Port Blair is the capital of the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is located on the east coast of the South Andaman Island. Port Blair is the gateway to the pristine islands. Port Blair is also an Island town offering water based activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, sea-cruises, and glimpses of the history and culture of the region. The Aberdeen Bazaar forms the centre of the town. Most of the restaurants and hotels are around this area. The main bus station is just west of the bazaar and the Airport 4 Kms. to the south west. The main passenger dock for ferries-the Phoenix Bay Jetty is 1 Km. to the North West. Port Blair is surrounded by surreal and verdant tropical forests and a jagged coastline encumbering bright blue pretty seas with the vibrant coral reefs. Port Blair is a happy diverse mix of all ethnicities such as the Bengalis, Tamils, Telugus, Nicobarese and Burmese.
The Cellular Jail, a National Memorial, is located at Port Blair which stood as a mute witness to the most brutal and barbaric atrocities meted out to national freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this jail. It is a living saga of struggle and pain of thousands of Indian freedom fighters such as Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla, Vinayak Savarkar, Shadan Chandra Chatterjee and many others. The jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name ‘Cellular' because it was entirely made up of individual cells for solitary confinement. It originally was a seven-block structure with three stories and a central tower acting as its fulcrum comprising of honeycomb like corridors. This jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom-loving people draws everyone down memory lane to the years of freedom struggle.
The Sound and Light show in the Cellular Jail narrates the saga of the Indian freedom struggle, brought alive through sound and light effect of the brutal and barbaric atrocities piled on the freedom fighters deported to these islands and incarcerated in the small cells of this jail. This show is very popular among the tourists visiting these islands. Timing: Two Hindi shows on all days at 6:00 pm and at 7:15 pm except on Monday, Wednesday & Friday when second show is in English at 7:15 pm. Entry fee for Child is 25/- (INR) and for Adult is 50/- (INR).
Kalapani Museum is unique amongst all museums in Port Blair and is the only private history museum in the country, setup in a three storied building, where history is brought alive through miniature and life size models and dioramas. The museum has a vast collection of rare archival photographs, paintings and artifacts of tribes, history, rare original documents of Colonial and Japanese periods, including many documentaries and films related to the Island and the Indian Freedom Struggle. It takes the visitors on a journey of rediscovery and unfolding the unknown and untold mysteries of the Island.
The Anthropological museum in Port Blair started in the year 1975-76, is an ethnographic museum. It showcases the four Negrito Tribes of the Andaman viz. the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges and two Mongoloid Tribes of the Nicobar viz. the Nicobarese and the Shompens. The major exhibits of this museum are Jarawa chest guard, shamanic sculptures and much more.This museum is closed on Mondays and Govt. Holidays.
Situated opposite Andaman Teal House, Delanipur, Port Blair, this museum create awareness on various aspects of oceanic environment and houses a vast collection of cells, corals and a few species of colourful fishes of the sea around the islands. The Samudrika Naval Marine Museum is run by the Indian Navy and it stores five galleries dotted with history, geography, anthropology and marine life of the Island. Besides this, there is also a tiny zoo that shelters saltwater crocodiles in Haddo of Andaman Island. It remains closed on Mondays and Holidays.
This museum is situated adjacent to the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sport Complex, Port Blair, which exhibits species of marine life endemic to the islands and found in the Indo-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal. This popular sightseeing place of Andaman has a wide range of installations with informative coverage of the islands’ ecosystem, plants, animals, tribal communities and marine life. This museum includes a small aquarium that houses various collections of fishes and corals and shells. It is closed on Mondays/Public Holidays/Second Saturdays.
Corbyn's Cove beach- the coconut-palm fringed beach, six kilometers away from Port Blair town is ideal for swimming and sun-basking. Facilities like hotel, restaurant, bar, changing room, adventure water-sports are available here. Some of the water activities that one can undertake and enjoy over a visit to Corbyn's Cove Beach include scuba diving, surfing, and boating. Further, the beach is also a perfect location for taking pleasure of sunbathing, swimming and surfing. Historical remains like Japanese Bunkers can be seen on the way to this beach. The Snake Island situated just across the beach is popular for scuba diving. It claims to have a lot of deadly snakes. The snake island is also known for colourful corals, mesmerizing fishes and rock faces. One can take a motorboat to land at this island. The Waves Restaurant & Beer Bar run by Tourism department provides delightful cuisine at reasonable rates in a soothing ambience.
Chidiyatappu- the southernmost tip of South Andaman Island situated at a distance of 28 Kms from Port Blair. Frequent bus services are available from Port Blair. It is famous for bird watching, sunset view, panoramic scenic beauties, and many colours of oceanic view. Chidiya Tapu is loved by nature lovers as well as adventure enthusiasts. The island is well known for its rich collection of birds, vibrant butterflies, white spotted deer and orchids. Among birds, the island is inhabited by around 46 species of birds namely, drongos, scarlet Minivet, hanging parrot, long-tailed and red-breasted parakeets, emerald dove, white-bellied sea eagles and grey-fronted and green pigeons to name a few. Swimming can be done at Chidiyatappu. The water near these islands is alive with multi-color corals. It is an excellent site for snorkeling. Incidentally, Chidiya Tapu Beach offers a variety of sea shells. It is in fact the major contributor to shell craft industry. Some of the crafts made from shells include table lamps, ashtrays, bangles, decorative boxes and show pieces.
About 29 Kms. west of Port Blair is the famous Wandoor beach known for scenic beauty and is very popular amongst tourists. The range of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is just across Wandoor Beach. To visit the Marine National Park, boats are available from Wandoor Jetty. Just at the entrance of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, one can visit the state of art world class Marine Interpretation Centre. The Marine Park comprises of open sea, creeks and 15 small and large islands, which is one of the best found anywhere in the world. Viewing of rare corals and underwater marine life through glass bottom boats, scuba diving and snorkeling are a life time experience. Private ferry operators operate conducted tour to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park from Wandoor. One needs to take permit, issued by the Forest Department and the boat ticket from the boat operators which are available at the Reception Counter of Directorate of Tourism from a Single Window before proceeding to Wandoor.