Port Blair

Port Blair's seaside promenade, one of the few pleasant bits of town

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

Understand

Ramakrishna Mission, Port Blair

Port Blair is an upcoming city not very different from many other smaller Indian cities. It doesn't share the beauty of the rest of the Andamans, although the seaside has been tarted up a bit. It comprises people from all over India and one can imagine it as mini India with no conflicts on region and religion. Aside from Cellular Jail, there are quite few places which include Ross Island, Barren Island (known for the only active volcano) and few others known for its historical importance. A week's trip can cover the must-see places at the islands. You can, however, do day trips to other places close by like Wandoor, Ross Island etc.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 29.2 30.1 31.1 32.2 31 29.5 29.2 29.1 29.1 29.6 29.4 29.1
Nightly lows (°C) 21.3 21 21.8 23.4 23.3 23.1 23 22.9 22.4 22.2 22.3 22.3
Precipitation (mm) 36 22 9 70 346 456 400 425 403 295 254 157

Climate data of Port Blair
See also: Andaman and Nicobar Islands#Climate

Get in

See Andaman and Nicobar region article for information on flights and ships from the mainland.

Port Blair's Vir Savarkar Airport (IATA: IXZ) is located about 2 km south of the city. Taxis and autorickshaws wait outside the terminal at flight times. Public buses can be flagged down on the main road just outside the airport (cross the road). A bus to Aberdeen Bazaar will cost no more than ₹7. The terminal is small and reasonably modern, with an air-conditioned departure hall, but aside for an overpriced kiosk selling chai and crisps there's not much to tide you over if your flight is delayed.

Regular pax ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai. There are 3 to 4 sailings every month, The voyage takes about 50 to 60 hrs & the ship normally berths at Port Blair for about 2 to 4 days.

Schedules & tariffs can be obtained from:

Estimated Fares: Name of Vessel and fare per berth

Get around

An option to visit the Andaman & Nicobar islands is to opt for the package tours.

See

Cellular Jail
Japanese bunker just beside Lions club, opposite to SAI Complex Port Blair

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

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.

Buy

Girls' School, Port Blair
Andaman Club, Port Blair

Eat

Aberdeen Bazar (landmark is the clock tower) is a good place for lodging/accommodation as well as food. Quite a few restaurants are present.

Drink

Coconut water (daap or naaryal pani) is available everywhere for ₹10-15 (March 2011). One green coconut costs ₹15 in front of Cellular jail and they charge ₹20 at North bay island (March 2011).

Sleep

Thanks to the early-morning scheduling of most flights and ferries from Port Blair, many hotels have an 09:00 checkout policy. The good side of this is that it's generally not a problem to check in early either. In Port Blair, if you are staying in a hotel not in main city and don’t have a taxi/travel agent picking you; transportation might become a little expensive. Fortune Bay, Sinclairs, Peerless Sarovar, Megapode are some of the reputed hotels near Corbyn Cove but it is a challenge to get an auto rickshaw there easily.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

By sea

There are two jetties in Port Blair. Phoenix Bay Jetty to go to Havelock and other far destinations. Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex to take smaller ferries to Ross Island, North Bay and Viper Island.

By bus

Buses connect Port Blair with other points on Grand Andaman, including Baratang Island (2.5 hrs), Rangat (6 hrs) and Diglipur (8 hrs).

To get "deluxe" bus tickets, go to the little arena of shops across the road from the bus station. Ask around, but the man is in the fourth shop along on the left on the ground floor.

If you're going further than Rangat the road is somewhat bumpy, so it's recommended not to get seat number greater than 20 (as this is over or behind the rear axle). Don't get the rear seats as they are a bench - you'd be better off on a public bus.

By air

Helicopters used to run from inter island helicopter service just 1 km from the airport terminal. There are scheduled services to Havelock, Neil, Carnicobar, Hutbay, Campbellbay and other islands. Pawan Hans Helicopter Ltd is operating its fleet of 03 Dauphin Helicopters from Port Vlair under Andaman & Nicobar Islands Administration. But you have to book ticket in advance for a comfortable journey to the other islands. A new air service, MEHAIR, operates an amphibious Cessna Caravan to the outer islands

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