Are you interested in spending your holiday at a nature's paradise: the azure sea, beautiful white sandy beaches or the lush deep forests or the beautiful coral reefs? Then you can check out the details of Havelock Island in Andaman an awesome heaven on earth.
Havelock island in Andaman is one of the largest islands located at a distance of about 55+ kms towards the north east of Port Blair, in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The island has got its name after an active British general residing in India and comprises majorly of Bengali settlers. Luckily Havelock was not affected by the 2004 earthquake which shook the Indian Ocean and resulted in tsunami. Havelock is one of the most famous attractions in the Andaman Islands because the Union government has promoted eco-tourism here.
How to reach
The most convenient mode of transport is by ferry while the costlier but faster mode is by seaplane or helicopter. You can board a ferry at the Phoenix Bay Jetty, Port Blair. The Government ferries are run by the Directorate of Shipping while the private luxury boats, namely Makruzz run by Mak Logistics, Port Blair and Coastal Cruise run by Coastal Seaways India, Green Ocean and Bhagya Express. All the ferries run daily and specific timings but there may be change in timings because of the weather.
The port is located at Beach #1 while most of the hotels, and resorts are located at Beach #5 and Beach #7. It is not possible to walk around the islands and visit all the attractions. Once you reach the islands you can take private taxis, auto rickshaws, buses or rental vehicles like bikes, scooters, motor cycles or bicycles to move around the attractions. Note that petrol is sold at some shops in the market or where petrol pump boards are marked.
When to visit?
The best time to visit Havelock island in Andaman is between mid of January to mid of May. During this time the islands have the best of the weather, sunny skies, calm seas which reflect the clouds.
What to do?
There are activities for everyone whether it tickles the adventure streak or otherwise.
Sea walk: as the name suggests, anyone from seven years onwards to sixty year old can walk underwater on the sea bed at a depth of about 10m at Elephant Beach. No swimming skills are needed for sea bed walking. You will sure love this wonderful opportunity to be among the marine flora and fauna.
Scuba Diving: The islands are well known for this activity since internationally certified diving schools like PADI and SSI have offer courses for diving here. Diving is interesting in Havelock island in Andaman because of the abundance of marine life and many safe diving sites. Foreigners and even Indian tourists flock on these islands to enjoy or learn diving. The courses include beginner's, advanced, and refresher trainings along with professional dives and underwater photos and videos. A few common dive sites are the Seduction point, Lighthouse, Pilot Reef, Minerva Ledge, Seduction Point, Aquarium, Mac Point etc.
Snorkeling: It is another well-known water activity wherein you can swim with or without a float in the shallow areas of the coral reefs. There is ample opportunity to catch glimpses of the marine flora and fauna like beautiful shoals of fish swimming around you or nibbling algae and dancing in the blue waters. You can avail of snorkelling at Elephant beach or Lighthouse or near Radhanagar beach. If you have some time at hand then you can take a half day trip with local fisherman to South button island and the shallow, colourful and mesmerising reefs. This trip turns out reasonable if there is a group of greater than five people.
Fishing trips: If you wish to get a fishing experience, then you can check out trips to uninhabited islands which are offered by a few companies.
Kayaking: If you love to wander in the open sea, not deep though then you can check out kayaking. Havelock island in Andaman has gained popularity because of its safe and calm creek.
Elephant ride: this one is specially for the jungle lovers. Forest Department opens up the Elephant Training camp at Kalapathar to tourists, though it is not so very frequent. You can enjoy the elephants working in the forest of swimming and bathing in a sea.
Bird watching: The tropical lush green forests, emerald lagoons, and the mangrove swamps along the sea shores is home to many birds. Abundance of mynas, variety of woodpeckers, sunbird, and other endemic birds makes Havelock a bird watcher's paradise.
Game fishing: you can hire a fishing boat with the required fishing equipment and head out to any of the uninhabited islands like South Button, Peel Island, Wilson Island, Inglis Island, John Lawrence etc. and enjoy the best catches.
Jungle trekking: apart from the beach, you can also enjoy jungle trekking along with a guide. Some resorts offer overnight camping along with local guides.
Other activities: There are a few other activities which might interest you like sunbathing, beach combing, swimming or just relaxing on the beach and enjoying the sunrise or the sunset. In short the options are many and which suit all ages. You will never know how the whole day will pass amidst the waters or on the beaches, marine flora and fauna, lush green forests or just at the resorts.
About the beaches
Havelock island in Andaman is known for its pristine beaches which are numbered instead of having names. So you land at Beach #1 and can check it hotels/ resorts etc. mostly located at Beach #3 Govind Nagar and Beach #5 Vijay Nagar. From near Beach #3 you can go to Beach #7 Radhanagar beach one of the most beautiful locales on the island and most frequented by the tourists. This is where we stayed in the Dolphin rooms right on the beach.
Radhanagar Beach:It is one of Havelock's most popular beaches and is Grade A beach of outstanding quality. Hence it was rightly named the Best Beach in Asia by Time in 2004. It is located on the south coast of the island and about 12 kms from the jetty at Beach #1 and nearly 2 kms in length with an average width of 35 m. The sand on the beach is gorgeously silky white and very fine grained. The beach is lined with tall trees forming a forest canopy which provides shade all through the day where you can relax and look out to the turquoise waters. The beach is good for swimming since most of the beach has a sandy bottom. Buses are available through the day for commuting to the hotels. A few shacks near the beach provide snacks, thali, water and local handicrafts.
Vijaynagar Beach:This beach is located on the east coast and nestled with tall mahua trees all along the sands making it a perfect place for long walks. Many hotels and resorts are located on this beach. It is partly a rocky beach but the trees provide good shade through the day.
Elephant Beach: If you come to Havelock island in Andaman, you just cannot miss snorkelling on Elephant beach. It is popular tourist spot. The main reason is that it has abundant and the best coral reefs filled with breathtaking marine life. There are two ways to reach the Elephant beach. You can take a boat cruise from the Havelock jetty through any of the private ferry operators. Or you can take a bus/car/ rental to the forest camp at Beach 37mlocated at a distance of about 8 kms from the jetty and then do a light trek for about 40 minutes to the beach. The beach is typically crowded till lunch time and all tourists return by around 2.30 pm. Take packed food and water since you will get only fresh coconut water, sry bhel and few fruits.
Kalapather Beach: This is the beach where you can see the sun rise , a beautiful sight worth the trip. Kalapather beach is located in one corner of the island along the road from Beach #3 to Beach #5. It is about 12 kms from the jetty and is reachable by private car. The beach gets its name from the black stones and the Kalapather village nearby. It is well known for the pristine blue waters of the sea and the tall tropical forest along the coastline. The beach is not well developed and there are two small coconut shades. However most tourists make it a point to visit this beach and enjoy the smooth silver sands and the peaceful solitude.
So overall, Havelock island in Andaman is not less than heaven on the earth and well known for its beaches and marine life.
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