On the outset, I would like to submit that this was not my first visit to Andamans. I'd been here before; but back then it wasnt a pleasure trip. It was official.
Also back then, I didn't get much time nor had the inclination to roam around the places in the islands.
Yes, I know. Stupid me!!
I repent it now
he best time to visit Andamans, I would say is between November to February.
Immediately after March, it tends to get very hot.
And before November, it rains cats, dogs and even buffaloes in Andamans.
Jan and Feb are the months in my office where all the work and deadline rockets get extra propulsion.
Thankfully, due to my very accomodative superiors, I was able to sneak out in Feb this year.
When I landed in Port Blair, I realised that I couldn't have timed it better.
'Cos, During the days of my visit, Port Blair was also hosting a Naval Exercise called Milan.
An hour and a few phone calls later, there was no one flashing more teeth than me.
The tickets for Milan Display and the International City Parade which followed the next day were waiting for me.
So, after the long prologue, here I start my travelogue. Since the Milan came into the scheme of things, my already short stint of four days were again cut short. A recent boat tragedy in the islands got all boat services suspended.
This meant that no visit to places which included a boat ride.
So, off the equation goes Ross Islands, Jolly Buoy, Red skins and everything else which has the element of boat attached to it.
This unexpected development further curbed my flexibility of places to visit.
What remained was Carbyn's cove, Chidiya Tapu, Cellular Jail, Jogger's Park and Mount Harriet
(which was accessible by a ferry)
However, I still had the topping of the cake to devour- Milan.
In the chronology of this excuse of a travelogue, I will first cover the Milan part.
'Cos, witnessing Milan is a unique experience for a visitor as it happens only once in two years.
And more than just timing to be there during the period, the entry to witness these is hard to come by.
Therefore, my effort to capture the astounding beauty of these islands through the lens will follow only later. Please allow me to hog the initial space to cover the act of the sky diving team, the bulleteers of the Indian Army and some little tit bits from the city parade. A little insight into Milan.
MILAN is the result of an initiative by the Indian Navy in the early nineties to create a forum for the littoral navies of the region. (India, Srilanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh). This was primarily formed to exchange thoughts in the area of maritime cooperation.
The first MILAN was held in the year 1995.
The event is designed to be conducted once every two years, and every time it is hosted by Port Blair, the Headquarters of the Andaman Nicobar Command of the Indian Navy.
The congregation of navies has grown over time to include countries from South-East Asia, and the larger Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region (IOR). (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, NewZealand and Australia)
MILAN has evolved as an effective platform for social, cultural and professional interaction.
The 9th edition of Milan was conducted from 4th to 9th Feb 2014 at Port Blair. During this Milan, there were numerous activities spread over the five days including foreign ship visits, cultural programs, food festivals, displays and a city parade. MILAN Display
There's not much to explain here.
The photographs to follow are self sufficient I believe.
The Army motor cycle dare devils, The Tornadoes, stole the show with their awe inspiring performance.
And then dropped down from the sky, the Indian Airforce Sky diving team- Akash Ganga.
There were other performances too like martial arts display by the Andaman Police, Kick boxing display by the visiting country athletes and also canine performance and display by the Police.
However, what still remains vibrant in the memory frame is the colourful sky dotted with parachutes and the roaring thump of the bullets.
They literally swept through the proceedings.
A few videos of the Army motor cycle dare devils, the Tornadoes- The initial line up Double scissor crossing Scissor crossing