Havelock Island, officially known as Swaraj Dweep in honour of the Indian freedom fighter- Subhash Chandra Bose, is considered as the gateway to set your soul free and enter into a world of wonders. Named after Sir Henry Havelock – a British General in India, this island rejuvenates your blood cells and fills them with breezy winds fused in the atmosphere along with the pleasant sound of gushing sea waters into your ears as it floats in the Bay of Bengal. It is the most popular tourist spot and is used synonymously to Andaman Island, making it the go-to place of every travel aficionado to enjoy full moon parties and thrilling adventure sports. The activities that can be enjoyed here is kayaking, snorkelling, game fishing, swimming, scuba diving in various beaches. Situated 70 km north of the capital city- Port Blair, this island is the heaven on earth with scenic beauty of white polished sands overlapping with the crystal clear sea stretched in lengths. This island is appreciated to have some best known spots for scuba diving which make it a hub of the divers from all around the globe. With a low urban population, this island steals the show of providing its visitors the proximities of observing the natural aura with naked eyes. Let out your wanderlust heart as you trek on the terrific trails in exotic jungles and become a water baby as you explore the sea underneath with colossally colourful corals as you dive in deep. Along with scuba diving, the lands of Havelock also provides other options of water sports to explore in your stay in Andaman. The honking of cars in traffic jam is replaced by the screams of excitement and giggles of your exuberant rides as you relish the water sports of Havelock Island.
Best Time to Visit Havelock Island:
The most suitable time to make the most out of your vacations in Havelock is between the months from August to May. Though the tourist season begins from September. With a tropical climate, one can witness mild weather with light rain showers throughout the year which adds cherry to the cake, enhancing the exquisiteness of the island. It is also considered that the months of February and March are the best to experience the water sports, owing to the low tides which leads to better visibility under the sea.
How to reach Havelock Island:
Marking its identity as a distant island and standing apart from the others, Havelock Island can be reached via Port Blair through several options which shall make your 70 km ferry to Havelock worth travelling. There can 2 options to reach Port Blair- Government run passenger ships from Chennai, Kolkata, Vishakapatnam which take 50-60 hours or flights from New Delhi, Kolkata, Vishakapatnam, Pune, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar and Chennai. From here, Havelock could be reached via both- airways and seaways. Considerately, travelling via seaways could be a cheaper and time taking yet amusing experience which one could grab. Every 2-4 hours, you can find a ship ferry back and forth from Port Blair and Rangat – coming via Neil Island. The schedules are planned according to the season and weather conditions for a safe and sound commuting ride. The different modes available can be listed as:
Air Ways: Since, there is no airport at Havelock Island, the tourists can travel till Port Blair from which they can further opt for seaways. The nearest airport to Havelock Island is the naval cum civil airport- Veer Savarkar Airport, Port Blair which is 63 km away. Another option via airways to reach Havelock Island is to fly in Pawan Hans amongst the dense cottony clouds. It operated periodic helicopter flights to Havelock till 2011, after which it started to cover amphibious 8 seater Cessna seaplane from Port Blair to Havelock, to and fro every day except Sunday. It covers the distance in one hour from Port Blair to Havelock, with the inclusion of an eagle eye view from the sky. The enquiries can be made by visiting the portal of Andaman Tourism Website. Additionally to note, these flights are depended upon the weather conditions and the vacations season. Also, Sea Planes are not operational during the off season. Presently Sea Plane services is temporarily stopped & only the helicopter services are available which is operated by the Andaman Administration.
Price: Approx. INR 4000
Sea Ways: The ferries can be enjoyed travelling via seaways in the open sea, witnessing the gleaming waters. The various options in seaways are:
The government ferries are pocket-friendly and booked in advanced to book the seats before the tickets are sold out. They are air-conditioned, comfortable and give you a super fun ride while you travel o Havelock Island. The tickets can be booked from the counter at the DSS( Directorate of Shipping Services ) in Port Blair (Phoenix Bay Jetty and Common Service Centres of Port Blair) which opens its counter 4 days in advance. In Havelock Island and Neil Island, the bookings can be only made through Havelock Jetty and Neil Jetty respectively.
