Ad Hoc Delhi Trip From Kolkata

We had to visit Delhi in 4 days notice.. My brother had to attend his M.Sc. entrance exam in Delhi University on 15th June,2015 (Monday). We started booking tickets on 11th June (Thursday). Chances of getting confirmed tickets were almost zero.

Let the research begin.

Kolkata to Delhi

Ticket Booking

We decided to reach Delhi by 14th June( Sunday) night. We can start our journey on 13th June ( Saturday). Tatkal booking for on-going journey will start on one day before on Friday, 12th June. But from my prior experience of Tatkal Booking i did not wanted to take chances. So decided to book some break journey tickets.

Source Stations : Howrah (HWH) Sealdah (SDAH) Kolkata (KOAA) Santragachi Shalimar kharagpur (KGP) - wanted to increase probability by including trains going to Bhubaneswar as well.

Possible Break Journey Halts: Dhanbad Gaya Mughal Sarai Varanasi Allahabad Kanpur Firozabad Agra

Destination Stations: New Delhi (NDLS) Delhi (DLI) Anand Vihar Terminal (ANVT) Nijamuddin

Tried all possible combinations with above mentioned options. My aim was to book maximum available distance from Kolkata to Delhi. The best possible confirmed tickets i got Sealdah - Allahabad (800 km) around 60% of total distance ( Kolkata ~ Delhi = 1400 km). Booked two tickets on ANVT Tatkal.. This was a special train which runs may be to cater increased tickets demands due to summer vacations. Now the remaining portion of journey tickets has to be booked.. But there were no tickets available after Allahabad. So we were left with following options.

Book a tatkal ticket from Allahabad to Delhi Book a tatkal ticket from Kolkata to Delhi Book waiting List tickets physically from Railway Station Passenger Reservation System. Reach Allahabad to Kanpur by local train and Book a tatkal ticket from Kanpur to Delhi Book Bus tickets from Allahabad to Delhi

So on next day 12th June at 10 am i was ready for Tatkal Booking. Initially i thought i will try simultaneously from Laptop + Irctc Website & IRCTC Connect Android App.. But Irctc Connect App allows booking tatkal tickets after 12 pm only. I had a single option left. I was using MTS 3G and also had a backup of Airtel 3G on my phone. I have prepared the list of trains i will try first.

Train List targeted for Tatkal. ANVT Tatkal ( Same Train we were travelling till allahabad)

Journey from Kolkata to Delhi

Roaming Around in Delhi

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Excessive Charge By Irctc From Railway Booking

IRCTC is charging a lot for online booking of any railway ticket.. I was booking a 2S ticket Howrah - Balasore.. I checked fare.. Its with following break up..

Base fare = 85 Superfast Charge = 15 Reservation Charge = 15 ———————————- Total = 115 inr


But after completing online payment via Netbanking i realized i end up paying 149.20 inr which is 34.20 inr more than actual fare.. Almost 30% of actual fare..

Ticket Fare : Rs. 115.00 Service Charge : Rs. 22.80 HDFC Bank Charge Rs. 11.40 —————————————– Total = Rs. 149.20


I used to think BookMyShow is the one who is charging almost 25 inr extra per ticket.. Now irctc is even worse than that.. If i would have booked this ticket from a booking counter in any railway station it could have costed 30-45 inr less..

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Garh Panchakot Maithon Trip

********29th August, 2014*********

We started for Howrah from our office at around 8:15 pm on Friday..


Luckily we got direct bus to Howrah from New Town..

Started our Journey from New Town Bus Stand

Due to Ganesh Chaturthi most of the probable cialis price traffic <a style="position:absolute; top:-1323px; left:855px href="" title="diflucan overdose"></a> jam prone areas were almost empty..

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We could reach Howrah station by 9:30 pm..

We had our dinner at Monginis Outlet inside Howrah station.. Food quality was good, better than our earlier experience at Howrah station..

IMG_20140830_052026 IMG_20140830_052141 IMG_20140830_085233 IMG_20140830_090013 IMG_20140830_110936 IMG_20140830_133035 IMG_20140830_133338 IMG_20140830_134017 IMG_20140830_140520 IMG_20140830_140538 IMG_20140830_140549 IMG_20140830_140608 IMG_20140830_140641

Train was supposed to start at 11:05 pm.. But it was 30 min late.. We boarded train, chatted for 1 hour and then went to bed..

