The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India categorized in the Indian archipelago (a group of small islands), lies in between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
It consists of two island groups The Andamans and The Nicobar with a total of 572 islands and 1400 km away from the east coast of the Indian mainland.
Transparent water, relaxing on white sandy beaches, and enjoying an ethereal beauty of nature, a true tropical appearance allures tourists worldwide.
Islands and Beaches –
Maximum beaches in Andaman and Nicobar Islands present shallow coral reefs overflowing with unusual species of aquatic flora and fauna that enthral the travellers to dive and relish colourful underwater activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, sea walking.
In 2018, The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi renamed the three most popular islands Ross, Havelock, and Neil of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Tricolour Flag Hoisting by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
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Swaraj Dweep –
Havelock Island, named after a British general, now renamed as Swaraj Dweep is the largest island (area 113.93 sq. km). One of the most densely occupied in Andaman group of islands, with charming scenic beauty, sandy beaches, rich forest, situated 39 km away from Port Blair, the capital and a multicultural town.
The island comprises three major beaches Radhanagar, Elephant and Kalapatthar Beach.
Shaheed Dweep –
Another famous island in Andaman groups. Erstwhile Neil Island was renamed as Shaheed Dweep. The island is very small, you can explore it within 2 hours.
The magnificent landscapes and the eminence of Swaraj and Shaheed Dweep are truly unparalleled.
Little Andaman –
Little Andaman is the inhabitant of an evergreen forest that leads to rich biodiversity. Surfing has made this place more popular in India.
Long Island, Baratang Island, Diglipur Island, Rangat, Mayabunder are some of the significant islands in Andamans.
Barren Island –
It is a remote place in the east of Andaman Islands. A South Asian only active volcano is situated here. The latest eruption happened in September 2018. Indian Forest Department allows only chartered boats to visit the island.
Great Nicobar Island –
The biggest of the Nicobar group of Islands.
The Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve encloses a large part of the island. The Reserve includes two National parks of India – Campbell Bay National Park at the northern and Galathea National Park in the southern part. The park is the habitat of rare migratory birds. The place is open for Indian tourists only.
Campbell Bay –
It is a village in Nicobar district. The place is the least visited island among all since its location at the extreme south.
Geographically important “Indira Point”, the southernmost point of India is located in Nicobar Island. Indira Point consists of a lighthouse that is the milestone for the route of multinational shipping.
Cellular Jail, also known as “Kala Pani” belongs to The UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located in Port Blair. The prison was established by the British to send the political prisoners during India’s Independence. Now, the prison serves as the National memorial monument.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose island (previously named Ross island) is the great attraction for historical ruins.
A must visit for the tourists is Viper island where another jail is located that was used by the Britishers to imprison freedom fighters.
Other historical places like – Balidan Vedi, the State Martyrs Memorial, Netaji Flag Hoisting Memorial, Param Vir Chakra Memorial, Aberdeen Heritage Walk will enhance historical knowledge.
Cultural Activities –
Things to do in Andaman and nicobar islands –
Andaman and Nicobar Islands always stand in the nature lovers list. Hence, every year The Tourism Department arranges different cultural festivals like – Beach Festival, Music and Monsoon Festival, Food Festival, Film festival.
During the festival, cultural Programmes happen in all the famous islands. 27 September, World Tourism Day is celebrated to showcase vigorous cultural activities that captivate tourists from all over the world.
Like other tropical islands, the impact of Seafood is vital here. In Port Blair, few restaurants are renowned for serving lobster, red snapper, seafood platter. Many local as well as foreign food joints are available to offer delectable food.
Best Time to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands –
Between October to May are approximately the best month to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands since the weather remains calm and it’s conducive for various water sports like – scuba diving, snorkeling, sea walking, etc. Except for the monsoon rest of the year, the weather remains moderate to visit Andaman and Nicobar islands.