Port Blair, the capital of the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is the gateway to the beautiful islands. However, there are so many unique places to visit in Port Blair, within city limits and nearby, that it could well stand as a holiday destination on its own.
You can explore tribal culture, visit islands and beaches, shop for charming souvenirs and attractive artefacts, sample local delicacies and more. Besides, the water sports that the Andamans are famous for, are all available at Port Blair too.
Explore Port Blair and you’ll get the best possible introduction to the Andaman Islands.
This national memorial is one of the important Port Blair tourist places to visit for every Indian, a grim reminder of the incarceration of freedom fighters during British rule. Originally 3 stories tall, the jail had 7 blocks and a central tower, from which led honeycomb-like corridors of individual cells. Prisoners were kept in solitary confinement in these single cells, which gave the jail its name. The complex also has a museum, which should feature on your places to visit in Port Blair itinerary.
A stirring sound and light show at the Cellular Jail brings alive the saga of the freedom struggle and the stories of patriots. It is very popular with tourists.
Located close to Port Blair, this was once the administrative headquarters of the British. Ross Island’s architecture and charm had earned it the nickname of the Paris of the East. However, an earthquake in 1941 and a subsequent invasion by the Japanese destroyed the glory of this island forever. Making it one of the places to visit in Andaman with a spectacular topography.
However, history buffs still love to view the architectural ruins of Ross Island, while nature lovers admire its tropical beauty and picturesque views. The island’s grand past can be glimpsed in its church ruins and other landmarks, now almost covered by banyan trees. The chief commissioner's erstwhile home, now known as Government House, still bears traces of its glorious past, with Italian tiled flooring, splendid ballrooms and huge gardens. The Indian Navy has also restored some of the old structures, such as the local stores and the bakery, giving nostalgic visitors a feel of an era gone by.
Besides, Ross Island offers an opportunity to sample the local cuisine at its best, with a unique regional influence.
This is referred to as an ethnographic museum. Unlike other museums, it displays the cultural artefacts and history of the four Negrito tribes of the Andamans - the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges, and the two Mongoloid Tribes of the Nicobar, the Nicobarese and the Shompens.
Also known as the Samudrika Naval Marine Museum, this is one of the key places to visit in Port Blair for its striking installations and information on the Andaman ecosystem, plants, animals, tribal communities and marine life. A small aquarium houses collections of exotic fish, corals and shells. The museum is run by the Indian Navy. One of the significant Port Blair tourist places, it houses the skeleton of a blue whale that was washed ashore on the Nicobars.
This is the only private history museum in the country. A 3-storeyed building, it has a vast collection of rare archival photographs, paintings, rare original documents from the British colonial and Japanese periods, as well as documentaries and films related to the Andamans and the Indian freedom struggle. Open every day, it brings history alive through its miniature and life size models and dioramas.
Just 6 kms. away from Port Blair, this palm fringed beach is a complete experience in itself. En route to the beach, you can spot the remains of Japanese bunkers. At the beach, you can enjoy swimming, water sports, sun bathing or just contemplating the beauty of white sands, blue sea and green foliage. Beach restaurants offer you a wonderful meal with a panoramic sea view.
If you’re willing to go a little further out of Port Blair, you’ll find this extraordinarily beautiful beach well worth the drive of about 25 kms. With its luxuriant green mangroves, exotic bird species, silky sands and crystal-clear waters, the Mundapahar beach is a tourist favourite and one of the frequented Port Blair tourist places. You can also venture on the beautiful trek route of around 1.5 kms. from the beach through a forested area, sheltered with a wonderful green canopy of trees. En route, you have breathtaking views of neighbouring islands, and at the end of the trek, a superb view of Cinque Island awaits you.
Just 5 kms from Port Blair is this unique science centre, a treasure trove of information on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It has interactive exhibits that bring alive the genesis of the islands, an in-depth study of oceans, a fun with science gallery, a gallery showcasing modern technology, a planetarium and an in-house butterfly corner.
This beautiful park is a complete one of the places to go in Port Blair if you love nature and adventure. It has amusement rides, safe water sports, a nature trail around a lake, a Japanese temple as well as the historic remains of a bunker.
No one who loves water sports can miss out on this place! Banana rides, parasailing, jet skiing, rowboat paddling, speed boat rides – every kind of water sport is there to be enjoyed, with excellent trained professionals to provide safety equipment and instruct the novice water junkie.
In the centre of Port Blair is Aberdeen Bazaar, one of the best shopping places to visit in Port Blair. A shopper’s paradise, it offers great retail therapy at every price point, from bargain buys at roadside stalls to high-end jewellery at shopping centres.
You cannot leave without buying a piece of exquisite pearl jewellery, artefacts in burnished wood or bamboo, papier mache tribal masks or at least a Port Blair t-shirt! Round off a good day’s shopping with a wonderful meal at one of the delightful restaurants in the market itself.
One of the shopping places to visit in Port Blair, you can marvel at and buy a spectrum of handicrafts made by skilled local artisans, from mother of pearl, sea shells, coconut shells and wood. Carry away miniatures of Nicobari canoes, jewellery and even furniture at reasonable prices, as wonderful memories of your Andaman Holidays.