ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDAn island is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot or holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located between the latitudes 6 to 14 North and longitudes 92 to 94 East. Located in the Bay of Bengal, this group of 572 islands lies 193 km away from Cape Negrais in Myanmar, 1255 km from Calcutta, and 1190 km from Chennai. The two important groups of islets are Ritchie's Archipelago and Labyrinth Islands. The Nicobar Islands are located to the south of the Andamans, 121 km from the Little Andaman Island. A cluster of total 572 islands, only 36 islands are inhabited. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprise around 572 islands formed by a submarine mountain range, which separates the Bay of Bengal from the Andaman Sea
. The islands attain maximum altitude at Saddle Peak (730 m), formed mainly of limestone, sandstone, and clay
The name of Andaman and Nicobar Islands brings to our mind an image of palm trees, white beaches, green forests, sound of waves breaking on a coral reef
, and chirping rare birds. It has many islands, islets and rocks, It is also home to some of the oldest tribes in the country. Though facilities for trekking, diving and snorkeling are available here, the best way to enjoy a trip to these islands is simply relax by the sea.
The documented history about Andaman and Nicobar is limited. It is believed that Marco Polo was among the first from the West to set foot on one of the islands. Kanhoji Angre, a Maratha admiral had his base on the island in the early 18th century. From there, he attacked passing Portuguese, Dutch and English merchant vessels on their way to or from their various Asian colonies. In 1713, his navy even succeeded in capturing the yacht of the British Governor of Bombay. Despite many efforts by the British and later a joint military force of British and Portuguese naval forces, Kanhoji Angre was never defeated. The British established their first colony in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1789, which was abandoned in 1796. The British finally annexed the islands in the 19th century adding them to their empire. They turned it into a penal colony for Indian freedom fighters. The construction of the infamous Cellular Jail was completed in 1908. Hundreds of anti-British Indians were tortured to death or simply executed here. With the Second World War, Japanese troops occupied the islands and the local tribes initiated guerrilla activities to drive them out. When India achieved independence in 1947, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were incorporated into the Indian Union.
TYPES OF ISLAND Continental islands
TYPES OF ISLAND Tropical islands
Andaman and Nicobar islands The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal and a Union Territory of India.The territory is located geographically 150km (93mi) north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thailand and Burma by the Andaman Sea. It comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 10 N parallel, with the Andamans to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobars to the south. The Andaman Sea lies to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west
ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDLand & People The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were shrouded in mystery for centuries because of their inaccessibility. These are the paragon of beauty and present a landscape full with scenic and picturesque extravaganza. These islands shimmer like emeralds in the Bay of Bengal. The dense forest which cover these islands and the innumerable exotic flowers and birds create a highly poetic and romantic atmosphere. "Here the white beaches on the edge of a meandering coastline have palm trees that sway to the rhythm of the Sea. The beat of tribal drums haunt the stillness and technicolour fish steer their way through crystal clear water." This addition of strangeness to beauty which is responsible for creating the infinite romantic impact may be described in the following famous lines of Keats
THE sentinelese tribe did not wear clothesThe jawaraws use a lot of jewellery to adorn their bodiesThe shompens use clothes only below their waist
The islanders celebrate most of the festivals of the mainland due to the influence of the external society and the development that has taken place. Major festivals are Durga Puja, Pongal, Panguni Uthiram, and Onam. Other important festivals are Mahashivaratri, Janmashtami, Holi, Diwali, Christmas, Good Friday, etc. The Island Tourism Festival is celebrated every year for 15 days between December and February in Port Blair. Dance performances from the troupes residing in different islands are organized. One of the major attractions at this festival is the Andaman Dog Show. Being far removed from the present civilization, the aboriginal people did not wear any clothes till recently. The Sentinelese do not wear anything even now while the Jarawas use only adornments of bark and shell, like necklaces, arm bands, waist bands etc. The Shompens are semi nomadic and cover their body below the waist only. The people of Car Nicobar Island have totally given up the traditional dress of tassel or coconut leaf petticoat and now wear modern clothes. The Onges survived without dress for centuries but have gradually adapted to the dress code of the mainland. Use of traditional items of adornment like necklaces made of shell, waistbands and headbands of bark fiber are now restricted to ceremonial occasions.
The emphasis of the government on progress and its encouragement to the mainlanders to settle there has resulted in the local tribes becoming a minority group in their own land. The indigenous tribes are distinguished in two groups: the Onge, Sentinelese, Jarawa and Andamanese of Negroid descent living on the Andaman Islands and the Shompen and Nicobarese of Mongoloid descent living in the Nicobar Islands. Most of the tribes are on the verge of extinction. This sad destiny will most likely hit the Andamanese tribe first since their number is as low as thirty. The Sentinelese is the least studied tribe still living in isolation on the North Sentinel Island. Their number is estimated at 250. Outsiders attempting to make contact with them are driven away with bows and arrows. They continue to maintain a unique lifestyle living in harmony with nature just as they have done for thousands of years. The main crafts of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands include shell and exotic woods crafted for the tourists, palm mats, and beautiful natural shells. Due to the fear of over exploitation of the Islands' natural resources, trade of some products is now banned.
Tribes of these islands were hunters till recently and some of them had not invented fire. Because of this reason no particular cuisine has developed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Now, with increasing links with the developed worlds, the habitants are adopting their food habits too. Seafood is available in plenty and many restaurants serve fresh seafood
As a Union Territory, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is nominally under the direct control of the Indian Head of State. In practice, the position of Lt. Governor is appointed to directly administer the territory.
LANGUAGEMainly Nicobarese at Andaman and Nicobar Islands is spoken by the local Nicobarese tribe residing there. They are also known as Holchu. Since the Nicobar Islands comprise of 19 islands, all the islands use different versions of the Nicobarese language. About Nicobarese, a very special feature that cannot be left unmentioned is that they respect women more then men and the ladies are held high in the society. The Nicobarese women are free to marry person of their choice and decide her stay at her in laws place or her parents place after marriage. Out of total 30000 Nicobarese speakers, around 22100 belong to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Rest of them belong to other places of India, Burma, China, Tibet, etc.