Andaman and Nicobar Islands
At the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, sometimes known as the Emerald Islands, are a union territory of India made up of 572 islands, 38 of which are inhabited. The Andaman Sea divides the region from Thailand and Myanmar, and it is located roughly 150 km north of Aceh in Indonesia. It consists of two island groups: the Nicobar Islands and the Andaman Islands, which are partially connected by the 150 km-wide Ten Degree Channel (10°N parallel).
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Andaman and Nicobar Islands Map
Here is the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Map for a better understanding of the territory of the Islands:
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Islands of Andaman and Nicobar History
At the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, there are 572 islands that make up the union territory of India known as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), 38 of which are inhabited.
The Andaman Sea divides the region from Thailand and Myanmar, and it is located roughly 150 km north of Aceh in Indonesia.
It consists of two island groups, the Nicobar Islands and the Andaman Islands, which are divided by the 150 km Ten Degree Channel. To the east and west, respectively, are the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The Arakan Mountains are believed to have a submerged extension in the form of island chains. Coral islands make up the Lakshadweep Islands. These islands are a component of the Volcanic Reunion Hotspot. Little Andaman and South Andaman are separated by the Duncan passage. The town of Port Blair serves as the territory’s capital.
The islands’ total land area is roughly 8,249 km2. There are no active volcanoes in mainland India; instead, the volcanic islands of the Barren and Narcondam are located to the north of Port Blair. The highest peak is Saddle peak (737 m) in North Andaman.
The dugong, a sea mammal native to the Andaman Islands and other Indo-Pacific seacoast regions, is the state animal of Andaman. A herbivorous marine animal, the sea cow. Three districts make up the territory: the Nicobar District, whose capital is Car Nicobar; the South Andaman District, whose capital is Port Blair; and the North and Middle Andaman District, whose capital is Mayabunder.
The Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only geographical tri-service command of the Indian Armed Forces, is located on the islands. The Sentinelese people, an uncontacted tribe, reside on the Andaman Islands. It is contested that the Sentinelese are the only modern humans to have not advanced beyond Paleolithic technology because metalworking evidence has been unearthed on their island.
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Climate of Andaman and Nicobar Island
The sea wind helps to soften the tropical climate in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands region. The islands experience daily temperature increases of between 70 and 80 degrees throughout the year. The area averages 3,000 mm of rainfall per year, which is a lot. Tropical cyclones (October to November) and the southwest monsoon (May to September) deliver a lot of rain to the island. Compared to other areas of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Greater Nicobar receives the greatest rainfall.
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Andaman and Nicobar Islands Important Facts
The 8,249 square kilometres of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are made up of 572 islands. Ten Degree Channel separates the two island clusters. The waterway is about 150 kilometres wide and 10 kilometres long from north to south. Its shallowest point is 7.3 metres.
The Andaman Sea, which covers 6,170 square kilometres, is home to 325 islands. The three largest islands in the archipelago together referred to as Great Andaman, are South, Middle, and North Andamans. Little Andaman, Interview, Sentinel, Rutland Island, and The Sisters are further islands. Nicobar, on the other hand, has 247 islands totalling 1,765 square kilometres. Great Nicobar, Car Nicobar, Katchall, Camerota, and Noncowry Islands are some of its principal islands. The southwest coast of the island of Great Nicobar lies about 150 km from the northwest tip of Sumatra.
The island arc includes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Patkai Range, Mentawai Ridge, and Rakhine Mountains are only a few of the submerged mountain ranges that make up the island arc. With a height of 732 metres above sea level, Saddle Peak is the union territory’s highest peak. North Andaman Island is home to Saddle Peak. Thullier (642 metres) and Mount Harriet are more noteworthy summits (365 meters). The only active volcano in South Asia and India occurs on Barren Island, which is part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Compared to the Andaman Islands, Nicobar has a more varied topography, with some of its islands, like Car Nicobar, having flat surfaces covered in corals. The majority of ships find it challenging to anchor on the islands due to the offshore coral buildup. Other islands have a lot of streams and are steep. There is an abundance of freshwater only in Great Nicobar. The Andaman Islands have a mountainous environment with surrounding valleys and hills. Some of the few valleys in Andaman with flat topography are the Betapur and Diglipur valleys in the Middle and North Andaman.