Some private agencies also give the option to book government ferries online, bearing some extra charges. Local ferries are likely to be booked during the vacation season and thus, tickets can be booked via Port Blair ferry office on arrival, directly from the resorts that you stay in or private agencies. In order to book tickets, you require to fill out the form and submit it to the ticketing agent in Marine Jetty. The ferries depart from Phoenix Bay Wharf and takes approximately 2.5 hours to reach Havelock Island. The regular timings of the ferries are:
Duration to Reach Havelock Island
Adult Ticket: Under INR 500
Child Ticket (0-2 years): Approx. INR 100
Private Ferries: The private ferries could be an easy, fast and comfortable option to avoid long queues and trouble of standing at the ticket counter. At a little more expensive deal than that of the government ferries, you can enjoy the extravagant experience of the Cruise Boats. Moreover, it would be unfair to your travel bug to skip the luxurious part as these ferries offer a wide range of royal, lavish amenities which one could never get enough of. The rich cafeteria culture, good and mellow vibes from the soothing music, air conditioned cabins for a relaxing journey, sparkling bars, dance events for the party animals and water activities as you float in the middle of the waters make the Cruise boats of Andaman a welcoming treat to the tourists.
The various popular private companies that deal with the ferry bookings to Havelock can be listed as:
The bookings can be made via our portal (given below) for a quick and hassle free procedure:
Transportation at Havelock Island:
Like any other vacation place, this island also relies on transportation as the backbone of the experiences of tourists. Owing to the effective and efficient chain of transportation, it is easy to paint the town red in Havelock Island by enjoying the perfectly straight laid road journeys with your family and friends. The routes are easy to comprehend and the passer-by’s and local people are always there to guide you through your destination when in need. Since the beaches and villages of Havelock are numbered, it is quite convenient to track down your desired places. There are various modes of transportation available to commute in the island, which can differ from person to person, yet have their own characteristically amazing experience of their own. The options that are available in this island can be noted as:
1) Tourists taxis
2) Rental bikes, scooters and bicycles
3) Auto rickshaws
4) Public Transport- Shared jeeps and buses.
Duration of Stay in Havelock Island:
The lands of the paradise-like island can be covered in 3-4 days maximum which shall allow you to absorb every essence of the place that you can carry home to cherish your all lifelong. In these 3-4 days, you can enjoy each and every activity that you day-dreamed of while juggling between your work and social life; from fun-filled water activities in the cerulean sea to comforting sunbath in the bamboo huts under the scorching heat amidst the pleasant weather, all could be lived during these 3-4 days span.
People of Havelock Island:
In this heavenly adobe, you shall find people who are no less than angels in guiding and communicating to you in every location. The population count of Havelock is 5354 (census 2011) which is filled with hospitality and friendly vibes as their main source of income is attained via tourism sector. There are horticulture producers who produce betel nut which adds up to the economy of the island. Here, the population mainly comprises of the Bangladesh’s refugees who had to flee their country and settle here in these lands after the India-Pakistan war in 1971. Earlier, it used to be an untrailed home of the tribal native now have many other immigrants settled as they developed the traits and attained the position and credentials of a local citizen of the island- like Tamilians. Majorly, the local population is Hindu who have adopted the western dressing style and thus, prefer to carry light cotton clothes to suit the fluctuating weather of the island.
Culture of Havelock Island:
Havelock Island is a treat to the eyes for the tourists as it is a melting pot of culture of both Indian and western traditions and festivals. One can enjoy the India festival of lights- Diwali and observe its auspiciousness along with witnessing the joyous celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas. The string that keeps every person attached from this place is the culture which highlights the enriching experience of every nationality and religion to encompass the gist of emotions and festivities associated with the myriads of celebrations. The cuisine also includes the worldly varieties of meals which can be a mouth-watering treat for all the buffs who love to travel for food. The Asian seafood cuisine is the most renowned and critically acclaimed cuisine which one should not resist in the lands of Havelock.
