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. It has 325 islands which cover an area of 6,408 km2
Thickly covered by deep green tropical forest, the archipelago supports a profusion of wildlife, including some extremely rare species of bird, but the principal attraction for tourists lies in the beaches and the pristine reefs that ring most of the islands. Filled with colorful fish and kaleidoscopic corals, the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea feature some of the world’s richest and least spoilt marine reserves – perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
- Flora & Fauna
- Agriculture & Economy
- PORT BLAIR
- BARATANG ISLAND
- HAVELOCK ISLAND
- NEIL ISLAND
The climate is typical of tropical islands of similar latitude. Temperature in Andaman basically lies within the range of 23degreesC to 31degreesC, It is always warm, but with sea-breezes. Rainfall is irregular, usually dry during the north-east monsoon in November To January. and very wet during the south-west, monsoons in mid-May to September. It is quite hot in the months of March to May in the Andamans.
3000 different species of plants including mangroves, epiphytes, palms, woody climbers, timbers (teak, mahogany, Andaman Paduack) are found in Andaman and Nicobar. The Middle Andamans harbor mostly moist deciduous forests. North Andamans is characterized by the wet evergreen type, with plenty of woody climbers.The South Andaman forests have a profuse growth of epiphytic vegetation, mostly ferns and orchids..
The islands are inhabited by only a few dozen species of terrestrial and marine mammals, a number of which—such as the Andaman wild pig (Sus scrofa andamanensis)—are endemic to the region. Other common mammals include macaques, spotted deer, civets, shrews, whales, dolphins, and dugongs(Dugong dugon). The territory is home to more than 200 species of birds, including many endemic varieties. Numerous types of snakes and lizards inhabit the forests, and saltwater crocodiles, fish, turtles, and sea snakes are abundant in the coastal waters.
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, Field crops, namely pulses,oilseeds and vegetables are grown. Spices such as pepper, clove, nutmeg, andcinnamon are grown under a multi-tier cropping system. Rubber, red oil, palm, noni and cashew are grown on a limited scale in these islands. Andaman & Nicobar Islands are developing into a major Tourism hub with its exotic looking beaches and pristine islands having equally exotic names, wonderful opportunities for adventure sports like snorkeling and sea-walking.
More than two-thirds of the people of the Andaman Islands are Hindu; Christians make up about one-fifth of the population and Muslims less than one-tenth. Most speak Hindi or Bengali, but Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam also are common. Agriculture is the occupation of most of the residents of the Andaman Islands. Principal crops include rice, coconuts, betel (areca nuts), fruits, and spices (such as turmeric). Rubber, oil palms, and cashews also are important. Furniture and other wood products , Processed foods and garments are manufactured on the Andaman Islands.
Port Blair is the largest town and a municipal council inAndaman district in the Andaman Islands and the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory ofIndia. It lies on the east coast of South Andaman Island and is the main entry point to the islands. Though surrounded by attractive lush forest and rugged coastline, Port Blair itself is a somewhat gritty town that serves as the provincial capital of the Andamans.
Chidiya Tapu is the southernmost tip of South Andaman. The lush green mangroves, forest cover with numerous chirping birds and the Sylvan Sands and Munda Pahar beaches make it an ideal picnic site. The forest guesthouse situated on top of a hillock provides a fabulous view of isolated islands, submerged corals and the breath-taking sunset. A biological park has also been opened for tourists.
The Samudrika is a museum run by the navy. The museum displays history and geography of the Andaman & Nicobar islands. It is divided into five sections: history of the islands, their geography, people, marine life and archaeology. It houses an impressive display of coral and shells, and a large relief map of the islands topography.
Chatham Saw Mill
The privilege of not only being Asia’s largest and oldest saw mill, but having an entire Island to itself makes Chatham Saw Mill stand out from the ordinary. Established in 1883 the mill has been operating for over 175 years, keeping in place the original machinery and technology of wood processing.
The Cellular Jail
The Cellular Jail stands as a symbol of colonial oppression cruelty & untold suffering is mute witness to the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters who were incarcerated in this jail .the prison completed in the year 1906 acquired the name “CELLULAR” because it is entirely made up on individual cells for solitary confinements of the prisoners. Jail is situated in the north-east corner of Port Blair. Now it has declared national memorial by the Indian Administration. The Jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, specially the followers of Veer Savarkar.
