The capital city of Andaman boasts of tourist-friendly places that are gorgeous and awe-inspiring. There is plenty to discover in these cluster islands and Port Blair – a key pit stop in Andaman – never disappoints. Revel in the clear blue water, trek alongside green and brown thickets, and engage in the cultural history of India, as you explore the best places to visit in Port Blair. Not only in the city, there are a lot of unexplored attractions and tiny islands around Port Blair that you may add to your itinerary if you have plenty of time for sightseeing. Make the best of your trip by visiting each and every attraction mentioned below.
Best Historical Places To Visit In Port Blair
While in Port Blair, set out on a journey to explore the heritage and architecture by visiting these 12 places of this city.
1. Cellular Jail: The Prison-Turned-Museum
Popularly known as Kalapani, the Cellular Jail has served as a testimony to the gruesome colonial era. This national memorial draws attention to the Indian freedom struggle and is amongst the most famous places to visit in Port Blair, primarily because of the history associated with this place. The overall architecture of the building stands in contrast to the solitary cells that were once used to exile and execute political prisoners.
Timings for Cellular Jail and Jail museum: 09:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 16:15 (Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays.)
Entry Fee: INR 10 (adults) | INR 100 (permits video recording)
Don’t miss: The light and sound show, narrated by the Peepal tree which stood tall and witnessed the atrocities committed by the colonisers. The voice behind the Peepal tree is that of actor Om Puri.
Timings: There are two shows every day at 18:00 and 19:15 in Hindi except for on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when the second show is in English.
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2. Japanese Bunkers: Reminiscent Of The World War II
These relics of the bygone era were built during World War II and can be easily spotted across the capital city. The Japanese Bunkers attest to the time when a siege on Andaman and Nicobar Islands was attempted. They are among the major places to see in Port Blair and are situated on the way to Ross Island and Corbyn Cove beach.
3. Chatham Saw Mill: The Rustic Beauty Of The Pre-Independence Days
There are umpteen places to see in Port Blair apart from the picturesque and serene beaches. Chatham Saw Mill is one such place to discover in these cluster islands. The mill was set up under the British administration in 1883 and is a well-known wood processor in Asia. Amidst the popular tourist places in Port Blair, the mill is quite an attraction for the young ones.
Things to do: Search for the Japanese bomb crater left during World War II.
Timings: 9:00 – 16:00 (Monday – Friday) | 9:00 – 14:30 (Saturdays)
Entry Fee: INR 10
Don’t forget: Take home beautiful woodwork from the souvenir shop.
Best Beaches And Islands In Port Blair
If you are a beach bum looking for best beaches and islands to relax under te sun and laze around, below are your best options in Port Blair.
4. Corbyn’s Cove: A Delight For Sun-basking And Swimming
Ideal for swimming and sun basking, the Corbyn’s Cove is a quaint expanse. It is located approximately 7 km south of town and it shouldn’t take more than half an hour to get there. Include this in your Port Blair sightseeing for the tantalizing coconut and palm trees that line up the area.
Note: Beware of the crocodiles that are occasionally spotted.
5. Chidiya Tapu: Sounds Of Birds Chirping Everywhere
Famous for its sunset, the Chidiya Tapu or Bird Island is among places worth visiting in Port Blair. Not only does it offer an incredible view of the Andaman coast line, but the place also houses over 40 varieties of regional birds. The Munda Pahar Beach on Chidiya Tapu is a sought after picnic destination. Beautiful star corals and other sea shells can be collected on the beach. The 1.5 km Munda Pahar trek is a pleasure treat.
How to get there: Approximately 25 km from Port Blair, Chidiya Tapu is well connected by road. However, there is a dearth of public transport. Private vehicles can be booked easily.
Best Museums In Port Blair
Get a sneak-peek into the history of the island, its people, and other interesting anecdotes in these museums. If you are a history-buff, you are going to love visiting these places:
6. Samudrika Marine Museum: A Dip Into The Archaeology And Marine Life
Apt for the history buffs and nature lovers alike, Samudrika Marine Museum should be on your list of tourist places to visit in Port Blair. It is well maintained and offers an informative study into the past of the islands, their people, archaeology, and marine lifestyle. The museum is run by the Indian Navy and houses a variety of fish, crabs, corals and sculptures.
Timings: 9:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 17:00; Tuesday – Sunday.
Entry Fee: INR 50
Note: The skeleton of a blue whale can be spotted at the entrance.
7. Anthropological Museum: A Walk Through The World The Native Tribes
Visit the old world of the Nicobarese, the Jarawas, the Shompens, the Onges, and the Sentinelese at the anthropological museum and delve into the rich cultural and social history of Andaman and Nicobar. The sculptures and murals offer an insight into the lives of these indigenous tribes in India. This museum should be on the Port Blair sightseeing list of every art enthusiast.
Timings: 9:00 – 13:00 and 13:30 – 16:30; Tuesday – Sunday
Entry Fee: INR 20
Note: Photography is prohibited inside the museum.
8. Fisheries Museum: A Showcase Of Endemic Marine Life
Among the best places to visit in Port Blair is the Fisheries Museum that showcases endemic species of marine life found in the Bay of Bengal and the Indo Pacific region. Around 350 species of marine life, which are exclusive to this union territory, are preserved in the museum. One can also visit the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex situated nearby and indulge in watersports.