Language of Havelock Island:
In Havelock, the culture acknowledges the prevalence of more than one spoken language however, English Language is the most operational language in the island due to the high tourists’ rate all around the year. Other languages that can be heard in this place are- Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, etc. which are majorly used by the tenants of this island.
Exploring Havelock Island:
Havelock Island is the prime destination to enjoy all fun activities at a single spot. Considering it’s versatile culture, this island open its arms to a wide variety of experience in every field; from thrilling water sports to cosy and romantic candle light dinner on the shore – this island has its own ways to enthral you with its surprises!
Villages in Havelock Island:
The multivariable island offers the sight of 5 villages that are named after the Indian mythological tale- Mahabharata. These villages are a sight of splendour as they offer a far sighted view of lush green forest covers, authentic farm lands and rich commercial areas which create an image of country side meadows. These villages encompasses the enigma of the best beaches of Andaman where tourists can surrender themselves in the awe of nature and swirl in the shores. The renowned villages are:
Govind Nagar- It is known as the entry point to Havelock Island and provides jetty to the tourists.
Vijay Nagar- This village locates one of the most renowned beached of Andaman- Kalapathar beach.
Radha Nagar- Radha Nagar beach is situated here which was ranked as Asia’s best beach by Time Magazine in 2004.
Shyam Nagar and Krishna Nagar are the lands occupied by the local people which they use for agricultural and pastoral purposes.
Beaches in Havelock Island:
The speciality of Havelock Island lies in the view of its breath-taking beaches filled with the marine odour along with the aroma which is amalgamated with the sandy beaches and rich verdure, making it a perfect place for spending your vacations. So, far away from the hustle-bustle of the cities, one can look for peace and serenity here on its beaches while enjoying an imperial experience in the regal hotels and ethnic bamboo hut houses with coconut milk, succulent and delicious sea food. Since, Havelock Island faced the repercussions of tsunami, the beaches are seen to be struck with barren tree trunks lying around in the beaches, giving a photogenic view and adding life to the painting-like beaches. The Island identifies 7 beaches which are numbered and out of those, 5 beaches are renowned as tourists’ hangout places, namely:
1) Vijaynagar Beach: Located near the Vijaynagar village, this beach is situated on the east coast of the island giving a plethora of enriching views of the tall and green mahua and coconut trees, waving by the seashore winds. This beach serves the perfect place to take long relaxing bare foot walks, feeling the soft sand that caresses under your feet and indulging yourself in the soothing experience of witnessing the rise of the sun, hung in the canvas of the perfect blue sky. One can also embrace the water play on the seashore or enjoy the sunbath sessions and give your body a perfect summer glow. Standing out as a visitors’ spot, this island hereby serve various beach resorts on its coastline to give away the sea side view to put a smile on the start of the day.
2) Radhanagar Beach: Numbered as Beach 7 of Havelock Island, this beach owns the title of the best beach in Asia by Time Magazine. The popularity of this beach located on the west coast is unmatchable and unattainable because of its impeccable sunset view that perfectly boasts its grandeur. The backdrop of the beauteous beach urges oneself to stay a little longer in its charm, taking back all the marvellous and captivating sights in the eyes. The shallowness of this beach with seamless blue clean and clear water waving along the beach poses and irresistible sentiment of swimming. The beach also provides lockers, restrooms and changing rooms for the convenience and comfort of the visitors. The eateries line u at this beach also provides one of the best meals ranging in variety. While you intake every breath as your heart pounds over the scenic beach, the erratic hues of the sky shall make you gaze in awe.