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Andaman and Nicobar Islands Flora and Fauna
On the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, tropical rainforests cover the majority of the area. The forests have floral elements from Malaysia, India, and Myanmar. On the islands, there are more than 2,200 plant species, of which 200 are unique. Orchids, ferns, and Andaman redwood (narra) are typical flora. Middle Andaman Islands feature some deciduous forest while North Andaman Islands have a large number of evergreen trees. Only the Nicobar Islands contain grassland.
Despite being blocked off from the mainland, the tropical rainforest has diverse animal life. The islands are home to 50 mammals, including indigenous species like the Andaman wild boar. There are 14 species of bats and 26 species of rodents. Elephants, dugongs, spotted deer, shrews, and Andaman and Nicobar wild boars are among the mammals found there. There are about 270 species of birds, 14 of which are endemic.
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Islands of Andaman and Nicobar Economy
The economies of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are centred on agriculture and tourism, with agriculture serving as the primary source of income for the majority of households. A total area of 487 square kilometres is used for agriculture. On the islands, paddy is the primary crop, along with legumes and vegetables. In mountainous locations, a large variety of fruits, including oranges, mango, and pineapple, are grown.
The islands’ pristine beaches have made them popular tourist destinations. Water sports such as sea walking and snorkelling are becoming increasingly popular on the islands. Some islands are being developed into luxury resorts. Smith, Avis, and Long Islands are among the islands slated for development under the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI). Recent estimates show that 430,000 tourists visited the islands in 2016-2017, up from 130,000 a decade ago.
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Andaman and Nicobar Islands Demography
Although the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have over 500 islands, only 38 of them are inhabited. The Union Territory has a population of 380,000 people, 53% of whom are men. The Andaman Islands are home to roughly 90% of the total population, with the remainder living in the Nicobar Islands. Port Blair, the territory’s largest and capital city, has a population of 141,000 people.
In the Andamans, there are approximately 450 native Andamanese people, while the Nicobarese make up the majority in the Nicobar Islands. Sentinelese and Jarawa are indigenous Andamanese. The majority of islanders speak Bengali or Hindi, with Malayalam, Telugu, and Tamil also being widely spoken. The territory’s official language is Hindi. English is also used for official correspondence. The primary religion is Hinduism (69.5%), followed by Christianity 21.7%.
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Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration
The British combined the Nicobar and Andaman Islands into one administrative unit in 1874. Nicobar, South Andaman, and North and Middle Andaman are the three districts that comprise the territory. Subdivisions and townships are formed from the districts (taluks). South Andaman is divided into three sub-divisions and four taluks, one of which is Port Blair. Lieutenant Governor is in charge of the Union Territory. It has one Lok Sabha member who represents it in the House of the People (Lok Sabha).
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Islands of Andaman and Nicobar Tourism
Port Blair, the capital and largest city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, serves as the Union Territory’s entry point. It can be reached by sea or air from mainland India. The primary airport serving the islands is Port Blair Airport, also known as Veer Savarkar International Airport. It is located about 2 kilometres south of the capital. The flight from mainland India to the airport takes about 2-3 hours. Travelling from Port Blair to Visakhapatnam, Chennai, or Kolkata takes 3-4 days.
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Andaman and Nicobar Island FAQs
Q) What is the capital of Andaman and Nicobar?
Ans. Port Blair, is the capital and largest city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Q) How many Islands makeup Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Ans. There are 572 islands that make up the union territory of India known as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), 38 of which are inhabited.
Q) Which country owns North Sentinel Island?
Ans. One of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Sentinel Island is a part of Indian territory. Don’t assume North Sentinel Island is accessible, though, just because it is an Indian territory.
Q) Can Indians visit North Sentinel Island?
Ans. It is illegal for Indian citizens to visit North Sentinel or make any contact with the Sentinelese, one of the last Stone-Age tribal communities that still live here. The Sentinelese, who have lived in isolation for centuries, attack anyone who even attempts to visit the remote island.
Q) Is a passport needed for the Andaman trip?
Ans. Indian citizens do not need a passport or a permit to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. To visit notified tribal areas, however, specific permission with visit details is required (e.g. research, educational, etc).