|Overview Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
|Total Population (2011)||380,500|
|Largest City||Port Blair|
|Forests & National Park||Little Nicobar WS, Landfall Island WS|
|Languages||Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Nicobarese, Telugu|
|State Bird||Andaman Wood Pigeon|
|State Tree||Andaman Padauk|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||77.65%|
|Females per 1000 males||878|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||1|
|Parliamentary constituency||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
The record of Andaman and Nicobar Islands goes back to the times of Middle Paleolithic times which were approximately around 30,000 years ago. According to genetic and cultural studies the native Andaman people might have settled here from other groups. The Nicobar people too consist of population coming from various cultural backgrounds. Though there are no similarities between the language spoken by the Andaman and Nicobar people but the Nicobar people speaking Mon-Khmer and Shompen language has close similarity with the Austroasiatic language which is spoken in various parts of mainland South-East Asia. During the period of Chola empire, Emperor Rajendra Chola I (1014-1042 AD) these groups of Islands were used as an intentional naval base expedition against Sriwijaya Empire of Indonesia. Moreover, inscriptions found in Thanjavur of 1050 AD states that the Cholas call this place as Ma-Nakkavaram (“great open/naked land”), After that later foreign control has been taken over in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is followed by the Dutch, British and finally Japanese power during the World War II.
Andaman and Nicobar Island are one of the seven union territories of India which have 3000 islands at the point of Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The geographical boundary of this union territory lies 150 Km north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thailand and Myanmar by the Andaman Sea. This Union territory comprises of two Island groups i.e. Andaman and Nicobar Island group. Out of the 3000 islands only 40 islands were permanently inhabited and the rest are still yet to be explored. The Andaman Islands are separated from the Nicobar group by 10 Degree Channel. The Great Nicobar has the Indira Point which is the southernmost point of India. Moreover, the only volcano of India is located in Barren Island in Andaman and Nicobar Island. It is an active volcano which erupted recently in 2017. The maximum areas of these Islands are in 12 types of forest cover (86%).
As per the Census of India (2011) the population of Andaman and Nicobar Islands was 379,944, out of which 202,330 (53.25%) were male and 177,614 (46.75) were female population. The sex ratio was 878 females/1,000 males. The population of this union territory comprises of several cultural groups including people belonging to the language groups of Hindi, English, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Nicobarese, Andaman Creole Hindi, etc. The indigenous group of Andamanese in the Andaman Islands consists of population approximately 400-450 while the Jarawa and Sentinelese people are those ethnic groups which live separately in isolated area and have no contact with the outside world.
The economic sectors of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are clustered in categories of agriculture, small-scale, village and handicrafts industries and of course tourism industry. The state consists of agricultural lands of 48,675 hectares of land growing various crops like paddy, coconut, arecanut, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits, spices, rubber, cashew, palm, etc.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are filled with exotic beaches, coral reefs and extraordinary marine life. Tourists from all over the world throng to these destinations to watch exquisite landscape and engage in a wonderful beach holiday. In Andaman and Nicobar Islands there are various tourist destinations which were spread out in the districts of Nicobar, North and Middle Andaman and Southern Andaman. The most popular tourist destination includes Port Blaire, Havelock Island, Neil Island, Andaman Island, Great Nicobar Islands, Car Nicobar, Indira Point, Barren Island, Ross Island, Cellular Jail, Radha Nagar Beach and numerous extraordinary sightseeing places. Some of the lesser known Islands in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the recent years have been developed as great tourist destinations. These are Diglipur, Mayabunder, Rangat, Ferrargunj, Nancowry which has great village tourist destination.
Some of the popular tourist destination like Mayabunder is remote Northern Andaman surrounded by mangrove swamps, its nearest sightseeing destination are Karmatang Beach, Rampur Beach and German Jetty, Avis Island and Interview Island. Interview Island has a well-known wildlife sanctuary which is quite popular among the tourists. Other tourist friendly destinations are Ariel Bay, Beach Dera, Coffee Dera, Spike Island, etc. Tourists are attracted towards the Andaman and Nicobar Island due to its abundant marine riches, lush green tropical and mangrove cover, undamaged virgin beaches, trekking and water sports.
Major Tourist Attractions
- Havelock Island
- Cellular Jail
- Ross Island, South Andaman district
- Baratang Island
- Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex
- Radhanagar Beach
- Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
- Samudrika Naval Marine Museum
- Mount Harriet National Park
- Marina Park
- Chidiya Tapu
- Barren Island
- North Sentinel Island
- Corbyn’s Cove Beach
- Laxmanpur Beach
- Forest Museum
- Gandhi Park
- Radhanagar Beach
- Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island
- Mini Zoo
- North Bay Beach
- Saddle Peak
- Munda Pahar Beach
- Sitapur Beach
- Sea Link Adventures
- Smith and Ross Island
- South Button Island National Park
- Zonal Anthropological Museum
- Rajiv Gandhi Statue
- cellular jail – museum
- Saddle Peak National Park
- New Wandoor Beach
- Nancowry Island
- Aberdeen Clock Tower
- Natural Bridge
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are popular for its water sports like Banana boat rides, Under sea walking, Jet Skiing, Para sailing, Scuba Diving, etc. In fact maximum number of tourists comes here just for enjoying water sports.
The local delicacy of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are mind-blowing and scrumptious with all those sea food and so many varieties of fish delicacy. This Indian State is the seventh heaven for sea food lovers serving authentic dishes of lobster, crab, prawns, cuttle fish and other fish varieties. Tandoori fish is a must try out dish for the sea food lover. The local people of Andaman and Nicobar Island were mostly non-vegetarian and they stick to their traditional way of cooking of fishes and other Island animals. Moreover, all types of fruits and coconuts are also available here.
A mix group of people resides in Andaman and Nicobar Islands celebrating various fairs and fastivals, But the native Andamanese and Nicobarese people are still primitive, having primitive way of dressing sense and hardly cover their bodies. Moreover, they don’t have any contact with the modern society and civilization. But modern civilization can be seen only in South Andaman and Car Nicobar. Nature has a strong authority upon the social customs of the Andaman people. The Ossuary Feast is one of the celebrated festivals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands where Nicobar people pay homage to their ancestors and departed soul of the family. This is celebrated during full moon night with traditional dance. Moreover, other common festivals like Diwali, Janmasthami, Dussera is also celebrated here.
Literacy and Education
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands has sound literacy rate with 89% in Southern Andaman and 78 % in Nicobar Island. It has a few schools providing primary and secondary education and few colleges providing basic degree courses and technical courses. Most of the schools are affiliated to the C.B.S.E board. There was large number of Government Senior Secondary Schools providing quality education in villages of Kalighat, Rangat, Long Island, Bakultala, Kadamtala, Arong, Mayabunder, etc. The branches of this school are present in almost all districts cover every nook and corner of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are also developed in terms of having good health care services with functioning of best hospitals like Maricar Hospital, Ace Hospital and Pillar Health Centre. All these are located in South Andaman.
Road Connectivity and Transport
Unlike from the rest part of India Andaman and Nicobar Islands are rundown of National Highway roads and railway due to its geological displacement from rest part of the country. But Andaman and Nicobar Islands were connected but trunk roads, urban roads and rural roads. Here State highways connect various villages, towns and Islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which include SH 04 connecting Havelock Beach to Radha Nagar Beach, SH 06 to Neil Island Jetty to Sitapur. Moreover, the best way to reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands were via ship and air. It can be reached via ship from Chennai and Kolkata since there were ships available every month. Moreover, there are also direct flights available from all leading Indian cities connecting Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair and Andaman Islands.