Andaman and Nicobar Islands a storehouse of peerless beauty, the emerald green twin island of Andaman and Nicobar stretch from north to south on the surface of Bay of Bengal. Here, the days are bathed in bright sunshine and fresh gentle breeze all the time. This attracts tourists who want to recharge their body and collect some new ideas. In addition to these, the canopy of blue sky, cool blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, silvery beaches, gaily coloured fishes frolicking in the shallow waters, exquisite coral and aquatic plants, illustrate that like an expert architect nature has skilfully build the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Constituted by a union of 572 islands, Andaman coast spread over an area of 8,249 sq. kms. According to most recent census of India (2001), the population was 356,152, including 67.52 % Hindus, 23.94 % Christians, 7.60 % Muslims and 0.94 % others. The Andaman’s town of Port Blair is the capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Andaman Nicobar TourismOf the 572 islands, only 36 are inhabited and rest are still uninhabited, but Government plans are underway to attract more and more people to settle Andaman Nicobar Island down on those uninhabited islands. The island groups of the Andaman and Nicobar, separate the Andaman Sea to the east from the Indian Ocean. Andaman and Nicobar islands attain a maximum height of 730 mts at Saddle Peak, formed mainly by limestone, sandstone and clay. Nicobar Islands are situated south of the Andaman and 121kms from the Little Andaman Island. Andaman and Nicobar islands are 193kms away from Cape Negrais in Myanmar, 1190kms from Chennai, 1255kms from Kolkata.
History of Andaman and NicobarAndaman and Nicobar islands have an age-old history and have been described in the epic Ramayana too. In the 7th century A.D, Buddhist monk from China, I’Tsing referred these islands as the land of nakeds in his travelogue. In 1050 A.D, the Chola Dynasty also quoted Andaman and Nicobar islands as Nakkavaram or the land of nakeds in their Tanjore stone inscription. In 1292, Marco Polo referred Nicobar as Necuveron and it is believed that he was among the first from the West to set foot on one of the islands. During Marco’s time, Andaman and Nicobar was the habitat of wild ferocious and brute like Angamanians. Car Nicobar was referred as Lo-Tan-Kvo by the then famous Chinese writers, while the name Andaman came from Marco Polo’s word Angamanian.
In the early 18th century, Kanhoji Angre, a Maratha admiral made his base on these islands, and attacked the Portuguese, Dutch and English merchant. Kanhoji died in the year 1729, eventually the British established their first colony in these islands in 1789. In 1888, both these islands were united by the British and they added them to their empire.
Andaman and Nicobar turned into a penal colony for Indian freedom fighters which remained till 1919. The infamous Cellular Jail was completed in 1908, where thousands of anti-British Indians were tortured to death or simply executed. In 1947, with India’s independence, Andaman and NicobarIslands also became free along with the whole country. In the year 1956, on 1st November Andaman came under Central rule, since then Andaman and Nicobar is an integral part of India.
Andaman and Nicobar Vacations - AttractionsLike Goa, you can also rank Andaman and Nicobar islands as a land of sea, sand and surf. Port Blair, the major town on the Andaman and Nicobarislands serves as the administrative capital. Port Blair has a number of markets, where you can buy local handicrafts, clothes, wooden items etc. Apart from shopping markets, Port Blair also houses a number of tourist attractions like the Cellular Jail, Anthropological museum, Marine museum, Fisheries museum etc. From Port Blair, you can also visit the popular islands of Neil and Havelock, which are easily accessible from the capital town.
People & Cultures of Andaman and NicobarAndaman Nicobar Island Referred as the 'land of tribals', Andaman and Nicobar is home to the most primitive tribes of the world. Of the six aboriginal tribes found in the islands, five are primitive tribes that include the Shompens, the Onges, the Sentinelese, the Jarawas and the Great Andamanese. The Shompens found in the Nicobar Island have the Mongoloid origin while the other four primitive have the Negroid origin and inhabiting the Andaman Island.
Out of the 5,000 logenke tribes that are naked primitive aboriginal of 19th century have now reduced to just 500. Irmataga tribes who live in forest are primitive even today, while the ar-yuato tribe who live along the sea-shore living mainly on fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and honey. Tribes of Andamaneven today believe that human-creator Phalgun brings storm, rain, and earthquake out of his anger.
People from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Sri Lanka, Mynamar and South Indians from Tamil Nadu and Kerala have come to live in Andaman for last few decades. Andamanese culture is a blend of several cultures and you will also find the touch of Indian culture. In fact, Andaman and Nicobarislands can be called mini-India, where people follow varied culture and their lifestyle is somehow similar to India. Fishing is the main source of livelihood for Andamanese people and the tribes are dependent on hunting.
Andaman and Nicobar - CuisineSea food like lobster, prawn and several other sea-fish dishes constitute the principle cuisine of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Most of the islands hotels offer delicious sea fish dishes at a reasonable price. Apart from sea-fish, you can also savour delectable South Indian food at various eating joints. Few hotels and restaurant serve Chinese food, Continental and Western cuisine as well. In fact, when you visit Andaman and Nicobar islands, you feel yourself at home with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights.
