When you book an Andaman and Nicobar Tour Package, you are definitely looking forward to visiting the Cellular Jail at Port Blair and the many beautiful beaches which run along its coastline. These are some of the most popular places to visit in Andaman. But did you know that the Andaman Islands also have a lot to offer in terms of art and culture? Let’s find out more about the cultural celebrations of the place when to visit it and how.
1. The Festive Face of Andaman
From music festivals to food fests, beach carnivals to tourism celebrations – there is a lot to check out. Here is a list of some festivals held at Andaman.
The Island Tourism Festival
The Island Tourism Festival is held on the 5th of January and spans for a period of ten days. The main festival takes place in the city of Port Blair while some of the other participating venues are Car Nicobar, Hut Bay and Campbell Bay. Visit the Island Tourism Festival and you will see performances by dance troupes. Tribal communities of the Andaman Islands also showcase their culture through song and dance. Come with your children as magic shows are organized during this time. Puppet shows and dog shows are a part of the program line up. A ‘Hnasya Kavi Sammelan’ is also organized where comedians highlight their craft and have the audience in splits.
At the festival stalls, you can buy regional handicrafts and home decor items made by the locals. Both amateur artists from the region and well-known celebrities from Bollywood turned up at the Island Tourism Festival. From Nakash Aziz who has assisted A.R. Rahman in the films ‘Highway’ and ‘Rockstar’ to stand-up comics like Bharti Singh, film stars like Mugdha Godse and Rahul Dev to singers like Mahalaxmi Iyer – these are some of the artists who have graced the Island Tourism Festival in the past. If you are interested in some serious stargazing, don’t skip this event.
The Nicobari Hodi race is also held during this time. The ‘hodis’ are canoes that are raced to a finishing line. Some of the other water sports organized during this time include banana boat excursions, sea walks, scuba diving, and parasailing. Food stalls are also set up at the venue. There is a floating restaurant here where you can grab a bite – snacks and cold drinks are available. This is a great time to book an Andaman Honeymoon Package and enjoy this unique festival along with your partner, it will definitely make for a honeymoon to remember.
Beach festivals are held in Andaman to promote beach activities. Watch a game of volleyball or take part in a round of tug-of-war. You will also find people playing kabaddi and participating in coconut tree-climbing competitions. Sand sculptures are built by local artists that portray the cultural richness of the land. Held at venues like Corbyn’s Cove Beach, the festivities last for a period of three days. It is usually held in the month of April. If you want to refuel, head out to the food court.
The Monsoon Festival is also held in Corbyn’s Cove Beach but in the month of August. Organized by the Tourism Department, it is an annual program. From cultural shows to orchestra performances, musical events to dance recitals – the Monsoon Festival is a must-visit. You will find stalls at the venue selling handicraft items.
2. Best time to Visit Andaman
The best time to visit Andaman is definitely during the winters. The day temperature lingers around 30 degrees Celsius and the skies are clear during this time. At night, you can expect it to be around 20 degrees Celsius in January. Choose this window to travel to the Andamans and delve into its culture.
3. How do you reach Andaman?
If you are wondering about how to reach Andaman, you can either fly or sail there from the Indian mainland.
The Port Blair International Airport connects Andaman to the rest of the country. Flights are operated by Air India, Jet Airways, GoAir, and SpiceJet from many cities in India. You will find non-stop flights from Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, and Chennai. Hopping flights are available from Mumbai and Delhi. The Port Blair airport is 2 kilometers away from the city centre. Taxis and autorickshaws wait outside the airport. There is a pre-paid taxi booth at the airport arrival hall.
Passenger ships ply from Kolkata, Chennai, and Visakhapatnam to Port Blair. There are between three to four sailings each month from Kolkata and Chennai but only one from Visakhapatnam. It takes about three to four days to reach Port Blair. At Port Blair, the ships dock at Chatham Jetty which is about 7 kilometers from the city centre. Taxis and rickshaws are available to take you to your hotel.
Partake in the festivals and discover the cultural side of the Andamans.