3) Elephant Beach: Marking its place in the top beaches of Andaman Island, Elephant beach is seen to be the most commercialised beach because of the wide ranging water sports activities availability. The name is given due to the famous siting of elephant who used to enjoy swimming in this beach along with the mahout every day. Though that elephant or for records, no other elephants are seen on the beach side as elephants are now mainly used for commercial and transportation purposes. Like Radhanagar beach, this beach also provides amenities like changing rooms, rest rooms, toilets and locker facility to serve the crowd of visitors. There are two possible ways to reach this beach- trekking or boating. Trekking is usually recommended with a guide in dry weather to avoid getting lost in the trail or stuck in muddy puddles respectively. It takes almost 30-45 minutes to trek along the trail while you pass by the mangroves forests along the narrow paths. On the other hand, speedboats run from the Havelock island jetty with various packages according to the seasonal variation and takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the Elephant beach. The water sports available in this beach are snorkelling, banana boat ride, sea walking, jet-ski and scuba diving which will urge your goose bumps to appear and leave you with a mind boggling experience. Even though it attracts high tourists rate due to the delusion of witnessing elephants which results in the unclear water with low level of cleanliness, hoard of tourists pay visit to this beach all around the year.
4) Kalapathar Beach: This beach gets its name from the nearby village- Kalapathar, and the black rock that lines straight along the coastline. This beach serves the purpose of both the breath taking sunrise and witnessing the fading sunset. It is almost 3 km away from Vijaynagar beach, located at the extreme ends of the Havelock Island. Since, it is not a crowded destination for tourists, this place serves the best for couples to embrace their private time while their romantic walks. The best part of visiting this beach is to steal the time to cherish the village located nearby that is covered with the paddy fields and lush tall green trees which can mesmerise your heart strings and be an altogether new experience.
5) Govindnagar Beach: Govindnagar beach is counted amongst the finest beaches to explore the richness of shells and insects on the rocky surfaces and dead coral reefs due to the low tidal experiences. At a walking distance from Havelock Jetty or helipad, the view of this beach extends as far the sight goes, blocked by a lofty island in the front which rather adds to the picturesque view of the beach. The soft sand allows you to trod the beach barefoot and feel the softness diffused with the dampness due to the seashore, flawlessly merging together to give a heavenly touch to your vacations. The two most important factors that makes this beach exceptional is the presence of popular nemo reef situated beside this beach and best scuba diving hub. Apart from this, people also prefer to amuse themselves by swimming and snorkelling. This beach like any other beach, presents a collection of fabulous resorts and hotels and finger licking eateries catering the preferences of the tourists.
Hotels & resorts to Stay in Havelock Island:
The hotels are the veins of Havelock Island which give an incredible and comforting experience to the visitors who come here to escape their ordinary lives and look for peace and serenity. The hotels are available in ample location as per the needs of the visitors, with various price ranges to be pocket friendly to all categories of visitors. Since Govind Nagar and Vijay Nagar are commercially developed and attract comparatively more are visitors, they have more options of hotels and resorts to accommodate the tourists. Some hand-picked hotels and resorts that we wish to recommend you for your pleasant stay in the earthly paradise are:
1) Havelock Island Beach Resort: The magnificent blend of exotic cottages and modern amenities is what makes this resort the perfect place to spend your vacations. With beach-facing views and eye-appealing porches lined up with palm and coconut trees, this resort serve you all in one platter. The room here have been categorised in order to meet the requirements and fit into the budget distinctively but have one thing in common- the wooden and bamboo theme in every corner which gratifies every soul. Following the motto of clean and green environment, this resort is a sight of delight as you walk through the passageways surrounded by green plant, dancing flowers and floating lotuses in the pond to give you cherry blossom smile every time you pass by them. Equipped with a swimming pool with blue lights, the resort offers privacy to young couples for a romantic getaway during the evening by showering the perfect ambience to shred the worries and dwell as it turns dusk. The sunbathing lounge chairs surely provide the best way to relax under the sun while observing every minute happening in the surroundings and ponder upon the best time you spent on this adobe. The private beach is another moment of glee to the visitors where the gushing winds and splashing water combines to entice your cells as you dip your feet and absorb the coolness with shivers. The resort is renowned to host the best beach parties so one shouldn’t afford to miss them at any cost. The USP of Havelock Island Beach Resort is organising perfect romantic beach side candle light dinner which fits in well with rosy quixotic light, gleaming candle sticks and lanterns and creatively folded napkins into swans and other startling shapes. Flabbergasted by the arrangements of maximum 20 such dinner tables at one go, the delicious meal and elegantly served drinks are added complimentary to turn the mood pink. Friendly and obliging staff adds cherry to the cake and comforts the visitors for a fun and frolic stay.