Fairs and Festivals of Andaman & NicobarAndaman and Nicobar are mainly the home of the tribal people, but in these islands you will observe a unique culmination of several Indian cultures. Due to cross cultural unity, the islands’ people have given rise to their own share of colourful fairs and festivals. In addition to their own festivals, these islands celebrate several festival derived from India. Among the various festivals, most popular include Durga Puja, Janmasthami, Holi, Deewali, Onam, Pongal and Christmas. The fortnight long Island Tourism Festival is the main festival of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which highlights excellent art and crafts, unique marine life and traditional dances and songs of Port Blair.
Andaman and Nicobar - MonumentsDue to their historic connection, Andaman and Nicobar islands boast of a number of magnificent monuments. Build several centuries ago by various rulers, today monuments of Andaman and Nicobar provide a glimpse of its glorious past. Apart from its historic importance, the monuments in Andaman and Nicobar islands are also noted for their architectural significance. Most important forts and monuments of the islands include Cellular Jail, Viper Island, Ross Island etc
Andaman and Nicobar - MuseumsAlthough Andaman and Nicobar islands spread over a small area, but here you will come across several well-maintained museums that house a range of valuable items including species of marine life peculiar to the islands. Noted museums of Andaman and Nicobar islands include the Anthropological Museum, National Memorial, Fisheries Museum, Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum), Forest Museum, Zoological Survey of India Museum. You can visit these museums by paying nominal charges.
Andaman and Nicobar - BeachesAndaman Nicobar Island Beaches are prime attraction of Andaman holidays that make these islands an ideal beach holiday destination. All the sandy beaches of Andaman and Nicobar islands are known for turtle nesting. While visiting the beaches of these islands, you can spot important species of turtles such as Green Sea Turtle, Leather Back Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, and Hawksbill Turtle etc. In addition to these, you can also see reptiles like Water Monitor Lizard, Reticulate Python and Salt Water Crocodiles. Most popular beaches of Andaman and Nicobar islands include the Corbyn’s Cove Tourism Complex, Radhanagar Beach, Karmatang Beach, Harminder Bay Beach, Ramnagar Beach etc.
Wildlife of Andaman and NicobarFlanked by Bay of Bengal from all side, Andaman and Nicobar provide shelter to a wide array of floral and faunal species. Most of Andaman and Nicobar area is covered with canopied rain forests where you can see 3,000 plant species including mangroves, woody climbers, epiphytes (100 orchids, 130 ferns), palms, timbers (teak, mahogany, Andamant paduk etc.) and several other variety of tropical forests. Andaman and Nicobar also provide shelter to diverse Marine fauna including tropical fish and coral. These islands have 96 sanctuaries spreading over 466.218 sq kms and nine National Parks spreading over 1153.938 sq kms.
Andaman and Nicobar - AdventureAdventure plays a major role in tourism industry of Andaman and Nicobar islands that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Blessed with magical Bay of Bengal all around, wonderful tropical vegetation with lush green dense forests and mangrove marshland on the water’s edge, Andaman and Nicobar offer plenty of adventure options for adventure freaks. Water Sports like Snorkelling and Diving, Surfing etc. top the adventure chart in Andaman and Nicobar islands. In addition to these, you can also enjoy trekking on thrilling tails of the islands. Island Camping is another good option which is attracting lots of foreigner to Andaman and Nicobar islands. If you are looking for the best of Andaman and Nicobar Island Tour Packages, you simply need to fill in the tour form provided on the page below and we get back to you as soon as possible.
ClimateAndaman and Nicobar islands have a tropical climate that never reaches to extreme. During the monsoon seasons of May to mid September and November to mid December, medium to heavy rain is recorded. Rains and tropical storms in late summer often cause heavy damage to these islands. In summers, the temperature in Andaman and Nicobar islands reaches to a maximum of 31°C while it drops to a minimum of 23°C.
Best Time to VisitBest season to visit Andaman and Nicobar islands is December to April.
Andaman and Nicobar - TransportationAirlines: Andaman and Nicobar islands have their domestic airport at Port Blair. Regular flights operate from Kolkata and Chennai to Port Blair airport. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Deccan have frequent flights to and from Port Blair.
How to ReachBy Ships: You can also reach Andaman by sea. Cruising through the Bay of Bengal is a thrilling experience and you will come across a number of surprises on the way. Frequent passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam.
Local Transport: Buses, taxis, auto rickshaws, motorcycles, bicycles are available for local transport across the islands. In addition to these, the Directorate of Shipping Services operates inter-island foreshore and harbour ferry services to cater to the needs of inter-island travellers.
Shopping at Andaman and NicobarOf course, Andaman and Nicobar islands are more popular for beaches, swimming, fresh air etc. but shopping in these islands is a delightful experience. Andaman’s capital Port Blair is the main shopping centre, where you can shop multi hued corals and seashell souvenirs. Aberdeen Bazaar in Port Blair is the main commercial centre of Andaman and Nicobar islands. At Aberdeen Bazaar, you will find a few Government Emporia (Cottage Industries Emporium and Gram Khadi Commission) and plenty of private shops along with the eating joints, pubs that make your shopping a wonderful experience.
Other shopping centres are situated at Prem Nagar, Goalghar, Delanipur and Junglighat, all of these are just 3-4 kms away from Aberdeen Bazaar. While you shop in Andaman and Nicobar you must look for famous artifacts such as shell jewellery (earrings, bracelets and objects d’art), mother of pearl jewellery, palm mats, coconut shell lamp-shed. In addition to these, also buy woodcrafts such as walking sticks, ashtrays, bowls and furniture made of local padauk.