Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gods Own Island

Ok this one should have come long back. Probably last November. My first travel blog…….
It was as if the gods have opened their blessings in form of rains as I packed my stuff and started towards the airport to catch a flight to Kolkatta. A friend was kind enough to give me a lift till the airport. So crawling through the Friday evening traffic, blaring horns and smoky screens of the vehicle I eventually reached the airport. It’s high time we actually do something about the traffic; it’s so tough to reach the airport in the evening, takes you forever and you will either turn deaf or end up being a statue sitting idle for the traffic to let you move. Traffic sense apart, finally I checked in and as usual the flight being late started reading a book. I boarded the flight at 09:30 pm and looking out of the window as the flight took off ,I felt like I was seeing the city from the eyes of the god. So beautiful it looked the lights of the city and the vehicles and people around. I reached Kolkatta Airport around 11:30 pm the flight being 1 hour late...Indian standard time...and I checked out .Coming out of the airport i saw my dad and brother .We went to the hotel and i slept off quickly with dreams of seeing a island for the first time .Next day we boarded around 4:30 am and the flight took off at 5:00am.After an uneventful fight of 2 hrs, we could feel the flight loosing its elevation, and the view of heaven coming closer. Small patches of greens started to come up in the blue ocean. The greens being covered with clouds, it seemed as if the nature has taken whole lot of time to create the same.
We landed after a delay of half a hr due to bad weather conditions. And as we set our foot on this island i could feel a new excitement touch me on the prospects of seeing the beautiful beaches and the memoirs of the freedom struggle that the island holds for the visitors. The mystic mountains and the secrets of the ocean and the green patches all welcoming us with their mysticism
We checked in and the first day started with the tour of the nearest island from Port Blair, Ross Island
Once the seat of British power and capital of these Islands, it stands now as a ruin of the bygone days with the old structure almost in debris. A small museum named 'Smritika' holds photographs and the other antiques of the Britishers relevant to these islands. A church stands tall among the ruins reminding us of the past glory that the island had. With Japanese bunkers in the four corners of the islands, this really takes you to the Second World War and you feel the guns and the bombs....
It started raining and brought me back to the present and we ran towards the waiting boat. Next on the agenda was lunch, which we had the nearby seaside restaurant, a seafood delicacy starting from fishes, crabs and all. We moved back to the hotel to take a nap and this time we had some memories of the island that was now in ruins...Ross
Next on the agenda was the worst nightmare of the freedom fighters in the erstwhile struggle for independence days. Cellular Jail
Cellular Jail, located at Port Blair, stood mute witness to the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this Jail. The Jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name, ‘cellular’ because it is entirely made up of individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. It originally was a seven pronged, puce-colored building with central tower acting as its fulcrum and a massive structure comprising honeycomb like corridors. The building was subsequently damaged and presently three out of the seven prongs are intact. The Jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, has been declared a National Memorial. The penal settlement established in Andaman’s by the British after the First War of Independence in 1857 was the beginning of the agonizing story of freedom fighters in the massive and awful jails at Viper Island followed by the Cellular Jail. The patriots who raised their voice against the British Raj were sent to this Jail, where many perished. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose hoisted the tri-colour flag to proclaim Independence on 30th December 1943 at a place near this Jail. The saga of the heroic freedom struggle is brought alive in a moving Son-et-Lumiere, shown daily inside the jail compound. It brought back the feeling of the pride for being the part of such a country which had given birth to such great men. With this feeling the day ended with a simple dinner and a sound sleep with dreams and sounds of the Sonnet coming to touch your souls.

Next day was just a normal one, we roamed about in Port Blair, shopping in the local market and meeting local people. The museums and the monuments in the capital town of the Andaman and Nicobar Island are worth seeing, including the local beach. With the presence of some rare flora and fauna, you feel loosing yourself in the scenic beauty of the blue, green seas.
Last day in the island. We woke up early as we had to rush to the harbour, to catch the ship to Havelock. The Island about 38 Kms. from Port Blair, provides idyllic resort in the lap of virgin beach and unpolluted environment. The way to the beaches in Havelock passes through a narrow road .The road is covered with thick green forests and the tropical rain forests made me think why don’t directors don’t choose this for the shooting of some movies. But, it’s good that the island is still untouched. The raw nature is so mystic, so ethereal in itself….
The Radhanagar beach reminded me of the beaches we often see on discovery channel. The serene beauty of the nature at its best, white sands green beaches and the surrounding hills, the water coming and kissing my feet ,I lost in the …..I leave that to you. No words, how beautifully written could describe what went through my mind standing on the shore.
The following day while leaving for the airport, I was missing the island and the people there already. They touched my heart so much that I am taking home so many memories of such ethereal moments spent in the Gods Island
Now the great question...why i term this as God's Island ...well the nature at its best,the untouched beaches,the tropical forests,the coral islands,the lush green forests,the beautiful monuments,and the amazing people...not to forget the great food.What do i call it than....To explore the whole of the islands,you need 30 days and three days are just a beginning of my journey.The three best days of my life.I will definitely go back to the island and explore more and watch this space for more on these serene islands...............................

No comments: