Andaman Islands form a picturesque archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, and most of them belong to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the seven union territories of the federal nation of India. There are over 570 islands in this territory lying in the Indian Ocean, and around 38 of them are inhabited. Earlier, they were used as isolated prisons by the British, but now, they have emerged as popular tourist destinations of the country, and are referred to as Emerald Islands. The scenic beauty of this place has been captured by many filmmakers and nature lovers. Apart from this, it is a perfect spot for adventure lovers, who can enjoy water sport like trekking, snorkelling and scuba diving amid nature. People looking for a peaceful getaway can easily bathe in sun on the sparkling beaches or take a walk in the tropical jungles. They can go to Port Blair – the capital of Andaman and the only entry/exit point of the archipelago. However, for the safety of travelers and tribes living in the region, there are certain rules that have to be followed by visitors. They also have to take special permissions from the government to explore this place.
In order to retain the charm and natural beauty of this place, visitors are prohibited from hunting animals and birds. After getting necessary permits, they can visit the National Parks, but are requested not to harm any flora or fauna of land or water. Popular attractions of this place include Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Chidiya Tapu, Cellular Jail, Mount Harriet Museum and Fisheries Museum. Holidays at this place allow tourists to witness some of the most prized delights of nature. However, people willing to go to Andaman and Nicobar Islands have to get special tribal passes provided by respective authorities. Those who try to trespass are punished severely, and mingling with tribal people is also considered as an offence.
Travellers are prohibited to go to the forests either with guides or on their own. There are several reasons for this; most important among them being the comfort of tribes. The aborigine tribes living in the forests of Andaman Islands are facing extinction and have been listed in the endangered list. They prefer privacy and are quite sensitive about it; hence, an attempt to mingle with them may result in unwanted incidences. Apart from this, the government also requests visitors to stay out of their way.
Restriction Regarding Timings
Tourists are asked to stay in their hotel after the sunset. Staying in forest areas or beaches is strictly prohibited, and people are not allowed here. They also cannot light bonfires as it is a punishable offence along with setting up tents or hammocks along beaches or in forests.
All corals and seashells are examined by the officials of Fisheries Department before travellers can take them along. They are not allowed to collect dead corals spread across the sea as well as touching or breaking them. While swimming in the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean, tourists are advised to take care of the warnings of lifeguards. Entering in restricted areas can prove to be a dangerous act, and apart from fines and punishments, they may also have to face dangers of the sea and health hazards. Hence, it is suggested that they take help of lifeguards in any doubtful situation. However, swimming during monsoons is prohibited as the level of danger rises significantly in these months.
Indian tourists need to apply for permissions regarding the visit with the government and provide an identity card. Whereas, foreign visitors have to provide their passports, which goes through a thorough scrutiny and is then stamped by immigration authorities. They need to take the permit at the airport or harbour from immigration officers present there. These permits are valid for 30 days, on which extension of 15 more days can be availed. However, they have to apply for extension three days before the expiry of the permit. The immigration authority is quite strict on these rules, and they also carry random checks at different attractions; hence tourists have to carry it with them all the time. Adhering to these rules and regulations will smoothen the travel, and allow travellers to enjoy the beauty of this place without worries.