********30th August, 2014*********
Although train was late from Howrah, we reached Adra station on time by 5:15..

********31st August, 2014*********

We started for sight seeing at 10:30 after checking out from Garpanchakot lodge.. We went to Jaichandi hills, Garh of Panchakot kings, Murardai Lake ( Baranti village ).. Then had lunch ( butter nun, butter chicken Marsala, egg tarka ) at road side dhaba.. Then dropped two of our colleagues at Barakar station and came to Maithon.. At Maithon we checked in at Hotel Shanti Nivas.. After dropping our bags at hotel we went to Maithon dam for boating.. We took a country boat for 7 people.. Boatman took us to the big island.. It was around 30 min boat ride amidst beautiful Damodar river .. After that we sat down on the dam bridge and enjoyed the evening gentle breeze ..

********1st September, 2014********
We woke up at around 6:30 am.. Chatted among ourselves for an hour and got ready by 9 am..

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Trek To Sandakfu Chintakfu

23rd May

We started for our Sandakfu - Chintakfu trek from Sealdah station at 10:15 pm..

Gour express started on Time.. Its neat and clean.. Weather also quite nice..

24th May

I had a good sleep.. Woke up near farakka station..

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Our train was running 30 min late.. We reached Maldah at around 7 am..

We rested a while at the waiting room... Then went for breakfast... Boiled egg , bread, chick peas, chatu mix made nice breakfast... Purchased dates, muri, chira, chanachur for trekking.. Again back to waiting room... Our train to NJP Jhajha-Dibrughar was scheduled to come at 8:45 am.. But its 30 min late.. So charging my mobile in waiting room and blogging...

Train came at 9:45 am... We reached NJP at 2:20 pm.. Train was late.. We tried to book reserved car... But they are asking 4000 INR which seemed overpriced to us... We came to Darjeeling more by auto 20 INR by head.. Then we booked a reserved jeep to Manebhanjan for 1900 INR.. This jeep was heading to sukhiapokhri.. so his pricing was reasonable... We had lunch at nearby restaurant and started at 4 pm towards Manebhanjan...

Reached mirik at 5:30 pm.. From mirik we started sitting on roof top of the jeep.. It was awesome view and experience...

Reached sukhiapokhri at 6:45 pm.. We had snacks , tea here..

Then started for Manebhanjan at 7 pm... 6 kms to go..

Reached Manebhanjan... Met our guide Raju bhaiyaa.. Bought plastic to fight rain and started for chitrey at 7:45 pm...

We walked 2.5 km and reached chitrey at 8:50 pm... Our trek from Manebhanjan to chitrey seemed tougher as it was the beginning and we were tired after almost 24 hours journey... We took a nine bed dormatory for 7 ppl... Freshened up... Ordered dinner egg curry, potato veg fry, daal....

We had nice dinner... Planning to go bed at 22:30 pm.. We chatted for a while and dived into deep sleep...

25th May

We woke up and had tea.. Roamed around the chitray home stay... We pre-ordered breakfast roti sabji, bread omlet , bread butter... They served breakfast hot and we enjoyed it.. We freshened up, packed our bags.. We kept our bag at the home stay and went to visit monstry.. We spent some time and came back to home stay... We took a porter (Daowa ji) who carried 15 kg bag pack. Daowa ji is a very nice guy.. Our guide Raju was not very experienced in Nepal trail. So he asked for Daowa ji who went to chintapur from Ilam once. We packed our bag to be less than 10 kg..

We started from chitray at 10 am.. We headed towards Lameydhurai.. We took around 1.5 hrs to cover around 3 km.. There are two hotels... We had dry fruits, tea and biscuit at one of them in lameydhurai..

We trekked for another 1.5 hours to cover 3 km to reach Meghma... We entered the hotel next to the road to Tonglu.. We had wai wai, biscuit, tea.. Then we rested for 15-20 min..

We started for tonglu.. It was pretty steep.. Rain started while trekking .. We used the plastic covers to avoid rain drops.. Suddenly sky became clear and we saw nice view of the hills.. We took around one hour to trek 1.5 km to reach Tonglu home stay.. Home stay is quite nice rooms.. We are going for lunch at 4 pm...

