The Andaman Islands form an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal between India, to the west, and Myanmar, to the north and east. Most are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India, while a small number in the north of the archipelago, including the Coco Islands, belong to Myanmar.
The Andaman Islands are home to the Andamanese, a group of indigenous people that includes a number of tribes including the Jarawa and Sentinelese tribes.While some of the islands can be visited with permits, others including the North Sentinel island are banned for entry by law. The Sentinelese are generally hostile to visitors and have had little contact with any other people. The government protects their right to privacy.
The earliest archaeological evidence documents some 2,200 years. However, genetic and cultural studies suggest that the indigenous Andamanese people may have been isolated from other populations during the Middle Paleolithic, which ended 30,000 years ago. Since that time, the Andamanese have diversified into linguistically and culturally distinct, territorial groups.
The Nicobar Islands appear to have been populated by people of various backgrounds. By the time of European contact, the indigenous inhabitants had coalesced into the Nicobarese people, speaking a Mon-Khmer language; and the Shompen, whose language is of uncertain affiliation. Both are unrelated to the Andamanese, but being closely related to the Austroasiatic languages in mainland Southeast Asia.
Rajendra Chola I (1014 to 1042 AD), used the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a strategic naval base to launch an expedition against the Sriwijaya Empire (,ie,Indonesia). The Cholas called the island Ma-Nakkavaram (great open/naked land), The history of organised European colonisation on the islands began when settlers from the Danish East India Company arrived in the Nicobar Islands on 12 December 1755. On 1 January 1756, the Nicobar Islands were made a Danish colony, first named New Denmark,and later (December 1756) Fredericks Islands .During 1754–1756 they were administrated from Tranquebar (in continental Danish India). The islands were repeatedly abandoned due to outbreaks of malaria between 14 April 1759 and 19 August 1768, from 1787 to 1807/05, 1814 to 1831, 1830 to 1834 and gradually from 1848 for good.
From 1 June 1778 to 1784, Austria mistakenly assumed that Denmark had abandoned its claims to the Nicobar Islands and attempted to establish a colony on them,renaming them Theresia Islands.
In 1789 the British set up a naval base and penal colony on Chatham Island next to Great Andaman, where now lies the town of Port Blair. Two years later the colony was moved to Port Cornwallis on Great Andaman, but it was abandoned in 1796 due to disease.
Presence of Denmark in the territory ended formally on 16 October 1868 when it sold the rights to the Nicobar Islands to Britain, which made them part of British India in 1869.
In 1858 the British established a colony at Port Blair. The colony came to include the infamous Cellular Jail.
In 1872 the Andaman and Nicobar islands were united under a single chief commissioner at Port Blair.
During World War II, the islands were practically under Japanese control.
It became part of India in 1950 and was declared as a union territory of the nation in 1956
The Climate of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is described as Tropical climate.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands has a humid Weather and has no winter season. Rain season lasts for 180 days in a year. The southwest monsoon touches the Indian soil first in the Andamans and then proceeds towards the Indian mainland.
Seasons: Summer - January to April, Monsoon - May to December.
Relative Humidity: 70% - 90%.
Mean minimum temperature at 23 °C and maximum at 28 °C
Annual Rainfall: 3,000 mm
It is always warm, with pleasant sea-breeze . The rainy season happens twice a year under the influence of Southwest monsoon in mid-May to September, and Northeast monsoon in November To January. There is medium to heavy rain during the monsoon, in the months from May to mid September and November to mid December.
There is no extreme climate except rains and tropical storms in late summer. The weather is calm only from January to April and to some extend in October. It is quite hot in the months of March to May in the Andamans.
The best time to visit the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is between mid November and April.
Sea foods are the main cuisine of Andamanese. So Andaman is the paradise of sea food lovers. Lobsters, Crab, Prawns, Cuttle fish, and fish of every kind is found here.There are plenty of delicious vegetarian dishes are available.All kinds of Indian cuisines like, South Indian, North Indian, and Bengali etc.are avaiolable. Other than these, Thai and Chinese varieties are common.Sea food varieties like Lobsters are little bit expensive but well worth the cost. Tandoori fish is one of the mouthwatering dishes you should try during your Andaman tour. Every single island of the Andaman and Nicobar offer something unique. This can be also experience as in the case of foodstuff.
Things to Do in ANDAMAN
Large coral reefs, an assortment of marine life and the calm blue waters of the Bay of Bengal all make the name Emerald Isle highly suitable for the Andamans. Most popular island among all the islands for the dives, however, is Havelock. It is an ideal diving destination for everyone, right from a novice to an experienced diver.
Snorkelling in Andaman
The unique position held by Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean guarantees a great avenue to experience snorkelling. There are various centres that offer short courses and provide the equipment required for snorkelling. They consist of various programmes for the beginner, intermediate and advanced swimmers. You can experience snorkelling at North Bay Island, Jolly Buoy Island, Havelock Island, Red Skin Island, in Wandoor, Long Island, Andaman Water Sports Complex, Neill Island, South Button, Henry Lawrence Beach, Rutland Island and Kalipur. Tourists can use local transport (roadways and waterways) to reach these required snorkelling locations. So, it is advisable to keep a close tab on the ferry schedules and make sure you reach in time.Snorkelling is a water sport that allows swimmers to observe marine life without diving deep in the ocean and without having to carry heavy equipment. The only equipment that aids Snorkeling is a 30-centimetre long tube called a snorkel attached to a diving mask with glasses. Swimmers can be close to the surface of the water and yet see as much as possible of the life underwater.
