SCOPE OF TOURISM IN ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS
SCOPE OF TOURISM INANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS BY A.Niveditha
INTRODUCTIONThe Andaman and Nicobar islands are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.They are a union territory of India.They are home to the only known Paleolithic people, the Sentinelese people, who have no contact with any other people,
HISTORYIts initial human settlement is lost to history.Anthropologists say stone tool crafters have lived here for 2000 years .Scholars of human migration believe local indigenous tribes have roots in Negrito and Malay ethnic groups in Southeast Asia.
ORIGIN OF NAMEThe name ANDAMAN is thought to derive from HANUMAN the Hindu God of monkey, supposedly used the islands as a stepping stone between India and Sri Lanka.
Following Independence in 1947 the Andaman & Nicobar Islands were incorporated into the Indian union.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands State InformationCapital :Port BlairDate of formation: 1. Nov. 1956Tourist attractions: Cellular Jail, Ross Island, Havelock Island, Marine MuseumFestivals: Andaman and Nicobar Tourism Festival, ethnic tribal festivalsLanguages: Hindi, Nicobarese, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu
Size: 8,249 sq. kmPopulation (Census 2011): 380,381State animal: Dugong (Sea Cow)State bird: Andaman Wood PigeonState tree: Andaman PadaukMajor crops: Paddy, coconuts, nuts, banana, mangoFactoids: It is located in the Bay of Bengal. It is composed of 572 IslandsNo. of District: 3
TSUNAMIIn 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake these islands were deadly devasted.Nicobars were special population hard hit.1/5th of the was killed
CLMATESea breezes(temperature) 23o c to 31o Humidity - 80% all yearMonsoon(wet) mid May & early OctoberNortheast (dry) monsoon November & December
GEOGRAPHYThe island forms the peak of the Arakan Yoma, a mountain range that begins in western Myanmar(Burma) and extends into the ocean running all the way to Sumatra in Indonesia.Majority of land area is taken up by the Andaman at 6408sq km.Nicobar(1841sq km) begin 50km south of little Andaman
FLORA & FAUNA
Isolation of Andaman island led to the evolution of many endemic plants & animal species of 62 identified mammals, 32 are unique to the islands.Among them Andaman wild pig,
Crab eating macaque
Masked palm civet
Tree shrews & bats
GROUND DWELLING MEGAPODE
Almost 50% of the island 250 bird species are endemic.The isolated beaches provide excellent breeding grounds for turtles and inland rivers are prowled by saltwater crocodiles.Dolphins are frequently sighted
INFORMATIONThough 1000km east of the mainland the Andamans still run on Indian time.It can be dark by 5PM and light by 4AM.People here tend to be early risers.Peak season is December and January In September & October tourists can fill literally every bed in Port Blair.
PERMITSMost civil servants come to Port Blair on 2year postings from mainland.All foreigners need permit to visit the Andaman Islands and it is issued free on arrival.The 30 day permit allows foreigners to stay at Port Blair.Overnight stays are also permitted on south and middle Andaman, Long island. North Passage, Little Andaman and Havelock and Neil Island.
The permit also allows day trips to Jolly Buoy, South Cinque, Red Skin, Ross Narcondam, Interview and Rutland islands as well as Brother and the Sisters.
ACTIVITIES DIVINGConsidered as one of the worlds great diving locations.Main dive season is depending on monsoon,Runs roughly November AprilDuring summer June August.Diving conditions are generally fine in September October.
SNORKELINGMuch easier and cheaper to arrange than diving.This can be highly rewarding.Havelock island is one of the best and certainly easiest places for Snorkeling as many accommodation places organize .North Bay is the closest place for Snorkeling in Port BlairRed Skin, Jolly Buoy near Wandoor are relatively easily accessible.
SURFINGSurfing travelers have been whispering about Little Andaman since it first opened up to foreigners several years ago.
FISHINGThe Andamans also have game fishing opportunities.
FESTIVALS IN ANDAMANThe 10 day Island Tourism Festival is held in Port Blair , usually in January.Dance groups come from surrounding islands and the mainland and various cultural performances are held at the exhibition complex.One of the most bizarre aspects is the Andaman Dog show, flower show, baby show and a fancy dresscompetition.
Subhash mela is held every January on Havelock to celebrate the Birthday of freedom fighter Subash Chandra Bose.
SIGHTS & ACTIVITIESCellular Jail National MuseumBuilt over a period of 18 years in 1890.Like many prisons , cellular jail became something of a university for freedom fighters who exchanged books, ideas and debates despite walls and wardens.A sound and light show consisting of voice- over conversations between the SPRIT of the jail and its former inhabitants borders on being powerful
Cellular Jail National Museum
ANTROPOLOGICAL MUSEUMThe best museum in Port Blair provides a thorough and sympathetic portrait of the island indigenous tribal communities.
SAMUDRIKA MARINE MUSEUMRun by the Indian Navy.It is one of the best science museums in Port Blair.It is informative especially as concerns the island eco system, tribal communities, plants, animals and marine life.
SAMUDRIKA MARINE MUSEUM
FOREST MUSEUM &CHATHAM SAW MILLLocated on chatham island.Saw mill was set up by British in 1836 and was one of the largest wood processors in Asia.Inside is the forest museum, which displays locally grown woods, including padauk and has displays on the history of timber milling on the island.
ROSS ISLANDIn its day Ross island was fondly called Paris of the East.But the cute title, vibrant social scene and tropical gardens were all wiped out by the double whammy of 1941 earthquake and the invasions of japanese.There is a small museum with historical displays and photos of Ross Island in its heyday and small park where resident deer nibble on bushes.
VIPER & NORTH BAYThe afternoon boat trip to viper island is worthwhile to see the sobering remains of the ochre- colored Brick Jail and the gallows built by the British in 1867.North Bay is the most early accessible snorkeling bay to Port Blair.
VIPER & NORTH BAY
CINQUE ISLANDThe uninhabited island of north and south cinque , connected by a sandbar are part of the wildlife sanctuary south of the wandoor.The islands are surrounded by coral reefs and are among the most beautiful in the andamans.
HAVELOCK ISLANDWith snow white beaches, teal shallows, dark jungle hills, a coast crammed with beach huts and backpackers from around the world Havelock is one of those budget travel tropical gems.It is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.
JOLLY BUOYIt is very famous for under water corals and the pristine clear beach.This place is one hour journey from wandoor beach.Snorkeling and Scuba diving are available here.Jolly Buoy is a No Plastic zone.
BARREN ISLANDIt is the land of volcano.It is the only active volcano in India.The island has a big crater of volcano raising abruptly from the sea.
RED SKIN ISLANDIt is another island in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park which has a nice beach and offers spectacular view of marine and coral life.
RED SKIN ISLAND
BEACHESSandy beaches of these islands are famous for turtle nesting.Important species of turtles are olive Ridley turtle, leather black turtle, green sea turtle, hawkshill turtle, water monitor lizard, salt water crocodiles, reticulate pythons etc., are also seen here.Corbyns cove Tourism Complex.Raolha Garag Beach.Harmandir Bay BeachKarmatang BeachRamnagar Beach