Area 8293 sq kmCapital Port BlairPopulation 380,500Language Telegu, Tamil,Hindi, BengaliClimate Moderate
HISTORY Rajendra Chola I (1014 to 1042 CE), one of the Tamil Chola dynastykings, occupied the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to use them as astrategic naval base to launch a naval expedition against the SriwijayaEmpire(a Hindu-Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra,Indonesia). They called the islands Tinmaittivu. The history of organized European colonization on the islands beganwhen the Danish settlers of the Danish East India Company arrived inthe Nicobar Islands on 12 December 1755. On January 1, 1756, theNicobar Islands were made a Danish colony, first named NewDenmark, and later (December 1756) Fredericks Islands. In 1858 the British again established a colony at Port Blair, which provedto be more permanent. The primary purpose was to set up a penalcolony for dissenters and independence fighters from the Indiansubcontinent. The colony came to include the infamous Cellular Jail.
In 1872 the Andaman and Nicobar islands were united under asingle chief commissioner at Port Blair. During World War II, the islands were practically under Japanesecontrol, only nominally under the authority of the Arzi HukumateAzad Hind of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Bose visited the islandsduring the war, and renamed them as "Shaheed-dweep" (MartyrIsland) and "Swaraj-dweep" (Self-rule Island). The islands were reoccupied by British and Indian troops ofthe 116th Indian Infantry Brigade on 7 October 1945, to whom theremaining Japanese garrison surrendered. At the independence of both India (1947) and Burma (1948), thedeparting British announced their intention to resettle all Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Burmese on the islands to form their own nation,although this never materialized. It became part of the Indian unionin 1950 and was declared a union territory in 1956.
ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS Andaman & Nicobar is a clusterof 572 small and large islands,islets and rocks lying in theSouth Eastern Part of the Bay ofBengal. The coastline of the islandsstretches for about 100 km anddense forest stretch all across.Islands occupy about 8,293square kilometers. The capitalcity is Port Blair. This place is famous as a touristplace due to its white sandbeaches and blue waters.
TRIBES OF ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR The Andaman Islands have been occupiedby four ‘Negrito’ tribes – the GreatAndamanese, Onge, Jarawa andSentinelese with the estimatedpopulation of 43, 100, 270 and 150respectively.1) Great Andamanese: The tribe that hassuffered most from contact withoutsiders: 99% have been wiped out sincethe British first colonized the islands.2) Onge: Their forest home has beenplundered by poachers and loggers. Theywere settled by the Indian administrationand are dependent on food handouts.
3) Jarawa: Have only had peaceful contactwith outsiders for six years. They live onthe west coast of South and MiddleAndaman, and are believed to havesurvived the tsunami. They are stillcompletely independent and live entirelyby hunting, gathering and fishing.4) Sentinelese: The most isolated of all thetribes, they have no peaceful contactwith outsiders, and fire warning arrowsat those who approach them due towhich it is not possible to click theirphotos.
The Nicobar Islands have been a home to two‘Mongoloid’ tribes – the Shompen with 380people surviving, and the Nicobarese with30000 people earlier but many are feared deadafter Tsunami.1) Shompen: A relatively isolated tribe of GreatNicobar Island, the Shompen are hunter-gatherers who have some, limited, contactwith outsiders.2) Nicobarese: Unlike the other tribes, theNicobarese are largely horticulturalists. Mosthave converted to Christianity, and are muchmore assimilated than the other Andaman andNicobar tribes, but still maintain their owndistinct culture.
WELLNESSHavelock IslandJolly BuoyCorbyn’s Cove Tourism ComplexCinque IslandChidiya TapuADVENTURENorth Bay IslandNeil IslandAndaman Water Sports ComplexHERITAGECellular jailAnthropological MuseumSmritika MuseumSamudrika MuseumViper IslandROMANCEMount HarrietRadhanagar Beach atHavelockPLACES FAMOUS FOR
1) CELLULAR JAIL Situated in Port Blair it goes down in thepages of history as a jail that witnessedthe torturous killings of the freedomfighters. The Jails gets its name owing toits cellular design- 693 cells. It has a Light and Sound show which is atribute to the martyrs of the heroicfreedom struggle. Some more sight seeingattractions at the jail is an Art gallery and aPhoto gallery.
