Port Blair is the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Many places which have great importance are associated with Port Blair. We could easily reach each and every corner of Andaman and Nicobar islands from this city. This city is located on the eastern coast of the south Andaman Islands. Many museums along with a major naval base of India that is the INS Jarawa are located here. Bases of Indian Coast Guard and Indian Air Force are also located here. The famous cellular jail and many islands which were used by the British can be located from here. Now let us have look at the climatic conditions of this place. Port Blair, as per the Koppen’s classification has a tropical monsoon climate. No much difference in the average temperature and receives large amount of rainfall throughout the year. Some of the important sites which could be visited by the voyagers who come to Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Gandhi Park, Sippighat Farm, Jogger’s park, Chidiya tapu, Collinpur, Madhuban, Mout Harriet and Mini Zoo, etc.
Each place has got its own specialty and is famous for its uniqueness.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
The location of the famous Mahatma Gandhi Marine national Park is at Wandoor which is around 30 kms away from the capital city, Port Blair. Around 282 Sq.kms comes under the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. This Mahatma Gandhi Marine National park comprises of 15 islands and some part of the open sea. These islands which form the part of MGMNP are a great tourist attraction and many people from different part of the world come to this place every year. All these islands will not be opened throughout the year. Some islands will be closed for some time of a year and it will be compensated by allowing tourists on other islands which will be closed later. Jolly Buoy and Red skin Islands are among the 15 islands about which we have discussed above. The beauty of these places are not the only factor which attracts tourists to these islands but adventurous activities like scuba diving, snorkeling are allowed here. People can also have a close look at the coral reefs and the underwater marine ecosystem with a journey in transparent bottomed boats.
This park was established in the year 24 May 1983. It was created to protect the marine species under the Wild life protection act of 1972. Nesting sea turtles and the coral lives of this area are some of the species which are being protected by this park. Chief wildlife warden of the forest department of Andaman and Nicobar Islands takes care of this park. All the islands which come under the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National park are unpopulated but data (census 1981) shows that around 3000 people lives in eight nearby villages. Alexandra, Bell, Boat, Chester, Grub, Hobday, Jolly Buoy, Malay, Pluto, Red skin, Riflemen, Rutland, Snob, Tarmugli and Twins are the 15 islands which comes under the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. Among these islands Tarmugli is the largest one and only a part of the Rutland island come under this park.
Fringing reefs are more commonly found here. When we analyze the vegetation of these islands we could see that it is not the same everywhere. Thick mangrove vegetation is common in Tarmugli Island.
As we go through Gandhi Park we could find a unification of artificial creations, historical monuments and natural brilliance. It has got a lake, well preserved man made gardens and many restaurants. It also has deer parks and bird parks. Spotted deer, hog deer, Sambar, and barking deer are protected here. The main birds in the park are red necked and long tailed parakeets, pigeons and vernal hanging parrot. Now lat us have a look at the historical significance of this Gandhi Park. This park has got a bunker and a Japanese temple which was built during the time of the Second World War.
On the way to Wandoor we could find the Sippighat farm which is around 15 kms away from Port Blair. People usually get down on this farm when they go to the Wandoor beach which is an exotic place. One of the greatest specialty of this area is that both spices and nuts are grown here.this area comes under the control of the Central Agricultural Research Institute which aims at improving spice cultivation. Around 80 acres of cultivated land comes under the Sippighat farm. Many migratory birds come to this place which include mangolian plover, Eurasian curlew etc. Sports authority of India water sport complex is also present here which is about 1 kms from the farm. This will provide enough provisions for kayaking, boating etc. Visitors could also perform snorkeling here.
Chidia Tapu is located at a distance of 30 kms from the main city. It will take around one hour to reach Chidia Tapu from Port Blair. The main specialty of this place is the panoramic view which you could feel during the sunset and it is famous for bird watching, since it is a place which is visited by migratory birds. On the way to this place you will be passing through the Kalapathar, a trace of black rocks and beach. Trekking facilities are available in Chidia Tapu, which passes through forests and will be ending in Kala Pahad.
The travelers will get a good view of Port Blair from the Jogger’s park, as it is situated on the highest point of Port Blair.
This is a place which is located at South Andamans, which is in the Andaman district. The distance between Port Blair and Collinpur is around 36 kms. This place is famous for its shallow beach which provides enough space for sun basking, swimming and sunset viewing.
Madhuban, which is about 75 kms by road and around 25 kms ferry from Port Blair. It is located to the nort east of south Andaman. Most of the travelers love the experience of trekking from mount Harriet to Madhuban via a jungle which covers around 16 kms. Many endemic birds, butterflies and animals can be seen in this journey through the forest. Trained elephants are used for log extraction here. The beach which attracts the people is used for swimming and sea bathing.
You could reach this place either by road or by ferry. You will have to cover a distance of 55 kms if you wish to go there by road or else you could use a ferry which is only 15 kms from Port Blair. This place is the highest peak in the south Andaman. Mount Harriet was used as summer headquarters of chief commissioner when our country was under the British Raj. One can go to Madhuban from Mount Harriet by trekking.
This zoo is located at a place known as Haddo. This zoo protects some of the endemic species of these islands that is both birds and animals. The entry time is between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Monday is a holiday for the zoo. The entry fee for adults is Rs 2 and for children it is Re 1.