Andaman (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a group of big & small, inhabited and uninhabited, a total of 572 islands, and lying in the South Eastern Part of the Bay of Bengal., and are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India, The Islands are located between the latitudes 6° to 14° North and longitudes 92° to 94° East. The beauty of these islands, create in men a love of nature with a caressing tenderness, a wistful fondness for all its delicate nuances. swaying palm trees and forests dot these golden beaches. Where the sands are not forged of gold, the beaches are stretches of pure white, with sky-blue waters lapping their shores. The enveloping atmosphere with its subtle harmonies of light and shade, fragrance and exhales the paradise, visionary splendors, and the music of the birds that defies definition would develop creative and constructive feelings in the hearts of those people who come here to enjoy the beauty of nature.these islands were infamously known as the Black Water Prison.
Andaman Quick facts
District of andaman is northan part of andaman and nicobar island and comprises of 550 island, it is union territory. The total area of Andaman District is 6,408 Sq.Kms. The nicobar Islands are situated in the south-east of the Bay of Bengal. The most northerly island of the group is car nicobar, which is 143 miles from port blair. Total population is about 356000. The atmosphere is damp and warm all the year round he temperature varies from 65 to 98 degrees (F) in the shade. Normal rainfall 2750 most rain falls during the south west monsoon. The monsoon sets in at the end of may or beginning of june and strong south-westerly winds heavy squalls are current till september. Easterly winds prevail from november till april, usually beginning from the south-east and veering round to the north-east. During october and from february to april it is usually calm. Temperature 22 deg – 32 deg, relative humidity 70% The Nicobar Islands are situated in the South-east of the Bay of Bengal
Best season to visit Andaman and Nicobar islands is December to April.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a union territory. It stretches over a length of more than 700kms from north to south floating in the clear blue waters of Bay of Bengal. The Andaman group is inhabited by tribes of negrito origin, while the Nicobar Islands are inhabited by mongloid stock. The topography of the islands is hilly and they abound in evergreen forests. These undulating islands are covered with dense forests and endless variety of exotic flora and fauna.
Between Calcutta & Port Blair 1303 Km
Between Chennai & Port Blair 1330 Km
Between Port Blair & Chennai 1190 Km
Between Port Blair & Calcutta 1255 Km
Between Port Blair & Vishakapatnam 1200 Km
Port Blair is connected with Chennai and Calcutta by air. Presently flights are operated by Alliance Air/Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.
Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailings every month from Calcutta and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is one sailing from Vishakhapatnam in a month. The voyage takes about 50 to 60 hours and the ship normally berths at Port Blair for about two to four days
Andaman Festivals and culture
ISLAND TOURISM FESTIVAL:
This fortnight long festival organized by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration every year (during December-January) is the main festival of the Islands.The festival comprises an exhibition, cultural programmes, competitions and more. Government agencies & private entrepreneurs from the islands and mainland India also attend the exhibition organized during the festival.
Organized in the Havelock every year in the month of January on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose
Organized at Neil Island every year in the month of January to celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
Held at Diglipur every year in the months of January and February-the festival highlights the developments that have taken place in the rural areas
Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a unique culture, all important festivals are celebrated with equal enthusiasm by all religious groups.The people of Andaman can be broadly categorized into two groups such as Indigenous or Aborigines and Immigrants or Settlers. The Aborigines of Andaman Island consist of the following four tribes: Great andamanese, onges, jarawas, sentinelese . The "TUHET" or large joint family is mostly prevalent in Car Nicobar. Music & dance are components of Nicobari culture. Folklore is narrated and folk songs are sung on festive occasions. Inter island marriages are common.
Cellular Jail: This three-storeyed prison, constructed by Britishers in 1906, is a pilgrimage destination for freedom fighters. This colossal edifice has mutely witnessed the most treacherous of inhumane atrocities borne by the convicts, who were mostly freedom fighters. Now dedicated to the nation as a National Memorial.
Ross Island: Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime, is a tiny island standing as guard to Port Blair harbour. The island with historical background and preservable ruins is spread along an area of 0.6 sq. kms. With the ruins and also with the historical background, the Island has gained a lot of popularity among the tourists.
