Where are Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a Union Territory (UT) of India that consists of 572 islands and islets, located at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Geographically, this UT is situated in the east of the Indian mainland. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located around 150 km (93 mi) north of Indonesia’s Aceh. The Andaman Sea separates it from Thailand and Myanmar. The Andaman Islands is located to the north and the Nicobar Islands is to the south of the channel. While the Andaman Sea is situated to the east, the Bay of Bengal is located to the west.
What is the Geography of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are spread across a total area of around 8,249 sq km (3,185 sq mi).
Out of the total 572 islands and islets, around 550 islands/islets belong to the Andaman group of islands (just 28 islands are inhabited). The Great Andaman (including the North, Middle, and South Andaman) are the main islands of this union territory. The other important islands of the Andaman group of islands are the Interview Island, Landfall Island, Rutland Island, Ritchie’s Archipelago, and the Sentinel Islands.
The Nicobar group of islands consists of just 22 main islands, out of which just 10 are inhabited. Over 150 km (93 mi) wide Ten Degree Channel separates the two groups of islands (the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands). The most prominent islands of the Nicobar group of islands are Car Nicobar, Nancowry, Katchall, Camorta, and Great Nicobarin.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a part of a great island arc. The above-sea extensions of the mountains’ submarine ridges have formed both these groups of islands.
The highest elevation point of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is Saddle Peak (located on North Andaman) at 2,418 feet. Other major mountain peaks are Mount Thullier (on Great Nicobar) at 2,106 ft (642 m) and Mount Harriet (on South Andaman) at 1,197 ft (365 m). The known active Volcano in the south Asian region is located in the Barren Island in the Andaman Sea.
The terrain of the Andaman Islands is made up of sandstone, shale of Cenozoic age, and limestone. They are rough along with the hills and narrow longitudinal valleys. Flatland is very limited. Two important flatlands are Diglipur on North Andaman and Betapur on Middle Andaman.
The group of Nicobar Islands has a more diverse terrain than the group of Andaman Islands. Car Nicobar Island, for example, has a flat coral-covered surface along with offshore coral formations. The Great Nicobar Island has a hilly terrain with many fast-flowing streams. Fresh surface water is abundantly available in the Great Nicobar Island.
The main streams of the Nicobar Islands include Pema Nala, Mitakari, Korang, Protherropore Nala, Burma Nala, Betapur, Rangat, Karmatang, Dhanikari, etc. Kalpong is the only river available in the Andaman Islands.
What is the Climate of Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
A tropical climate is found in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Towards the end of May, this union territory gets the south-west monsoon. In November, it gets the North-east Monsoon. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands neither get hot summers nor chilling winters.
The best time for nature lovers to visit this place is during May-December when the waterfalls are at their prime and lush greenery soothes the eyes. December-April is the best time for the divers to visit the place. The best time for the bird watchers is during the winters.
Port Blair, the capital of this UT, gets around 3,900 mm annual rainfall normally. The average maximum and minimum temperatures of the place are 25° C and 23.2° C respectively. Port Blair has an average relative humidity of 80%.
What is the Economy of Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
The nominal gross domestic product (at current prices) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands was INR 7,041 crore (US$980,914). With pristine islands and exotic beaches, this union territory is fast becoming a major tourism hub of India. The inflow of tourists has trebled from 130,000 in 2008-09 to around 430,000 in 2016-17.
While paddy is the main food crop, coconut and areca nut are the main cash crops of this place. Small-scale industries and village/handicraft units are the major industries in this place (1,374 registered units are present). For fish processing activity, two export-oriented units are also present. The small scale sector mainly produces PVC conduit pipes/fittings, polythene bags, beverages, soft drinks, fiberglass and mini flour mills, paints, and varnishes.
The 5th annual employment-unemployment survey at all-India level shows that the unemployment rate was 12.7% in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The RBI data (as published on September 15, 2018) shows that poverty was 3%.
Read More: Facts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
What is the Transportation System of Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Roadways and waterways are the major transportation systems in this Union Territory. Buses, taxis, and mini-buses are available in abundance. For wandering in the smaller islands such as Neil Island or Havelock Island, cycles come handy. Private jeeps and vans can also be availed for reaching village areas. Both local and tourist ferries are available. Ships are the preferred mode of transport for reaching the Nicobar Islands. Veer Savarkar International Airport is the main airport.
What are the Popular Tourist Centers in Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
The most popular sports in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Cellular Jail National Memorial, Ross Island, Havelock Island, Radhanagar Beach, Chidiya Tapu, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Elephant Beach, Forest Museum, etc.