The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are located in the Bay of Bengal 1000 km off the east coast of India. They consist of 572 islands and stretches over an area of more than 700 sq. km. 372 of the islands are volcanic and only 37 are inhabited. Aboriginal tribes have lived on these islands since pre-historic times. The Andaman Islands is inhabited by tribes of Negrito origin, while the Nicobar Islands are inhabited by tribes of Mongloid origin. The first settlement of the British took place in 1789 & later in 1858 it became a penal settlement.
Fast Facts :
Area: 8249 Sq. Km
Capital: Port Blair
Languages: Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Nicobarese, and Telugu
Religion: Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity
Literacy rate: 88.49 %
Best Time To Visit: All year round
State Emblem: Ashoka lions, islands and ocean
State Animal: Dugong
State Bird: Andaman wood pigeon (Columba palumboides)
State Tree: Andaman redwood (Pterocarpus dalbergioides)
State Flower: Andaman Pyinma (Lagerstroemia hypoleuca)
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Culture and Tradition
Tourist Attractions :
It is the capital Of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Not a place to hang around, but a good starting point to get supplies for exploring the other islands. Port Blair is also where both flights and ferries arrive, so most people need to pass through here.
An island situated about 57 kilometers North East of Port Blair. This island is the most visited by tourists. It is beautiful with perfect white beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs with a lot of marine life. The waters here are ideal for snorkeling & scuba diving. In the surrounding forests, you also can find elephants. They were once brought to the island to work.
Once developed as the administrative headquarters by the British. It had beautiful lawns, clubhouses, swimming pools, tennis courts and a majestic church in the middle. It used to be called Paris of the East. However, it is all ruins now, destroyed by an earthquake in 1941. A small museum displays pictures of its old beauty. It is open every day except Wednesday. This island can be explored on foot. There are ferries to and from the island from Phoenix Bay Jetty.
82 kilometer from Port Blair. Home to a fantastic beach at Lalaji Bay. It also has evergreen forests, coconut plantations and an unpolluted atmosphere which makes it a perfect destination.
Situated 36 kilometer East of Port Blair. The island’s green forest and sandy beaches make it an ideal holiday destination for tourists. Each beach has a number. The beach west of the village is popular with campers. It is also possible to put up a tent on the beach.
Containing India’s only active volcano. It erupted in 1991, after 177 years and then again in 1994. Visiting the island is not allowed, but you can watch the volcano from a boat.
The British used to harbor convicts here. Dangerous convicts found guilty of breaking the rules of the Penal Settlement were put in chains and forced to work with their chains on. Freedom fighters like Nanigopal and Nandlal Pulindas, who had resorted to a hunger strike at the Cellular Jail, were imprisoned at Viper Island. Due to the working conditions, the jail earned the name Viper Chain Gang Jail. You can still see the remains of it. You need to hire a private boat or take a cruise to get to this island.
Getting There :
- By Air: Port Blair is connected with Chennai & Calcutta.
- By Sea: Regular passenger ship goes from Chennai, Calcutta & Vishakhapatnam to Port Blair. There are 3 – 4 sailings in a month from Calcutta & Chennai and once a month from Vishakhapatnam.