Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ganpatipule Travelogue

I am back with my Travelogue on Ganpatipule.
Ganpatipule is a small temple town located in the Ratnagiri district on the konkan coast of Maharashtra.It is approximately 375 kms south from Mumbai and 325 kms from Pune.
It has got a lovely beach with golden sand,So it attracts pilgrims,peace seekers and beach lovers alike.
First I shall start with the route.
We chose Kumbharli Ghat Route from Pune.
Pune-Satara-Umbraj-right turn to Patan-Malharpeth-Kumbharli Ghat-Chiplun-Left turn at junction on National highway towards Goa-Sangameshwar-At Nivali Phata,Right turn towards Ganpatipule.
Scenic Pune-Satara stretch of NH4
Pune to Satara Stretch in the NH4 National Highway is scenic but was spine breaking with generous number ;-) :-) of potholes and irritating diversions.We stopped our Cars near a small temple(because that was the only place which had shady trees) to have our packed break fast.A mini halt was taken at an outlet maintained by Mapro Garden.They sell mocktails at astronomical price but  maintain superb toilets.Surprisingly both western and Indian style.Planning to write a post on necessity of Indian toilets in Public places.Just before Umbraj we took the service road and with no sign boards around we struggled to find the right turn for patan.There were three under bridges,so confusing.Take the third one for patan.Best way is to ask the locals before landing into a crowded market place of Umbraj :-)
Road from Patan to Kumbharli ghat is also in good shape.In fact,better than National Highway ;-) :-)
Patan to Kumbharli ghat is a pleasant drive with mammoth Banyan trees bordering the road.
Kumbharli Ghat
Kumbharli ghat Road is also in good condition except a few rough patches.Ghat section is full of Picturesque locales.It was an enjoyable drive.Bends were smooth. Green Cover is good.There are very few eatery points in this ghat.Better to pack some food for emergency.We had our packed lunch in one of the scenic spots.There are no rest areas in this route.
Kumbharli Ghat
We reached chiplun after crossing ghats and took a left turn towards Goa in National Highway(NH 17).This route is also beautiful with scenic vistas with a view through long narrow avenue of thick green trees and passages between rocky hills.Can see lots of mango trees adorning the highway in this route.After Sangameshwar,keep an eye on the sign boards which lead to Ganpatipule because a right turn has to be taken at Nivali Phata.Road from Nivali Phata to Ganpatipule is also in good condition.Reach Ganpatipule before sunset because there are almost no sign boards and even if you are able to locate them by luck,they are in miniscule size and placed in tricky places as if they have to be hidden and protected from public eyes ;-) :-)
Here I would like to mention one important issue.It is about the poor railway connectivity to Konkan area from Tourist circuits like Bangalore,Mysore,Hyderabad and metros like Chennai.In fact, there are no direct trains connecting Konkan to these places.My brother who visited Ganpatipule from Mysore had to hop from Bangalore to Goa and again Goa to Ratnagiri.From Ratnagiri,to reach Ganpatipule(dist 35 kms),Auto Rickshaws charge Rs.500/- and  Cabs charge around Rs.1500/-.State Transport buses are a rarity and  don't ply in time.MSRTC should at least start Mini Bus Service plying between nearest railway stations and tourist destinations in the Konkan belt. It will be of immense help to tourists who come by trains.Now Honourable Minister Suresh Prabhu has taken charge of Railways.He belongs to Konkan belt.Hope he does justice to this belt by introducing trains connecting Konkan and other southern states(except Kerala because many kerala trains pass through Konkan).Even from Pune,only one train passes via konkan.
We stayed in MTDC Ganpatipule.Location of MTDC is superb.All rooms have Sea View.Room Service is good.House keeping is very good.Staff are helpful and friendly.Premises is clean.Bathroom cum Toilet is spacious and clean.Booking has to be done well in advance because MTDC Ganpatipule is in great demand.Temple and Beach both are near to MTDC. Taps are fitted in front of the rooms.Green Cover is very good with lots of coconut trees ,casuarina and other typical konkan trees.
Individual cottages are also available.
MTDC as seen from the Beach,Ganpatipule

Sea View from Balcony is awesome.Can relax for hours in that tranquil setting.
Sea View from Balcony,MTDC Ganpatipule

Sunset viewed from Balcony.MTDC Ganpatipule.
Ganpatipule Temple which houses the Swayambhu Ganpati Idol is an awesome and divine place for spiritualists.There are no words to describe the peaceful atmosphere which engulfs the shrine.
Temple in the beach with the hillock as backdrop,Ganpatipule

Beach is a long stretch of white sand bordered by a quite rough sea.Under currents can be dangerous.
Take precautions before venturing into Sea by asking the locals about the condition of the sea at that time.