Water Sports in Andaman has been a major attraction for adventure seekers and water babies. Although the demand for water sports is fulfilled at various locations in Andaman, Water Sports Complex located in Port Blair is popular for the variety and safety they offer. Whether it is swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing or just a boat ride, there is something to suit everyones desire. The services provided by the complex guarantee an enjoyable time sailing the sea and even exploring it underwater. If one is daring enough, they can even sail through the permitted shoreline of Port Blair on their own all under the watchful eye of the staff. Swimming isnt a prerequisite for any of the activities and thus, tourists can enjoy them without any hesitation.
The Water Sports Complex in Andaman is located close to the northern shoreline of Port Blair near Aberdeen Jetty. The complex has a demarcated area for water sports in the Andaman Sea where adventure buffs can go Skiing, Kayaking, Paddle Boating, Banana Boat rides, Rowing, Para Sailing etc. They provide all the necessary facilities for a safe and enjoyable experience. Other water sports like Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, and Undersea Walking are extremely famous here. It is one of the few places in India that offer services for these water sports.
Site seeing in ANDAMAN
Havelock Island is one of the largest and most popular islands in Andaman and Nicobar. Spread over a massive area of 113.93 square kilometres,it is situated 57 km north-east of the capital city Port Blair. Havelock Island is a paradise of silky white sand beaches, crystal blue water, rich corals and verdant forests. avelock Island is also a favorite amongst those who want to engage in scuba diving, snorkelling, and deep sea diving.
The island is named after a British General and comprises of Ritchies Archipelago and a collection of five villages. Surrounded by the most popular beaches on Andaman, it is among the most popular places to visit on the archipelago.
The pristine shores and the aquamarine waters of the island stretch right across its expanses! Elephant beach and Kalapather beach are two other destinations where the sunrise and sunsets are divine. A long walk along the stretch of the sand is the perfect way to explore the island on your own.
The Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani is an old colonial prison situated in Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Constructed by the Britishers during their colonial rule in India, Cellular Jail was used particularly to exile political prisoners where they were subjected to many atrocities at the hands of the British. The construction of the jail began in the year 1896 and was completed in 1906, after which it was used to house many notable freedom fighters such as Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The jail narrates of the horrifying and darkest period in the history of India. Soon after the Sepoy Mutiny in the year 1857, Britishers began to use the islands of Andaman and Nicobar as the jails to put fighters behind the bars.During the independence movement of India, thousands of Indians were imprisoned in the cellular jail, many of them died due to inhumane conditions, many were hanged till death and many simply perished. Today, the Cellular Jail is a solemn reminder of all the struggles that our freedom fighters fought through to win the independence of the country, and is an imperative part of our history that ought to be upheld.
Located just 2 kilometres east of Port Blair is the Ross Island; an island which was once the administrative headquarters of the British, but today is only a barren island that is recognised solely for its beauty and scenic views. One can see traces of a prosperous past in the rubbles of the church, swimming pool and the chief commissioner's home with its extensive gardens and magnificent ballrooms. There is also a cemetery and a small museum managed by the Indian Navy.
Neill Island is a part of the South Andaman Administrative District and belongs to Ritchies Archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. A part of the massive ocean separates it from Ross Island and Havelock Island.Due to its limited area, Neill Island can be covered with a simple walk. The island mainly has three beaches, the Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and the Lakshmanpur Beach. All three beaches are exquisite and extraordinarily clean and are well-connected to the mainland as well.
Radhanagar Beach with its turquoise blue waters and powdery white sands lives up to its reputation. Its vast shores of endless white grains stretch across 2 kilometres, making it a prime attraction of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Apart from enjoying the spectacle of the beach and the melange of colours, visitors can also enjoy water sports like boating, parasailing, and scuba diving.
Little Andaman, a beautiful island with crystal blue waters and clear sand beaches all around, is the fourth largest island of the archipelago of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. It lies to the southern end of the archipelago over an area of 730 square kilometres. The island is home to an extensive rainforest and rare species of marine turtle.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Located on the south-western coast of the Andaman Islands, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park or Wandur National Park is a marine life conservation area situated at a distance of 25 km from the capital city of Port Blair. The wildlife sanctuary consists of a group of 12 islands which are situated in a labyrinthine shape and are home to some of the most exquisite marine life in the world including corals and resting sea turtles among other species.Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was established in the year 1983.
The Anthropological Museum, situated in the heart of Port Blair, is an ethnographic museum detailing the lives and cultures of the various tribes that have lived in the Andaman islands. It is a delightful trip for those wishing to understand the history of the islands and explore the lives of the Islanders. Within the museum, one has the opportunity to learn about the history of the Jarawas, the Onges, the Sentinelese, the Shompens, and the Nicobarese, making it a cultural hotspot of this region. Spread across two floors, there is a great deal of importance given to the history and ancestry of the tribal people of the island, and is a testament to the indigenous human diversity that has coexisted here for centuries.
Samudrika Naval Marine Musuem
Located on the South Andaman Island in the capital city of Port Blair, the Samudrika Naval Marine Museum is the pride project of the Indian Navy. This fascinating museum is an amazing source for details on the environment in the ocean, its ecosystem and its biodiversity. The museum also provides in-depth knowledge on the history and culture of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The naturally-formed limestone caves near Baratang island of Andaman are a favourite tourist spot for those who do not mind a long journey. The caves are only a destination as there is a long boat journey towards it. The caves, although beautiful, are not that easy to reach. One has to take a convoy through the Jarawa Forest land and ferry ride to Baratang Island before you can reach Limestone Caves in Andamans. Perfect for adventure-seekers and spelunkers, reaching these caves also requires a small trek.