Things to Do
If you want a quiet evening watching the sunset or enjoying the sea breeze, add Gandhi Park to your things to do in Port Blair list. This beautiful park is a complete tourist attraction with amusement rides and safe water sports to keep kids occupied, a nature trail around a lake, a Japanese temple as well as the historic remains of a bunker. And if your evening isn’t complete without a tasty snack, there are plenty of food stalls to satiate the craving!
One of the interesting things to do in Port Blair is to explore the colonial heritage of Ross Island. A ferry takes you to this former capital of the British in the Andamans, which then became a colony of Japanese prisoners of war. It’s fascinating to see an old British church, now in ruins, and the remains of once splendid examples of British architecture. A few structures have been restored, and they certainly recreate the feel of a bygone era. You can also view the relics of Japanese bunkers, many of which were constructed at different spots on the Andamans.
Ross Island also has a beautiful beach and a charming museum.
Wandoor beach and the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park sit side by side, allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty and diverse ecosystem of the Andamans. The man-made Mahatma Gandhi Park has a vast range of flora and fauna that are maintained under specific climatic conditions, including saltwater crocodiles, turtles and starfish. The coral reef is stunning, and you can also spot a wide variety of birds, including the white-bellied sea eagle, herons and parakeets. The park is also famous for adventure sports like scuba diving, snorkelling and glass-bottomed boat rides.
A visit to Kaala Paani is, of course, one of the top things to do in Port Blair. Your Port Blair tour is not complete without attending the emotionally stirring sound and light show, during which the Cellular Jail is adorned in the tricolors of the Indian flag. A powerful narration in the voice of Om Puri, tells the story of the jail and its heroic inmates, from the point of view of an old peepal tree in the complex that was a silent witness to the tragic events.
The museums in Port Blair are unusual and fascinating, and a half-day museum tour is well worth your time. View tribal murals and artefacts at the Anthropological Museum, which is devoted to the life and culture of the indigenous people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Samudrika Marine Museum, with its variety of endemic marine species on display, offers a lot to learn.
A 30 kms. Drive from Port Blair, Chidiya Tapu is a famous site for bird watching, for its magnificent sunset views and breathtaking scenery. Your route to Chidiya Tapu leads through another famous landmark, Kala Pathar, a beach bordered with black rocks. This spot is great for photographs, as it provides a dramatic background.
Chidiya Tapu is also known as Sunset Point and Bird Island. Viewing the sunset from Chidiya Tapu is considered one of the things to do in Port Blair, though you would need to set off by the afternoon catch it. If you want to spot exotic birds, on the other hand, you should visit Chidiya Tapu early in the morning, as that’s when they are most active.
Can there be anything more magical than walking on the sea bed, feeling time fade away as you nod at fish, study coral reefs at close quarters, and watch lobsters scuttling through the waters? An underwater sea walk at North Bay Island is something you must do, to experience the amazing marine life of the Andamans.
Fans of adventure water sports head for Jolly Buoy Island, which offers a range of activities you can enjoy. Sail in a glass-bottomed boat and watch sea creatures and stunning coral reefs go by. Snorkelling and scuba diving is a joy on this island, because of its wealth of aquatic plant and animal life. Jolly Buoy island is open for only 7 months a year, in order to protect its precious coral reefs.
Connoisseurs of cuisines will have much to enjoy. Sampling the best of the local cuisine, as well as global dishes, is something every Port Blair tourist must do. There are plenty of seafood restaurants, with Nicobari cuisine as well as dishes contributed by Bengalis and other communities who migrated to the Andamans in the past.
One of the things to do in Port Blair is shopping. Aberdeen Bazaar offers marvelous bargains from the roadside stalls and indulges you in the government emporia. Discover a great variety in jewellery, vivid fabrics and garments, artefacts and eco-friendly products.
At Sagarika Cottage Industries Emporium, you’ll find an astounding range of handicrafts, made by talented local artisans, in wood, shell, bamboo, coconut and cane. You won’t be able to resist buying miniatures of Nicobari canoes, coconut lampshades, lovely mother of pearl bowls and even wooden furniture, at reasonable prices.