Ganpatipule Beach
There are many boat operators in the beach.They charge Rs.100/- per person for a mini boat ride into the Sea.Its Fun.
Boats in Ganpatipule Beach
View of temple from the Sea,Ganpatipule
Pradakshina (Circumambulation) of the Temple has to performed around the Hillock.It was a tranquil route with lots of greenery.Can hear chirping of birds,humming of insects while enjoying the aroma of the various jungle trees and flowers lingering in the air.It takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete one pradakshina.It was a wonderful experience.
Pradakshina Route,Ganpatipule
Sea view from Shundasthan,Ganpatipule

As the hillock itself  is considered as the manifestation of the elephant God,there is a small temple located in the pradakshina route marking the location of the trunk of the elephant God Ganpati.That is the Shundasthan of the Hillock. A very calm place where you can spend lots of time without getting disturbed by the worldly affairs.I can assure you that you will forget your hectic urban life at least for that moment.
Scenic view  Ratnagiri-Ganpatipule 
Scenic view Ratnagiri-Ganpatipule

A drive on the Ratnagiri - Ganpatipule route itself was an experience by itself.Take the drive before sunset.The stunning cliffs and intermediate beaches offer a spectacular sight to the nature lovers.Eateries were set on the edge of one such small cliff near Aare ware beach.Our group enjoyed Chat snacks like Bhel in those eateries.

As far as food is concerned,there is no problem in Ganpatipule.Both Vegetarians and Non Vegetarians can
have good, tasty food.We had food in 4 different places during our stay. Bhau Joshi Bhojanalay offers different cuisines like Punjabi and Maharashtrian.In Bapat  bhojanalay one maharashtrian thali costs Rs.80/- with rotis,2 vegetable curries,salad,rice,amthi,butter milk. In Kelkar Bhojanalay,one simple maharashtrian thali costs Rs.60/- (only one curry).You can enjoy simple,delicious and homely preparations in these places.You have to place your orders before 3 hours in Bapat and kelkar. Durvankur is a regular  restaurant.All four outlets mentioned above serve pure vegetarian food.Can try Dhanvatkar bhojanalay and shende bhojanalay also.There is an in house restaurant TARANG in MTDC .They serve both vegetarian and non vegetarian food.Veg.Breakfast was complimentary.Food is also good.
Ganpatipule is a great combo of spiritualism, lovely scenery,pristine beach and sparkling waters.Overall it scores a high percentage for this superb combo.Highly recommended. OK friends!Signing off this post with a bye and a Snapshot of the wonderful sunset captured from the beach.
Sunset in Ganpatipule Beach
 CU in my next post.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Photo Essay on Ganpatipule

Writing a post after a lonn...ng time.This post is a photo essay on our trip to Ganpatipule,a temple town located in Konkan Coast.Amazing tourist destination with a long strip of sandy beach and a divine temple.
Pune to Ganpatipule route itself is a scenic one.We finalised Kumbharli Ghat route after lots of consultations.
Kumbharli ghat drive offers spectacular views of sahyadri mountains.Green folds of mountains made a vista through the ghat roads.Magnificient.
Kumbharli Ghat
Kumbharli ghat
 After crossing Kumbharli,Chiplun to Ganpatipule route also offers panoramic sight of lovely landscapes.
Chiplun to Ganpatipule Route

Chiplun to Ganpatipule Route
We had booked MTDC resort in Ganpatipule well in advance.Resort scores 100 % for its location.Details will follow in my travelogue.
MTDC Resort ,Ganpatipule

