TechnoparkToday.com>> Mark Twain said so and I decided to follow his words once by visiting Andamans and Nicobar Islands which turned out to be the most memorable trip of my life, till date. Well we all know that the beaches of Andamans are simply awesome and that the “Malaysia-truly Asiaaa” chants we hear on television commercials should be replaced with “Anadamans-Truly Asiaa”(ya I know it doesn’t rhyme but that’s ok!) .But there is much more to this tropical world containing an archipelago of islands, located about 1000 Km off the eastern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal.
Andamans truly is a backpacker’s paradise. If according to you jumping off a cliff at the Himalayas is a thing of passé and getting lost in these turquoise blue beaches and white sanded islands is THE idea of FUN, then Andamans is for you! This exotic Land of south East Asia can leave the Caribbean islands and Maldives, run for their money. That is what I felt the moment I placed my feet on those pristine, untarnished beaches. Just look at this stunning beach here,
So as I embarked my journey, juggling between various such beaches, one seashore caught my attention; Corbyn’s Cove Beach at Port Blair, for its ultimate solitude providing ambience. By the time I reached the place the sun was already setting and the waves had calmed down. I walked on those sands, collected butterfly shaped corals, felt the cool breeze on my face, adjusted my tresses and closed my eyes, and there, I attained a state of tranquillity. As I had my share of Niravana, it was time for me to discover my adventurous side and the next day I headed towards Jolly Bouy Island, the “Go-To Beach” for all those “Adrenaline rush” lovers. Just 25 minutes Boat ride from Port Blair and there it was, a tiny Universe of the most beautiful coral reef,ever. I just couldn’t resist myself from indulging into underwater activities like Scuba Diving and Snorkelling. I certainly had a “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” moment here while swimming with those gorgeous sea creatures. Oh! How to forget, the amazing “glass bottom boat ride “.Seeing the stunning marine life underneath, I got goose bumps. Check this out;
The much needed respite I was looking for after my action packed Jolly Boey outing was accomplished in my next destination, Havelock Islands, touted to be the second most beautiful beach in the world. Lush green forests, shallow sea level, white sands, a personal tent, a hammock and then it was me, lazing on it. I discovered the real meaning of “Peace” that day!
After a peaceful rendezvous with my own inner soul at the Havelock, I boarded a new boat towards another “Must see” Island. The ‘once-upon-a-time-headquarters ‘of British Empire, The Ross Island. The ghostly place had an eerie feeling when I roamed around those worn out churches and dismantled buildings. But yet again the whole place has its own Eastman colored old world charm, rarely could be found anywhere else. Just look at this old church here at the Ross Island. So English!! Isn’t it?
So once I felt that I have covered almost all kinds and shapes of islands I took a reverse turn to my prime location; Port Blair only to explore more. Andaman enthralled me in various ways. Like I said in the beginning there is much more to this fantasy land apart from the blue-green beaches and boat rides. The untold stories of the rare tribes like Jarawas, lives of happily migrated people from Bengal, Kerala, Tamilnadu who have come down and settled over here from decades, the emptiness and sheer sense of loss you feel when you walk inside the famous Cellular Jail. I actually felt the presence of those great freedom fighters while walking along those prisons. The haunted silences, the empty cells, the unending corridors, as if all them were bellowing out the tales of agony and torture; the prisoners had gone through, behind those bars. Sigh! Andamans is also about the infamous Kala Paani, about the pain and the turmoil so many people had to undergo so that today we, the ‘free” people can go and enjoy their Vacations and pose around the same Jail!
As my tourist guide bid goodbye to me I was left with a lump in my throat and wondered; “This is it?” Yes that is what the magnanimity of ANDAMANS AND THE NICOBAR ISLANDS really is. Even after I had my mug full with “seen-it-all”, I still didn’t feel like leaving the place cos who knows what is in store in so many other unexplored islands!
With heavy heart as I boarded my flight back home I just checked these three words in my Diary!
For a Dreamer like me it was indeed a true paradise away from the hustle bustle of the real world, far away from the chaos, an eternal bliss in true sense. I Explored these Islands and while exploring, somewhere on the way, during the time, I ReDiscovered myself!
The author is an employee of Technopark and has penned the book ‘Kabhi Love Bites Kabhi Love Bytes’