Port Blair is the capital of the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is located on the east coast of 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 center 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 Km. to the southwest. The main passenger dock for ferries-the Phoenix Bay Jetty is 1 Km. to the North West.
CELLULAR Jail –National Memorial
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.
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 the freedom struggle. Jail Museum opens from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm all days except National holidays. Read More
SON-ET-LUMIERE (SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW)
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 every day at 6:00 pm and at 7:15 pm except on Monday, Wednesday & Friday when the second show is in English at 7:15 pm.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island
This small island, less than a square kilometer stands right across Port Blair. This island served as the capital to the Britishers from 1858 to 1941 when the Japanese occupied it and converted it to a ‘POW site’.
This island homes the ruins of the church, Chief Commissioner’s house, the Cathedral and graveyard of the Britishers and few other important landmarks which today is hugged by wild wines and huge roots and trunks of century-old trees. To reach Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, private ferries are available from Aberdeen Jetty except on Wednesday.
Sound & Light show narrating the history can be seen on all days except Wednesday at 5.30 pm. Tickets are available on first come first serve basis from the reception counter of Directorate of Tourism from 8.30 am to 3.00 pm on the same day. Rates of tickets are Rs. 100/- (adult), Rs. 25/- (Children between 5 – 12 Years) (Boat Tickets and Entry Tickets to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island are not included) For further details contact: 232694/244091.
MUSEUMS AT PORT BLAIR
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. This museum is closed on Mondays and Govt. Holidays.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 01.00 PM and 01.30 PM to 04.30 PM.
This museum is situated adjacent to the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Port Blair, which exhibits species of marine life endemic to the islands and found in the Indo-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal. It is closed on Mondays/Public Holidays/Second Saturdays.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 01.00 PM and 02.00 PM to 04.45 PM.
Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum)
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 colorful fishes of the sea around the islands. Closed on Mondays and Holidays.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 12.00 Noon and 02.00 PM to 05.00 PM.
Zoological Survey of India Museum
Situated near Andaman Teal House, this museum exhibits several varieties of sponges, corals, butterflies, centipedes etc. It is open on all working days except Mondays and Govt. Holidays.
Timings: 08:30 AM to 05.00 PM.
Kalapani Museum (Pvt.)
Kalapani Museum is unique amongst all museums in Port Blair and is the only private history museum in the country, set up 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 Museum is open 7 days a week (No Holidays)
Timings: 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
There are many other sightseeing places in and around Port Blair-
Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex
This water sports complex, the first of its kind in India, offers aqua-sports facilities including safe water sports and Adventure water sports within one water sports complex. In the safe water sports complex paddle-boats, row-boats, glass-bottom, and bumper boats are available. In the adventure sport front, Jet Ski, parasailing, banana boats, speed boats are offered. This complex also offers open-air eateries. The spectacle of the marina park that surrounds the complex is enchanting. The Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex houses a memorial of the ‘Battle of Aberdeen’ fought between the Britishers and the Andamanese aboriginals in 1859.
Chatham Saw Mill
The Chatham sawmill is one of the oldest sawmills in Asia. It is built on a tiny island and connected to Port Blair by a bridge. It is a storehouse of timber varieties like Padauk, Gurjan, Marble, Satin wood etc. The Chatham Island has the second largest wharf of these islands where island-mainland ships can berth. Within the saw mill compound is a museum showcasing the various timber wealth of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The museum offers an insight into forest activities through scale models and displays decorative pieces made of Padauk, Marble, Gurjan, Satin wood etc. Closed on Sundays and Industrial Holidays.
Timings: 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM
Sagarika – Cottage Industries Emporium
This Emporium exhibits a spectrum of artifacts made of mother pearl, sea shells, coconut shells and local wood products. Miniatures of Nicobari canoes, palm mats for floors, tables, furniture etc. are exhibited which are also for sale. It is closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Timings: 8.45 AM to 6.45 PM
The Science Centre, situated five kms from Port Blair town, has an ‘Andaman and Nicobar Islands Gallery’ with interactive exhibits depicting genesis of the islands, volcanic activities, science of oceans, fun science gallery, modern technology gallery, Taramandal (Portable planetarium), and an in-house butterfly corner. It is closed on all Mondays and Public Holidays.
Timings: 10.00 AM to 5.30 PM
This beautiful park at Port Blair has facilities like amusement rides, safe water sports and nature trail around the lake, garden, restaurant and historic remains like Japanese temple as well as a bunker. The erstwhile Dilthaman tank, which was the only source of drinking water for Port Blair and the area around, has been developed as Gandhi Park in an unbelievably short time of 13 days. It is open all days.
Mount Harriet, 55 Kms by road/ 15 Kms by ferry and trek from Port Blair was the summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj. This place is ideal for fascinating overview of the nearby islands and the sea. It is the highest peak in the South Andamans (365 mts. high). At Mount Harriet, there is a Forest Guest House where tourists can take rest and refresh themselves.
One can visit Madhuban from Mount Harriet by trekking through the jungle approximately covering 16 Kms. Exotic endemic birds, butterflies are interesting sights of this wilderness trek.
Sippighat Agricultural Farm
This Govt. agricultural farm is located 14 kms west of Port Blair covering over an area of 80 acres, cultivate spices like clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, coconut etc.
A sanctuary with rare corals and under-water marine life, Cinque Island has fine sandy-beach and sand–bar connecting North and South Cinque Islands and tropical rain-forest. There is no scheduled ferry service to Cinque Island. Chartered boats of permitted category are allowed from Port Blair and Wandoor. To visit, one may contact private boat operators in Port Blair to hire a boat with due permission from the Forest Department.