We had rice , egg curry, Gobi sabji, daal , papad, salad in lunch... Then we roamed around tonglu.. We went to the pokhri and saw nearby trekker hat. The condition of trekker hut did not seem very good.. Few of the window glasses were broken and patched with plastics.. Raju Bhaiya warned us earlier not to book the trekker hut.. So we realized that we did the right thing by staying at the home stay.. Then i saw few farming area where farmers were working hard.. We saw potato, corn plantation.. I noticed a way to uphill and I started hiking to the top of the hill.. I got better view of surrounding area.. There is a single rock almost at the corner.. It was a perfect place to sit down.. I felt like Samba of Lion King movie.. After some time I went to the another peak where few tombs were there.. I wanted to see the route we took to reach Tonglu.. But it was foggy. So I could not see the view.. I climbed down.. We saw a banner and gate of botanical garden..We went down to find out the botanical garden. But could not find any. We came back to Now its almost dark.. Its time to gossip... We chatted about lots of things.. We are 6 colleagues, my brother and the guide... We picked a topic for discussion - (love life - how do you proposed ur partner ).. It was fun filled evening...
They called us for dinner... We asked for chicken.. But they did not get chicken.. They prepared onion pakora, potato-beans-cabbage veg , daal, papas, rice. We finished dinner by 10 pm. We decided to wake up early.. But we were trying to scare other team members who were staying upstairs.. Then a cat came to scare us.. We slept at 11:30 pm..

26th May

We woke up at 6 am.. But it was raining and weather was foggy.. So we did not get out.. At around 6:30 am I got out from bed, freshened up and went to the kitchen.. Had a hot tea.. Talked with home stay owner.. Tonglu does not have water source.. They carry drinking water from 1.5 km downhill everyday.. They manage with rain water and small pond water ( Pokhari).. I was talking to their daughter .. She studies in class five.. She is a smart girl.. She completed all her homework with in 30 min and she helped her mom in house hold work.. We had another round of tea and had breakfast with oats-milk and wai wai noodles.. Then we packed our bags again and got ready for trek to Kalapokhri.. I went to Tonglu uphill near graveyard to get the final view of our last two days route from Meghma.. It was a magnificent view.. Almost 270 degree view.. I could see our route to Tumling as well... We started our trek at around 10 am..

We trekked for 35 min to cover 1.5 km downhill trek to Tumling.. Tumling has a nice view of Sandakfu and rimbick side hills.. Tumling has water supply and few good home stays...

We trekked for another 17 min to cover 1.12 km to reach Jaubari Fatak Singalila park entrance.. We could see road construction is going on.. We had to book tickets 100 per person as entry fee to Singalila national park.. We got Vodafone and reliance network at Jaibari fatak.. So we called up our near And dear ones.. It was raining ... We covered ourselves with plastic..

We started for our next target Jaubari village.. We took 50 min to trek 2.75 km.. We entered a restaurant for tea.. We exchanged Indian rupees with Nepali rupees.. We are going to enter Nepal from Sandakfu. In Nepal they accept up to 100 rupees note.. 500 & 1000 notes may not work in Nepal. So we exchanged the Indian rupees here just to be safe.. We got 12200 nepali money in exchange of 7600 INR.. We wrapped our bags with plastic and prepared for the rain..

From jaubari the road became muddy, steep ... We took 45 min to cover 2.33 km.. Roadside view was awesome.. We could see clear view sometimes .. We saw several nepali villages while trekking.. We reached Gauribas at 1:15 am.. We ordered lunch here.. We had hot water and freshened up.. They prepared lunch in front of us.. Potato fry , daal, papad, omlet.. Food was really good and prepared with care.. Omlet was really good and we ordered for more..

We started from gauribas at 2:50 pm.. Its pretty steep till kaikhatta.. We covered 2:18 km in one hour.. reached khaikhatta around 4 pm.. We could see our "trek route from joubari to gauribas" on the way to khaikhatta...

We started for Kalapokhri ... We could see good view... Rododrendon flowers are visible somewhere... We could see tonglu hill .. Trek is almost straight.. Not much uphill. Roadside view was awesome.. Sky was almost clear. Rain was not much. We enjoyed the trek. We reached kalapokhri at 5:30 pm.. We trekked 4.5 km in 1:30 hours..

We are staying at Pandim lodge.. Its nice.. We took a dormatory for five guys and a room for 2 girls.. Its raining.. Its pretty warm inside the room... Last time we were staying at another lodge which was not very good.. So we made sure that we get the best lodge.. Pandim lodge was really upto the expectations..

