Andaman & Nicobar Islands


About Andaman and Nicobar Islands



Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the seven union territories of India and is located in the Indian Ocean.
Andaman and Nicobar Location Map
Andaman and Nicobar Location Map

Andaman and Nicobar Location Map

Andaman and Nicobar Map
Andaman and Nicobar Map

Andaman and Nicobar Map

Andaman and Nicobar Wildlife Sanctuaries Map
Andaman and Nicobar Wildlife Sanctuaries Map

Andaman and Nicobar Wildlife Sanctuaries Map



Given below are some facts about the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which corresponds with the history of the island.

  • Archaeological evidences prove that the first settlements in Andaman and Nicobar dates back to the middle of the Paleolithic age.
  • The Andamanese are said to be first inhabitants of Andaman Islands.
  • Till 1850, the Andamanese lived in complete isolation: it was after 1850 that they came in contact with the outside world.
  • Nicobarese were the aborigines of the Nicobar Islands; they lived in the Nicobar group of islands with Shompens.
In the 18th century, after the Britishers came to India the island emerged in the global scenario. But, during the British Period, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands became infamous as the 'Kalapani', where people convicted of any offense against the British Government were kept. The Britishers transformed the exotic island into a 'penal colony', where culprits charged with life sentences were imprisoned.

Since many years, Andaman and Nicobar Island had been under the reputation of a 'penal colony'. But the picture has changed drastically in the recent years. Initially, going to Andaman and Nicobar Islands was a taboo, and reputed people abhorred from visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands.



But today, Andaman and Nicobar is among the most coveted destinations in India tourism. The presence of a range of exotic locations has worked wonders in developing the tourism of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Some of the locations that deserve special mention in this context are:
  • Andaman Islands:
    • Long Island
    • Neil Island
    • Rangat
    • Diglipur
    • Mayabunder
    • Little Andaman Islands, etc.
  • Nicobar Islands:
    • Katchal
    • Car Nicobar
    • Great Nicobar, etc.
  • Port Blair:
    • Gandhi Park,
    • Mahatma Gandhi National Park,
    • Chidiya Tapu,
    • Sippighat Farm,
    • Collinpur,
    • Mini Zoo,
    • Mount Harriet,
    • Madhuban, etc.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands - Facts



The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, home to a number of aboriginal tribes, lie in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 1,220 km south east of the coast of West Bengal and 1,190 km east of Madras. The main islands in the Andamans are Land Fall Island, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Port Blair and Little Andaman. Nicobar, lying to the south, comprises of Car Nicobar, Great Nicobar, Chowra, Teresa, Nancowrie, Katchal and Little Nicobar. The two groups of islands, Andaman and Nicobar, are separated by a deep ten degree channel. 12 of the islands, particularly Car Nicobar in the north, are inhabited, while Great Nicobar, the largest and southernmost island in the group, is virtually unpopulated. The capital of this Union Territory is Port Blair, on the Andaman Islands.

Below is a list of the important Facts on Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 

Facts on Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 

Andaman and Nicobar islands are popularly known as the Emerald Isles. The erstwhile 'Kaala Paani' or the Cellular Jail, now a museum is among the most popular tourist destinations in India.

Location of Andaman & Nicobar islands

Geographically located at 11° 41' N and 92° 46' E, these islands are a part of the Bay of Bengal. Two groups of islands, the Andaman and the Nicobar islands lie towards the south eastern part of the Indian mainland.

Capital city of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The capital city of this Union Territory is Port Blair, which is even the largest city of the place.

Total area covered by Andaman & Nicobar islands

The groups of islets, islands and rocks sprawl over a total area of 8, 250 sq. km.

Population of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

As per the Census 2011 report, these popular islands of the country have got a population of 3, 79, 944 with a population density of 46 people per sq. km.

Major languages used in Andaman and Nicobar islands

The main language of these islands is Nicobarese. However, official languages like Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and English are even being widely used there.

Time Zone followed in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

These islands of India follow the Indian Standard Time (I. S. T), which is Coordinated Universal Time (U. T. C) + 5:30 hrs.

S. T. D. code of islands of Andaman and Nicobar

The S. T. D. (Standard Trunk Dialing) code of these islands is 03192. More Details...

History



The existence of these islands was first reported in the 9th century by Arab merchants, who sailed past them, on their way to the straits of Sumatra. The first Western visitor was Marco Polo, who called it `the land of the head - hunters'. The islands were annexed by the Marathas in the late 17th century. In the early 18th century, the islands were the base of Maratha admiral Kanhoji Angre, whose navy frequently captured British, Dutch and Portugese merchant ships. Angre remained undefeated by the combined British / Portuguese naval task force, right up to his death in 1729.

The Nicobar Islands were annexed by Britain in 1869 and were joined with the Andaman Islands to form a single administrative unit in 1872. Japanese forces occupied the islands from 1942 until the end of World War in 1945, and control of the territory was transferred to India when it gained independence from Britain in 1947. More Details...