MTDC Resort,Ganpatipule

Sea View from the balcony of  MTDC room,Ganpatipule.
All rooms in Ganpatipule MTDC are Sea facing.Full PAISA VASOOL for the location and convenience.
First I would like to give full marks to our lovely God Ganesh for selecting such a wonderful location for himself. :-) :-) Crashing waves dash near the temple during high tides and sometimes during monsoons,waves raise to a height and cross the gates of the temple as if they also want to have his darshan. Heavenly.
Temple on the Beach,Ganpatipule


Temple lit with lights and diyas for diwali,Ganpatipule
Pradakshina to the temple has to be performed around the entire hillock.Temple is at the base of the hillock. Circumambulation of this entire hillock is serene.Ambulatory pathway is fringed by beautiful green trees and plants, opens up to the sea towards the end.Blissful.
Pradakshina Pathway,Ganpatipule

Pradakshina pathway,Ganpatipule
Beach of Ganpatipule is sandy long delightful stretch.Waters are rough.Waves hemmed with white foam roar and roll.Awesome!
Ganpatipule Beach

Ganpatipule Beach
Route  to Ganpatipule from Ratnagiri is a very picturesque route with stunning cliffs and lovely beaches.Dont miss this route.A drive in this route is enjoyable.Spectacular!
Aareware Beach,Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri

Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri Route

Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri Route
Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri Route
I will wind up this Photo essay with lovely Sunset photos captured in the beach.Will meet you with my travelogue.Bye!CU!
Sunset in Ganpatipule Beach

Sunset in Ganpatipule Beach

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Amazing Andaman -Travelogue 2

Continuing with my Andaman Travelogue.I wound up my previous post with our spending an hour in Vijay nagar beach during night.In this post,I am continuing with our experience in Havelock and Port blair.
Next morning we started to Elephant beach in Havelock. Take a left turn from main jetty of Havelock and reach this place from where boats to Elephant beach start.There are lots of tender coconuts stalls in this area.
Havelock Island,Andaman
Ask for Life jackets from the boat operators,because boats are small and it takes around 45 minutes to reach elephant beach.Sea may be rough.Cant predict the pattern.So better to wear life jackets..
It is a very small beach with very little sand and thick vegetation.Water is crystal clear.Good for snorkeling and Sea walk.We booked for Sea walk adventure in the beach.Left the senior citizens in the Beach and we ventured for Sea walking.The guide took us by a small boat  to a big boat from where Sea walking was done.They made us to wait in the big boat for around 1 and half hours.9 persons were taken to the sea bed at a time.They had only 9 oxygen cylinders which were kept on the top most deck of the boat.A tube carrying oxygen was let into a heavy helmet weighing around 30 kgs.Guide taught us 2 signs for 'comfortable' and 'not comfortable'.They taught us breathing exercises which we had to do immediately after wearing the helmet.If ear starts paining because of pressure,they asked us not to proceed with sea walking.Rajen,Ravin were taken first.
Sea walking with Rajen,Havelock,Andaman
After missing scuba diving,I didn't want to miss this opportunity.So gathering lots of courage I wore the helmet.A safety net is tied vertically around this area of around 25 meters diameter to prevent big fishes,crocodiles from entering this area.Once the helmet is worn,they push us under the sea,a diver ask us to remain in the ladder and make us do breathing exercises and assures that we are comfortable and takes us to the sea bed and join us with already existing human chain.Balance under the water was quite difficult for me.I was moving like a drunkard :-),so held Rajen's hand tightly.I was really afraid but the experience was amazing. Couldn't believe that I was under the sea along with aquatic creatures and was feeling live corals with my hands.Feeling was quite different.Partially excited and partially afraid. Rajen comforted me but I wanted to run out of the sea,and couldn't;-).Divers were there to guide and help us.They crushed some bread pieces near us and suddenly from nowhere lots of fishes surrounded us.They were of different shapes,sizes and colors.It was really amazing.I forgot the fear and touched the fishes.Divers took us for a
walk on the bed and took us to the boat.I emerged from the sea with a victorious smile in my face.:-)
We returned back to our resort,had lunch and took some rest.
Veer Savarkar Cell,Portblair,Andaman
Next day we returned back to port blair by coastal cruise.After lunch we rushed to cellular jail because it gets closed for viewers by 5 pm.

