Port Blair | India
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Port Blair is capital and largest city of the Andaman and Nicobar island group, with a population of around 100,000.


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Getting Around

Auto-rickshaws are abundant, and within town should cost ₹20-40. Auto fare from airport to Aberdeen Bazaar in the city centre is ₹30. Auto fare from Aberdeen Bazaar to Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex is ₹10. From Aberdeen Bazaar to Marine jetty (from where you get ships to Havelock Islands, Long island, etc.) is also ₹10 (as on March 2010). Tourists can expect to be charged a higher price. The auto-rickshaws will overcharge you if they can see you don't know where you are going or what you are doing. One way of avoiding being fleeced by them is to just climb in the back of the auto-rickshaws and say "Aberdeen Bazaar" for example. Boats are available to destinations like Ross Island. Boat fare is ₹75 for a return journey. It takes approximately 15 minutes by ferry from Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex jetty. Local buses are also available for inter-city and intra-city travel. Very cheap, but you'll need to ask around to figure out the routes. Private hire cars are available for local sightseeing around Port Blair and South Andaman. Scooters & motorcycles have been available for hire from a few shops around MA Rd. However, it seems they are no longer available for rent in Port Blair. Police have seized a lot of 2 wheelers for speeding and driving without licence, so people have stopped renting them. You can rent scooters and motorcycles on MG road about 2 km up the hill to the west from Aberdeen Bazaar but they are ₹400 for one day which does not include an overnight as of Jan 2011. Expect to get lost. Walking is a good option. But expect to get lost if you go too far and it is mostly quite steep hills that all look alike, so remember some landmark. An option to visit the Andaman & Nicobar islands is to opt for the package tours.

Port Blair

Top Attractions

Cellular Jail Japanese bunker just beside Lions club, opposite to SAI Complex Port Blair Anthropological Museum. closed Thursdays and Public Holidays.. Interesting Anthropological museum which gives the history of the various A&N tribes.  Cellular Jail. closed on Mondays. Built by the British to house political prisoners far away from the mainland. All prisoners were kept in isolation cells and subjected to a brutal work regime, with regular whippings and executions. Briefly taken over by the Japanese during WW2, who added torture to the palette. Today, however, the jail has been transformed into an immaculately kept national monument complete with a garden that seems very much at odds with the earlier horrors.You can watch it from morning 09:30 to 16:00 A light-and-sound show in Hindi (17:00) and English (18:00) available in the evenings. ₹20.  Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) (about 4 km away from the airport). CARI scientists are conducting research on different aspects of island agriculture. Landscaping of CARI is beautiful and it is worth seeing. Here you can see farms of different livestocks and poultry viz. Cattle, pig, goat, rabbit, turkey, quail, Guinea fowl, duck, fisheries ponds, integrated farming system model etc and fodder blocks as well.  Chatam Saw Mill, Chatam (15 mins by bus from STS bus terminal, private buses available ₹6 per person). A saw mill, oldest in Asia. Also the Chatam jetty is where ships from Calcutta/Chennai loaded with goods enter Port Blair. From the jetty passenger jetty is available for Bamboo flat and Dundus Point.  Corbyn's Cove (beach). An OK beach, and the closest to Port Blair. Popular with locals for swimming and watching the sunset. However, part of the beach was washed away by the 2004 tsunami and currents can be very strong, so be careful if you decide to swim.  Japanese Bunkers, near Corbyn's Cove. Bunkers built by the Japanese army during World War II. There's one more right down the hill from Cellular Jail.  Mini Zoo. A medium size zoo containing some species only found on the islands. Has now moved to Chidiya Tapu. 

Port Blair

Things to do

Gallows on Viper Island You can also visit the new workshop of Champion Filters Mfg. Co exactly opposite to the third gate of Aberdeen Bazar. The unit here makes polyurethane products for mining sector. The products include Self Cleaning Filters & PolyurethaneScreens Boat tours from Port Blair You would be lured by agents to do a 3 island packaged tour (Ross + North Bay + Viper) in Port Blair for ₹400. The trip starts at 09:00 and ends at 17:00. Complimentary lunch and breakfast is provided by the tour operator. Please don’t fall into that trap. Since, Viper Island has now become a landfill for all the refuse and complete waste of time and money. It is much better to do a 2 island tour, which are North Bay + Ross Island for ₹225 . Tour for North Bay + Ross island starts at 10:00 from Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports complex. Agents also try to sell single tour of Viper Island by the name of ‘Harbour Cruise’ for ₹90. That tour starts at 15:00. and ends at 17:00. You can get information about boat tours from A&N tourism, but not book the tour there. Instead, go to the aquarium jetty 1/2 hour before departure and you can buy the tickets from one of the four booths by the entrance. You can also pay the local fishermen to take you on day trips to mangrove creeks (Bridget Creek is nice) or places like Mt Harriet National Park (where you can beach your boat and go birdwatching). Don't pay more than ₹2,000/day for the boat, and you can often bargain it down to much less. Check with the Forest Dept in advance as many destinations require certain permissions. Snorkeling at Jolly Buoy. To reach here, first you have to reach Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor. Wandoor is around 30 km from Port Blair. There is only one ferry which takes you from Wandoor to Jolly Buoy and leaves at around 09:00. In peak season (December – January), book in advance is advisable. Tickets cost around ₹50 per head. The cost for snorkelling is ₹550 per person. Note, there are no facilities to buy food or drink, and so whilst bringing these with you is recommended plastic bags are banned..

Port Blair