We took a short trip to Andaman and NIcobar Islands in February 2022. The weather was fantastic, neither too warm, nor cold, just right. When we drove out of the airport, the island looked pretty much like a small town in Kerala, similar winding roads, small shops, buildings that did not rise beyond three stories, pretty non descriptive I would say. Made me curious to know more about this place.
The drive from the airport to the hotel took 15 minutes . Lovely hotel as you can see from the picture on top. However, much later I realised that no one stays in Port Blair for more than one night, whereas I booked the hotel for four nights! The receptionist, the travel agent and the lobby manager were surprised that we were going to stay in Port Blair for four days!!! This was conveyed to us within 10 minutes of arrival at the hotel. I felt like kicking myself.
Let me tell you a little bit about Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is what I learnt for the first time. First of all, it is really far far away from the main land, 1400 km away and is in fact nearer to Myanmar and Thailand. Surprised? So was I when I searched for its location on the map.
There are 836 islands, islets and rocky outcrops in this area of 8,249 sq. km, with only 38 inhabited among them. Amazing, isn’t it? A large number of populations are asylum seekers from erstwhile Bangladesh and Myanmar, many migrants from Kerala and Andhra and lastly the descendants of the prisoners who were released after the forceful closing of the Cellular Jain in 1939. In fact, I did not know that in 1945, the Andamans became the first piece of India to be declared independent.
Let’s take a look at the places in the next post.