We visited Veer savarkar cell and spent some time there.Saluted the great freedom fighters who were lodged in that jail and suffered for our nation.
There are very rare photographs displayed in the museums.Gallows in which many prisoners were executed mercilessly also stands as a mute witness in that jail complex.There is a watch tower on the terrace.Can see ross islands,north bay from the terrace of cellular jail.

Next day we went to Jollybuoy Islands by a boat from wandoor jetty.From portblair it takes 45 minutes by road to reach wandoor jetty. Jollybuoy Island's environment rules are very strict.Security checking is done before boarding the boat.Mineral water bottles,plastics are banned.So we paid deposit in a counter got thermal proof water bottles from the counter,transferred mineral water into those bottles and took them with us.After coming back we have to return water bottles and get back the deposit.Our boat was M.L Tanveer.
M.L Tanveer Boat,Wandoor,Andaman
Travel to jollybuoy is also a beautiful experience.Entire route is fringed with lovely thick mangroves.Different type of trees embellish the entire forests.Girth of some of the trees touching the clouds are very big.Our guide in the boat was Kumar. A tamilian settled in Andaman.We struck a deal with him for glass bottom boat and
Snorkeling.He explained that salt water crocodiles love to be in mangroves because of the marshy land and heat and may be living in that area.But he comforted us that they will not be found in jollybuoy island.;-):-)

En route Jolly buoy Island,Andaman
The boat takes lots of curvy paths on the way.
Since corals around the islands are protected
anchoring is not allowed.So we had to take a
glass bottom boat to reach the island.We can see rich corals,different varieties of star fishes through the glass bottom.Since the currents around the island become rough post noon,they advised us to do snorkeling first.After reaching jollybuoy,the first thing guides did was to anchor a very long rope of around 100 metres in the Seabed when the Sea was less rough.Island has got a very narrow sandy beach and thick vegetation.Hues of the water around the island is breathtaking.But these waters are very deceptive.Can get carried away easily by the currents in this area.Our guides advised us not to venture beyond 15 feet.Even experienced guides don't venture to one side of island because of strong pulling currents.
Hues of water in Jollybuoy Island,Andaman
 Snorkeling was superb because of the abundance of corals and varieties of fishes.Kumar was our guide in snorkeling.I had some initial problem ;-) as usual :-) but enjoyed seeing amazing varieties of corals and different coloured starfish. Kumar dived to the Sea bed and brought some star fishes and Sea cucumbers and made us to feel them.He explained about different corals properly.
My son venturing for snorkeling in Jollybuoy Island,Andaman
While coming back guides had to hold on to the rope which was anchored to swim against the currents and they guided us back to the beach.Superb Experience.
Glass bottom boat,Jollybuoy Island,Andaman
There are environment friendly changing rooms inside the island.Since environment vigilance is high,Island is very clean.This island remains closed for 6 months.They open it for tourists after diwali.
Next was glass bottom boat ride for half an hour.
Sun was almost right on the top,So we had to
cover the boat with a big cloth to have a clear
view of the corals.Senior citizens and small children who missed snorkeling could enjoy this ride.At the end of the ride we reached Tanveer boat and traveled back to wandoor.We stood on the deck to have a look on the mesmerizing scenery.In wandoor you have lots of eateries.

Glass Bottom Boat,Jollybuoy Island,Andaman
We had lunch there.Quality was OK.Returned back to port blair by cabs arranged by our operator.Even today tsunami effect is seen in wandoor area.Many houses and fields are partially submerged in water.Locals claim that this happened only after Tsunami.On the way we visited rubber plantation and spice garden.Purchased some spices from the shop in that plantation.
Next morning Sarang had planned for Mount Harriet trip.Mount harriet is second highest peak in Andaman.From port blair we had to reach chatham jetty.From there ferried our cabs to Bamboo flat jetty.From bamboo flat jetty it takes around 15 mins to reach the base of the Mt.Harriet.Ghat Road to the peak is beautiful.Thick vegetation,branches entwined together in a beautiful pattern crisscrosses the road and forms natural swings.Sunrays rarely touches the ground.Mount Hariet National park is at the peak.

