Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the union territory of India lies in the Bay of Bengal consisting about 527 islands both small & large with the coastline that stretches for about 100 km. It is close to the Arakanmayo mountain range of Burma that lies to the side of Sumatra of Indonesia. The island consisting of two groups, the Andaman & Nicobar are separated by 300 km, covers an area of about 8293 square kilometers with Port Blair as its capital. The islands are covered with dense green forest, high mountains and long coastline with wide roads, new buildings.
The population of the whole land is about 5 lakhs, with people being cultured, literate & nature loving. Andaman is a developing land where the Nicobar Islands are still inhabited by primitive endangered tribes & backward communities who have survived for thousands of centuries and continue to survive till today. They include the great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas, Sentinelese, Shompens. Men & Women population has almost equal 2.5 lakh people have the right to vote. People of Andaman speak different languages, given quality education, medical facilities & lives in harmony with no political or communal riots or constrains. People of Andaman are very much concerned about their rights and responsibilities and so they abide them maintain their standard.
Andaman is a place with moderate temperature all through the year within the range of 23 C to 31 C, with tropical climate. Best time for the tourists to visit Andaman is from October to May. Every year from all over the world tourists visit Andaman and enjoy the land, climate people, historical monuments & water sports. For the promotion of tourism of this island, every year a 15 day long Tourism Festival is held during the second week of February. Exhibits from all over India participate for dance, drama, poetry, debates, music features, display arts & crafts, flora, fauna & marine life. Aqua sports & parasailing are added attractions. This Island Tourism Festival is organized to encourage tourists to come in abundance & hence promote tourism.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are very much an integral part of India but distance wise they are much closer to Indonesia & Burma than to mainland India. The islands have 25, the largest number of harbours in the country. The southernmost point of India is popularly mistaken by to be ‘Kanyakumari’ in the state of Tamil Nadu whereas the southernmost point is the Campbell Bay, known as ‘Indira Point’. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands have the longest coast line (around 2000) km among all the states. Dugong, an endangered marine mammal also known as Sea Cow is unique to Andaman & Nicobar Island and is the State Animal. Andaman Wood Pigeon is an endemic bird which is the State Bird. Andaman Padauk is a tall deciduous tree found only here and is the State Bird. Andaman is a treasure house of sea shells, handicrafts, jute based & wooden items.
To reach Andaman, Port Blair is the major gateway which is well connected by air & sea. The best way to reach these unique & exotic islands is to take flight from New Delhi, Kolkata & Chennai. As the Andaman & Nicobar Islands lies in the Bay of Bengal it is great experience to reach Andaman Islands by ship. There are regular passenger ship services for Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam.
Think clear turquoise waters, unspoiled beaches, stunning rain forests, gorgeous corals, ancient tribes – where in India can you find all this and more? Why, on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, of course! A tropical paradise in the truest sense of the term, the archipelago of islands is located about 1,000 kilometres off the eastern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal. While there, here’s our pick of Top 10 things to do in Andamans.
- Beach Bumming
With such picturesque beaches as Corbyn’s Cove, Elephant and Long Island, soaking up the sun should be priority number one in the Andamans. Though the islands are popular destinations, the beaches are not crowded and you can find your own spot to sunbathe in.
- Water Activities
Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, not to mention dolphin watching; there are enough things to do on Andamans’ beaches to keep your adrenaline rushing.
- Havelock Island
Home to one of Asia’s most beautiful beaches, Radhanagar Beach, the island is unbelievably scenic and a tranquil place to relax. The beach, popularly known as Beach No. 7, is largely quiet and only the waves breaking at the shore can be heard for most part of the day.
- Cellular Jail
Historically known as kaala paani (black water), the jail was used by the British to imprison political prisoners. The most famous freedom fighter to be imprisoned here was V.D. Savarkar.
- Coral Reefs
Head to Jolly Buoy Island or Red Skin Island for the best view of the multi-coloured coral reefs that Andamans is famous for. The islands are open for tourists alternately for six months each.
- Island Hopping
Neil Island of Havelock and Ross Island off Port Blair are pleasant half-day trips. Meander around the beaches of Neil Island and try to catch the sunrise or sunset or explore the Naval Museum, cemetery and ruins of old buildings on Ross Island.
- Museum Trail
Port Blair houses some fantastic museums. The Anthropological Museum portrays the islands’ indigenous tribes, the Samudrika Marine Museum displays the bio-diversity found on the islands and the Forest Museum at Chatham Island (connected by a road bridge to Port Blair) houses a saw mill set up by the British.
One of the biggest attractions in Andamans is the underwater walk at North Bay Island and Havelock Island. You wear a helmet that lets you breathe normally and the walk brings you up close and personal with corals and fish. It’s truly an experience of a lifetime.
Andamans’ bird island or Chidiya Tapu is a verdant spot with forests, mangroves and numerous species of birds. Look out for parakeets, drongos, doves, eagles and many more birds that have made this island their home.
Best for School and college student group itinerary – You wouldn’t normally associate Andamans with trekking but Madhuban (20 kilometres from Port Blair by ferry) is the perfect spot for it. Lush green forests, several indigenous flora and fauna and breath-taking natural beauty make Madhuban an adventure seeker’s delight. The route from Madhuban to Mount Harriet (the highest peak in the archipelago) is the most popular.