Government and Politics



The Government and Politics of Andaman and Nicobar Islands operates in a way that is slightly different from the governance of most states and Union Territories of India. The first notable thing about the Government and Politics of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the lack of a legislature. The lieutenant governor is himself the executive head in the government of Andaman and Nicobar. The executive wing runs under his supervision, under direct monitoring from with the heads of the various departments. The state judiciary falls under the supervision of the Kolkata High Court. The lieutenant governor is the most important figure in the government and politics in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In the absence of a formal legislative council, the lieutenant governor looks after the entire legislative structure of the state. The various departments work under his supervision. The government departments of the state operate on both directorate and the secretariat levels and take care of the state executive. The presence of many central government organizations also help in enhancing the administrative as well as governance profile of Andaman and Nicobar. More Details...

Economy



The Andamans have immense potential but they have not been utilized till now. The development has been insignificant but the population has increased alarmingly. Luxurious rainforests make the Andamans a 'gold mine' of timber. Tropical fruits are found on the hilly parts of the islands in abundance. The potential for fishery here, offers opportunities for industrial development. Paddy is the main cash crop here, while coconut and areca nut are the main cash crops of the Nicobar islands. Field crops namely pulses, oilseeds and vegetables and spices like pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon are also cultivated. Rubber, red oil, palm and cashew are grown on a limited scale on these islands. The major industries in the region include PVC conduit pipes and fittings, paints and varnishes, fiber glass, soft drinks and beverages, and steel furniture.

Regular passenger ship services viz. M.V.Harshavardhana, M.V.Akbar and M.V.Nicobar are plying between Port Blair and Madras (1190 km), Calcutta (1255 kms), Vizag (1200 kms). More Details...

Infrastructure



Infrastructure of Andaman and Nicobar Islands might not be state of the art in comparison to other states and Union Territories but still it has got the required infrastructure to support the existing industries. The main elements of infrastructure of any place are its industries, transport, communication, etc. The main component of infrastructure at Andaman and Nicobar Islands is its transport system. In this regard, it can be said that the transport system of the islands group have improved a lot and is moving towards more betterment. The Motor Transport Department of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have extended their services to ten other islands apart from Port Blair while the State Transport Services is plying 143 buses on 75 routes. More Details...

Society and Culture



The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are characterized by two distinct native cultures. One is of the Negrito population in the Andamans and the other is of the Autochthones, i.e. the Mongoloid Nicobarese and Shompen. Both during pre- and post-British periods and even after Independence, these two cultures have maintained their distinct identities. The original native group in the Andamans is the Onges, who live in Little Andaman. Onges, like other Andamanese tribes, are of Negrito origin. They practice food - gathering, hunting, honey - collecting and fishing, and are the only tribe on the islands, who freely accept contact with the outside world. In the Nicobars, the only aboriginals are the Shompens, who are averse to any contact with the outside world.

The Nicobarese, the largest group, seem to be of mixed Burmese, Malay, Mon and Shan origin. They are a friendly and cheerful lot, who do not accept money and prefer the barter system. Communing with the dead is one of the many intriguing rituals practiced in Nicobar.

The special festive celebrations of particular groups include Durgapuja for the Bengalis, Panguni Uthiram for the Tamils, Pongal for the Telugus and Onam for the Malayalis. The Local Born of the Andamans, who are divided into Hindus, Muslims and Christians, celebrate the festivals of all the three religions. Some of their main festivals are Shivratri, Janmastami, Holi, Diwali, Ramanavami, Idd, Christmas, Good Friday etc. All three religious groups among the locals participate in one another's festivals.

Thus the people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, irrespective of the regions that they originally come from or the religion they practice or the language or dialect they speak have many common cultural traits. A remarkable feature of Andaman and Nicobar society is the amicable co-existence of the people belonging to the different religions. Communal violence is unheard of here. There is amicable participation of all in religious festivals and the incidence of inter-religious marriages is increasing. More Details...

Best time to visit Andaman & Nicobar islands



The best time to visit Andaman and Nicobar islands is the period in between the months of December and April.

Climatic condition of Andaman & Nicobar islands



Being surrounded by sea, the islands of Andaman and Nicobar experiences a moderate temperature throughout the year. With a humidity of about 80 %, sea breezes help the temperature to range in between 23° C and 31° C. The inhabitants of the islands get wet monsoon in different phases in a year. Monsoon brought by the southwest wind sets in during mid-May and continues till early October. Then after a gap of about one and a half month, again monsoon from the northeast starts in the month of November and stretches till December.
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What are Andaman & Nicobar Islands famous for?



Isolated from the mainland of India, the place is a group of floating emerald islands and rocks. Andaman & Nicobar Islands are famous for housing exotic sea beaches bordered by coconut-palm trees and the transparent blue water, which is home to underwater corals and other marine life. The unpolluted air along with the mangrove-lined creeks and the rarest species of plant and animal life will make you fall in love with nature.

