Which place comes to your mind when thinking for the best Indian island destination to travel to? Lakshwadeep and Andaman? But the tricky question is which one is better? Though no place is above any other as a very place is special for its uniqueness and experience. But to help you decide between the two we’ve curated a special list.
ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS
One of the prominent Union territories of India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are stretched into an astonishing 572 islands, out of which only 37 have been inhabited. The beautiful islands are surrounded by the waters of the prestigious Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The island groups of Andaman and Nicobar have been divided by a 150 km wide Ten Degree Channel. The union territory is known for its pristine coastlines, white sand beaches, ferry rides, snorkelling, and tall palm trees. The place has a bit of story with many places to get a natural beautiful suntan and great seafood!
- The Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar island was created at the time of the British rule in 1896. The jail was created to exile Indian political prisoners by the Britishers. The wall of the jail has seen the harshest punishments been granted to the activists of the Indian freedom movements. Great freedom fighters like Batukeshwar Dutt and Veer Savarkar being detained in this jail. Hundreds of rebels were sent to Andamans where they were held under the custody of jailer David Barry. In March 1868, around 238 prisoners tried to escape jail. Later in April, they were caught out of which 87 were hanged. Whoever raised their voice in India or British-controlled India, against the British colonial rule were deported to this jail. The prisoners were also made to work in constructing buildings, prisons and other harbour services in pursuit of occupying the island for the British. The architecture of the jail was intricately designed by an English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham. The Jail earlier had seven straight wings which were each connected to a tower. With each wing attached, the outlook of the building appeared like a bicycle wheel. The tower in the centre of all the seven wings served as a watchpoint for the guards of the jail to keep an eye on the prisoners. The wings of each of the three levels were constructed in a way that the front of one wing faces the back of the other so that the inmate in a wing could not see or communicate with another inmate in any of the other wings. The cells in a wing were in a row so that prisoners in the same wing could not communicate or see each other.
- The Mount Harriet National Park was inaugurated in 1969 in the capital city Port Blair and is one of the most beautiful national parks of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The park covers a significant amount of area of Mount Harriet that is also the third-highest peak of the Andaman and Nicobar islands and the highest peak in the Archipelago of South Andaman. Since it is on top of a hill, the entire walk around the park is very interactive and fun to discover. The park has various swings, watchtowers, long passages for trekking, this makes your entire trip interesting and worth visiting. The entire area where the park has been hosted surpasses views of other magnificently humungous islands that are bound to leave you taking pictures. The National Park was originally a reserve forest which was converted into a national park in 1979. The park has been recognized as one of the Important Birds Areas under the Important Birds Area program of Birdlife International. The park is also a reserved area that is protected and administered by the Forest Department of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There are about 270 species and sub-species in these islands, 106 of them are endemic to these islands. There are various reptiles, amphibians, marine turtles and mammals. The area is best to spend some fun time with your toddlers. Inside the park, there is a children’s park, watchtowers, tourist sheds, and eco hut. For those who want to spend the night can rent the forest guesthouse for your convenience and relaxation.
- Located in the Bay of Bengal of the South Western coast of South Andaman is one of the best national parks of India, the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. Around 29 kilometres away from the capital Port Blair is Wandoor that hosts the national park. The park consists of fifteen islands that are flourished with many marine species and coral reefs. The park hosts many endless lagoons, mangrove trees coral reefs and rainforest. Angelfish, Giant Robber Crab, Grouper Fish, Butterflyfishes, and Surgeonfishes. Many of the fish species that feature inside the waters of Bay of Bengal are said to be endangered. you’ll also be able to come across many kinds of reptiles, birds, and mammals. Tourists are allowed to experience the marine animals from a close angle by either opting for a quiet boat ride, snorkelling underwater or just taking a dip into the sea. All the water sports activities that are offered around this area attract a lot of tourists. So, if you are someone who loves exploring the waters and adore the marine animals, then a visit to the sea waters next to the islands is one of the must-visits of the Andamans. The majority of the islands are guarded. Hence, to visit all the islands is slightly difficult. The island spreads over 281 sq kilometres.
- Located on the Havelock island of Andaman and Nicobar island is the best beach of India, the Radhangar Beach. The beach is crescent-shaped and is around 2 kilometres long that is known for its soft silver sand with high carrying capacity. It is named the 7th best beach in the world’ by the prestigious Time Magazine. The Radhangar Beck is guarded with huge palm trees and a calm environment that is perfect to lay back and stare at the sun changing its course. The beach lets you take a trip to a peaceful time with birds chirping in the sky giving you the perfect time to read a book or just admire nature. The white sand beneath your feet and the turquoise water give the perfect opportunity to opt for a run or just soak your feet inside the chilly water. This breathtaking and mesmerizing spot is perfect to relieve stress and gain some peace of mind. The Radhanagar Beach is placed at just 7 kilometres away from Vijaynagar Beach and Dolphin Yatri Niwas. A great thing about Havelock island is also that it has approximately twelve hotels and a holiday rental option for you to choose accommodation. Since the peak season experience s a lot of tourist rush, the accommodation facilities get booked way in advance. Hence, leaving others only with the opportunity to visit the island.