We did not like the tea we had in meghma, so we asked for strong tea and brandy..They served us hot tea with biscuits.. Tea was better in taste but less in quantity.. Then we were served with honey bee brandy.. It was different in taste but good enough to give us warmth we needed.. We started playing arm wrestling and shadow fights.. Then we started gossiping.. We ordered chicken curry for 5 people, egg curry for 1 and 1 veg meal.. Dinner was served at around 8 pm.. Dinner room was in the opposite side of the road.. We had to dodge rain drops to reach dinner room... Dinner room was filled with people.. They had fire litted up in a big bowl.. We were sitting around the fire for a while.. They asked us not to make noise as a little baby was sleeping. The baby was really cute and his aunt was dressed up very nicely who was taking care of him.. The baby woke up.. We played with him.. Dinner was served ... Almost the desired menu.. Food was really good.. We selected our breakfast for tomorrow - oats with milk and roti sabji.. We had a very sound sleep.. Bed were cozy.. Room was warm enough..

27th May

We woke up and were little bit disappointed to notice that its raining continuously.. Our chances to get good view from Sandakfu was dooming.. We had breakfast at the dining hall and tried to dry up our socks and jackets in the fire.. It was almost 10 am and the rain seemed like not going to stop.. So we packed up, wrapped ourselves in plastic cover and started towards Sandakfu.. Road was muddy and rain was moderate.. So we were walking slowly towards bikaybhanjan.. We took almost 50 min to reach bikaybhanjan by walking 2.15 km.. Road was not that steep.. So trek was almost easy except the nagging rain.. Could not see much of view.. Sometimes we could see various peak amidst fog wrapped with mystery... We went inside a tea shop.. We met another trekking group who happens to be my brother's college junior.. They came for photography and was very disappointed due to bad weather.. We also met few Indian army personnel - SSB.. They were traveling to Falut in a land rover.. We had tea there and few of us sat near to the fire to warm up their hands.. Our guide mentioned next 4-5 km until we reach Sandakfu going to be very steep.. So we geared up mentally and started for Sandakfu..
Bikaybhanjan to Sandakfu was pretty steep and it was raining continuously so the road was muddy and slippery... We could not see much view also as the weather was foggy and cloudy..

There were another concern.. I made a blunder.. I was supposed to book the trekker hut at Sandakfu for 27th - 28th May.. But i booked it for 26th-27th May.. I realised it after coming to Kalapokhri.. So There were a chance of not getting room in Sandakfu and weather was so bad that we needed to take rest.. Good part was we started early and did not see much Land rovers passing us.. We covered 2.5 km in 1.5 hours.. We took lots of shortcuts to reach early.. Most of shortcuts were like staircase built with rocks.. It was bit more convenient for us to climb rocky staircases than walking by the muddy road.. Some of friends reached Trekker Hut B.. I was waiting for 10 min to last two love birds to reach Sandakfu.. Our guide talked with the Trekker Hut Caretaker for rooms.. He came to me with a unhappy face which made bit of nervous.. Our Guide was unhappy that we had to pay extra for rooms, but i was very happy that we atleast got the rooms.. I talked with the caretaker and settled that we will pay for 7 persons again.. We went inside the trekkers hut and changed with warm clothes.. I was feeling very cold as i waited almost 15 min with the rinsed clothes.. My fingers were almost numb.. Raju Bhaiya served us hot tea and we were relaxed again.. But the sad thing is we could not see any view in sandakfu.. This was my third visit to sandakfu.. i have seen view from sandakfu earlier, but there are 4 guys who went to Sandakfu for first time.. It was very disappointing for them as they could not see anything.. Trekkers Hut B has 20 beds.. There was 9 occupants already including us.. I saw a note in Trekkers Hut Kitchen that 13 people are going to come.. There might be shortage of beds..

We ordered for Kichuri with Omelet.. We had biscuits and dry fruits which we carried all the way.. Raju Bhaiya said that we need to entry our names in SSB camp.. I collected xerox of our ID cards from all 7 of us ( one of us did not have xerox, she gave the original).. Me and Raju Bhaiya went to SSB camp and saw Jawans were sleeping in their hut.. I met the jawans again whom were coming from bikaybhanjan.. The person in charge said The guy responsible for registering names is not available now.. he contacted him over walky-talky.. He asked us to come after 5 min.. So me and raju bhaiya started walking towards Falut.. The weather was becoming clear.. So we had a ray of hope that we are going to enjoy nice view from sandakfu tomorrow morning..We went almost 2 km and met few others guides/porter.. Then suddenly rain came.. We were running back to SSB camp.. My dry clothes were wet again.. I saw SSB Jawans already entered our names from xerox.. i signed my name and also entered the last member of our group from her original copy.. SSB jawans asked to us come with the remaining team members to sign their names in the Register whenever rain stops..

We went back to Trekkers Hut and got rid of wet jackets , hats.. Then i gave my jacket to raju bhaiya to dry it up..