2) ANDAMAN WATER SPORTS COMPLEX It is situated in the northwestern part of the Port Blair near theCellular Jail and is first of its kind in India. It has all possible aquasports facilities including safe water sports like paddle boats, rowboats and water cycle, and adventure water sports like wind surfing,wind skiing, water scooter. There is an artificial waterfall as well, which is a great attractionamong the visitors. A children park nearby is a place for children toenjoy the serene environment.
3) HAVELOCK ISLAND The island is 54 km (34 miles)northeast of Port Blair, and itis the most popular amongvisitors as it is well equipped,with government and privateguest houses, and also has awell stocked main bazaar. Radhanagar Beach is at thewestern tip of the island,where dolphins and turtlescan be spotted from the longstretches of white sand.Another beach here isVijaynagar beach.
4) JOLLY BUOY An island in Mahatma Gandhi MarineNational Park, is an ideal place forsnorkeling, sea bathing and basking onthe sun kissed beach. It offers a breathtaking underwater view of coral andmarine life.
5) ROSS ISLAND The island presently has the ruins of old buildings like Ballroom, ChiefCommissioners House, Govt. House, Church, Hospital, Bakery, Press,Swimming Pool and Troop Barracks, reminiscent of the old Britishregime. Navy has established a museum on the Island known asSmritika depicting the history of the Island.
6) VIPER ISLAND The tiny, serene, beautiful island ofViper is another place that hasbeen witness to the sufferings ofthe freedom fighters. It is locatedat the mouth of Port Blair.
7) CORBYN’S COVE TOURISM COMPLEX One of the most picturesque sea-beaches, it is ideal for sea bathing andsun-basking. It is approximately 7 km away from PortBlair.8) CHIDIYA TAPU It is the southern most tip of SouthAndaman. The lush green mangroves, forest coverwith numerous chirping birds and theSylvanSands and Munda pahar beaches makeit an ideal picnic site.
9) MOUNT HARRIET The summer headquarters of the ChiefCommissioner during British Raj, thisplace is an ideal for a nice and fascinatingover view of the outer islands and thesea. It is the highest peak in the SouthAndamans (365 m high). One can trekupto Madhuban through a nature trailand can find rare endemic birds, animalsand butterflies. Conducted tours to Mt. Harriet areavailable from Andaman Teal House.
10) CINQUE ISLAND The lure of underwatercoral gardens and unspoiledbeaches specially a sand barjoining two islands areirresistible. Super place forSCUBA diving, swimming,fishing and Camping.11) NORTH BAY ISLAND It is a small island inhabitedby a few people. Ferriesoperate from the Port BlairHarbor to reach there. Herealso water sports facilitieslike jetsky, snorkeling, underwater diving are available.Local market is also there
NICOBAR ISLANDS The Nicobar Islands are part of agreat island arc created by the collision ofthe Indo-Australian Plate with Eurasia. The vegetation of the Nicobars is typicallydivided into the coastal mangrove forestsand the interior evergreen anddeciduous Tropical and subtropical moistbroadleaf forests. They are recognized as a distinct terrestrialecoregion, the Nicobar Islands rain forestswith many endemic species.
PLACES TO VISIT IN NICOBARISLANDS1) CAR NICOBAR It is 16 hours journey by sea fromPort Blair. Car Nicobar,headquarters of Nicobar District isa flat fertile island covered withcoconut palms and captivating seashores. The Nicobari huts areunique to this island.2) KATCHAL (425 kms by sea) It is a tiny island in the Nicobargroup. This island has beautifulbeaches at East bay, Jhula andWest bay.
3) NANCOWRY It refers both to a single island and to thegroup of adjoining islands that make upthe central part of the NicobarIslands chain, located in thenortheast Indian Ocean between the Bayof Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The Nancowry group of islands wereamong the worst-hit islands in the chain,with thousands missing and presumeddead.4) INDIRA POINT It is the southernmost point of Republicof India. It is situated on GreatNicobar Island in the Nicobar Islands. Ithas been destroyed in Tsunami but thelight house is visible.
