ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS
Andaman and Nicobar are a group of around 300 richly forested tropical islands, in the middle of the Bay of Bengal. They are situated in between -India and Burma now, Myanmar, and almost touch the tip of Sumatra (Indonesia).
The local people are mostly tribal’s, speaking different languages. The Islands group can be divided into three categories: The Little Andaman, The Nicobar and the Great Nicobar. The tribal’s feed them- selves mainly on coconuts, fish and pigs. They are still slowly, but surely, integrating into the ethos of the mainland, socially, culturally and politically.
The population of the is- lands group was around 50,000 a little more than a decade earlier, which now has risen to around 1.5 lakhs, due to a massive immigration from the mainland, mostly Tamilians, Burmese and Bengalis, are also there in large numbers.
Foreign visitors will have to obtain a special permission from the govt. to visit these group of islands. It can be obtained on arrival at Port Blair, whether one goes there by ship or by air.
The island group was being ruled by Marathas in the 17th century, and came into the hands of the British in the 19th century. They used these is- lands mainly to imprison the Indian freedom fighters. The main town is Port Blair, where many prisoners, including freedom fighters were being executed by the then British Government of India.
The Japanese had gained control over the islands for some period during the World War II, but had to face stiff resistance from the local people. Finally, when India won Independence, the island group became a part of the Indian Union.
The Indian Government has literally poured hundreds of crores of rupees for the development and modernization of the group of islands, after independence. The island group is famous for teak plantations and rubber.
The places of tourist attraction are, the beaches and the reefs, the Anthropological Museum, The Marine Museum, the Cellular Jail of ill- repute at Port Blair, the Mini- Zoo and the Herbarium. The island group is famous for natural beauty, birds, flowers and the relics of colonial history.
Port Blair is around 1,255 kms. from Calcutta and 1,190 kms. from Chennai .. The inter-island boat services are subject to disruption due to sea and weather conditions. Thrice a week, there are Indian Airlines services from Chennai, Calcutta and New Delhi (via Bhubaneshwar) to Port Blair, the main town, which is a natural harbour.
The sea here is renowned for exotic tropical fish variety. It is said that the island group is the remains of a now-sub- merged group of hill range extending from Arakan to Sumatra.
Govt. of India Tourist Office, VIP Road, Junglighat, Port Blair-744103, Ph: 21006.
Information Publicity & Tourism, Andaman & Nicobar Administration Secretariat, Port Blair.
How to get there:
Air : Indian Airlines connects Port Blair with Calcutta (2 hrs) Chennai (2 hrs) & Car Nicobar.
By sea: From Calcutta & Chennai, approximately 3 days journey. Contact: The Shipping Corporation of India, 13, Strand Road, Calcutta, Tel. 2842354 Port Trust Road, Old Warehouse Bldgs, Rajaji Salai, Chennai; Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair, -Tel: 21347 India Tourist Guide 0 225
One of the most picturesque sea beaches, it is ideal for sea- bathing. There is a hotel near the beach and the hornbill nest guest house near by provides a panoramic view of the sea- front. Open - all days.
Constructed in a record time in the heart of Port Blair, it is a complete-park with children's park, amusement and entertainment park, Deer . park, Water sports, Nature walk, Lake, Garden, Restaurant, etc., Open - All days.
Andaman Water Sports Complex:
This unique complex has all possible aqua sports like paddle boats, Row Boats, Glass bottom boats, Kayaks, Water cycles, etc. Adventure water sports like water-skiing, Wind surfing, Speed boats, Sail Boats, Gemini Boats, Water Scooters, etc., with Sea-water swimming pool, Toilet and change room, Children's traffic-park, Nature walk, food plaza, etc., First of its kind in India. Open - All days.
Cottage Industries Emporium:
Display a variety of artefacts made in mother of pearl and local wood. Miniature nicobarese canoes and palm mats for floors and tables are also available here. Open - All days except Sunday and Public holidays.
The small zoological garden has some of the rare species of animals and birds found in these islands and by and large patronized by the children. Open - All days except Sunday and Public holidays.
With its display of more than. 350 species of sea-life, the museum gives an idea of the marine wealth that lies in the waters of these islands. Open - All days.
Samudrika (Marine Museum):
One can witness a wide variety of shells and marine life. It creates awareness for the conservation of marine life. Open - All days except Sunday and Public holidays.
Once the seat of British power and capital of these islands, it had all facilities. Now a ruin of the old structures. Open - All days Except Wednesday.
Sippighat Agricultural Farm:
Situated about 14 kms from Port Blair is a Government agricultural-cum-demonstration farm spread over an area of about 80 acres;' where experiments for the improvement of spices like Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Pepper are con- ducted. Open - All days Except Sunday.
Sippighat Sports Complex:
One can experience the pleasure of boats and viewing the sports person of sports authority of India action in the back waters and meandering creeks surrounded by lush- green mangroves. Open - All days except Sunday.
Mahathma Gandhi National Park:
This 281.5 sq. kms marine national park provides a unique view of open sea, beautiful corals, Tropical rain-fed forests, Attractive flora and fauna, Creeks, Marine animals and 15 small and large islands for the eco friendly tourists. Open - All days.
Jolly Buoy offers a breath taking view of underwater coral and marine life. Glass bottom boats help to take a closer look at the coral colonies. Ideal for sea bathing and basking in the sun kissed beach. Open - All days.
Like Jolly Buoy, this island also provides a breath taking view of corals and marine life. Open - All days.
They offer the lure of under- water coral gardens and un- spoiled beaches. An occasional Dolphin may also greet the eye. A great place for swimming, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling and Camping, Open - Depending on weather.
This island was used to harbour convicts, it had gallows on top of a hillock where condemned women prisoners were hanged. Approachable by boat from the fisheries jetty. Open - All days.
About four hours from Port Blair, this island provides an ideal holiday near beautiful virgin beach and unpolluted environment. Camping facility available near Radha Nagar beach.