The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India. Informally, the territory’s name is often abbreviated to A and N Islands, or ANI. It is located in the Indian Ocean, in the southern reaches of the Bay of Bengal.
It is comprised of two island groups -the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands – which separate the Andaman Sea to the east from the Indian Ocean. These two groups are separated by the 10° N parallel, the Andamans lying to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobars to the south. The capital of this territory is the Andamanese town of Port Blair.
The territory’s population as per the most recent (2001) Census of India was 356,152. Added together, the total land area of the territory is approximately 8,249 km2.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands with its administrative headquarters at Port Blair, appears in history as old as the period of Lord Rama. Hanumanji is believed to have landed here on the way to Sri Lanka, in search of Mata Sita. The islands were inhabited until mid 19th century by aboriginal tribes whose main occupation was hunting using bows and arrows.
The Andaman group of islands consists of North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Little Andaman, and many smaller islands 1000 km off the east coast of India. The islands form the peaks of a vast submerged mountain range that extends for almost 1000 km between Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sumatra. The Nicobar group of islands, which begin 50 km south of Little Andaman, comprise Great Nicobar, Car Nicobar, Nancowry, Katchal and Chowra. While geographically and ethnically close to Myanmar, politically the islands belong to India.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is an archipelago of 572 islands adrift in the Bay of Bengal, the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands stretches over an area of more than 700 sq. kms. Located in the Bay of Bengal between India and Burma (Myanmar), the topography of the islands is generally hilly with heavy rain forests. Farming and fishing are the main industries of the indigenous people.
The islands have brilliant tropical flora. The islands are endowed with evergreen thick forests and tropical trees with mangrove swamps on the water’s edge. Part of the islands are hilly. The beaches have white sand and coral reef , unpolluted sparkling clear water which is excellent for snorkeling.
The clean and wide roads, free of filth as well as unpolluted fresh air attract any nature-lover, who seek absolute peace and tranquility in the lap of mother nature. Adventure tourism like trekking, island camping, snorkeling, scuba diving etc., are the real attractions. A visit to these islands is a memorable lifetime experience.
The first settlement by the British took place in 1789, which was later abandoned in 1796. The second settlement was basically a penal settlement, taken up in 1858, after the First War of Independence, followed by the settlement of convicts, Moplas, some criminal tribes from Central and United Provinces, refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka as well as ex-servicemen
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is rich in corals, varieties of colored fishes, sea turtles etc., besides other marine life. It is a birds paradise – more than 271 variet