Scenery seen from the view points are very beautiful.Even if there is a slight rain,be careful of leeches in this thickly vegetated area.
View from Mt.Hariet,Andaman
While returning back,we visited Chatham saw mill.Museum is Good.Can see bomb pits caused during japanese war here.
After returning to port blair we visited Anthropological Museum and Samudrika marine museum.
Samudrika Museum,Andaman
Museums are must see places.Lots of informative and interesting articles,photographs are displayed in all the museums.
In Sagarika Emporium,we did some shopping.Remember to preserve receipts.We cannot take any shell or marine wealth out of Port blair without receipts. Andamanese are proud of their marine and other natural wealth and preserve them well.
Now I wind up the post with a small mention about our tour operators.As far as our tour operators are concerned,they were good and co operative.May be next trip we ll plan with them.
With this post,I finish the Amazing Andaman series.(Thank God! I finished the series before our next trip ;-) :-) )
Andaman is very beautiful in all aspects.Would like to visit again.CU in next post.Bye for now.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Politics and(in) Media!

Hi! Back with my post on Indian media.
I am terribly disturbed by the way Indian media covers the News nowadays.Both Television and Print media.I have followed the same pattern which media adopts in calling leaders with short names like RaGa,Namo etc in naming some of the famous?!!! media persons :-).So readers can scratch the brain to do the guess work.
Last week two anchors were targeted in twitter for different reasons.One was ArGo and another was RaSa.Twitter was buzzing with tweets about these anchors.Some tweets were about their bias.Some were personal.I never like personal attack on celibrities in social media.But these anchors also tweeted in unsavory manner against the twitterati  by using terms like 'pieces of excrements','cyber goons' for comparing revolting twitterati. Irony is the same media fights for freedom of expression in other cases.But when it comes to them they readily take the cane in their hand to punish whoever cross the limits and enter their territory.Those who make a living in commenting and criticizing on others should learn to face criticisms.
Let me stick to the bias and partiality issue.There are many anchors who are so biased that their debates and news reflect their unashamed political affiliations.BhaDu,RaKa,SaGho,PaGho,SreJa are also happy members in this chamcha brigade ;-) :-) Print media persons,when they appear as panelists in debates are also open about their political affiliations.This is a very dangerous trend which may mislead the public and ruin our country.
Media is expected to be non partisan and are required to play impartial role in delivering News.
This doesn't happen with our channels.They play with the sentiments of people.Many times they fuel the divide among different communities at the behest of their political bosses.Their yardstick for different parties vary according to their proximity with their indirect bosses.
For eg., They played Volley ball with AAP.The strategy used by media was a jump serve, in which AAP was tossed very high in the air after election results and slowly they made a timed approach to hit AAP with great vigour that AAP is hitting the ground with fast pace.Forget that AAP is writing its own requiem with the media's help.Really feeling sad for AAP.It was a promising political alternative but media is busy writing its epitaph by following each and every move of AAP which they never did with their favourite parties.
As for as SP is concerned,media gave a partial insight into muzaffarnagar riots.Riots happened around september and october but media was busy in opinion polls and elections at that time so gave a frozen look towards the victims.But once the election results were out and drubbing took place,they suddenly rushed to the aid of the victims showering all help on them,not to help the helpless victims but to enhance the electoral prospects of their hapless bosses.Do the media and politicians play with communalism? Do they want to en cash the plight of victims into votebanks? Why Minorities are always considered as Vote Bank? Are they not humans?Are they mere robots who are designed to march to ballot boxes and cast their votes.
Media was so rough with the SP  that they didn't even spare the straying bovines of a politician ;-) Bovines were also clever enough to enjoy the limelight  and posed for the shutterbugs like models doing catwalk ;-) :-) and they became famous like Victoria :-):-) I heard that after this episode, many bovines are planning for a short escape to grab the media attention. :-) When Bovines are not spared ,what about the politicians in junket? They were also followed sincerely even to loo ;-) :-)
BSP also never gets its proper due in Indian media.Reason? God only knows.
Other regional parties never grab media attention unless and until there is a big scam involving them.:-) So all the regional parties have their own channels to tom-tom their achievements and bash the opponents.;-) :-)They are not bothered about Hindi/English media.