The other hotels and resorts that we would strongly recommend are:
2) Holiday Inn
4) TSG Blue
5) Country Homes
Restaurants in Havelock Island:
The Havelock Island offers the best exotic cuisine for your taste buds that you’ll crave your entire life. The local food and the indigenous ingredients are the reason for the water in the mouths of many. The aura created by every eatery is different and unique in its own way and enough to blow the minds and leave them awestruck by the magic. The dining amenities express the heart of Andaman Island by providing the best exposure of etiquettes, services and most importantly the marvellous meals. Some restaurants that we shall recommend you include:
1) Sea Dragon Restaurant at Havelock Island Beach Resort: This restaurant enthrals the visitors by its presentable variety of seafood and multi-cuisine options at one place. Following the footsteps of the resort it is set up in, this restaurant can also be seen with wooden interior décor with green plants, adding colours and live in the ambience of this place.
2) Nemo Café at Havelock Island Beach Resort: One of the most renowned café cum bar, this place is the ultimate fun zone for all the extroverts and wild party animals. This café offers a wide variety of drinks to choose from for all age groups to chill as they sip in, reliving their best moments of vacations. The lightings are an added bonus to enjoy the mellow vibes as one dwells in the aroma created by the bar. The dance floor in the middle of the bar always see the best dances and moments which are cherished by every person who comes here to find good food and classic atmosphere. This café also has a garden restaurant alongside the café for walk in guests and the house guests of Havelock Island Beach Resort, being best suited for people who wish to enjoy their meals with soothing and honey dipped melody as they groove on their seats. The nights are rejoiced by serving exclusive beach barbeques, often enjoyed under the sequined sky of stars with sand sticky feet. The garden restaurant witnesses the best beach parties of Havelock Island which should not be missed by anyone who visits Havelock Island , this Nemo café at Havelock Island Beach Resort is also know as Havelock Island Beach Club.
Markets in Havelock Island:
The vibrant markets are very well noticeable in Govind Nagar which consists of shops lined together, selling travel memoirs, souvenirs and artistic articles which are the centre of attraction to the tourists. The largest one stop shop- Hi-land Supermarket is located in Village no. 3 which is preferred by the tourists to grab the essentials required for their stay in the island.
Connectivity in Havelock Island:
The island also has banks and ATMs in order to serve a smooth transaction process to the visitors for a hassle free holiday in the land of Andaman. Only a few mobile networks offer an uninterrupted connectivity in most location of this island which includes Airtel, BSNL and Vodaphone; though the internet connection is near to negligible as the island only supports 3G network which is somehow a good sign to be locked out of the virtual screen and embrace the pleasures of life.
Permits in Havelock Island:
If one wishes to visit the forest / tribal reserves of Havelock Island or Nicobar Island that comes under the jurisdiction of the government of Andaman and Nicobar Island, permit from Deputy Commissioner is required stating the reason along with the same. It was of great importance to secure the Restricted Area Permit in order to book tickets to Havelock for foreign tourists but now, it is no longer required.
HealthCare and Safety in Havelock Island:
Though there are less healthcare and emergency centres due to the low rate of vulnerability to injuries and medical issues, the island provides a government run primary healthcare centre which is situated at village no. 3.and provides all the basic treatments and basic medical necessities. For further emergency cases and specialised treatment, the cases are referred to the Port Blair Island. Overall, this island is safe and secured with loyal and diligent services provided by the Andaman and Nicobar Police (ANP) to maintain law, peace and order. For any queries in your stay in Havelock, feel free to reach out to the following emergency contacts:
ANP Havelock: 03192-282405
Fire-Station Havelock: 03192-282400
Coastal Security: 1093