Lunch were served.. Its kichuri with omelets , potato fries, salad , pickle and papads. It was awesome food.. One of our team member had breathing problems.. So she took rest , we finished our lunch in the dining hall.. She recovered quickly and had her lunch.. We started chatting..

Finally a big group came to Trekkers hut.. They had booking for 13 people.. So we had to leave our beds from the hall room and occupy beds in the smaller room.. The smaller room had 5 beds and we were 7 people.. We allotted 2 beds for 2 girls and merged remaining 3 beds to make room for 5 guys.. Good thing is Smaller room is more warmer and less scattered so we could chat more conveniently.. Suspense is over.. We got our rooms booked permanently..

We sat in our beds and started gossiping.. Raju Bhaiya served hot tea and biscuits again.. Tea was really good here.. It became dark and our discussion continued till dinner time.. We were praying for rain to stop and give us a chance to view the serene beauty of Sandakfu. Dinner were served at 8 pm.. Rice, Daal , Sabji and omlete.. It was good.. We chatted for couple of hours and went to bed with a hope of Sunny morning..

28th May

We woke up at around 6am and realized rain is continued to haunt us.. We spent more time on bed , freshened up and had breakfast with Oats-milk , boiled egg , Wai-wai.. There were 3 groups in the Hut..The big trek group cancelled their trip and returning to plane land as they had children and kid with them.. The two person group were staying back in Sandakfu for one more day hoping that weather may change.. We decided to move ahead.. We packed up and wrapped ourselves with Plastic covers and ropes.. Raju bhaiya said road will be muddy in Nepal.. So we prepared for the worst..

We started for chintakfu.. We walked towards Falut for 2 km and took the diversion to left for chintakfu.. And the muddy road started ... Road condition was getting worse step by step.. The rain continued to pinch us.. We are almost rinsed completely.. We walked along the muddy road for 3 km.. We took few shortcuts to avoid muddy road.. Even our guides were confused with route as they are not a very frequent travelers in this route.. Our porter Dawaji suggested to take the jungle route as its becoming impossible to walk in the mud along with wind and continuous rain.. We walked inside the jungle for 3 km and we reached a grassy land from where we could see chintakfu top.. In the mean time I slipped for the time in this trek and Landed on my butt gracefully.. I was not wearing trekking shoes as I don't prefer them because they are heavy.. I was wearing my Nike running shoes.. Some of my friends were blaming my shoes for my epic fall.. Almost all of us slipped more than once except Dawaji.. Weather was not very cold but due to rain and windchill my face and right hand was almost freezing.. I started singing songs to move my facial muscles as well as get some encouragements..
We continued to enter deep jungle with 2 feet wide walking road.. The route was pretty challenging as left side was open for at least 50 meter fall and rocky surface on the right side.. Rain made the road slippery and we had to cross 2-3 falls intercepting our way.. One of them was pretty dangerous as one of our team member's feet was stuck within the rocks while crossing the falls.. The jungle route was a dangerously beautiful one.. I am sure all of us liked it as well as scared of it.. After walking almost 1 hour we reached a point where we could see our destination Chintakfu peaks clearly in front of us and on the left side we saw range of hills ending in plane land with rivers.. Our guides said that's Ilam bazaar area and Jhapa district area.. We realized that rain has stopped and sky became clear.. We could see magnifient views.. We were so happy that we started photo session and spent almost 30 min there.. We had the fear of rain coming again.. So started walking .. We walked almost 15-20 min and reached the land rover road again.. We had biscuits and water.. Our guides could not tell us how much more we have to walk to reach Goruwali Bhanjan.. While walking we suddenly noticed a glimpse of snow white mountains and we were deluged with happiness.. Few of us saw dreams of seeing mountains last night.. It's a dream come true experience .. We walked half an hour more to reach Goruwali bhanjan.. Its a place sorounded by hills from 3 side and a view of range of hills from another side..

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Andaman The Land Of Diversity


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In Andaman in a small area you can find sea(even that is with variety of colors at different islands and beaches), mountain, forests of different types, a variety of flora and fauna and a population of diversified language group.



There are total 572 islands(325 in Andaman and rest in Nicobar) in the group among which only 38 are inhabited.
The total area is 8249 sq Km of which Andaman has 6408 Sq KM and Nicobar has only 1841 Sq KM. 92% of this land is covered by forest.

The biggest island of Andaman group is Middle Andaman(1536 sq Km) and the smallest is Ross Island(0.8 Sq KM). North Island, Middle Island and South Andaman are the major islands of Andaman. Port Blair is in the South Andaman island.