BJP was never a blue eyed boy of media and never will be in the future also.
Party spokespersons volunteer themselves as panelists ,get severe Namo bashing and return with the same vigor for the next big bash.:-)Even if it comes to power in future its each and move will be scrutinized.Knowing this secret,bovines owned by those party members are already gearing up for their catwalk event.:-) ;-)

If you admit that you are practising Hindu in Indian media,You become a communal person.:-) :-)
This is a real pathetic joke because,I have many friends belonging to different religions and whenever I told them that I am a Hindu,they never felt me as a communal person.When we share our common problems ,question of secularism and communalism have never raised.Because friendships and relations are beyond religions and castes.I may not be secular in the eyes of media but I am proud to say that  I am happy with the way I am than belonging to media's brand of secularism because secularism in India has been given a different tone and meaning in Indian media to suit their bosses.My friends and I are very well aware of this fact.Whatever media paints about us,We will live together in peace and harmony in our beautiful country.The only consoling point is still there are few sincere media persons who do a good job.cu in next post. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Amazing Andaman - Travelogue 1

Hi! I am back with the travelogue.
First let me tell you that I am deeply saddened by the recent boat accident in Port Blair.RIP innocent souls.
Now back to Travelogue.Andaman is blessed with beautiful landscape,Turquoise blue waters,natural wealth is abundant and it has lovely unspoilt  pristine beaches.This may sound like usual customary words written in all travelogues.But what impressed me more is the nature of people.They are wonderful and very helpful.This is a unique place in India where birth of girl child is celebrated.True hospitality is found in every nook and corner of Andaman.People belonging to different religions and who speak different languages like Bengali,Telugu and Tamil live here in complete harmony.Sometimes I feel that the positive vibrations of its good people echoes all over Andaman to make it a more beautiful land.
This time we had booked our Trip with Owee tours.Mr.Sarang Gosavi of owee tours accompanied us.They had booked Hotel Rhishabh for our stay in Port Blair.After landing in Veer Savarkar Airport,Port Blair,We reached Hotel Rhishabh by cabs arranged by our local tour operator Mukund.Roads were clean.We checked in the rooms promptly, inspected  the cleanliness of toilet first.Cleanliness was good but the ventilator was opening into the room.So the stinky fragrance ;-) inside the room was quite different.I was really surprised by this unique ? ;-) design.In Positive side,rooms were spacious.AC was working properly.Room service was very good.Food in their restaurant was also nice.Staff were very courteous and friendly.One more negative point was,there was no open balcony to dry clothes.So after coming back from beach,it is difficult to dry clothes.

I would like to remind you that, being a typical Indian tourist,even if I go to moon, I will search for a good place for drying clothes.:-) and tie a rope between 2 poles ,dry the clothes and clip them;-) :-).This was Andaman trip(very much in India), so I had packed 10 mtrs nylon rope and a dozen clips for this purpose in spite of Rajendra giving me an annoyed look ;-) :-).Let me not digress from our main topic.Hotel Rhishabh.Overall a good budget hotel for middle class.
Hotel Rhishabh,Port Blair,Andaman.
It is located in a slightly raised Marine Hill near the city.
We had our lunch in Annapurna hotel which is located in the main city of Port blair.South Indian food,vegetarian thalis(South Indian and Bombay),Punjabi,chinese are available.Food quality is good.
In the evening we went to cellular jail to see the light and sound show.Struggle of our freedom fighters kindled  the latent patriotic feelings in us.
Cellular jail complex,port blair,Andaman
Narration of the show is centered around the peepal tree shown in this photo.We chose last rows to have a better  glimpse of the show.

