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Andamans

an introduction

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the east of the Indian mainland geographically, float in splendid isolation in the Bay of Bengal. Once a hill range extending from Myanmar to Indonesia, these picturesque undulating islands, islets numbering around 572, are covered with dense rain-fed, damp and evergreen forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna. Most of these islands (about 550) are in the Andaman Group, 28 of which are inhabited. The smaller Nicobars, comprise some 22 main islands (10 inhabited). The Andaman and Nicobars are separated by the Ten Degree Channel which is 150 Kms. wide.

These islands also boast of freedom fighting days’ historically significant landmarks viz. Cellular Jail, Ross Island, Viper Island, Hopetown and Mount Harriet. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been declared as two of the 218 endemic bird area of the world. As many as 270 species and sub-species of birds have been reported existing in these islands, 106 of them being endemic. The Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Padauk and Dugong are declared as State Bird, State Tree and State Animal respectively. There are about 96 Wildlife Sanctuaries, nine National Parks and one Biosphere Reserve in the islands. These islands are blessed with the bounties of both south-west and north-east monsoons.

Download Brochure on the Endemic Birds of Andaman & Nicobar Islands (2.22MB)

History

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been inhabited for several thousand years, at the very least. The earlier archaeological evidence yet documented goes back some 2,200 years; however, the indications from genetic, cultural and linguistic isolation studies point to habitation going back 30,000 – 60,000 years, well into the Middle Palaeolithic. In the Andaman Islands, the various Andamanese people maintained their separated existence through the vast majority of this time, diversifying into distinct linguistic, cultural and territorial groups. By the 1850s when they first came into sustained contact by outside groups, the indigenous people of Andamans were: the Great Andamanese, who collectively represented at least 10 distinct sub groups and languages; the Jarawa: the jungle (or Rutland Jarawa); the Onge; and the Sentinelese (the most isolated of all the groups). The indigenous peoples of the Nicobars (unrelated to the Andamanese) have a similarly isolated and lengthy association with the islands. There are two main groups: the Nicobarese, or Nicobari living throughout many of the islands; and the Shompen, restricted to the interior of Great Nicobar.

 

climate and geography

The islands have a tropical climate. The South-west Monsoon sets in Andaman Nicobar islands towards the end of May and the North-east Monsoon in November. There is no fury of hot summer, no chilling winter, no water clogging or traffic jams. For those who want to enjoy boating, swimming, snorkeling, sightseeing all 12 months is season. North Indians find relief from burning heat and chilling winter if they visit the island from May/June/July and in December/January. Season for nature lovers is May to December when forest is lush green and waterfalls are at their prime. Divers can enjoy the best during December to April and bird watchers during winter times.

Normal rainfall at Port Blair : 3900 mm
Mean Minimum Temperature : 23.2° C
Mean Maximum Temperature : 25° C
Mean relative Humidity : 80 %

Download Brochure on the Unique Biodiversity of Andaman & Nicobar Islands (1.82MB)

 

Administration

Administratively, the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has three revenue Districts. Port Blair- the capital and gateway to the islands lies in South Andaman Island and falls under South Andaman District. The latest North & Middle Andaman District with Mayabunder as headquarters lies separated from South Andaman District by a creek. Car Nicobar is the District Head quarter of Nicobar District. As per 2011 Census, the total population of Andaman & Nicobar stands 3,79,944 and the literacy rate is 86.27%.

 

Port Blair - The Capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Port Blair is the capital of the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Port Blair is the gateway to the pristine islands. Port Blair, an Island town offering water-based activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, sea-cruises, and glimpses of the history and culture of the region. The Aberdeen Bazaar forms the centre of the town.

General Information and Others

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General Information and Statistics

LOCATION

Location Bay of Bengal
Longitude 92° to 94° East
Latitude 6° to 14° North

 

Altitude (Highest Point)

Andaman Islands
Saddle Peak (North Andaman Island)
732 Meters
Nicobar Islands
Mount Thullier (Great Nicobar Island)
642 Meters

 

area

Total Area 8249 Sq. Km.
South Andaman District 3106 Sq. Km.
Nicobar District 1841 Sq. Km.
North & Middle Andaman District 3302 Sq. Km.
Urban Area 16.64 Sq. Km.
Rural Area 8232.36 Sq. Km

 

Distance from Mainland

Distance by sea (In kms.)  
Between Port Blair & Chennai 1190
Between Port Blair & Kolkata 1255
Between Port Blair & Vishakapatnam 1200
Distance by Air (In Kms.)  
Between Kolkata & Port Blair 1303
Between Chennai & Port Blair 1372
Between Vishakapatnam & Port Blair 1224
Between Delhi & Port Blair 2481
Best Time To Visit Andaman Islands

Vist thourghout the year

Andaman has a moderate temperature all through the year within the range of 23°C to 31°C. It has a tropical climate. There are no severe climate conditions except for tropical storms and rains in late summers and monsoons.
Summers (March to May) are warm but pleasant with sea breeze and have humidity level about 80%. It is suitable for all kinds of tourist activities.
Monsoon season is also recommended for visit to Andaman & Nicobar Islands as tourist can have more options both indoors and outdoors. There is no water clogging or traffic jams. The lush green vegetation and scenic beauty of the islands are more predominant in monsoon. Monsoons (May to August) and Post Monsoons (September to November) accompany medium to heavy rain falls. Hoteliers in Andamans offer attractive discounts during monsoon seasons.
Winters (December to February) are not chilly and ideal for sightseeing.

Port Blair and Around

Port Blair- the capital and gateway to the islands lies in South Andaman island and falls under South Andaman District. The Union Territory has three revenue Districts.

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Havelock island

Havelock is a picturesque natural paradise with beautiful white sandy beaches fringed with green canopy of the rain-fed forests and fun at the azure sea.

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Neil island

This beautiful island with lush green forests and silver sandy beaches is connected by boat daily from Port Blair, which provides an ideal holiday for eco-friendly tourists.

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