Viper Island: The Britishers used to harbour convicts here. It has a gallows atop a hillock, where condemned prisoners were hanged. Sher Ali, who killed Lord Mayo, the viceroy of India in 1872, was also hanged here.
Andaman Entertainment and Night Life
Andaman Nicobar Islands offer several opportunities for adventure water sports like scuba diving, skiing, sailing, parasailing, wind surfing, snorkeling along with the options of trekking through their dense evergreen forests and island camping in the beach front forests. Cinque Island one of the best dive destinations in the island, it has clear emerald water with a visibility of upto 80 feet. Jolly Buoy it offers a breath taking underwater view of coral and marine life. It is an ideal place for snorkeling , sea bathing and basking on the sun kissed beach. Rutland Island is a good place for training open water divers and is also a ship-wreck site. Snake Island offers awesome rock faces and spectacular dive landscape. Havelock Island offers a range of largely unexplored dive sites rich in underwater marine life.
Gandhi Park: This beautiful park at Port Blair has facilities like children's park, amusement park, entertainment park, deer and bird park, water sports, nature trail,, lake, garden, restaurant and Japanese temple, as well as a bunker.
The Island offers a wide variety of handicrafts made of wood, sea shells and pearls in the form necklaces, ear rings, bracelets etc. There are coconut shell lamp shades, ashtrays, Nicobari mats apart from wood items like walking sticks, trays, bowls, tables and chairs. These items are available at sagarika, cottage industries emporium at port blair and rangat, khadi and village Industries show room at middle point, port blair and several private show rooms in different parts of the town.
Sea food like lobster, prawn and several other sea-fish dishes constitute the principle cuisine of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Few hotels and restaurant serve chinese food, continental and western cuisine as well.
Anthropological Museum: Displays the weapons, tools, living styles, and rare photographs of the tribal inhabitants of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Haddo Forest Museum: It is a microcosm of various forest activities and exhibits various decorative pieces made of different type of wood such as satin wood, peauma etc.
Samudrika Naval Maritime Museum: It has complete collection of different shells and corals found in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Mount Harriet: The highest hill around South Andaman(365m), lying on the other side of Ross Island, provides and excellent view of the Port Blair city.
Madhuban: Some 15 kms from Port Blair, with sea beach in front and hills behind, it is used as a training ground for elephants by rangers.
Mount Harriet National Park:
It is surrounded by some of Andaman's highest mountain peaks and has dense evergreen forests. The park is a birdwatcher's delight.There are several well-marked trekking trails in the area too. One of them leads to the madhuban beach where you can watch domestic elephants being trained for the timber industry.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park Wandoor:
It is located in south island, 29 km from Port Blair. Regular boat trips take off from Wandoor village, and take you on a magical ride around lagoons, coral islands, sheltered coves and bays.
Directorate of Tourism
Andaman Teal House,
The Directorate of Shipping Services,
Phoenix Bay Jetty,
Port Blair (For MV Nancowry and MV Swarajdweep),
Fax: (03192) 230480
Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.,
Port Blair – 744 101
Phone: (03192) 233347, 233590
Fax: (03192) 233778
Foreign nationals should obtain the required permit from the immigration authorities soon after landing on the islands.
Visit only the permitted areas in the Islands.
Swim in safe areas only.
Consult life guards before entering the sea.
Avail the service of Scuba Dive instructions having certification of international professional organizations like PADI, CMAS, NAUI, BSAC or SSI for safe diving experience.
Foreign nationals should not enter the Islands without required permit.
Do not enter into restricted/tribal areas.
Do not take video, film or photographs inside tribal reserve areas or of the indigenous tribes.
Do not stay on the beaches or the forest areas during nights by putting up own tents/hammocks.
Do not light fire in the forest areas.
Do not stand on the coral reef while snorkeling/scuba diving.
Do not hunt birds/animals.
Do not swim after consuming liquor.
Do not carry sea fans and seashells unless specific permits are obtained from the Fisheries department.