing. Soon enough, I found myself in flight to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Ideally, a person needs to explore a week or even more to these islands. Ours happened to a short 4 day trip, though that did not diminish the fun in any way.
The moment I on the land of Port Blair, I knew I was going to witness heaven. The thing about this island is that it has not only blessed by nature, but also that people make sure to keep it. The whole country should learn about the hygiene of the locals here. I have not really seen such a clean place in India. The use of plastic bags is banned completely in Andaman ensuring that the environment undistorted.
Day One had us circle around the capital. Sightseeing is not complete without museums, a place that invites the most selfless people. Amazingly, my family took me and dad, two people who really enjoy being there. We can spend a whole day and not get bored, but we also have a company who just a corner for themselves waiting two insane souls from this place we find to get as Hogwarts.
Marine Museum, Anthropological Museum, Science City took us half a day, even though they are not as developed as these places are in the rest of the country. A striking aspect of the Science City here is that it has many of the contributions of school children, which is actually a wonderful initiative. However, after the museums and Science City of Kolkata, you’ll hardly any good ones here. Marine Museum speaks again of marine life in this part of the map and there is no doubt about the exotic variety of flora and fauna reserves.
Sawmill and Corbyn’s Cove Beach are two other attractions. Let’s face Port Blair has no great attraction, apart from the famous Cellular Jail. Its historical significance makes it extremely popular among locals and tourists. A walk in the premises of the prison and the stories of inhumane acts inflicted by the British on Indian freedom fighters are enough to send a chill down your spine. Every stone that was used to build the prison speaks volumes about the sacrifices of the martyrs. One must really have a strong heart to believe the atrocities that says the place over. Uptil now, all I knew this was the Kala Pani and Veer Savarkar, the brave man who survived it all.
It was only on coming here, I realize that there are thousands of nameless heroes. The Peepal Tree, which was planted in jail when it all began and it still stands upright spreading the stories of courage. Do not miss out on the Light and Sound Show in the evening. Be sure to reach you before time runs out so you can get the tickets because there is scheduled a time for the same. The women’s line is shorter and it is easier to get them. So ladies, take advantage of the privilege you have.
Forget all the places of pilgrimage. This is a place where you learn about people who have become God. This is where you know how important is your life, and how so many people have sacrificed them to a life where you can breathe the atmosphere of freedom. Take charge of our lives! Let things happen. They are proud of us as they look at us from heaven above.
Book Andaman Holidays – More stories come around in the next section. Stay tuned!