The history of the great & brave freedom struggler is brought alive in a moving Sound & Light show. The show is conducted every evening in the premises in Cellular Jail which give us a brief idea about the happening in the jail prior to the independence.
This small island in less than a sq. km area that stands right across Port Blair, encompassing in a way the entire life of the Andamans. It was once the home of the indigenous tribe – Great Andamanese, whose number dwindled from 5,000 to just 28 within 20 years of the initial British occupation. The Island served as the capital from 1858 till 1941, when the Japanese occupied it and converted it into a PoW site. The ruins of the church and the Chief Commissioner’s house among overcrowding vines and aerial roots are the most evocative of the remains.
Baratang Island is a gateway to North & Middle Andaman District of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This District is quite unexplored from the tourism point of view. This is one of best part of your trip to Andaman Islands because of its virgin beauty and natural wonders. In Baratang Island you can see Mud Volcano, mangrove and tropical forests, Limestone Caves, Parrot Island and one nice deserted beach at Baludera.
This is undoubtedly a bewitching eco tourism destination. It is also an unconventional attraction, as its lure lies in its lurking, dormant danger. Barren Islands , 139 kms by sea from Port Blair, erupted twice in the recent past – once in 1991, and again in 1994-95, after remaining dormant for about 177 years. This island, about 3 kms in diameter, has a big crater of a volcano, about half a kilometer away from the shore. This island can be visited by special boats and landing ashore is not allowed.
This island offers beautiful sandy beaches and lush green forest. Radhanagar beach, 12 kms. from the jetty on the western side of the island, is one of the most south after tourist destinations in the islands. Vijaynagar beach, 04 kms. away from the jetty on the eastern side is another beautiful beach. Island camping (tent accommodation) is organized by the Directorate of Tourism durin the tourist season at Radha Nagar Beach . One can enjoy quite holidays in the lap of mother nature here. Havelock is connected by daily boat service from Port Blair. Dolphin yatri niwas, the guesthouse of the Directorate of Tourism, near to the Vijay Nagar Beach , provide cosy accommodation and transport. Snorkeling and scuba diving facilities are provided by scuba dive center operators seasonally.
Beach number 7 (or more commonly known as Radhanagar Beach) was bestowed with the title of ‘Asia’s Best Beach’ in 2004 by the TIME magazine. Known for its picturesque sunset, white sand and turquoise blue waters, the beach is a very popular hub lying on the western coast of Havelock Island. There’s a watersports centre at the beach where visitors can hire snorkelling and scuba equipment and boats.
Considered as one of the unique beaches located in Havelock Island, Elephant Beach is untouched by commercialism and boasts of an environment that exudes a peaceful ambience. Popular for snorkelling, Elephant Beach boasts of some of the vibrant coral reefs on the island and is easily accessible from Radhanagar Beach. Situated at one remote corner of Havelock Island, one has to either take a boat or follow a steep but a short trek to reach Elephant Beach that is renowned not only for its pristine beauty but also for its serene environs.
The Kalapathar beach gets its name from the surrounding village called Kalapathar Village and the black rocks (Kalapathar Rocks) that adorn the coastline here. The emerald seas, the tropical forests on one side of the road(Kalapathar Rocks) the coastline,and on other side the silken smooth silver sands and the sheer solitude make this beach a great place to relax.
Neil – the tiny, beautiful island located south of Andaman Islands on the East Coast of India, with unexplored coral reef and brilliant bio-diversity, white sandy beaches, forest & vegetation is one of the best tourist spots in Andaman. 37 kms from Port Blair, Neil is one of the closer island destinations to Port Blair. The sea encircling the island is shallow and full of colorful corals. Neil Island is also known as the vegetable bowl of Andaman as it is here the local vegetables are cultivated and supplied to other islands. The settlers named the beaches after the mythical characters of the epic Ramayana like Bharatpur, Laxmanpur, Sitapur Ramnagar etc. The beaches are popular for their hammocks under shady trees. Neil, with its very relaxed vibe and long, deserted beaches is a place to chill out .The island is also comparatively small with an area of 19 sq.kms. It has a population of 2868 people. (2001 Census).One can feel the serenity of village life here.
Beaches are Bharatpur Beach, Lakshmanpur-1 Beach, Sitapur Beach, Laxmanpur-11 Beach*( Natural Rock formations in Laxmanpur beach is locally known as Howrah Bridge.) Sir Hugh Ross Island(This island is a turtle nesting
ground and requires permission from forest officials)