Welcome to the world of SPORTS!

17.01.2017:

It is around 08.30 hrs when we reached the Bangaram Island. As I told earlier, the Island is too beautiful. It’s almost as if I am into a different world altogether. It is an uninhabited island and it contains more marine life than the other islands in the Lakshadweep archipelago. We got down from our boat and made our way towards the island. There are a few resorts, a restaurant, dive center with the gear and equipment on display and some sun-bath chairs. It’s a white sand beach with a turquoise blue lagoon surrounding it and coconut groves occupying the middle part of the island.

Jaleel along with a person who works at the resorts took us to a room where we were intended to stay. He showed us two rooms out of which we chose the better one. To be frank, they are well-maintained and the washroom is too clean and has a running water tap. While we were enjoying the ambiance of the room and the surroundings, the person told us that it has not power supply and we were utterly surprised. It was at this time I learnt about the monopoly that was being enjoyed by an agency called SPORTS. I heard this word quite many a times from Imran and Avinash, but I thought that this is a word simply being used as the agency takes care of all water-sports and activities in the islands.

In Lakshadweep, two major private organizations are in-charge of managing and handling all the water sports activities. They are known as Lakshadweep institute of Water Sports and SPORTS (Society for promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports). These two bodies hold regular camps for the tourists all through the year. SPORTS enjoys a monopoly on the entire tourist trade in the islands of Bangaram and Thinnakara. If one doesn’t have friends in Lakshadweep, the only option is to book their trips to the islands solely through SPORTS and the permit formalities of bonafide tourists will be taken care by them.

The person told us that earlier those rooms which we have seen were also used, but as it has been decided later that the power would be supplied only to the resorts owned by SPORTS, these became non-functional. For that moment, we were not bothered about the power supply or about how we are going to spend the night in the island, but we were bothered about our lunch and dinner. As for our breakfast today, aunty, uncle and I had some snacks which aunty has brought along with her and Jaleel and Imran had some boiled eggs and coconuts during our boat journey.

Jaleel left to see if he can find someone whom he knew, while Imran and I left to meet the manager of the SPORTS resorts on the island. We approached him and told that we were to spend a night in the island and we need some food and we were ready to pay. He considered our request and spoke with his restaurant people who agreed to provide us the lunch and dinner and we were happy 🙂 . They made a point that the lunch would cost Rs. 300 per person and dinner Rs. 400 per person. We happily agreed! After all it’s better to spend some money on food rather than starving 🙂

All settled, we left our bags in the room and moved towards the dive center. Bangaram is famous for it’s water-sports. Besides swimming, there is a lot to explore here. Bangaram is the exact stop for experiencing snorkeling and deep sea fishing. Experts who help people from all age groups with these activities realize the potential of the sport. Apart from the usual sport activities like snorkeling, canoeing, deep sea fishing, tourists can also indulge in varied other activities like scuba diving, deep sea diving, wind glassed bottom boat sailing, surfing and so on in this island.

Welcome to the world of SPORTS!!

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Kaalapaani & The Sylvan Sands of Chidiyatapu..

Day 2:

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The day starts quite early in Andamans as there is almost a time lag of 1 hour from the mainland. The dazzling sun is up in the sky by 4.30 am itself. Mounica and I were up, while rest of our friends was still tossing in their beds. We just went down the lane for a quick jog which turned out to be refreshing. The houses beautifully lined; the clean and calm roads and the cool breeze from the sea were so rejuvenating.

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By the time we were back from the jog, everyone is up. We quickly got ready for our next move. Whenever there is a mention of Andaman Islands, the first thing that hits every mind is the Cellular Jail, mostly remembered as “Kaala Paani” (Black waters). Thanks to the film Kaala Paani which made it so famous! So our first plan is to go and have a glimpse of what exactly the Cellular Jail looks like.

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The first thing that welcomes us is the Swatantrya Jyothi (Freedom Flame and Torch). An iconic symbol of India’s struggle for independence from colonial rule, the Cellular Jail takes one back to British-era, wherein the jail imprisoned freedom fighters. Once known as the “hell on the earth” , this jail was built in between 1857 and 1906 by the British, acquired the name ‘Cellular’ because it is entirely made up of individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners.

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It was originally a seven pronged structure almost representing spikes of a wheel. A puce-colored three storied building with the central tower acting as its fulcrum is an architectural marvel. As of now, three of the seven prongs were intact and the museum here relates the history of this place, the convicts, photographs and more. One can get a clear view of the Ross Island from the top of this jail. The blue waters and the tiny ferries on the sea are worth watching!

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It was almost mid of the day by the time we completed our tour around the Cellular Jail. We were back home for lunch. Aunty has prepared us some Rajma Chaawal. The Bengali Rosagullas which we brought with us back from Kolkata and the fresh litchis at the end of our lunch made it perfect 🙂 We soon grabbed a nap, as we were tired because of the blazing summer sun.

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It was around 3.30 pm when we started to our next destination “Chidiya Tapu”. Chidiya tapu is the southernmost tip of South Andaman. It almost reminds me of Kerala when I think about the road leading to Chidiya Tapu, as one side of the road has got coconut grooves and the other side has the mighty Andaman Sea. We halted for a while along a broken fence wall, where we got to know that the wall was damaged by the mighty Tsunami waves and the sea has come forward a few miles.

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It was around 4.30 by the time we reached Chidiya Tapu. The beach was quite and calm. There were not many visitors, in fact very few were there. While most of them were sitting and watching the sunset, few kids were playing in the sea. What I could see is that it is an ideal picnic spot. The white sands with clear waters surrounded by mangroves and chirping birds from the forest cover simply makes it ideal. Soon we ventured out into the sea, playing, diving and even swimming 🙂 . We all were children again 😉

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Soon, the sun started setting. As the sun started to set, we just climbed up a huge tree trunk that was protruding into the sea and started to watch it silently. The orange colored sun-set with a foreground of golden colored waters is simply breathtaking. A great evening 🙂

Time to go back home!  Stay tuned!!!