Next morning we reached Rajiv gandhi sports complex at 8.45 am.Our operators had already purchased the tickets for boat ride.It was utter chaos in the jetty area.Four boats for different destination combos were parked one after another.Our combination was North Bay + Ross Island day trip and ours was the fourth boat, so we had to cross three boats to reach our boat Nandini.Boat operators were friendly in helping us jump across the boats.Since all four boats leave the jetty around same time lots of confusion prevails.Authorities can manage in a better way.
We reached North Bay Island.Sea is fringed with pebbles,rocks.Beach is not sandy.Water is clear.Due to rich corals ,this place is also good for adventure sports like Scuba,Snorkeling and Sea walk.
North Bay,Andaman

Divers and guides are available for these activities.Bargain well before fixing them.We bargained and fixed the rate for scuba as 2300/- per person.I did not do Scuba diving  :-(  but  Rajen,Adi,Ravin and MIL dived into the sea and had a good time watching corals and fishes.Divers are helpful and teach signs before they take you underwater.Must do activity in Andaman.Next time I will. :-)
Scuba Diving,North Bay,Andaman.
There are lots of shops and small eateries in North Bay.Our operator arranged Veg Biryani from one of the Eatery for lunch.Quality was OK.
Next was Ross Island.Erstwhile Capital of Andaman during British rule.
Ross Island ,Andaman
Ross Island is maintained very well.It is a ruined city and many parts of land in this Island were swallowed by sea during Tsunami.Guide Anuradha was an excellent and entertaining narrator.She was a true Animal lover.She explained on each and every ruined remnants of Ross.Environment vigilance is strict and fines are levied on defaulters.So entire island is clean.
Inside Ross Island,Andaman
We returned back to our hotel in Port Blair at 6 pm.Sun sets early in Andaman.
Some repacking was done for our next 2 days stay in Havelock Islands.We had taken some small bags apart from our monstrous suitcases for this short trip.Back packs are best for one day trips.It is advisable to carry caps(preferably hats),water bottles,medicines and sunscreen lotions.
Next morning we reached phoenix bay jetty in port blair to board Makkruz luxury boat.After ID cards check,we boarded the cruise.It was a speed boat and sea was quite rough.So it was a very turbulent journey.I started sweating profusely.Staff in the boat were quite helpful in offering required assistance.Many passengers were running amok due to nausea and other typical sea sickness problems.Reached Havelock Island in 2 hours.Our operators had booked Hotel Holiday Inn for us.Holiday inn  is located in the Vijay nagar beach.Scores full marks for the location.From the resort you can have a lovely view of the turquoise blue sea.
View from the Holiday inn resort,Havelock Island,Andaman
Rooms are quite small.Toilet is also small.AC was working properly.In some of our rooms commode seats were loosely fitted.Cleanliness is good.Staff are very helpful.Food in the resort is superb.The main attraction was Sea.So after checking into our rooms we rushed to the sea.Vijay nagar beach is rocky.So cannot venture into sea for swimming.While playing in water we have to keep an eye on rocks.
Vijaynagar Beach ,Havelock Island,Andaman
This photo was taken during low tide when water had ebbed.So the rocks are visible.During high tide water covers all these rocks and if you try to swim without knowing this,you may emerge out of Sea with lots of bruises ;-) :-)
We played cricket , and tried javelin throw with a long stick which we found in the beach and as usual my sporting talent?  failed me ;-) :-) Anyway,we had a lovely time.After  lunch we went to Radha nagar beach,pitched our beach cabana and ventured into sea. Radha nagar beach is shallow,good for playing and swimming in water.But have to be careful by not venturing too far into the sea due to deceptive under currents.
The vast expanse of the white sand beach attracts lots of tourists.

Radhanagar Beach,Havelock Island,Andaman
Since Radha nagar beach is located in the western coast of havelock,we visited it post noon and waited till sunset.Hues in the evening sky were stunning and magical.Sea also concerted in tune with the sky by reflecting all the tones and shades to make the scene more spectacular.                     After enjoying sunset we returned to our resort,took rest for sometime,had dinner and went to the beach which was now dark.We could see the white surfing borders of the black roaring waves.We sat on the wooden benches which were placed to have the beach view.It was a beautiful experience,which words cannot express.We counted the twinkling stars which were chatting with the lonely crescent moon in the dark sky.Breeze was cool.We spent more than an hour in that enchanting environment and returned to our rooms.Still living in those lovely memories. Now I am winding up this first part and will continue our experiences in my second part.Cu soon.
Sunset at Radha nagar Beach,Havelock Island,Andaman