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The archipelago of Andaman islands is the home to largest coral reefs in India. Together with Nicobar islands, Andaman serve as the maritime border between Bay of Bengal and Andaman sea in the Asian continent. Neil island, which has been recently renamed as Shaheed island is the part of Ritchie's Archipelago and is known for its abundant marine life, unexplored coral reefs, white sandy beaches, tropical forests and brilliant biodiversity.
This picture was clicked at one of the location in Neil island where corals have ruled for over thousand years; probably more. Lakhanpur beach no 2, as it is locally called, constitutes incredible rock formations of dead corals. This place was once totally submerged under water. With sea water level going down with time, once a massive coral reef is now dead and turned into a unique rock formation, which can be accessed during low tides. Although dead, this reef still has considerable repository of marine life which can be observed while walking around the reefs.
The picture has been taken adjacent to a natural bridge which is a massive rock formation, once a live coral reef. The bridge merges in the ocean leaving behind scattered big boulders, which are fragmented pieces of dead coral reefs. I was amazed to see how unique places have a charm in itself. The sea waves although a bit calm, creates lovely patterns when it crashes to the rocky shore, creating white foamy splashes. The last rays of sunlight, directional in nature, kind of illuminate the crashing waves. Moreover certain sides of rocks also get lighted up and the sharp edges of these rocks due to constant erosion of dead corals, reflect light in a certain manner, producing a sharp and pointed effect. Using a ND filter I have tried to smoothen the bustling waves and capture the reflection of rocks as well. Probably due to dry season, the harshness of the rocks are very much pronounced which gives a contrasting feel to otherwise smooth and calm sea waves. Other than dry season this place stays submerged underwater and becomes very difficult to access. Anyone who wishes to capture these incredible coral reefs with the backdrop of ocean, the winters in India are the best time.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor