The territory is 150 km (93 mi) north of
The territory's capital is the Andamanese town of Port Blair . The total land area of these islands is approximately 8,249 km2 (3,185 sq mi). The capital of Nicobar Islands is Car Nicobar . The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command , the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces .
* 1 History
* 1.1 First inhabitants
* 1.2 Chola empire period
* 1.3 Danish colonial period and British Rule
World War II
* 2 Geography * 3 Flora * 4 Fauna * 5 Demographics * 6 Religion
* 7 Administration
* 7.1 Administrative divisions
* 8 Economy
* 8.1 Agriculture * 8.2 Industry * 8.3 Tourism * 8.4 Macro-economic trend * 8.5 Power generation
* 9 The Sisters (Andaman) * 10 See also * 11 Notes * 12 References * 13 External links
The earliest archaeological evidence yet documented goes back some
2,200 years. However, genetic and cultural studies suggest that the
Andamanese people may have been isolated from other
populations since some time during the Middle
Nicobar Islands appear to have been populated by people of
various backgrounds. At the time of the European contact, the
indigenous inhabitants were 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
CHOLA EMPIRE PERIOD
Rajendra Chola I (1014 to 1042 AD), used the Andaman and Nicobar
DANISH COLONIAL PERIOD AND BRITISH RULE
Andaman Cellular Jail
The history of organised European colonisation on the islands began
when the Danish settlers of the Danish East
From 1 June 1778 to 1784,
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.
In 1858 the British again established a colony at Port Blair, which
proved to be more permanent. The primary purpose was to set up a penal
colony criminal convicts from the
In 1872 the Andaman and Nicobar islands were united under a single chief commissioner at Port Blair.
WORLD WAR II
Main article: Japanese occupation of the
World War II
General Loganathan , of the Indian National Army was made the Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. On 22 February 1944 he along with four INA officers—Major Mansoor Ali Alvi, Sub. Lt. Md. Iqbal, Lt. Suba Singh and stenographer Srinivasan—arrived at Lambaline Airport in Port Blair . On 21 March 1944 the Headquarters of the Civil Administration was established near the Gurudwara at Aberdeen Bazaar. On 2 October 1944, Col. Loganathan handed over the charge to Maj. Alvi and left Port Blair, never to return. The islands were reoccupied by British and Indian troops of the 116th Indian Infantry Brigade on 7 October 1945, to whom the remaining Japanese garrison surrendered.
Japanese military delegation salute Lieutenant Colonel Nathu Singh , commanding officer of the Rajput Regiment , following their surrender of the Islands, 1945
During the independence of both
On 26 December 2004 the coasts of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
were devastated by a 10 m (33 ft) high tsunami following the 2004
Indian Ocean earthquake . More than 2,000 people lost their lives,
more than 4,000 children were orphaned or suffered the loss of one
parent, and a minimum of 40,000 people were rendered homeless. More
than 46,000 people were injured. The worst affected Nicobar islands
were Katchal and
While locals and tourist of the islands suffered the greatest casualties from the tsunami, most of the aboriginal people survived because oral traditions passed down from generations ago warned them to evacuate from large waves that follow large earthquakes.
BARREN ISLAND in the
There are 572 islands in the territory having an area of 8,249 km2 (3,185 sq mi). Of these, about 38 are permanently inhabited. The islands extend from 6° to 14° North latitudes and from 92° to 94° East longitudes. The Andamans are separated from the Nicobar group by a channel (the Ten Degree Channel ) some 150 km (93 mi) wide. The highest point is located in North Andaman Island (Saddle Peak at 732 m (2,402 ft)). The Andaman group has 325 islands which cover an area of 6,170 km2 (2,382 sq mi) while the Nicobar group has only 247 islands with an area of 1,765 km2 (681 sq mi). :33
The capital of the union territory, Port Blair, is located 1,255 km
(780 mi) from
Map of Andaman and Nicobar Islands with an extra detailed area around Port Blair.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a tropical rainforest canopy, made of a mixed flora with elements from Indian, Myanmar, Malaysian and endemic floral strains. So far, about 2,200 varieties of plants have been recorded, out of which 200 are endemic and 1,300 do not occur in mainland India.
The South Andaman forests have a profuse growth of epiphytic vegetation, mostly ferns and orchids. The Middle Andamans harbours mostly moist deciduous forests . North Andamans is characterised by the wet evergreen type, with plenty of woody climbers. The North Nicobar Islands (including Car Nicobar and Battimalv) are marked by the complete absence of evergreen forests, while such forests form the dominant vegetation in the central and southern islands of the Nicobar group. Grasslands occur only in the Nicobars, and while deciduous forests are common in the Andamans, they are almost absent in the Nicobars. The present forest coverage is claimed to be 86.2% of the total land area.
This atypical forest coverage is made up of twelve types, namely:
* Giant evergreen forest
* Andamans tropical evergreen forest
* Southern hilltop tropical evergreen forest
* Cane brakes
* Wet bamboo brakes
* Andamans semi-evergreen forest
* Andamans moist deciduous forest
* Andamans secondary moist deciduous forest
Ross Island, Andaman
This tropical rain forest, despite its isolation from adjacent land masses, is surprisingly rich with a diversity of animal life.
About 50 varieties of forest mammals are found to occur in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Some are endemic, including the Andaman wild boar . Rodents are the largest group with 26 species, followed by 14 species of bat. Among the larger mammals there are two endemic varieties of wild boar, Sus scrofa andamanensis from Andaman and Sus scrofa nicobaricus from Nicobar, which are protected by the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (Sch I). Saltwater crocodile is also found in abundance. The State Animal of Andaman is the dugong , also known as the sea cow, which can be found in Little Andaman . Around 1962 there was an attempt to introduce the leopard , which was unsuccessful because of unsuitable habitat. These were ill-considered moves as exotic introductions can cause havoc to island flora and fauna.
About 270 species of birds are found in the territory; 14 of them are
endemic, the majority to the Nicobar island group. The islands' many
caves are nesting grounds for the edible-nest swiftlet, whose nests
are prized in
The territory is home to about 225 species of butterflies and moths . Ten species are endemic to these Islands. Mount Harriet National Park is one of the richest areas of butterfly and moth diversity on these islands.
The islands are well known for prized shellfish , especially from the
genera Turbo ,
There are 96 wildlife sanctuaries, nine national parks and one biosphere reserve in these islands.
As of 2011 Census of
The areas and populations (at the 2001 and 2011 Censuses) of the three districts are:
NAME AREA (KM2) Population Census 2001 Population Census 2011 CAPITAL
North and Middle Andaman 3,536 105,613 105,597 Mayabunder
South Andaman 2,640 208,471 238,142 Port Blair
TOTALS 7,950 356,152 380,581
There remain approximately 400–450 indigenous Andamanese in the Andaman islands, the Jarawa and Sentinelese in particular maintaining a steadfast independence and refusing most attempts at contact. In the Nicobar Islands, the indigenous people are the Nicobarese , or Nicobari, living throughout many of the islands, and the Shompen , restricted to the hinterland of Great Nicobar . More than 2,000 people belonging to the Karen tribe live in the Mayabunder tehsil of North Andaman district, almost all of whom are Christians. Despite their tribal origins, the Karen of Andamans have Other Backward Class (OBC) status in the Andamans.
The majority of people of the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands are Hindus
(69.44%), with Christians forming a large minority of 21.7% of the
population, according to the 2011 census of India. There is a small
In 1874, the British had placed the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands in
one administrative territory headed by a Chief Commissioner as its
judicial administrator. On 1 August 1974, the Nicobar islands were
hived off into another revenue district with district headquarters at
Car Nicobar under a Deputy Commissioner. In 1982, the post of
Lieutenant Governor was created who replaced the Chief Commissioner as
the head of administration. Subsequently, a "Pradesh council" with
Counselors as representatives of the people was constituted to advise
the Lieutenant Governor. The
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is divided into three districts. Each district is further divided into sub-divisions and taluks :
North and Middle Andaman
* Headquarters: Mayabunder
* Diglipur Sub-Division
* Diglipur taluk
* Mayabunder Sub-Division
* Headquarters: Port Blair
* Port Blair Sub-Division
* Ritchie\'s Archipelago Sub-Division
* Ritchie\'s Archipelago taluka ( Havelock Island )
* Little Andaman Sub-Division
* Headquarters: Car Nicobar
* Car Nicobar Sub-Division
* Car Nicobar taluk
* Nancowrie Sub-Division
* Nancowrie taluk * Kamorta taluk * Teressa taluk * Katchal taluk
* Great Nicobar Sub-Division
Little Andaman Island seen by Spot satellite. Ross Island a couple of days before the tsunami of December 2004.
