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Best Things to Buy in The Andaman Islands – Here are Top 7

Pristine emerald beaches with white sand, sunsets, gushing wind brushing your cheeks gently and waves moving too and fro and of course, sea food-all this totally sum up Andaman! Away from all the hustle and bustle of city life, a chance to explore the archipelago of Sentinelese that’s rich in flora and fauna. Apart from the scenic beauty, Andaman has another thing to offer-shopping! Like any other tourist spot, Andaman too has a lot for you to shop. Countless souvenirs that are exclusively found in Andaman will act as memory hoarder when you go back to your usual mundane life. Andaman has a vivid local and beach market in addition to some shopping emporia, a heaven for shopaholics! Though clothes and attire shopping from Andaman isn’t a good idea here, but there are plenty more stuff you can get your hands on. We have listed some of the best shop-worthy items that you can buy from the markets of Andaman for you and your loved ones- 1. Wooden Artifacts: Andaman brims with wood. Wooden home decors and artifacts made of timber, oak etc., definitely needs to be in your list. Ornamental woods like paduak, Chui are used to making showpieces. Interior artifacts like wall hanging, furniture, also kitchen utensils are sold in abundance. The high-quality wooden items are decay proof and easily transportable. However, as per the recent laws in Andaman, it is illegal to collect wooden items like driftwood from the beach keeping in mind the preservation of the biodiversity. 2. Pearl Jewellery: Precious exquisite high-quality pearl adornments such as earrings, neckpieces, bracelets come at a very reasonable price tag. So if you’re planning to gift some souvenir to your loved ones, pearl jewellery is definitely worth consideration. You can get pretty pearl jewellery at Sagarika Emporium, a Government of Andaman established emporium that encourages local sellers to sell their products. 3. Hats: Wandering on the beach is cool but without a hat? NAY! You need to protect your hair and eyes from the UV rays of sun hence hat is a must-have during a beach vacation. There are some trendy hats in the local market that’ll protect your skin from sunburn and make you look chic as well. You can grab your hat from Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair. 4. Seashells: Beach and seashells, both the terms go hand in hand, isn’t it? Shell craft industry is a major source of income in Andaman. Seashells are used in various accessories like bangles, lamps, mirrors and many other items. Also, the authorities don’t let tourists collect sea shells, since as per the Wildlife Conservation Act, 2013, it is a punishable offense. So you need to be extra cautious if you have a habit of collecting sea shells from the beaches. 5. Bamboo Artifacts: Bamboo baskets, bags, furniture, wall hangings, lamp shade, home décor also are popular in Andaman. Bamboo artifacts are made by tribal artisans. Also, bamboo is an eco-friendly and durable alternative to plastic so thumbs up for bamboo bags. You can also grab some Bamboo doormats and place them at the entrance of your house. 6. Spices: Who doesn’t need spices? One of the most important kitchen ingredients, spices add flavor to your food. Andamanese spices like black peppers, cinnamon, cloves are of amazing quality and you surely don’t want to miss on these kitchen seasonings. 7. Coconut Crafts: You get to see coconut trees in Andaman every now and then. Andaman is densely populated with coconut trees. The locals have very well exploited this opportunity to earn a livelihood. There are a hand full of coconut shell, stem and fiber exporters, and wholesalers. Apart from being a thirst quencher, coconut is used to manufacture lamps, mugs and many other utilities as well.
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Top 5 Beaches to Explore In India