5) CHAURA ISLANDS OR CHOWRA Located in the Nicobars they have turquoise blue waters andare famous for serene and beautiful site. Suitable for fishing.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS1) ISLAND TOURISM FESTIVALThe festival is organized mainly duringDecember and January by Andaman andNicobar administration every year. This isa 10-day festival packed with colorfulevents ranging from dance to drama.2) SUBHASH MELAIt is organized at Havelock every year inJanuary to commemorate the birthanniversary of Netaji Subhash ChandraBose.
3) VIVEKANAND MELAIt is organized in the month ofJanuary at Neil Island tocelebrate the birth anniversaryof Swami Vivekanada.4) BLOCK MELAHeld at Diglipur, this highlightsthe developments that havetaken place in the rural areasand displays the typical rurallife of these islands.
ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR: ASECULAR PLACE People in Andaman and Nicobar are generally the descendants of thosewho were made prisoners here and thus belong to almost all religions inIndia. There’s a lot of secularism. Everyone celebrates all sorts of festivalsfrom Durga Puja, Pongal to Holi and Diwali, Janamashtmi, etc.,.
HANDICRAFTS IN ANDAMAN ANDNICOBAR Sea shells ,wood and coconut shells are used tomake the handicraft materials. A lot of variety in jewellery and show pieces andother multi-utility items is available
GETTING IN AND OUT1) By Air : The island has its domestic airport at Port Blair, whichhas regular flight operations from Kolkata and Chennai.2) By Sea : Cruising through the Bay of Bengal is a delightfulexperience to reach Andaman. Regular passenger ship serviceoperate to Port Blair from Chennai(60 hours), Kolkata(66hours) and Vishakhapatnam(56 hours).ClimateSummer - 31 º C (Max) & 28 º C (Min)Winter - 24 º C (Max) & 21 º C (Min)Best time to visit is between December and early April.Local transport and accommodation are easily available.
Where To StaySilver Sand Beach Resort, spread in 5 acre, is located onHavelock Island. The resort is located on the beach. Thereis a beautiful garden between the rooms and the beach.Surrounded by white sand beach (Beach No 5), swayingpalms, clear blue sky and the gurgle of the sea, this placeis best to spend the holidays.Silver Sand Beach Resort has 34 luxurious A/C cottagesand Bungalows presenting a vista of Silent Island. Thereare three types of rooms - Andaman Villa, AndamanCottage and Andaman Lagoon. To Know more visit:http://www.theotherhome.com/properties/resort/havelock-island/silver-sand-beach-resort.aspxSea princess Beach Resort, located in Wandoor Village boaststrue luxury, elegance and class with a magical flavor of relaxingenvirons and superb hospitality. The property is nestled along asplendid white sandy beach and some wonderfully manicuredgardens of palm trees.Sea princess Beach Resort, has three categories of rooms -Beach Front Suites, Standard and Deluxe Rooms. All rooms havebeen designed luxuriously and are furnished in natural woodtones and similar textures. To know more visit :http://www.theotherhome.com/properties/beach-house/port-blair/sea-princess-beach-resort.aspx
The Wild Orchid nestles between the aqua blue waters ofthe Andaman Sea and the green hills of Havelock. It hasspacious cottages that are built in authentic Andamanesestyle and are just a few meters from the sea.The Wild Orchid property has a number of rooms in twoconfigurations– Classic AC and Style AC. All rooms look like ahut from outside and inside. Each room at the Resort is anoasis, tastefully decorated with shells, bamboo and cane. Toknow more visit:http://www.theotherhome.com/properties/resort/vijaynagar/the-wild-orchid.aspxSymphony Palms Havelock resort is like a shining gemnestled in a lush tropical garden. Here the waving palms onthe rhythm of winds, endearing beaches invading the soul,beautiful & colorful marine life gives the indescribableheavenly feelings.Symphony Palms Havelock has well maintained rooms withsumptuous interiors and superb modern facilities. All thecottages are sea facing. To know more visit :http://www.theotherhome.com/properties/resort/havelock-island/symphony-palms-havelock.aspx