Major tourist attractions of Andaman & Nicobar Islands



The group of 572 islands of Andaman and Nicobar can be regarded as a naturalist's heaven for its clean environment and crystal clear water bodies. The different hilly areas covered by lush green rain forests and sun kissed sea beaches are some of the major tourist attractions of the place. These islands are even known for adventurous activities like scuba diving, trekking, snorkeling, camping and varied other water sports. Following are some of the famous tourist places, which one need not miss while his or her trip to the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India:
  • Baratang
  • Barren Island
  • Cellular Jail
  • Havelock Island
  • Corbyn's Cove Beach
  • Radhnagar Beach
  • National Memorial Museum
  • Fisheries Museum
  • Ross Island
  • Chidiya Tapu
  • Mount Harriet
  • Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
  • Gandhi Park
  • Neil Island
  • Katchal
Some of the famous tourist spots in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands include National Memorial, Marine Museum, Naval Marine Museum, Smrithika Museum, Haddo Zoological Garden, Corbyn's Cove, and other beaches, and Humphrey Gunj Memorial. Andaman Water Sports Complex at Port Blair, Chatam Saw Mill (largest in Asia), Chidiya Tapu, Marine Museum, the island of red Skin, and Havelock are the other attractions. Corbyn's Cove, Wandoor beach, Sippighat water sports complex, Cinque island, and Jolly Buoy Island are some adventurous spots on the island. More Details...

How to reach Andaman & Nicobar islands



The islands of Andaman and Nicobar are well connected to the other parts of the country as well as the foreign places by air and waterways. The islands have even got bus and other modes of road transport for traveling internally. Being islands, the place is not connected to the other parts of the country by railways though.

  1. Airways: The Veer Savarkar Airport of Port Blair connects the islands to the other parts of the country by airways. Names of some of the different airline companies operating from the airport of these islands are mentioned below:
    • Air Deccan
    • Air Sahara
    • Indian Airlines
    • Jet Airways

    Port Blair is connected to Chennai and Kolkata by air. Presently flights operate almost on a daily basis from Alliance Air/Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.

  2. Waterways: Waterways serve the Andaman and Nicobar islands in both ways, external as well as internal transport. Port Blair, the intermediate port serves as the main port of these islands. The Directorate of Shipping Services sails 80 ships there. Apart from that ships are sailed by the Shipping Corporation of India (S. C. I.) from the major port cities of Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakapatnam. These ships generally sail two or three times per month.

  3. Regular passenger ship services viz. M.V.Harshavardhana, M.V.Akbar and M.V.Nicobar are plying between Port Blair and Madras (1190 km), Calcutta (1255 kms), Vizag (1200 kms).

  4. Roadways: Besides the internal water ways, most of the islands have got bus service and other road transportation services for traveling within the islands. Apart from the buses run by the state transport and private transport companies, residents of these islands are very fond of private taxis and auto-rickshaws. They even use motorcycles and bicycles for an easy and fast travel.
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Where to stay in Andaman and Nicobar islands?



The Union territory has hotels of star and non star category catering to the needs of the tourists visiting the islands. Besides it has resorts, restaurants and cafes which cater to the needs of all segments of travelers. Some of the popular hotels in Andaman and Nicobar islands include Andaman Teal House, Hawabill Nest, Turtle Resort etc.

The islands of Andaman and Nicobar, being a prominent tourist destination, house numerous hotels ranging from luxurious to budget hotels. Mostly located in Port Blair, these hotels will ensure you a comfortable stay.  More Details...

Famous places to dine there



Andaman and Nicobar, being an island area, are mainly famous for varied sea food like crabs, fish, lobsters and prawns. Besides that vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine from India and China are even available. The renowned restaurants of these islands serve mouth watering continental cuisine as well. To explore the taste of Andaman and Nicobar, a food lover needs to visit some of the popular restaurants of the place, which are mentioned below:
  • Mandalay Restaurant and Nico Bar: Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine
  • Wild Grass Restaurant & Bar: Sea food
  • Vishranti: Indian, continental and Chinese cuisine
  • Corbyn's Delight Restaurant and Bar: North Indian, continental and Chinese cuisine

  • Star hotels:
    • Hotel Welcome Group Bay Island
      Marine Hill, Port Blair, South Andaman
      India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 232198/ 234101

    • Hotel Megapode Nest
      Port Blair - 744 101
      South Andaman, India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 232207/ 232076

  • Premium Hotels:
    • Hotel Sentinel
      Phoenix Bay, Port Blair
      South Andaman, India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 237914 to 17

    • Hotel Sinclairs Bay View
      South Point, Port Blair
      South Andaman, India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 232937/ 233159

  • Budget Hotels:
    • Hotel Citi King Palace
      Supply Line, Port Blair
      South Andaman, India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 233320/ 233754

    • Hotel N. K. International
      Phoenix Bay, Sea Shore
      Port Blair, South Andaman
      India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 233066/ 233382

  • Resorts:
    • Jungle Resort
      Radha Nagar
      Havelock, Andaman
      India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 237656

    • Palm Grove Eco Resort
      Prothrapur, Brichgunj
      P.O. Port Blair - 744 103
      South Andaman, India.
      Tel.: + 91 - 03192 - 260306/ 260282

Last Updated on : September 24, 2014