Diving Sites in Port Blair
Havelock Island, also known as Swaraj Island, is a mesmerizing paradise nestled in the Bay of Bengal. It is
a part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an archipelago located in the southeastern part of India.
Havelock Island is renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and vibrant
marine life. In this article, we will learn about Havelock Island, including its captivating beauty, rich
biodiversity, and attractions, taking you on a virtual journey to this tropical haven.
Geography and Location
Havelock Island is the largest island in the Ritchie’s Archipelago, a group of islands in the Andaman and
Nicobar chain. It is situated approximately 57 kilometers northeast of the capital city, Port Blair. The
island spans an area of about 113.93 square kilometers and is characterized by its undulating terrain,
dense tropical forests, and sandy beaches that stretch for miles.
Beaches and Natural Beauty
Havelock Island is home to some of the most picturesque and pristine beaches in the world. Radhanagar
Beach, often ranked among the best beaches globally, boasts powdery white sands, turquoise waters,
and breathtaking sunsets. Visitors can indulge in swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and even
snorkeling at certain spots.
Another popular beach on the island is Elephant Beach, named after its elephant-shaped rock
formations. This beach offers a myriad of water activities, including snorkeling and scuba diving,
allowing visitors to explore the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life that thrive in the surrounding
Marine Biodiversity and Coral Reefs
Havelock Island is a haven for marine enthusiasts and divers, thanks to its remarkable coral reefs and
diverse marine life. The clear waters surrounding the island are home to an abundance of coral species,
including staghorn, brain, and mushroom corals. These coral reefs provide shelter and food to an array
of marine creatures, such as colorful tropical fish, turtles, and even dolphins.
One of the best things about Havelock Island is water sports - scuba diving and snorkeling are popular
activities for visitors to explore underwater wonders. Numerous dive centers and operators offer
courses and guided tours for beginners and experienced divers alike. One of the prime diving sites is
Neil’s Cove, which offers a chance to witness the thriving coral reefs and encounters fascinating marine
Flora and Fauna
Apart from its stunning coastline and marine life, Havelock Island is also renowned for its rich
biodiversity on land. The island is covered with dense tropical forests dominated by towering mahua,
padauk, and teak trees. These forests are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including several
endemic and endangered species.
One of the most notable inhabitants of the island is the Andaman wild pig, a unique and elusive species
found only in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Other notable wildlife species include the Andaman
imperial pigeon, Andaman wood pigeon, Andaman drongo, and Andaman teal. Havelock Island is also
home to several species of butterflies, making it a paradise for butterfly enthusiasts.
Adventure and Eco-Tourism
Havelock Island offers a range of adventure and eco-tourism activities, catering to adventurous souls
and nature lovers. In addition to scuba diving and snorkeling, visitors can engage in activities such as
kayaking, trekking, bird-watching, and fishing.
The Island also boasts an eco-friendly approach to tourism, with several eco-resorts and
accommodations that prioritize sustainability and environmental conservation. These establishments
promote responsible tourism practices, including waste management, energy conservation, and the use
of eco-friendly materials.
One popular eco-tourism activity on Havelock Island is mangrove kayaking. Exploring the intricate
network of mangrove forests by kayak allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty while
learning about the importance of these ecosystems in maintaining coastal biodiversity and protecting
Trekking enthusiasts can embark on a journey through the lush forests and rugged terrains of Havelock
Island. The island offers various trekking trails, allowing visitors to witness stunning viewpoints,
encounter exotic flora and fauna, and experience the tranquility of the wilderness.
Cultural and Historical Significance
Havelock Island also holds cultural and historical significance. It was named after Sir Henry Havelock, a
British general who played a crucial role in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The island was formerly
inhabited by indigenous tribes, and remnants of their culture can still be observed today.
Visitors have the opportunity to interact with the local communities, learn about their traditions, and
witness traditional performances and rituals. The island’s inhabitants, primarily belonging to the Bengali
and Nicobari communities, have a deep connection with the land and sea, relying on fishing and
agriculture for their livelihood.
Infrastructure and Facilities
Over the years, Havelock Island has witnessed significant development in terms of infrastructure and
tourism facilities. Accommodation options range from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses,
ensuring there is something for every traveler’s preferences and budget.
Transportation on the island mainly relies on motorbikes, bicycles, and auto-rickshaws, providing a laid-
back and eco-friendly way to explore the island. Ferry services connect Havelock Island to Port Blair and
other neighboring islands, making it easily accessible for travelers.
Preservation and Sustainable Tourism
As Havelock Island continues to attract a growing number of tourists, there is a collective effort to
preserve its natural beauty and promote sustainable tourism practices. Conservation initiatives focus on
protecting fragile marine ecosystems, preserving the biodiversity on land, and raising awareness among
visitors about the importance of responsible tourism.
Authorities and local communities work hand in hand to implement regulations and guidelines to
minimize the impact of tourism activities on the environment. This includes strict waste management
practices, restrictions on the use of plastics, and sustainable fishing practices to ensure the long-term
sustainability of the island’s resources.
Havelock Island is a paradise that showcases the raw beauty of nature, boasting pristine beaches,
vibrant coral reefs, dense forests, and a rich cultural heritage. It offers a perfect blend of adventure,
relaxation, and immersion in nature. Whether you are an avid diver, a nature enthusiast, or simply
seeking a tranquil escape, everything about Havelock Island is perfect for you. As you bask in the
serenity of its beaches, explore its underwater wonders, and embrace the warmth of its local
communities, Havelock Island will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.