Amazing Andaman: Havelock Island
Amazing Andaman: Havelock Island
The same Cruise which took us to the Neil, arrived at 12.30 pm for taking us back to the Havelock. It was the same route which we had come and took the same time in reaching Havelock, by 2pm we were at the Havelock Jetty.
|Vijayanagar Beach, Havelock island|
What you need to know about Havelock Island:
Havelock is the most popular Island in the whole of Andaman Islands. If you miss Havelock then probably your Andaman trip is incomplete. This is one of the best Honeymoon destination in India. The northern part of the island is commercialized with world class resorts and hotels, while the southern part is uninhabited and unexplored covered with dense forest. Havelock is a large Island compared to Neil with an area of about 114 sq km.
To its west coast is the most popular beach of the Andaman, the Radhanagar Beach and to its east coast are the Vijayanagar beach, Kala Pathar Beach and Govind Nagar Beach, slightly to its north west coast is the Elephanta Beach. Unlike the Neil Island, Havelock Island is mostly covered with forest of about more than 80 percent of its land, with a large cover of the mangrove creeks. While Neil, Ross, North bay, Wandoor, Port Blair are filled with Indian nationals, the Havelock is the favorite for the foreign tourists, especially from the western countries.
There are a variety of Resorts/Hotels found here, with high in luxury or the simple huts and tents to choose from. Most popular ones include the Barefoot Resort, Munjoh Ocean Resort, Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana, Wild Orchid, Symphony Palms, Silver Sand and SeaShell to name a few.
Most of the resorts in Havelock are facing the Vijayanagar beach, except the barefoot resort. The beach is just about 2min walk from the Wild Orchid resort, where I was staying. Just came out the cottage to have a glance of the white sandy beaches of Havelock. It was at unusual hours in the afternoon, almost the entire stretch of the beach was deserted, except few foreign tourists. There were a few lazing at the shoreline and others playing beach volleyball. But the ones in the water were very few. The beach over here is like a private beach, only the tourists staying in these resorts were coming down to the beach.
|Vijayanagar Beach, Havelock island|
Well the experience was awe-inspiring, as I walked through the trees, I could spot the vibrant white sand. It was an out of the world experience, the sand over here was vibrant white compared to all other beaches in Andaman. There was a low tide when we arrived around 2.30pm, so I could walk along the water for almost 100m, still the water level didn’t cross my knees, a perfect lagoon with almost very less tides.
|White sandy beach|
As I’ve been hearing a lot about the crystal clear water, white sandy pristine beaches of Andaman, this was actually a reality felt at this beach.
The beach as seen from the satellite clearly depicts how shallow the water is at the Vijayanagar beach. The water was crystal clear with complete visibility, because of the white sand and clean water. The water was so clear that I could spot Sand White Ghost crabs in the sea which were moving around in a blink of an eye. I was feeling unsafe seeing them move around me, so was definitely watching my feet carefully before putting my next step in the water.
There are other uninhabited islands visible from here which were completely covered with forest. Didn’t bother much about the crabs, had a pleasant walk around the lagoon, with hot sun above and cold water below. After about an hour the water level was slightly increased and most of the tourists who were swimming in the lagoon disappeared, and also I started to spot more crabs around me. I could also spot some strange sand art made by the creatures on the beach, which were very interesting and couldn’t figure out how and who created it.
Having thought let me come back the next day morning to explore more about the beach, and started to walk back and relaxed for a while at the beaches put up at the shoreline listening to my favorite songs. As it started to get darker, it was time for heading back to the cottage.
The best part of the Wild Orchid was a surprise, which is their food. The cuisine over here is amazing, with a mouthwatering menu and even more delicious food. Non veggies would love it more as they serve one of the best fish dishes here. The prices are reasonable considering the ambiance of the restaurant and taste of the food. Had one of the best Indian food in my life.
|Live seashells at the beach|
|sand art made by the creatures on the beach|
|Wild Orchid Resort|
|Wild Orchid Restaurant|
|Artistic lighting arrangement at Wild Orchid Reception area|
|While waiting for the dinner time, started arranging these candles myself|
Vijayanagar beach is also good for enjoying beautiful sunrise, although was very lazy to get up early in the morning. Had a delightful buffet breakfast at the multi cuisine and then walked back to the Vijayanagar beach again in the morning around 11.30 am. It was a perfect time for a perfect photo-shoot with the bright sun, white sandy beach, pure water and a perfect backdrop. This time spotted some live seashells along with the crabs. Couldn’t soak in the tempting water, as it was getting late for the best attraction of the trip.
|Saying hello to her, started our most exciting day of the tour.|
The 20min drive (11km) from Wild Orchid took us to the gate of Radhanagar beach. It was about 12.30 in the afternoon when the sun was right on top of us, which was best time to play in the beach water.
Radhanagar is best visited in the evening hours, for its splendid sunset.
This was rated as the best beach in Asia by Time magazine in 2004, and certainly one of the best beaches in the world. This is recently rated No.64 in the list of the top 100 beaches in the world by CNN in 2013.
Most recent recognition being the Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice™ 2014, rated Radhanagar as No.1 beach in India, and No.2 in Asia, and No.25 in the World, while Elephanta beach stands at No.10 in best Beaches of India.
This white sandy beach surrounded by tall trees and high but safe tides makes it the best place to soak in the water. This can only be felt by experiencing it yourself. The crowd over here is certainly the highest than any other beach in Andaman, and the shoreline is a few kilometers long, so privacy can always be met.
|Radhanagar Beach - Best in India and one of the best in Asia|
The shoreline is safe from seashells due to the high tides but there are a lot of white sand crabs found here. But still the beach is safe for sunbath as the tides are high and the crabs will gaze around the shoreline and rarely enter the water, unlike Vijayanagar beach. The crabs leave the sand with their amazing sand art all around the shore, so watch out your feet at the shores. This beach is best enjoyed by playing against the waves and going on long romantic walk around the coastline. It is recommended to enter the water only where the most of the crowd is staying, as these beaches are very less explored.
|crabs leave the sand with their amazing sand art all around the shore|
|closer look at these sand color crabs|
Having soaked in the water for more than an hour, it was time for our next cruise back to Port Blair.
The beach has facilities for ecofriendly benches to sit and gaze through the beach, toilets, and changing rooms with showers. There are not much activities here for water sports, this beach is only meant to feel and enjoy the sheer beauty of nature. Like most of the tourists, felt this is the best beach of Andaman.
It was about 3 pm when we reached the Havelock Jetty, and went to the restaurant “Dakshin by Barefoot” for having lunch. The food over here was good with a decent menu. There is a small shopping area over here but I would strongly recommend the shops on the way to Radhanagar beach from Wild Orchid where they sell some gorgeous jewels made of pearls and other gems.
|Low tide view of the mangroves at the Havelock Jetty|
Cruise to Port Blair in Makruzz:
The cruise is operating since 2009 and is completely air-conditioned with 280 seating capacity and well equipped with life-jackets. Sailing through the journey with a speed of about 22-24 nautical miles we reached Port Blair by 6pm, and it was already dark. Already tired of the journey boarded back to Megapode resort.
With ample time one can visit the most beautiful Elephanta Beach, there is no road to this beach, instead one has to trek through the jungle to reach here, and more advised is through a boat ride from the Havelock Jetty. Elephanta beach is famous for its stunning and unspoiled corals and hence there are a lot of adventure activities here, including the Sea Walk, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling and Glass Bottom rides. Or can hire a bike to explore the Kala Pathar beach, being the lonely dwellers at the beach.