A total of 48,675 hectares (120,280 acres) of land is used for
agriculture purposes. Paddy , the main food crop, is mostly cultivated
in Andaman group of islands, whereas coconut and arecanut are the cash
crops of Nicobar group of islands. Field crops, namely pulses ,
oilseeds and vegetables are grown, followed by paddy during Rabi
season. Different kinds of fruits such as mango , sapota , orange ,
banana , papaya , pineapple and root crops are grown on hilly land
owned by farmers. Spices such as pepper, clove , nutmeg , and cinnamon
are grown under a multi-tier cropping system.
There are 1,374 registered small-scale, village and handicraft units. Two units are export-oriented in the line of fish processing activity. Apart from this, there are shell and wood based handicraft units. There are also four medium-sized industrial units. SSI units are engaged in the production of polythene bags, PVC conduit pipes and fittings, paints and varnished, fibre glass and mini flour mills, soft drinks and beverages, etc. Small scale and handicraft units are also engaged in shell crafts, bakery products, rice milling, furniture making, etc.
The Andaman and
Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation
has spread its wings in the field of tourism, fisheries, industries
and industrial financing and functions as authorised agents for
Alliance Air /
Main article: Tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are developing into a major tourism hub with exotic-looking beaches and pristine islands having equally exotic names, wonderful opportunities for adventure sports like snorkelling and sea-walking. A statue of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar at Cellular Jail .
In Port Blair, the main places to visit are the Cellular Jail, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman Water sports complex, Chatham Saw Mill, Mini Zoo, Corbyn's cove, Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor Beach, Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Fisheries Museum, Naval Museum (Samudrika), Ross Island and Viper Island. Other places include Havelock island famous for Radhanagar Beach, Neil Island for Scuba diving/snorkelling, Cinque island, Saddle peak, Mt Harriet and Mud Volcano. The southern group (Nicobar islands) is mostly inaccessible to tourists.
Indian tourists do not require a permit to visit the Andaman islands but if they wish to visit any tribal areas they need a special permit from the Deputy Commissioner, Port Blair. Permits are required for foreign nationals. For foreign nationals arriving by air, these are granted upon arrival at Port Blair.
According to official estimates, the flow of tourists doubled to nearly 300,000 in 2012 from 130,000 in 2008–09. The Radha Nagar beach of Andamans was chosen as Asia’s best Beach in 2004.
This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands at market prices, estimated by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation , with figures in millions of Indian rupees.
YEAR GSDP (MILLIONS OF ₹ )
Andaman and Nicobar Islands' gross state domestic product for 2004 was estimated at $354 million in current prices.
With Japanese assistance, Southern Andaman Island will now have a
15-Megawatt Diesel power plant. This would be the first foreign
investment of any kind allowed at this strategically significant
island chain. This is believed to be an Indo-Japanese strategic
initiative to strengthen civilian infrastructure in the vicinity of
Strait of Malacca
THE SISTERS (ANDAMAN)
The Sisters are small uninhabited islands in the Andaman Archipelago, at the northern side of the Duncan Passage, about 6 km (3.2 nmi) southeast of Passage Island and 18 km (9.7 nmi) north of North Brother: East Sister Island (Andaman) and West Sister Island (Andaman). The islands are about 250 metres (820 feet) apart, connected by a coral reef. They are covered by forests, and have rocky shores except for a beach on the NW side of East Sister. They belong to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Territory of India.
Before the British established a colony on the Andaman, the Sister islands were visited occasionally by the Onge people of Little Andaman Island for fishing. They may have been a waystation for their temporary settlement of Rutland Island between 1890 and 1930. The islands have been a wildlife refuge since 1987, with 0.36 square km of area.
* Effect of the
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
* ^ "Andaman Nicobar Administration". And.nic.in. Archived from the
original on 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
* ^ Census of India, 2011. Census Data Online, Population.
* ^ A B C "50th Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic
Minorities in India" (PDF). 16 July 2014. p. 109. Retrieved 6 November
* ^ www.andaman.gov.in
* ^ "Andaman & Nicobar Administration". and.nic.in. Archived from
the original on 2015-02-18.
* ^ Palanichamy, Malliya G.; Agrawal, Suraksha; Yao, Yong-Gang;
Kong, Qing-Peng; Sun, Chang; Khan, Faisal; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar;
Zhang, Ya-Ping (2006). "Comment on 'Reconstructing the Origin of
Andaman Islanders'". Science . 311 (5760): 470. doi
* ^ Government of
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