|Portblair - The capital of the 350 odd islands of Andaman and Nicobar, Port Blair is located at about 1,200 km from Kolkata and Chennai. The superb beaches and fascinating marine life on the reefs coupled with the opportunities you get for water sports, bird watching of fishing makes Port Blair one of the most interesting and enchanting tourist destinations in the country. It was in 1789 that Captain Archibald Blair of the Bombay Marine (the East India Company’s Navy) established a penal colony on this site, naming it Port Cornwallis. The first European settlement on the islands was established in 1858 near the site of the old penal colony. The colony was named Port Blair in honour of Captain Blair. The islands Andaman and Nicobar are home to some of the oldest tribal communities in the world. Though most of the tribes out here have modernized some of them still continue to exist in the ‘primitive’ stage and are hostile to outside interference. The climate in the islands is quite moderate with temperature ranging between 20 to 30ºC. The south-west monsoons arrive here between mid-May and June and the north-east monsoons between November and December. The period between December and early April is the best time to visit this place. Once you are in Port Blair, the list of attractions to visit is endless. Be it the wonderful and unexplored beaches, the picture perfect marine life and the islands or the many water sport activities, Port Blair has always been a favourite destination for many. The Zoological Park and the mini zoo with its unique collection of wildlife species; the Cellular Jail, the major landmark of the island: the government-operated Chatham Saw Mill, the oldest and largest wood processor; and the anthropological museum are some of the must visit sites here. Besides, you can visit the marine museum known as Samudrika, which houses a huge collection of corals, shells and 350 species of marine life; the cottage industries emporium, a storehouse of artefacts of pearl, seashells and local wood products; and the Corbyns Cove, the nearest beach to Port Blair.While you are in Port Blair, take some time off to explore the nearby islands. The Ross Island houses the old British bungalows, most of which are now in ruins. Wandoor is a group of 15 islands, all stunningly beautiful. The Jolly Buoy Island, Havelock Island, Cinque Island, Viper Island and Neil Island are other exciting options.