Timings: 9:00 – 16:45; Tuesday – Sunday. Also closed on second Saturdays.
Note: Photography is prohibited inside the museum.
9. Zoological Survey Of India Museum: Nature Lovers’ Delight
Among the many museums that make up the tourist places in Port Blair, the Zoological Survey of India Museum offers a variety for the nature lovers. Not only does this museum showcase marine specimens, but also displays mammals and birds.
Timings: 9:00 – 17:00; Tuesday – Sunday.
Note: Do check out the museum library which houses an exceptional collection of books on the flora and fauna found in the region.
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Best Places For Shopping In Port Blair
How can you come to Port Blair on a holiday and not shop? Find the best souvenirs to buy from the markets on this island that are mentioned below:
10. Sagarika Emporium: For The Best Shopping Experience Of Souvenirs
This government handicrafts’ emporium, situated in the heart of the city should definitely be on your Port Blair sightseeing list. It is for all those people who’d want to take back souvenirs and gifts for their loved ones. Beautiful local art and collectibles, which can be used as decoratives back home, are available cheaply.
Don’t miss: Lampshades and bangles made from coconut shells
Places to visit near Port Blair
If you have covered all the places to visit in the Port Blair city, here are a few more options for sightseeing around the island to explore as much as you can.
11. Ross Island, North Bay Island, And Viper Island: Island Hopping Near Port Blair
These small islands are a few miles from Port Blair and can be easily clubbed together and covered in one day. A graveyard, a ruined church, and turquoise water all along the way greet you at Ross Island. An administrative headquarter under the colonial era, Ross Island is a major tourist attraction.
North Bay Island is the perfect place to indulge in watersports. The corals are spread over a vast expanse and the natural surroundings make for a picturesque backdrop. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular amongst tourists.
Viper Island was home to women prisoners during the British era. This is among the famous places to visit near Port Blair because of a rather gruesome history. Today, the island stands as a serene and peaceful destination, unperturbed of its past horrors.
12. Wandoor & Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: Glass Bottom Boat Ride Through The Marine Life
One of the best places to visit near Port Blair is the Wandoor Beach that is famous for its tranquility and idyllic charm. It is also known as a gateway to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park that was built to protect marine life in the region. Scuba diving, snorkelling, and glass bottom boating are some of the best water sports in Andaman that you can try here.
Note: You can also take the glass boat to Jolly Buoy and Red Skin islands for the magnificent view of the marine life.
13. Jolly Buoy And Red Skin Islands: Adventure Seekers’ Delight
Easily accessible from the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, both these tiny islands lie next to each other. These famous places to visit near Port Blair boast of a rich marine life. In fact, Jolly Buoy island is considered to be among the best places to try scuba diving in Andaman. The corals are abundant and can be thoroughly enjoyed through snorkeling, scuba diving, or from the glass bottom boat. Usually, tourists are taken to Jolly Bouy island from December to May but as the rainy season (May – November) approaches, they flock to Red Skin.
Note: Jolly Buoy is a no plastic zone.
14. Mount Harriet: Highest Point In South Andaman
The highest point in South Andaman, Mount Harriet is roughly 15 km by ferry from Port Blair. Havelock and Ross Islands can be viewed from this peak and make for an exceptional backdrop. One can also go trekking till Madhuban through the jungle and explore the area. The Madhuban trek is roughly 16 km and is an exhilarating experience.
Did you know: A view from Mount Harriet features on the backside of the Indian 20 rupees note.
Watch out for more such secrets of Andaman!
15. Sippighat Agricultural Farm: The Mistress Of Spices
A fine farm situated on the road to Wandoor, Sippighat Agricultural Farm is spread over an area of over 80 acres and is used to cultivate spices. It is a delight to walk amidst nature on a good sunny day. Look out for the demonstration plot if farming interests you. It is one of the best places to visit in Port Blair city.
16. Baratang Island: Andaman’s Best Kept Secret
Two reasons you should visit this island near Port Blair are; firstly, it is Andaman’s best kept secret ad secondly, the mud volcano. The island is also famous for limestone caves that you ought to visit during your excursion to this little paradise. The beaches and the mangrove creeks add bewildering beauty to the island’s landscape.
How to reach: Take 2 hour 30 minutes ferry ride from Port Blair in the night which is equally exciting.
Best Time To Visit Port Blair
There are different shades to Port Blair with every changing season as the climate is majorly tropical. However, it is ideal to visit this place between October and March. Sightseeing isn’t recommended during monsoon (June to September) but heavy discount is offered on hotels and packages during these months.
How To Reach Port Blair
Port Blair is well connected to all metropolitan cities. There are flights to Port Blair from New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. The extremely patient ones can also take a passenger ship from Chennai, Kolkata, and Visakhapatnam.
Where To Stay In Port Blair
The capital of the archipelago is replete with elegant hotels and luxurious resorts. Among these, Sinclairs Bayview, Seyshell, Fortune Resort Bay Island, J Hotel, and Hotel Sentinel are the best places to stay in Portblair.
Further Read: Top 12 Places To Visit In Andaman
So, go pack your bags and explore the fascinating history of Port Blair and do not forget to include these as you book an Andaman tour package.
Don’t you think Port Blair’s rugged coastline, lush tropical forests, and fascinating history warrants a visit? Watch our Port Blair travel video to get an up-close look at the enchanting attractions in the region that draw a huge crowd every year.
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