- From cafes to fine dining restaurants, the Andamans provide the best food for you to devour. Tourists will get to see and experience picturesque cafes that offer the best local cuisines. The most famous and loved food includes grilled fish, lobster (that are bound to get your hands messy), tuna and many other seafood dishes. New Lighthouse Restaurant, the Bayview and Amaya Lounge Bar offer the best cuisine for seafood lovers. The cafes are usually run by locals, hence you are bound to come across some great hospitality topped with delicious food. Pure Indian vegetarians visiting here should not worry. Resturants like the Annapurna restaurant and Fat Martin cafe will take care of all your vegetarian needs.
Formerly called the Laccadive, Minicoy and Aminidivi Islands, the Lakshadweep islands stretch up to 4,200 square kilometres in length making it the smallest Union Territory of India. Though Lakshadweep in Sanskrit and Malayalam translates into ‘one hundred thousand islands’. But, in reality, there are only 36 islands out of which only ten are inhabited. It also comprises twelve atolls, three reefs, and five submerged banks. A trip here ensures you to witness the natural landscapes, beaches, flourishing fauna, coconut trees, fish (especially tuna), and fishermen.
- The Lakshwadeep island contains thirty-six small islets that are called Minicoy. Minicoy Island is the second-largest island of the Lakshadweep and is one of the few inhabited islands of the group. The locals address the islets of Lakshwadeep as Maliku. The Minicoy island adds beauty and grace to the water of the prestigious Arabian sea. The small island occupies a total area of 4.801 sq. km. It is famous for its colourful coral reefs, white brittle sand beaches and the turquoise colour water of the ocean. Minicoy Island is the second-largest island of Lakshadweep. It is known for being one of the few inhabited islands of the place. The island is not for people who are looking to visit and enjoy some touristy spots. But, instead, it is perfect plays to glare at the stunning side. The place has many resorts for you to get an accommodation. Since it’s considered as a prime luxury location, this spot is perfect for a romantic getaway. As the island hasn’t been commercialized till now, you will get to witness beauty and serenity in the most natural form. This striking destination is a popular tourist stop due to activities like tuna canning, tuna fishing, palm tree, and white sand beaches.
- Agatti Island is stretched at a long distance of 7.6 km. The island water is full of unique coral reefs to witness, admire the sea turtles and look at the various kinds of fishes. The Agatti is a small chain of islands that spread to around 459 km off Kochi, India. The popular and nearest island is Bangaram which is situated at a distance of about 7 km in the southwest direction. The island has around 8,000 inhabitants, making it one of the sparsely populated regions to visit. Tourists who look for destination nations that aren’t too crowded should check out the Agatti islands. Though it stretches up to only 3 kilometres, the island is no less than the other place. Due to its small size, you can explore it on foot, rent a mini-vehicle or a bicycle. Agatti Island is the only island on Lakshadweep that has its airport. Hence, the island extremely easy to reach. Adventurous sports like scuba diving, snorkelling, water skiing, fishing, kayaking sailing can be tried on the shore of these beaches.
- Kavaratti is the capital of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep in India. It is also counted at the most developed island among all the other little islands of Lakshwadeep. The island the most ideal beach spot to relax and lay. But, also for the numerous mosques that are spread over its area. There are a total of fifty-two mosques that spread all over Kavaratti. The Urja mosque is considered as the most prestigious and beautiful mosque of the capital region. The island offers the best adventure activities like windsurfing, sailing, and kayaking. The best way to enjoy the marine animals in their natural habitat is through boating. The boats here have a glass bottom, hence it is perfect for people who aren’t swimmers or are professional divers or snorkellers. Adventure enthusiasts can go scuba diving, water skiing, snorkelling, jet-skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. The Dolphin Drive Centre is the best place to go scuba diving. Fishing is done in huge abundance near this island, therefore, it’s the best time for you to take out your fishing rods! Travel here by an overnight voyage by passenger ships, or fly to the nearest domestic airport, the Agatti Airport on Agatti Island. The plane ride is followed by a helicopter or boat which take you from Agatti to Kavaratti
- Just 20 minutes away from the Agatti island is Bangaram Island. Bangaram Island is spread over 120 acres. It is a famous yet inhabited island. Since it is ranked among the best getaways in the world you will get to see a lot of foreigners enjoying the sandy beaches and its waters. The island has a huge variety of fishers, porcupines, parrots, pufferfishes, crabs, and seabirds for you to be amazed. The resort present on the island offers the best stays for tourists. It is bordered by many coconut trees. The resort also has a beach and huge deep blue lagoon on its front area that gives a great opportunity for people staying to indulge in a great swim. The resort has great dining options too. Chinese, Jain, Local or some other cuisine, you get great food options to try during your stay. Special arrangements are made for guests who wish to have the food outside.
- The Lakshwadeep island specializes in dishes that have coconut, Malabar spices, and rice. Lakshwadeep offers a great variety of seafood that is served in various kinds of forms like steaming, basting, boiling, frying and roasting. A variety of cuisines like Chinese, Thai, and Korean are offered among many eateries. Indian food is also a huge favourite of all kinds of visitors. The Agatti Island Beaches Resort is one of the most famous eating joints among tourists visiting the Lakshadweep Islands.
Which is Cheaper?
The airfare is the most costly aspect of travel. In comparison to both the destinations, Lakshwadeep is costly. But, it also depends on where you are going to board your flight.
- Travelling by air to Andaman is between five to nine hours. It mostly depends on if you are taking a direct flight or a connecting flight.
- Travelling by air to Lakshwadeep takes around six hours.
Best time to visit
- The best time to visit Andaman Nicobar Island is considered from November to May.
- The best time to visit Lakshadweep is from October to mid-May.