The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are one of the union territories of India, located at the edge of Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. There are twin island groups – Andaman and Nicobar. The capital of the territory is Port Blair while the capital of Nicobar is Car Nicobar, also referred to as Malacca.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands experience a tropical climate. It gets medium to heavy rainfall. Summers are pretty hot. One can visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands from mid November to April.
History of the Islands
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been inhabited since 2200 years according to archeologists. People of varied backgrounds have stayed here. During the pre-colonial era, the islands were occupied by a Tamil Chola dynasty king, Rajendra Chola, who used them as a naval base against the Sriwijaya Empire. The Marathas also made them their maritime base in the 17th century.
In the colonial period, the Danish settlers arrived here and set up the Danish East India Company. They called the Nicobar Islands as New Denmark and later changed the name to Frederick’s Islands. There were frequent outbreaks of diseases such as malaria and the inhabitants abandoned the islands.
In 1778, Austria established their colony in the Nicobar islands and named them Theresia Islands. The British set up their naval base in 1789 on an island adjacent to the Great Andaman, the Chatham, but later shifted to Port cornwallis and finally abandoned the island in 1796 due to the spread of an epidemic.
The Danish settlers sold Denmark to the British in 1868 and the Britishers included them in British India. In 1858, the British established a penal colony at Port Blair and also bult a cellular jail for the freedom fighters from India.
The Japanese occupied the islands during world war II. Netaji Subhsh Chandra Bose also visited the islands during this time and named the islands as Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep, which stands for Martyr Island and Self-rule island.
In 1950, The islands became part of the Indian Sub-continent and in the year 1956, they were declared a union territory.
Flora and Fauna
Andaman and Nicobar islands offer a beautiful sight for nature lovers with their exotic tropical rainforest trees, which include mixed species of flora from India, Malaysia and Myanmar.There are more than 2200 species of plants. The various types of trees that are found are epiphytic vegetation, dciduous trees, evergreen trees and grasslands.
More than 50 species of animals are found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There are rodents, reptiles, birds and fishes.
Places to Visit in Andaman and Nicobar
- Havelock Island
- North Bay Island
- Cellular Jail
- Barren Island
- Mount Harriot
- Carbyns Cove Beach
How to Reach
- By Air – Port Blair is connected to all major cities such as Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.
- By Sea – One can also reach Port Blair through a ship. Passenger ships can be taken from Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai and back.