India can proudly boast about its 6,000 kilometer coastline as tourists are rapidly planning to visit India and spend their valuable time at one of the splendid beaches that this coastline comprises off. Tourists, be it domestic or international have been drawn to India’s beaches which spread across numerous states and share rich culture and heritage. Gone are the days when tourists used to long to visit beaches at the coastlines of Rio or the Maldives for that matter. Goa, Kerela, Tamil nadu and even some places around Mumbai have picturesque beaches. On the onset, as the curiosity of tourists keep growing by the year, the search for new locations and shores are on full swing, with people striving to search for secluded and virgin beaches which present a cleaner and greener picture. But at the same time, there are some locations that will always be one of the best sites where people will always prefer to visit frequently. The top 5 beaches amongst many will surely catch the eye of any travel enthusiast are mentioned below. Kovalam – Kerela is famous for its beaches and better known as God’s own country, it is a state that has the Arabian Sea flowing right next to it. Kovalam is situated at Thiruvananthapuram. The word Kovalam means coconut groves, and the beach is a silent shore outlined by splendid and fully blossomed coconut trees swaying flawlessly in the wind. Among many beaches at Kovalam, the lighthouse beach is one of the best beaches among them. It is one of the best beaches on the 17 kilometre coastline with the old Vizhnijam Lighthouse standing tall amongst the groves as it turns out to be a breath-taking moment to watch the sun set and rise. Mahabalipuram – Situated in the state of Tamilnadu, this place is rich in history. It has an average elevation of 12 meters and is a seventh century city of the South Indian Dynasty. Situated just 60 kilometres away from Chennai city, it is a perfect destination to be at for a vacation. Classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Mahabalipuram is a showcase of one of the pages lost in history books. Palolem – One of the places most visited by international tourists, Goa is a state that captivates the tourists with its magnificent beaches. Amongst all beaches of Goa, Palolem Beach is situated within 2 kilometres of the market town of Chaudi in the south Goan taluka of Canacona. The beach remains intact and is not harmed by the local fisherman and the tourists make sure that the beach is clean too. With a coastline that spreads across 1.61 Kilometres, the whole beach presents an awesome view of the whole coastline only because of the curved shape of the shoreline. Being one of the shallowest beaches in India, people can dare to venture far into the beach as compared to other locations. Gokarna – Gokarna is situated in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is a popular tourist destinationand is rich in culture as it is also a Hindu Pilgrimage centre. Sporting the Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna Beach is one of the best known to beaches to most of the travel enthusiasts. The Temple is 1500 years old and is a sanctuary to the stone lings, encased in brass placed on a coiled stone serpent. The beach is calm and shore is guarded by greenery and tall mountains. Havelock Island – This island is named after a British general active in India; Henry Havelock. It is one of the islands that come under the Andaman and Nicobar Island territory. The Radhanagar beach is one of the best shorelines that the Havelock Island presents to the tourists. The crystalline beach waters enhance the view of the corals and a perfectly conserved beach. This location is a blessing for divers and tourists who are interested in getting a glimpse of the beautiful life underwater.
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Ghummo Andaman For a Sea Walk..!!!!

A first of its kind in India, Andaman & Nicobar Island host the ultimate experience of Sea Walk. Though Andaman offers various adventure sports but Sea Walk has a separate joy to share..!!!It provides a absolutely fascinating option of exploring and enjoying the underwater world is through a fairly new, unique and uncomplicated sport called sea bed walking. North Bay(included in our package) a spot 20minutes away by ferry ride from Port Blair is a hub for this sea walk.The most unskilled of swimmers and even beginners can indulge in this delightful sport right from the very word “GO”. It is much easier when compared to scuba diving because you do not need to practice breathing through your mouth. Sea bed walking allows one to explore the brilliant marine flora and fauna off the Islands from extremely close quarters and more often than not, from within touching distance of fish, in their natural habitat. The Sea walk is experienced under the strict supervision and guidance of highly trained and internationally certified instructors who are with you throughout the entire experience. They ensure infallible and uncompromising safety while completely averting any difficult eventuality. The tour begins with a boat ride transferring you onto a pontoon which is anchored of the coast, measuring 1600sq ft with elaborate facilities such as changing rooms, lockers, wash rooms etc. At this point the guides brief the walkers on basic hand gestures, safety procedures and the actual steps to be taken during the sea walk. The vital part of the gear is a heavy framed glass helmet, very similar to that used by astronauts. This provides for an extensive all round viewing. An integrated hose pumps air into the helmet providing uninterrupted supply of fresh air to the seawalker.The air pressure prevents water from getting into the helmet. This ensures that the users face is not exposed to water when sea walking. Attached to the pontoon is a specially custom built stairway that will lead the walker underwater and on to the shallow sea bed. Once you land your feet on the sands of the sea bed, the experience is a sheer joy to behold, an amazingly new and enthralling one which people often compare with their imaginations of space walking. As per the prior guidance on the pontoon, the guides communicate with the walkers by a series of hand gestures like “left or right” ”ok” “no problem” etc. The guides walk you through the sea walking area which is cordoned off by nets. One gets to view and touch underwater life such as orange clownfish, sea anemones, star fish, shell fish, which essentially are slow moving creatures that cannot be experienced otherwise. The joy of having numerous brilliantly coloured tropical reef fish swim around you is magical indeed. You can feed the fish and indulge in underwater photography. These memories will relish forever. The walk finishes with your accessing the hand railings of the stairway to come out of the water and mount aboard onto the pontoon. It ultimately gives our guest a experience of lifetime..!!!! So come Sea Walk Port Blair with Ghummo Andaman…!!!!  
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Emerald Island Andaman in fun with ‘Maati Ke Rang’ an exclusive food festival!!!

