History, Culture & People
Havelock Island, reputed for its fame at par with Port Blair, is one of the largest islands comprising Ritchie’s Archipelago. The island borrows its name from a British General who actively promoted the heritage resurrection during pre-Independence era.
Despite its calmness and scenic beauty, the island did not see many visitors until very recent, when the Government decided to promote this place as one of the most eco-friendly towns in Andaman. Today, it is the most visited island in the whole of Andaman. Fortunately, this off-the-stage existence of the island has helped it in keeping its raw culture untamed, which is the specialty of this highly recommended island in the entire Union Territory.
Know The Place:
The best time to hit the island is from Mid January to Mid May, when the climate is really pleasant. The days are sunny and the sea is often flat to reflect the clouds. This time is considered the best for diving activities. Late May sees monsoon which extends through end of July. The visibility is affected during these months. August through November is relatively calm with occasional showers, followed by heavy rainfall in December and early January.
2. People & Population:
The island is moderately inhabited with the total population approximating 7000. The locals are very friendly and to a great extent ‘unaffected’ by the modernism in other parts of the country. This a good sign, since you get to know real Andaman through these welcoming locals of Havelock. Local fishermen are the best guides to take their visitors around mangrove forests and the place.
The population mainly consists of Bengali settlers. Fresh seafood from local market forms the main meal at this island. A few more crops are locally grown, but most of the vegetables are imported from neighbouring islands and states.
Fishing and Tourism are the two main occupations of Havelock residents. The lifestyles are moderate and the folk activities engage the locals during the late evenings. For tourists, there are some great snorkelling and diving activities at various places within the island, however, the locals spend their time in get-together which is almost everyday, to share their catch in the water and have fun throughout the night.