Snow-white beaches, endless emerald waters, mangrove plantations, a paradise in the middle of nowhere – that is the splendid Andaman for you. An archipelago of close to 300 small and big islands, Andaman is your gateway towards ultimate source of peace and contentment.
The month of May had just ended and I was way too depressed over not being able to meet my cousins for the sixth time in a row. Yes, you heard it right. It’s been six long years since I haven’t managed to be a part of the summer vacations where cousins from all around jam up. Somehow my Dad sensed this and called me up one afternoon asking, “Do you think you’ll be able to get a week’s leave?”
“I don’t know. Depends on my boss. What happened by the way?”
“We haven’t had a family trip since long. I was thinking of taking you to the Andamans by the end of this week. You always wanted to go there, didn’t you?”
I don’t think I have jumped like that in excitement at office ever before. I hung up saying that I will just check and let him know. When you work in a travel company and have a travel freak (and also wonderful) boss, you get leaves easily. Soon enough, I found myself in the flight to Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Ideally, a person needs a week or even more to explore these islands. Ours happened to be a short 4 day trip although that didn’t lessen the fun in any manner.
The moment I stepped on the land of Port Blair, I knew I was going to witness heaven. The thing about these islands is that not only has it been blessed by nature but also that its people make sure to preserve it. The whole country needs to learn about cleanliness from the locals here. I haven’t really seen such a clean place in India. The usage of plastic bags is completely banned in Andaman which helps keep the environment unadulterated.
Day One had us roaming around the capital city. Sightseeing is ofcourse incomplete without museums, a place that invites the most disinterested people. Amazingly, my family has me and Dad, two people who absolutely enjoy being there. We could spend a whole day there and not get bored but we also have a company who just find a corner for themselves waiting for two insane souls to get out of this place we find like Hogwarts.
Marine Museum, Anthropological Museum, Science City took us a half day even though they aren’t as developed as these places are in the rest of the country. One noticeable aspect of the Science City here is that it has a lot of contributions from school going kids which is actually a wonderful initiative. However, after being through the museums and Science City of Kolkata, you’ll hardly find any good in the ones here. Marine Museum again speaks of the marine life that resides in this part of the map and there’s no doubt about the exotic variety of flora and fauna it conserves.
The Saw Mill and the Corbyn’s Cove Beach are other two attractions. Let’s face it Port Blair has no major attraction apart from the well-known Cellular Jail. Its historical significance makes it extremely popular among locals and tourists alike. One stroll in the premises of the jail and the stories of the inhumane acts inflicted by the British on Indian freedom fighters are enough to send a chill down your spine. Every brick that has been used to construct the jail speaks volumes of the sacrifices made by the martyrs. One has to have a really strong heart to be able to take in the atrocities that the place talks about. Uptil now, all I knew was this was the Kala Pani and Veer Savarkar, the brave man who survived it all.
It was only on coming here did I realise that there are thousands of unnamed heroes. The Peepal Tree that stood in the jail had been planted when it all began and it still stands erect spreading the tales of valour. Don’t miss out on the Light and Sound Show in the evening. Make sure you reach before time so that you can get the tickets because there’s a slated time for the same. The ladies line is shorter and it’s easier to get them. So ladies, use the privilege you got.
Forget about all pilgrimage destinations. This is one place where you‘ll get to know about humans who became God. This is where you will know how important your life is and how so many people have sacrificed theirs to give you a life where you can breathe the air of freedom. Take charge of our life! Let’s make things happen. They have to be proud of us when they look towards us from heaven above.
More stories coming around in the next part. Stay tuned!