Buoyed with the success of first-ever food festival organised at ITF Ground Port Blair last year with the active participation of state cultural associations in the Island the Tourism department has decided to make the event an annual feature in the calendar of events proposed for attracting tourists to this islands. This year it has been decided to organize the ‘Food Festival 2012′ from 23rd to 27th Sept. 2012 (3.00 PM to 10 PM) at ITF Ground Port Blair in a more attractive way.  This year the Ministry of Culture, Government of India is celebrating Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Zonal Cultural Centres under the name “Maati ke Rang’. Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre is one of the seven Zonal Cultural Centres set up by the Government of India to promote, propagate and disseminate the rich folk and tribal heritage of India. Added to the ‘Maati Ke Rang’ celebrations will be Octave Festival, a celebration of the culture of the eight north eastern states of India. North East India is unique not only in their performing art forms but also in the many crafts that they create. During the festival at Port Blair, there will also be an exhibition of the crafts from the north east region. Artistes from   eight north east States i.e. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya,   Mizoram, Nagaland,   Sikkim and Tripura will take part in the Octave festival along with artistes of Silver Jubilee Celebrations from Punjab, Rajasthan,Jharkhand, Odisha, Haryana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Folk Dance troupes from Andaman and Nicobar Islands will also participate in the festival.  The mega Cultural festival along with ‘Food Festival’ at ITF Ground during 23-27th September 2012 will be an added attraction for the islanders besides Island Tourism Festival and will take the islanders on a journey through kaleidoscopic India.
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Havelock – The beauty of an Island

      Overview of the destinationThe Havelock Island is in Port Blair, it is at a distance of about 3 hours by sea. It a magnificent island with unmatched natural beauty. Food, sight-seeing and shopping One must never miss Radha nagar beach, elephant beach, scuba diving. Its surely a must do while in Havelock. Radha Nagar beach is undoubtedly obe of the few cleanest beaches in India. The water is so crystal clear that one can see their feet even when immersed in water 5 feet deep. The beach is extremely well maintained. Activities & things to do Scuba diving is one activity one cannot miss while in Havelock. It is once in a lifetime experience the marine beauty is splendid. Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc. Try not to go to the Havelcok Island in monsoons because then the entire beach fun is something one will miss. To reach Havelock you have to reach Port Blair, from where sea ferry goes on a daily basis. For those trying to do something really new Havelock also has an option to reach by seaplane but for that booking well in advance is realy required.             
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An Ultimate Experience Of Lifetime – Scuba Diving in Andaman

Andaman sports warm and clear waters with the highest variety of fish and coral life. Share the magic of these exotic islands with scuba diving. There’s a lot to do in Andaman but scuba diving remains to be the traveler’s favorite The sea waters of Andaman can introduce you to a fascinating and mystical underwater world full of hordes of colorful fishes, thriving marine life, rare coral reefs, remains of sunken vessels and a lot more than the average eye can explore. Scuba diving can help you experience the underwater life at its fullest, and what better place to do it than in Andaman? Scuba Diving and a Whole Lot More Check out the Andaman and Nicobar Scuba Diving Society at Wandoor, so that you can avail the best facilities. You can also hire popular private divers to help you rediscover natural beauty underwater. Besides scuba diving, the islands offer a plethora of other activities and adventure options like snorkeling in Corbyn’s Cove, Havelock and Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park; trekking from Mt. Harriet to Madhuban to gaze at some wonderful flora and fauna, and island camping. The latter will surely appeal to you if you’re a nature enthusiast who loves to enjoy and relish the pristine beauty and bounty of nature in all its glory. A visit to the cellular jail is a must for every tourist since the walls here narrate the struggles and pain that people took to achieve independence. When to Visit Andaman Temperatures in Andaman range between 23oC to 31o C owing to the sea breeze and the humidity levels stay at 80% throughout the year. The months of December and January constitute the peak season; however, the best time to visit the islands and enjoy its many tourism features would be between the months of December and April. Conditions for scuba diving are ideal between mid-January and mid-May, since the skies are sunny and the sea lies flat, reflecting the beauty of the clouds. If you are planning to delve into adventure sports, stay away from the islands from late May through July on account of strong winds, low visibility underwater and frequent rainfall. Getting There and Beyond If you are not an Indian, you will need to hold a Restricted Area Permit to visit Andaman. You can collect this permit upon arrival at the Port Blair Airport; however, you need to arrange for one if you are traveling by sea, either while applying for a Visa or in Chennai.  This permit is usually valid for 30 days but this need to be specified while applying. Indian nationals require no permit and you can reach Andaman only from the Indian mainland, either by air or by sea. Flights to the island might not be so ‘low cost’ as portrayed as prices vary according to the travel dates. If you feel like it, take a cruise from Visakhapatnam, Chennai or Kolkata – but it will take at least 4 days for you to arrive at Port Blair. This may eat away into your travel itinerary and timings, but you could try it out for the experience of traveling by sea. Once you plan your trip well, you can experience the underwater magic in Andaman with no worries
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