Visited Port Blair last week . Island hopped on middling boats and walked alongside stunning unspoilt beaches at Corbyn's Cove and Mundapahad. Viewed stunning sunrises and spectacular sunsets, and a sea awash in turquoise and thick dense blue gray water that quickly turns blue black as soon as the sun disappears.
There is a lot to do at the islands: stroll, sit out at various edges, scuba dive, snorkel and sea walk, or enjoy a variety of water sports such as scooter, banana and sofa rides.The scuba diving and the sea walking extend into the heart of the ocean. A whole new world awaits the enthusiastic traveler and it is an extraordinary experience, to glide over coral reefs and gaze at anemone clusters , watch myriad coloured fish in innumerable shapes and sizes swim past and marvel at the amazing ecosystems sustained by the coral reefs. The body becomes weightless and all one has is a discerning eye that is entranced by this dazzling new world . One meets sea cucumbers and sea-urchins, anemones with velvety underskirts, giant clams that signal that they are not part of the inanimate sea by the zigzag edges separating their bivalve shells.
Equipped with life jacket, wetsuit, goggles, mask and oxygen tank, it is easy to forget air-breathing antecedents that involve a pair of legs slowly plodding their way on earth surfaces.
Once the sea adventure is over, it is time to be awed again by the tangle of sun, earth, water and wind. People at Port Blair are helpful and warm. The views from the Ross and North Bay Islands are restful and incredible.
This idyllic group of islands are nautical miles away from our borders. There is an abundance of flora and fauna and Chatham saw mill remains even today, the largest wood mill in Asia with its store of tree logs. The anthropological museum provides information on the extant tribes among the several islands that form part of the Andaman Nicobar group. In the colonial past, political prisoners were housed first on Viper island and subsequently incarcerated in the cellular jail at Port Blair. The Cellular Jail hosts a sound and light show on its premises that recalls and reiterates our hard won independence. Countless Indians from all over the country gave up their lives or struggled in harsh everyday situations, years at a stretch clamoring for independence. A trip to these islands enables us to renew and recharge memories of our nation's history. Despite the checkered history chartered out by violent men and by the imperious forces of nature, a finely balanced co-existence punctuates each day at Port Blair.