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  • Writer's pictureNihira Prakash

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

An Idyllic Paradise in the Bay of Bengal

 
Turquoise water of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

About

The Andaman and Nicobar islands are one of the 8 union territories of India and are located in the Bay of Bengal, located between latitudes 6°N and 14°N and longitudes 92°E and 94°E. One can find white sand, pristine beaches lined with palm trees all over the islands. They give an opportunity for the perfect getaway to an abundance of quiet, tranquillity, and turquoise water. Andaman is a living example of what you mean when you refer to a "Tropical Paradise."


History

The Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands which was used by the British to exile political prisoners during the Independence struggle

The English East India Company's fleet reached the Andaman Islands in 1789, and the British connected them administratively to the Nicobar Islands in 1872. The Andaman Islands are located on the historic trade route between India and Myanmar. In 1956, the two groups of islands were admitted as a union territory of the Indian Republic. The region has been known for its indigenous communities, which have steadfastly avoided considerable engagement with ethnic outsiders, for more than a century.


The islands gained international prominence in 2004 after a sizable tsunami that had been caused by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean close to Indonesia badly destroyed them. 8,249 square km or 3,185 square miles.


Population and People

Tourists visiting the Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

South Asian immigrants and their offspring make up the great bulk of the Andamans' population. The majority of people speak Hindi or Bengali, but Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam are also widely used. In the past, the Andamanese were small, isolated communities. Single outrigger canoes were used to harpoon or net turtles, dugongs, and fish. Major cultural change wasn't possible until the middle of the 20th century due to the isolation of the Andamanese and their overall antagonism toward Westerners. Few native Andamanese remain alive today; the majority of these populations were wiped out by disease as a result of their contact with Europeans, Indians, and other foreigners.


Early in the twenty-first century, the majority of the Nicobar Islands' population was still made up of its native Nicobarese people (including the related Shompen). Both the Mon (also known as the Talaing) of Myanmar and the Malays of insular and peninsular Southeast Asia are likely their direct ancestors. The Austroasiatic language family includes the Mon-Khmer language group, which includes the Nicobarese languages. Some Nicobarese also speak Hindi and English. The Nicobar Islands are home to a sizable Tamil community in addition to its native inhabitants and other residents from the Indian mainland. As part of the Indian government's initiative to advance the region's agriculture, many arrived during the 1960s and 1970s.


The people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are friendly and proud of their rich cultural history. Their welcoming atmosphere and open spirit provide visitors to the islands a sense of belonging. Festivals and events highlight the variety of their cultures while also encouraging unity among the diverse ethnic populations.


The islanders have a deep connection to nature, living in harmony with the beautiful surroundings and enthusiastically sharing their knowledge of the indigenous flora and animals. Their fortitude in the face of adversity, especially natural calamities, is inspiring, and they continue to prosper with a strong sense of community.


Interacting with the inhabitants exposes their true warmth and openness, leaving lasting recollections of the island's allure. The inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are an essential part of the enthralling experience, making your trip genuinely enriching. Take advantage of the opportunity to engage with these friendly hosts and learn about the distinct character that defines this tropical sanctuary.


Climate

Monsoon time in Andaman and Nicobar islands

The best thing about these islands is that they are a year-round vacation spot with little variation in temperature and constant comfort. Between October and May is regarded as the ideal season to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A tropical paradise with a year-round warm and humid environment, the weather is sunny and comfortable, ideal for beach activities, snorkelling, and discovering beautiful coral reefs. The turquoise sea and moderate breeze provide an excellent environment for water sports and underwater experiences.


During the monsoon season, which lasts from May to October, rain showers renew the lush green forests, creating a peaceful haven for nature enthusiasts but it is not a good time to visit because of the high tides, persistent rain, and strong winds. Regardless of the weather, immerse yourself in the islands' rich cultural heritage by attending local events and traditional performances. Whether you prefer sun-kissed beaches or lush rainforests, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands provide a memorable and diverse experience, attracting travellers with their spectacular beauty and kind welcome.


Because Andaman is a tropical island, it never experiences winter. Tourists can simply relax and take in the expansive view of the ocean in this comfortable, moderately humid climate that gives a good sea breeze. In the summer, the white dunes contrast with the clear blue sky and turquoise sea, which reflect blue tones. This makes for a beautiful vacation spot, not just for honeymooning couples but also for families with older members. It's the ideal location to get a drink and relax on the shacks because it's not too hot or humid.



Top 3 places to visit for your next trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands


Port Blair

Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Photo by Sahil on Unsplash


The Andaman and Nicobar Islands' capital is Port Blair. Additionally, it serves as the sole notified town in the region as well as the administrative centre for the South Andaman district and the local administrative subdivision (tehsil) of the islands.


The entry point is Port Blair, which has both air and marine connections to the rest of India. INS Jarawa, a significant naval base of the Indian Navy, as well as sea and air bases of the Indian Coast Guard, Andaman and Nicobar Police, and the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the country's first integrated tri-command, as well as the Indian Air Force, are all located there.


Along with other small islands that were originally inhabited by British colonists, such as Corbyn's Cove, Wandoor, Ross Island, Viper Island, and others, Port Blair is also well-known for the historic Cellular Jail. Under the Smart places Mission, Port Blair has been chosen as one of the places to be transformed into smart cities.


Havelock Beach

Radha Nagar Beach, Havelock Island

The stunning Havelock Island, the most visited of the Andaman Islands, is known for its world-class scuba diving and snorkeling. Boats with glass bottoms offer a comparable up-close encounter with marine creatures. While camping and jungle hikes are common landlubber hobbies, those who are more gently disposed can choose to retire to one of the many opulent resorts. Fresh coconut milk and succulent, recently caught fish, which dominates every meal, will help you recover.


Radhanagar Beach is ideal for picnics, sunsets, and experiencing a beach you don't often see in India, Elephant Beach is ideal for water sports.


Long Island, Andaman

A little island in the Andaman chain called Long Island which is well known for its village tourism

A little island in the Andaman chain called Long Island is well known for its village tourism. It is renowned for its marine life, pristine white sand beaches, and tropical woods made of natural vegetation. Long Island draws visitors with an eye for beauty and a feeling of adventure because to its pristine landscape and stunning splendour. It is also one of the islands well-known for ocean cruises and water sports. This island shares the same famed vistas as the majority of others in the archipelago, particularly at sunset and sunrise.


Long Island is regarded as a component of Rangat Taluk and a member of the East Baratang Group of Islands. The island covers just 18 square km of land. This little island's flora and animals are incredibly beautiful. The forests are a mixture of tidal marsh forests and evergreen forests. The hilly areas are covered in thick forests, and the dense foliage conceals caves. Thus, Long Island in the Andaman Islands is not only a haven for nature lovers but also the ideal unique getaway for backpackers and other unusual tourists.

 

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