Havelock Island: Your diving destination

Havelock Island, named after British General Henry Havelock,  is a small island with an area of about 110 sq km, situated about 50km north-east of Port Blair. It is covered with emerald lagoons and tropical evergreen forests.

Its picturesque white sandy beaches and lush green forests are an ideal getaway for nature lovers, bird watchers and for those who would enjoy trekking through the lush green forests. An abundance of marine life and rich coral reefs in the waters surrounding Havelock offers an opportunity for snorkelers to see the beautiful underwater world.

One can also go SCUBA diving under the supervision of officially registered trained guides or enjoy a Sea Walk, water sports, sailing and kayaking. It is beautifully refreshing for the soul as you catch the sunrise or sunset, walking barefoot on the beach.

Havelock is a well settled and well supplied island since it has been commercialized. One can rent two-wheelers at reasonable rates and go zooming around from one end to the other. The food available here is among the tastiest one will get to taste in the Andaman. The place is a tropical paradise so, a special mention must go to the delicious sea food; be it delicate grouper fillets or a rich prawn curry. If you love sea food, this is one of the places to be.

Havelock is inhabited mostly by Bengali settlers of Bangladeshi origin; immigrants who were given settlement by the Indian government after the 1971 war. It is one of the few places in Andaman where the government has promoted tourism and operates a ferry service all through the year thus, connecting it to Port Blair and other islands. The schedule for the ferry service can be obtained from the government web site or at the ticket counters.

Havelock Island comprises of 5 villages: Govind Nagar, Vijay Nagar, Shyam Nagar, Krishna Nagar and Radha Nagar. One can simply hire a two wheeler for sightseeing or tie up with an auto rickshaw. It is advisable to rent a two wheeler as that gives you complete freedom to explore on your own terms.

A dip here and a splash there!

Do visit these places when you’re there; the scenic rides and the pretty beaches make it all worth the travel!

Radhanagar beach: Also called beach no. 7, Radhanagar beach lies on the south coast of Havelock Island. Rated as a grade ‘A’ beach, it is about 2 km long and has a very gradual gradient. The sand is very fine and the waves are high enough to enjoy body surfing attempts. Just off the beach are changing rooms and food stalls for revelers who wish to spend an entire day there.

Vijaynagar beach: It is situated on the East coast of Havelock. This beach is a long stretch of sand lined by Mahua trees very close to the water and they provide a welcome shade against the hot sun. This makes it an ideal beach to go for long walks along the sea.

Elephant beach: It is about a 30- 40 minute ride by a speed boat from Havelock jetty. Alternatively, it is 8 km by road to the forest camp from the jetty on the way to Radhanagar Beach, followed by a 45 minute trek through the forest and mangroves. The trek is through thicket and towards the end, through a patch of mangroves which cannot be crossed easily at high tide.

Unofficial guides are present at the start of the trek to guide tourists along the right path. One can enjoy water sports, snorkeling and scuba diving there. Here too, changing rooms are provided along with fresh fruit stalls.

Those going by boat have a fixed time on the beach within which they can indulge in all the water sports, after which, the return of the boat is announced. The reef here is beautiful and mostly intact, with a lot of parrotfish and damselfish to be seen. Snorkelers are only allowed within a net enclosure.

Kalapathar beach: This beach is about 12 km from the jetty. Since it is not a much commercialized beach, You can enjoy a walk along this pristine silver sandy beach in peace because it isn’t much commercialized.

Alternately, you could just sit on one of the benches and relax while listening to the sound of the waves and the birds. This spot is ideal to catch the sunset on a clear evening. Just across the road are coconut water stalls and snack stalls.