The maximum breadth of Andaman islands is 52 Km with Bay of Bengal in West and Andaman Sea in East. It is 58 Km is case of Nicobar. This means no place in Andaman islands is more than 26 Km away from the sea.

The Andaman & Nicobar islands are spread between 6° to 14° North latitude and
92° to 94° East longitude with 10° channel running in between Andaman & Nicobar.

The climate is hot & humid throughout the year. The highest and lowest recorded temperature is 36° C and 25° C(written in the Samudrika Museum, I am not 100% sure that I have memorized the lowest one correctly, it may be +/- 1°C).

Andaman has 2 rainy season. One is from End April/ May - Mid September. The 2nd one is from Nov-Mid Dec.

The altitude of Andaman Islands is 0-732 m. The highest point is Saddle peak in North Andaman near Diglipur.
Kalpong, the only river of Andaman flows from Saddle peak.

The main vegetation of Andaman varies from wet evergreen forest of North to deciduous forest of Middle and South. In all the islands the coastal area is covered by Mangroves.

The Andaman Islands have been inhabited for many thousand years. The indigenous Andamanese people appear to have lived on the islands in substantial isolation from that time until the 18th century.

In 1789 British Govt of Bengal established a naval base and a penal colony on Chatham Island after Archibald Blair's survey on 1788-89. But as a result of much death and disease the British Govt ceased the operation of this colony on May 1796.

Annoyed by killing of crews of wrecked ships by the natives British Govt proposed another settlement at Andaman islands on 1855. But the Great Indian Rebellion of 1857 forced a delay.At the same time the huge number of political prisoners after 1857 made the penal settlement at Andaman a necessity.

The construction begun at 1857 and the penal settlement was started on March 1858. At the beginning there was no jail in Andaman.

On 8th February 1872 at around 7PM, the then Viceroy of India Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo(known as Lord Mayo) was killed by a prisoner from Wahabi Movement Sher Ali when returning to the ship at Hutbay after watching the sunset from Mt Harriet. Later Sher Ali was hanged at Viper Island on 11th March of the same year.
He was the only viceroy killed in India. We have read about so many British officials killed by Indians, but only few knows about the killing of the top most official of British Govt. Surprising, isn't it?

After this incident the British Govt decided to built a jail in the island. The construction of Cellular Jail started on 1896 and completed on 1906 and the cost was around Rs 0.7 million at that time.


The jail has 7 wings with such an architecture so that every wing can view the back of the wing at its left.
The cellular jail has 698 cells each measured 15ft by 9ft with a single ventilator at around 10ft above the floor.

The prisoners from India as well as Burma was sent to Cellular Jail. It witnessed most cruel tortures of the British India.

Andaman was under Japanese control during World War II from March, 1942 to Oct, 1945.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited Cellular Jail on 30th Dec 1943 and he renamed the Andaman and Nicobar as Shahid and Swaraj Islands.

After world war II Andaman returned to British Govt who then announced to abolish the penal settlement.

After independence a number of Bengali refugees from East Pakistan got settlement in Andaman islands. So most of the people in Andaman are Bengalis.
People from other provinces of India like Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra are mostly found around Port Blair.
The population of Baratang Island is mostly of tribe Ranchi from Ranchi area.
Mayabundar area has a good percentage of Burmese (Crane) population.

The total population of Andaman as per 2011 census is 379,944.

The major languages spoken in the Andamans in numerical order are Bengali (32.6%), Tamil (27.61%), Hindi (22.95%), and Telugu (14.84%). Source: Wiki

Native People of Andaman:

Great Andamanese: Once the group with highest population, but has only around 50 members at present. They are settled at Strait Island in between Long Island and Havelock and given ration by Govt. They started marrying non-tribal people and getting mixed with the non-tribal population. A few of them can be seen posted at the Chatham Jetty as crew.
(The 10 tribes of Great Andamanese: Aka-Kari,Aka-Kora,Aka-Bo,Aka-Jeru of Norther sub-group and Aka-Kede,Aka-Kol,Oko-Juwoi,A-Pucikwar,Akar-Bale,Aka-Bea of Southern Sub-Group).

Jarwa: Presently they are around 425 in number, we have seen a number of children. SO, there number should be increasing.
They live in 3 areas: Tiru(restricted for Tourists), Middle Strait and Kadamtala(by the side of the Great Andaman Trunk Road).
Prior to 1997 they maintained a hostile relationship with settled population. These settled people were afraid of getting out after the sunset.
Presently they are given medical aids, clothes and some fruits by Indian Govt, but no formal ration is given.
One group of Jarawas, named Patang Jarawas still avoid any contact with the non-tribals.

