Must Visit Incredible Islands Of India
Incredible India with its diverse topography across various regions, has something for everyone to enjoy by way of majestic mountains, misty hills, lush green valleys, gushing rivers, spectacular waterfalls, beautiful streams, sparkling lakes, long sandy coastlines with frothy beaches, wonderful gardens and what not!
Add to this, a list of about 1208 islands that India can boast of, including marine, riverine and lake islands and what more could a tourist really ask for by way of varied natural beauty.
Here we have mentioned, just a few of the many islands that one can enjoy in India, so as to get an idea of what one can look forward to on any of these islands.
Majuli Islands, Assam
Majuli river island, in the Brahmaputra river in Assam, is currently listed as the world’s largest river island in the Guiness Book of World Records. As Majuli is a wetland, one can see some amazing flora and fauna here, including some rare and endangered avifauna species and also some migratory birds that fly in during the winter season. The southern part of the island is a haven for birds and bird lovers. One of the highlights of the island is that it is practically pollution free, due to the lack of polluting factories and industries, as also due to the chronic rain. The best time to visit this island, is from November to March, when the weather is cool and one can enjoy the wildlife, natural beauty and breathtaking sunset views. Tourists can enjoy a spot of pottery-making and mask-making along with the local tribes and learn a little about the colourful culture of these tribes living on the island.
How to reach:
By air – Jorhat, which is only 20 km from Majuli, has daily flights coming in from Guwahati and four flights a week from Kolkata. From here one can either take taxis which can be ferried across and then be driven through or take the ferry and then bus to the island.
By bus – Jorhat is a 7 hour bus ride from Guwahati. The buses are available early mornings and at night. Thereafter one can travel by ferry and bus to reach Majuli.
Little Andaman Island, Andaman Islands
Located about 88 km from Port Blair, Little Andaman Island is the fourth largest of the Andaman islands in India., lying to the southern end of the group of islands. This beautiful island has white, sandy beaches, mesmerizing waterfalls, a rainforest and many rare species of marine turtles. Tourists have a lot of interesting activities to choose from on the Little Andaman Island. They can choose from many exciting options like surfing, boating through the creeks, coral viewing and other marine activities, elephant safaris, elephant lumbering and elephant calves training. The best time to visit the island is from December to February.
How to reach:
By Air – The airport at Andaman is at Port Blair which is well connected to Chennai, Kolkata and other cities across India. One can board the Government ferries which ply regularly from Pheonix Bay and Haddo Wharf in Port Blair to Hut Bay in Little Andaman. Helicopter services from Port Blair to Little Andaman are available too, as long as their stipulations are met with.
Havelock Island, Andaman Islands
Lying to the northeast of capital city, Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is Havelock Island which is one of the largest islands that consist of a chain of islands to the east of Great Andaman. Havelock Island is nestled between Peel Island and Neil Island. This island is most famous for its many pristine beaches and amazing clear blue waters, like the very popular Radhanagar Beach, the Elephant Beach, Vijay Nagar Beach, Kalapathar Beach etc. The sheer astounding beauty of these beaches, with unspoiled sand, lush greenery on the sides of the beach and beautiful views of the sunset are a great attraction for tourists who just wish to lay back and unwind, far from the noise, crowd and pollution of cities.
How to reach:
By Air – The airport in Andaman Islands is at Port Blair which is well connected to Chennai, Kolkata and other cities across India. From Port Blair, one can fly to Havelock Islands in a Seaplane, which has services on certain days.
By Water – The other most convenient way to get to Havelock Islands is either by the air-conditioned catamaran ferry or the ferry services run by the government.
St. Mary’s Islands, Karnataka
These islands which are also known as Coconut Island and Thonsepar, are a group of four small islands in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Malpe in Udupi, Karnataka. Famous for it’s distinctive basaltic rock formations in a hexagonal shape, the northernmost island also has several coconut trees, causing its green colour canopy to reflect in the blue waters and cause a greenish- blue effect. The islands on the western coast are littered with delightful seashells of varying sizes and shapes and has practically no sand as it is scattered with basaltic rocks. There are no buildings and shops on the islands, but just covered pavilions and benches along the coast, where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenic view of the sunset and great wildlife. Hence the best time to visit the islands is from October to January when the weather is more pleasant. It is also important for tourists to carry their own water and a few snacks. Although a beautiful tourist destination, these islands are still relatively unknown.
How to reach:
By Air – One can fly to the nearest airport, which is in Mangalore, and from there take a cab or a bus to Malpe, about 58 kms away, to board the ferry for the islands.
By Train – The nearest railway station is at Udupi, which is just 4 km away from Malpe. One can take rickshaws or cabs there.
By Bus – Malpe has regular bus services, both private as well as public, to Mangalore and Udupi.
Diu Island, Gujarat
Diu island is located off the southern coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar peninsula and separated from the main land by a tidal creek. The town of Diu and Diu Fort are located on this island. The island also has an airport. This island still has traces of Portuguese culture and the architecture and tranquility are both, big draws for tourists. The island has some excellent beaches and tropical sea-food with a Gujarati touch to it. Even alcohol is legal here, unlike in the city of Gujarat. The huge, impressive Portuguese Fort on the island with its double moat, must have been quite an invincible structure during its time, but is slowly withering away due to neglect and sea erosion. Part of the island is used as the island’s jail. The climate here is quite pleasant through the year, however the best time to visit is from October to April.
How to reach:
By Air – There are regular flights to Diu Airport from several major cities of the country.
By Train – The nearest railway station is at Somnath, about 63 kms away from Diu.
By Bus – There are regular buses plying between Diu and several cities across the country.
Picture Credits : Majuli Island – Holidify, Little Andaman Island – Port Blair, Havelock Island – Travelkabaap.com, St.Mary’s Island – Traveler Phil, Diu Island – Tripadvisor