Tag Archives: Andaman Islands

The Andamans – Port Blair

Somewhat unfairly, Port Blair (the largest town in the Andamans) often gets overlooked by visitors on their way to the beaches and jungles when it’s easily worth a couple of days of traipsing around. First stop – especially for the Indian history buff – Cellular Jail.

 Cellular Jail


Cellular Jail Facade

The British had been using the Andamans as a transportation colony for Indians ever since the uprisings of 1857. With the growth of the independence movement, Cellular Jail itself got built in the late 19th century. Given the whos-who of independence leaders imprisioned here, it’s now an Indian national monument.


With all prisoners kept in solitary confinement though and hard labour the norm, there’s no doubt life here was tough – from the prison museum:

“The revolutionary fighters […] found themselves confronted by the cruel Jailor, David Barry, an Irishman who believed it was his God-given destiny to suppress these enemies of Her Majesty the Queen with violence and vile abuse”

Hmmm… so, it would seem I wasn’t quiet the first Irish to visit.

Ross Island

Beyond the prison and just across a short stretch of water – a bit like a ghost town of a long-lost civilisation – lies Ross Island.


Ross Island, Andaman Islands

For decades the island served as the seat of British administration here. Long abandoned though – partly due to damage caused by both an earthquake and the Japanese occupation – in its heyday Ross Island was said to have been one of the most opulent headquarters within the Raj.

There are still hints of the opulence here and there, but these days its the fig trees and encroaching jungle that rule Ross Island.


Ross Island Cemetery

And with that – and with some nasty squalls blowing – time to get back to Port Blair and a flight back to the mainland – no three day ferry this time!




The Andamans – Havelock Island

Think tropical island and Havelock Island in the Andamans has it all – sugar-white beaches, palm trees, fantastic sunsets, swimming elephants (retired) and well, rain, lots of rain.


Port Blair Harbour – next stop Havelock

With the rainy season arriving in the Andamans weeks before the rest of India, it was at times a bit like a wet Summer in Kerry – albeit with temperatures in the 30’s and falling coconuts to be avoided. Not that it was a problem – with both foreign and Indian tourists keen to stay dry, the place was largely empty and totally relaxed.



Inland from the coast, the island is covered with rice paddies that push up against dense jungle. Not being a fan of leeches and trudging through muck – hammock dozing won out over jungle hiking in the rain.



Did I mention the rain?

It wasn’t all just hammock-time though – with Havelock having some of the best diving in Asia, I could hardly pass up the chance to take some lessons. Alas, while I fairly well mastered the ‘how not to drown’ class, my underwater photography needs a bit of work. So, failing miserably to photograph a single fish, I’ll leave you with a blurred underwater selfie for now…


Anyone seen Nemo?




Sorry for there being no updates lately – alas, with Internet access being a scarce to non-existent resource on remote tropical islands, not much that can be done. But don’t worry, as tough and all as living the disconnected life is, they do have nice sunsets – I’ll be fine…




In case you’re wondering btw, I’m on a dot near the third red dot down in the lower right of the map below


Map courtesy Wikipedia Maps