Amazing Andaman: Neil Island - Bharatpur and Laxmanpur Beach12:52 PM
Amazing Andaman: Neil Island - Bharatpur and Laxmanpur Beach
What you need to know about Neil Island:
Neil Island is a small island with the farthest ends are at a 7km drive. The island has less forest cover compared to Havelock, reason being the forest is cut down to enable farming, the also the reason being it the vegetable bowl of the Andaman. About half of the forest has disappeared on this island due to human intervention.
The main attractions in Neil are the Laxmanpur Beach where you can enjoy the sunset whilst soaking in the beach, the Sitapur beach where one can sit and enjoy the beautiful sunrise, the Bharatpur beach where you can have fun in the low water levels and mild waves with watersports and lastly trek for about ten mins in the jungle to get a magnificent view of the natural bridge and the marine life at the shoreline during low tides. The best way to explore this small island is hiring a bicycle/bike for rent.
What you need to know before you start for Neil Island is it doesn’t have ATM’s, and internet facility and unlike Port Blair or Havelock it has very less luxury towards hospitality. The only two recognizable resorts were the Tango beach resort and the Pearl park resort.
|Dead Corals found on the shoreline in Neil Island|
Cruise to Neil in Coastal Cruise:
The next day morning we caught the Coastal Cruise, a privately owned cruise ship from the Phoenix jetty to Neil Island, at about 8 am. It was said that the boarding time would be 7.30am, but by the time the boarding was completed and the cruise started it was already 8.30am.
The cruise is completely air conditioned and have LCD TV’s kept for entertainment through the long journey, and had a capacity of 218 seats. There is also a snack shop available inside the cruise. Sailing through the journey with the maximum speed of about 25 knots (45 Kmph), reached Havelock island jetty at about 10.30 am, the cruise had a stopover at Havelock for about 20mins until the tourists who booked for Havelock disembarked, and new passengers for Neil Island boarded. The journey from Havelock to Neil is another 90mins and we reached Neil Island after a long journey at about 12.30 pm. The journey from Havelock to Neil is quite picturesque. The cruise actually sails all the way around the Havelock Island before it reaches Neil Island which is to its south end.
As we got down at the Neil Jetty, we had glimpses of the extreme marine life of the Island, with sea cucumber and many other fishes visible in the crystal clear water from the jetty.
We reached our hotel, tango beach resort which was about ten mins drive. The resort is perfectly located near the shoreline very near to Laxmanpur beach. This island doesn’t have the luxury of Havelock, but it definitely have much undamaged marine life.
|Satellite view of Neil Island|
The first to start with was the Bharatpur beach, this beach at low tides is a lagoon with very mild waves hitting the shores. This is a very safe place to play in the water for almost 500 m from the shoreline the water level was low, but less to our knowledge and experience about the tides, didn’t explore going much deeper into the sea. The water over here was very clear, this was our first beach experience in Andaman.
|The Large pool at the lagoon of Bharatpur Beach|
There are also water sports available here, like the Jet Ski, glass bottom boat, snorkeling etc. Well the Jet Ski was a good experience, but felt a little expensive for a 5min ride it cost for 500Rs. They provide life jacket too. Next was the glass bottom ride, which lasted about 15mins with glances of deep sea life and its colorful world. They charge 150rs for a ride and 200rs for a slightly longer ride. We got to see sea cucumbers, sea urchines, falcula butterfly fish, starfish, large and colorful fishes, live corals and clam shells. Although they took us through the beautiful coral reefs but the glass bottom boat had an old glass with lots of scratches and dirt, resulting in poor visibility. So, felt not worth for any clicks. The sea enclosing the island is shallow and full of colorful corals and fishes.
|Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island|
|Water sports activities at Neil Island|
|JetSki at Neil Island|
After having a playful time in Bharatpur beach we went to Laxmanpur beach well before the sunset. To reach the tip of the Island we have to walk through the beach shoreline for about 100m before we witness the astounding sights of the white sandy beach with small waves striking from two sides on the tip of the Island.
|The shoreline of Laxmanpur beach for long sunset Romantic walks|
The water is safe for playing, and will be decently crowded during sun sets. The beach turns golden color as the sun goes down tuning your hearts to the nature’s beauty.
|Sunset at the tip of the Laxmanpur Beach|
This is one of the most romantic places of Andaman. After the sunset the tourists start walking back, as it is not safe in the Islands to stay out after dark.