Sunday, March 3, 2024

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Neil Island

Place : Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Significance : One of the scenic destinations in Andaman and Nicobar Chain
Best Season : Between December and April
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Situated in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar islands is a group of big and small picturesque islands and Neil Island is one of the most tourist favourite Islands of Andaman and Nicobar Chain. It is situated 40 km North East of Capital City Port Blair.

Comprises an area of 18.9 square kilometres, Neil Island iss the southernmost island of Ritchie's Archipelago a chain of islands to the east of Great Andaman in the Andaman Islands.

Named after James George Smith Neill, a British soldier who had sternly dealt with the insurgents during the suppression of the 1857 Mutiny. The population of the island is 2868 as of the census of 2001.

Eventhough, lesser known , compared to Havelock, it is equally beautiful with the lush greenery, palm fringed white sandy beaches stretching along the Bay of Bengal, turquoise waters, mangroves, vast marine species, dense forests etc. In addition to these, the island has rich coral reefs and natural rock formation settings.

The main feature of Neil Island is its three pristine and picturesque beaches - Bharatpur Beach, Lakshmanpur beach and Sitapur beach. Also, it has a natural coral bridge which is a visual delight. There is also a sunset point, which is said to be a good point to wonderful sunsets.

Water sports like Premium scuba diving and snorkeling are the highlights of Neil sland. Another activites are are trekking, island camping, kayaking, sailing, jet ski and bump ride, etc.

Eventhough, shopping options in Neil Island are limited, tourists can shop for traditional island crafts like shell jewellery, woodcraft like bowls, trays, walking sticks, coconut shell lamp shades, Nicobaree mats and bamboo cane craft etc.

Some of the main attractions of Neil Island are;

Bharatpur beach is famous for its white, exotic beach that sprawls over a wide, long area. Located just Half a kilometer from the jetty, it is one of the famous beaches in Andaman and Nicobar Island. The beach is famous for activities like coral watching, snorkelling, speedboat, water scooter rides and swimming. One can get glass bottom boats are available for viewing the corals under water. A ride in glass bottom boat costs around Rs. 150 and snorkeling per person costs around Rs. 400.

Another attraction of this beach is the beautiful lush green vegetation and fishes. The beach is the only beach in Neil Island where one can enjoy bathing. Changing rooms are available. The shops lining the beach sell curios at the cheapest price in all of Andaman.

Sitapur beach where one can experience the beautiful sunset.

Lakshmanpur beach, another beach that also showcases the unique corals of Neil island. It is a quiet beach ideal to sit for an hour enjoying the blue sea. The beach offers its visitors a splendid sunset.

The best time to visit Neil Island is between December and April as it is best suited for diving. Note: People with certain medical conditions like heart disease, asthma, diabetes etc. should avoid this activity. Divers need to spend a minimum amount of time on land before and after diving. This varies with the time and depth spent underwater.

Note: There's no ATM or moneychanging facilities on Neil.