in the Bay of Bengal, the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar
Islands is an archipelago of over 572 islands, a majority of which
islands are surrounded by coral reefs, sandy beaches and clear water.The
topography of the islands is Hilly and abounds in evergreen forests.
The sandy beaches on the edge of meandering coastline are fringed
with coconut palms that sway to the rhythm of sea.
islands were used by the British in the 19th century, mainly for
imprisoning Indian freedom fighters in the 'cellular jail'.
and Nicobar Islands)
Located in the Bay of Bengal,
this group of 572 islands lies 193 km away from Cape Negrais in
Myanmar, 1255 km from Calcutta, and 1190 km from Chennai. The two
important groups of islets are Ritchie's Archipelago and Labyrinth
Islands. The Nicobar Islands are located to the south of the Andamans,
121 km from the Little Andaman Island. Of the total 572 islands,
only 36 islands are inhabited. The Islands are located between the
latitudes 6° to 14° North and longitudes 92° to 94°
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands
comprise around 572 islands formed by a submarine mountain range,
which separates the Bay of Bengal from the Andaman Sea. The islands
attain maximum altitude at Saddle Peak (730 m), formed mainly of
limestone, sandstone, and clay.
The climate in the Andaman and
Nicobar is tropical. The native people of these islands are of Negroid
and Monogloid stocks. The main tribes are Onge, Andamanese, Shompen,
Nicobarese and Jarawa. The number of tribals is fast dwindling.
Flora and Fauna
The canopied rain forests of
the islands harbor 3,000 species of plants including mangroves,
epiphytes (130 ferns, 100 orchids), palms, woody climbers, timbers
(teak, mahogany, Andaman paduk) and a wide variety of tropical fruits.
Marine fauna is diverse including a wide variety of tropical fish
and coral. Considering the diversity and uniqueness of fauna and
flora and the fragile nature of the eco-system here, 96 sanctuaries
spread over 466.218 sq km and nine National Parks spread over 1153.938
sq km have been notified on these islands.
is known historically about Andaman and Nicobar, a cluster of around
572 islands of which less than 50 are populated, stretching from
the southern tip of Burma all the way down south till Sumatra in
Indonesia. It is believed that Marco Polo was among the first from
the West to set foot on one of the islands. Kanhoji Angre, a Maratha
admiral had his base on the island in the early 18th century. From
there, he attacked passing Portuguese, Dutch and English merchant
vessels on their way to or from their various Asian colonies. In
1713, his navy even succeeded in capturing the yacht of the British
Governor of Bombay. Despite many efforts by the British and later
a joint military force of British and Portuguese naval forces, Kanhoji
Angre was never defeated. He died in 1729.
British established their first colony in the Andaman and Nicobar
Islands in 1789, which was abandoned in 1796. The British finally
annexed the islands in the 19th century adding them to their empire.
They turned it into a penal colony for Indian freedom fighters.
The construction of the infamous Cellular Jail was completed in
1908. Hundreds of anti-British Indians were tortured to death or
simply executed here. With the Second World War, Japanese troops
occupied the islands and the local tribes initiated guerrilla activities
to drive them out. When India achieved independence in 1947, the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands were incorporated into the Indian Union.
Area : 8,249
Population : 280,661 (1997)
Religion : Hinduism (67.52%), Christianity (23.94%), Islam
(7.60%), Others (0.94%)
Temprature :Maximum Temperature : 31°C ,Minimum Temperature
Capital : Port Blair
Languages : Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Nicobarese,
Best Time to Visit : December to early April
Literacy Rate : 73%
Places In and Around
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Cellular Jail
: Originally a British penal settlement, the Cellular Jail epitomizes
all the misery, the trials and tribulations faced by the Indian
freedom fighters, many of whom were sent here to serve life sentences.
Now a national monument, the Cellular Jail has a museum where exhibits
depict prison life in the early 1900,s. the saga of the historic
struggle is now brought live in a moving son-et-lumiere.
Museum : The
marine museum exhibits almost 350 species of marine life while the
Anthropological Museum displays the tools, implements, art and handicrafts
of the tribals in the territory.
: About 4 kms. from Port Blair airport is palm fringed beach
ideal for swimming, surfing and sunbathing.
Mount Hariet :
Ideally suited for trekking, Mount Harriet, a picnic spot par excellence
offers a breathtaking view of Port Blair.
Sippighat Farm :
This is a Government agricultural & demonstration farm spread
over in area of 80 acres.
Chidiya Tapu :
Also known as bird island this is the southern most tip of South
: Situated on the West coast of South Andaman, it is a beautiful
place for diving, swimming and picnicking. The wooden jetty at Wandoor
is the boarding place for Red Skin or Jolly Buoy island famous for
Viper Island :
This island offers beautiful sandy beaches and lush green forest.
Island camping at Radhanagar is real exposure to the unpolluted
nature for an environment lover.
By Air: Five weekly flights between Calcutta and Port
Blair and four flights between Chennai and Vishakhapattnam connect
the islands to the mainland.
By Sea: There
are around three to four ships sailing between Haddo Jetty, Port
Blair in the Andamans and Calcutta and Chennai on the mainland.
There is one sailing from Vishakhapattnam every two months. The
Shipping Corporation of India runs these sailings. The distances
between Port Blair and some of the important cities on the mainland
are Calcutta - 1255 km, Chennai - 1190 km and Vishakhapatnam - 1200
The Directorate of Shipping Services maintains regular inter-island
foreshore and harbour ferry services to cater to the needs of inter-island
commuters. There are local buses, bicycles, motorcycles, auto rickshaws,
and taxis available for local transport on the islands.