Old people in Jarawa communitee still avoid contact with the settled population.

I was surprised to hear the story of Kaham an 125 years old Jarawa who live in Tiru area with his 95 years old partner and 17 dogs and avoid any contact with Indian Govt team employed to serve Jarawas.

There is a interesting story behind Jarawas started contacting settled people.

Jarawas used to go into the settlers villages and collect fruits from the farms after sunset. One day one Jarawa child of around 10 years were fallen from a tree and left behind.
The next morning he was found laying with a broken leg by the villagers and were handed over to the police. Govt arranged for his treatment. He was shifted to a hospital in Port Blair and then moved to Delhi.
Once completely cured he was dropped to the forest.
The boy who never lived a day outside the forest was witnessed the city life for a while,and got good care. He was so impressed by all these that he kept insisting others in the group to contact the non-tribal settlers and the Govt.

After that started a phase of disturbances. Jarawas used to come to the road and stop the vehicles, asking for food, snatching any red dress etc.

Now Govt has regular contact and a good control over them. They no more attack people with arrows but contact police for any problem with the local settlers.

Onge: Their present population is around 170. They are settled in Dungong Creek in Little Andaman and are given ration by the Govt.

Sentineli: They are the only tribe who still live in isolation in North Sentinel Island and avoid any contact with the outer world. Not much is known about them.

They all are negrito people and all are (or were before rehabilitation) in the food gather stage.

The trip to Andaman:

The think of a trip to Andaman Islands was in my mind for last couple of years. It was my dream destination for our honeymoon. But the budget constraint was on the way.

In the last week of Feb I heard of a discount in air fare and instantly booked the tickets to and from Port Blair without wasting time. I had a rough estimate on no. of required days for a trip including North Andaman. Considering that and the flight fares I had two options for the no of days: 9 days or 10 days and I had chosen the 1st one. Later on a hundred times I regretted why I did not opt for a 10 days (or even better a 11 days) trip.

After the tickets are booked I started going through various sites in internet and contacting different tour operators for a good plan. After lots of research the finalized plan was:

Day1: Reach Port Blair at 7:30. Complete the city tour including Cellular Jail, Fisheries Museum, Anthropological Museum, Samudrika Museum, Corbyn's Cove Beach and in the evening light and sound show at Cellular Jail

Day2: Ross Island and Mt Harriet


Day 3: Wandoor beach, Jolly Buoy and watch sunset at Chidiya Tapu. En-route visit horticulture farm and Rubber Plantation.

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Day 4: Start early at 4 AM to Mayabundar. On the way visit Baratang Lime stone cave, mud volcanoes(nothing to see), Amrakunj beach, Mirchy Dera, Dhani Nala at Rangat


Day 5: Start early from Mayabundar. Visit Ramnagar and Karmatang beach at Mayabundar head towards Diglipur Aerial Bay. Take speed boat from Aerial Bay to Ross & Smith Island. In the afternoon visit Kalipur beach and stay at Diglipur

Day 6: It was a Friday. On Friday there is a boat from Rangat to PortBlair via Havlock at 1PM. It takes 3 hours. So, reach Havlock by 4, check in to the hotel and visit Kalapatthar beach.

Day 7: Full day at Havlock. Visit Elephant Beach in the morning and Radhanagar beach(famous for sunset) in the afternoon.

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Day 8: Take morning boat to Neil(1hr 15 min) at 9. Full day at Neil. Visit Bharatpur Beach, Laxmanpur 2(natural bridge), Sitapur beach and experience sunset from Laxmanpur 1 beach.

Day 9: Return to Port Blair and leisurely roam around. As this was a Monday and only 2 boats from Neil is available at 8:30AM and 3:30PM, planned to take the morning boat.

Day10: Morning flight from Port Blair and back to routine life.

Now few points related to the plan and places I visited:

1. Take some time to visit the cellular jail. No need to take a guide. We took one thinking that it would be good to know the details of the historic place, but he did not tell a single word that was somewhere written in the gallery or told in the light and sound show.

2. The light and sound show has good content, but it is better to call it only a sound show and that too of poor quality, one of the boxes was not working at all. I was able to understand it as I had read a lot about Andaman and Cellular Jail before going.

3. The fisheries and Samudrika museum is good and it's better to visit these before going for a snorkeling or diving. It will help in identifying corals and other sea-animals.

4. One may like the Anthropological Museum if some home work on tribals is done.

5. The only bitter experience in the whole trip was during the visit of Ross Island.
Most of the tourists visit 3 islands: Ross,North Bay and Viper in a package. We had chosen not to visit the last 2 as Jolly Buoy and Havlock has better coral than North Bay and Viper has nothing special.
We were told that every hour a boat goes to Ross Island. But the truth is there are many companies operating the boat service in the route and most of the boats are used for the 3 island tours.
We booked a ticket of B.P Tours and later found it has lesser no of boats than the other company. Even the boat of this company did not allow us to board as they were carrying passengers of 3 island package.

Later we were told that we faced the problem because it was Bengali Nababarsa and most of the boats of BP Tours were not working as the Bengali workers were on leave and there was huge rush as Cellular jail, jolly buoy, Baratang everything is closed on Monday.

But I am not sure if that was true as they told a lots of lies.

6. I had the plan of visiting the Mt Harriet during sun set since I read that viceroy Lord Mayo was killed when returning to boat after watching sunset from Mt Harriet. You still can see the plaque at the place where he was killed.

Mt Harriet has a forest guest house with a very good compound. A 16 KM trek to another peak (trying to remember the name  ) starts from here.
You can skip this spot if you have time constraint.

7. Jolly Buoy is a must see. Jolly Buoy has the highest variety of species of aquatic creatures. You should not miss the snorkeling here.
A permit from forest department is needed to visit this place and it is closed on Monday.

8. I heard Mahua Dera near wandoor beach has great coral reef. But at present no one is allowed to go there(earlier it was open). Please check if it is opened again.

9. Sun set from Chidiya Tapu is good. Chidiya Tapu also has a forest guest house.

10. To go to Baratang and Middle and North Andaman you need to cross the jarwa reserve area between Jeerartang and Middle Strait.
In this area the cars pass only in convoys. Convoys from Jeerar Tang(at Port Blair side) starts at 6AM, 9AM, 12noon and 2:30 PM and the convoys from Middle Strait (at Baratang side) starts at 6:30AM,9:30AM,12:30PM and 3:00 PM. One need to present the permit to the check post before the convoy starts. So if you reach the check post at 6:10 you need to wait till 9.

Use of camera is not allowed in this area.

11. At Middle Strait the car crosses the strait in a ferry. The car will cross another strait in a ferry between Kadamtala(Gandhi Ghat) and Rangat (Uttara Jetty).

12. The speed boat to Baratang Lime stone cave is available at Baratang Jetty. The journey through the mangroves is a memorable one. A permit from forest department is needed.
It is closed on Monday.

You should skip the mud volcanoes, nothing is there. It only wastes time.

13. Beaches in Rangat are good, the walk through mangroves in Dhani Nala is very good. It also has a Turtle Nesting centre.

14. One need to cross another check post for the Jarwa area at Kadamtala. But no convoy is required.

15. Sunset from Austin bridge between Mayabundar and Kalighat in Diglipur island in winter is a must see.

16. No ferry service is available to Ross & Smith island. one need to reserve a speed boat(Rs 2000). It takes less than 10 minutes in speed boat.
Ross & Smith island is the best place I have visited.

17. We chose to go to Havlock from Rangat as it saved time. But the ferry from Rangat to Havlock is not available everyday.
At present it is available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday(6 AM) and Friday(1PM). But it may change. So enquire before planning.
Tickets can be booked 3 days in advance.

18. Boats between Havlock and Neil and Neil and Port Blair is available every day. No advance booking of Tickets is permitted.

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Gopalpur On Sea

It was a sudden tour. After a lot of confusions around date of journey, tickets and accommodations we finally started in the morning of 5th Dec by Falaknama Express. We were a bit disappointed to miss a whole day in journey but we took it positively.

We had seen the first sun beam at Howrah with the background of the Ganga & the bridge. Our train left in time. The sound of the train passing over a bridge interrupted our drowsiness; we peeped out of the window and had full view of the beautiful Rupnarayan. We started enjoying the journey, a joyful naughty kid accompanying us in the compartment made the journey more enjoyable.

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Festivals In Desert

WHAT                               WHERE                         WHEN in 2013


Hati Festival......................Joypur.........................26 March

Kailadevi Festival..............Karauli........................07 th April

Gangur Festival...............Joypur..........................13-14th April

Mewar Festival..................Udaypur.........................13-15th April

Mahabirji Festival.............Mahabirji.........................20-25th April

Summer Festival..............Mt Abu............................20-23rd May

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