Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Population: 379944 (2011)

Language: Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Nicobares

Capital: Port Blair


Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a Union Territory of India.  It is an island group in Bay of Bengal and Port Blair is its capital. Andaman Sea separates these islands from Thailand and Burma. They are made of two groups of islands namely Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands. Andaman lies to the north of the Nicobar Islands. They are surrounded by Bay of Bengal in the west and Andaman Sea in the east.


History of Andaman and Nicobar Islands


The archaeological findings show that people lived in Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2200 years back. The native people are the Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Jangil, Onge and Sentinelese. In 11th century A.D., the islands were used as naval base by the Rajendra Chola I and in 17th century, Marathas used them for their maritime trade.


The Danish East India Company arrived here on 12th December 1755 and established their colony on 1st January 1756 and named it as New Denmark. The frequent malaria epidemics drove them away and in 1778, the islands were occupied by Austria and they were called Theresia Islands at that time. However, Danish who returned sold the rights to the Nicobar Islands to the British on 16th October 1868. British used them as a place to keep the prisoners and established Cellular Jail there.


After the independence of India, it became a part of Indian Union in 1956 and it was announced as a Union Territory. On 26th December 20004, the worst tsunami hit the islands and more than 5000 people lost their lives.


Geography of Andaman and Nicobar Islands


Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a group of 572 islands and total area of them is 8249 square kilometers. Among them only 38 islands are inhabited. The Ten Degree Channel which is about 150 kilometers wide separates the Andaman from the Nicobar groups. Andaman groups of islands have 325 islands covering an area of 6408 square kilometers and the Nicobar group has 24 islands covering an area of 1841 square kilometers. Indira Point is the southern tip of the southernmost island and this point was submerged in sea during the 2004 tsunami.


Natural Resources of Andaman and Nicobar Islands


The tropical rainforests in Andaman and Nicobar Islands has 2200 varieties of plants. 86.2% of the land area is covered by forests. These forests have abundant resources of timber namely Gurjan, Padauk, Marble Wood, Silver Grey, Chooi and Kokko. The rainforests have more than 50 varieties of forest mammals, 26 species of rodents and 14 species of bat. Among the 270 species of birds, Andaman hawk owl, Andaman scops owl, Andaman crake and Andaman Coucal are notable varieties.


Andaman and Nicobar Islands State Map With Districts


There are 3 districts in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as of June 2012. Given below is the Andaman and Nicobar Islands state map with all 3 districts marked.



List of Districts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands





North and Middle Andaman


Diglipur, Mayabunder

South Andaman

Port Blair

Port Blair, Little Andaman


Car Nicobar

Car Nicobar, Nancowrie, Great Nicobar


People and Culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands


The population of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as of 2011 is 379,944 and the density of population is 46 people per square kilometer. The sex ratio is 878 females for every 1000 males. The official language is English and Hindi. Other languages spoken here are Bengali, Tamil, Nicobarese, Telugu and Malayalam. Karen tribal people live in North Andaman District and these people follow Christianity. Majority of the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Hindus. Muslims and Sikhs are also living here in small groups.


The festivals celebrated here are Durga Puja, Diwali, Christmas, Janmashtami, Holi and Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Alha. The Island Tourist Festival is celebrated for ten days every year. Many tourists from all over the world visit here during this festival time which is conducted in winter season. Shells are used to make beautiful and decorative ornaments and the shell art is carried out by the native people.


Education in Andaman and Nicobar Islands


The literacy rate in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as per the census 2011 is 86.3% among which male literacy rate is 90.1% and female literacy rate is 81.8%. There are both state run and private run schools. The medium of education is English and Hindi. Some vernacular schools are also established to promote the education of the tribal people.


Some of the important educational institutions in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Andaman and Nicobar Islands Industrial Training Institute, Tagore Government College of Education, Jawaharlal Nehru Rajkeeya Mahavidyalaya, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Government Polytechnic, etc.


Economy of Andaman and Nicobar Islands



Agriculture is the chief contributor to the economy of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and more than 48,675 hectares of land are under cultivation. Some of the important crops grown here are paddy, coconut, arecanut, pulses, oilseeds, mango, orange, sapota, banana, papaya, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, rubber, palm and cashew.


There are more than 1000 small scale industrial units and four medium sized industrial units here. Fibre glass, polythene bags, PVC pipes and fittings, soft drinks and beverages are manufactured in them. Fish is processed and exported from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Other industries are shell crafts making, furniture making and rice milling. The GSDP of 2005 was 13,130 million rupees and this grew from 530 million rupees in 1980.


Andaman and Nicobar Islands Transportation


Andaman and Nicobar Islands could be reached by air or by sea from Chennai and Calcutta. Alliance Air, Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate regular services from Chennai to Port Blair. Within the island, good road facilities are available. Port Blair is connected with Maya Bunder with a road length of 240 kilometers. Inland water transport is used for navigating from one island to the other. However in Nicobar Islands only sea transport is available.


Andaman and Nicobar Islands Tourism


Tourism is one of the major activities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. To enter the islands, Restricted Area Permit is needed. This could be obtained from the Veer Savarkar Airport at Port Blair on arrival. Some of the important places of interest in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are as follows:


1. Jolly Buoy Islands

2. Barren Islands

3. Ross Islands

4. Red Skin Islands

5. Chatham Islands

6. Viper Islands

7. Cellular Jail

8. Radhnagar Beach

9. Harminder Bay Beach

10. National Memorial

11. Anthropological Museum

12. Fisheries Museum

13. Forest Museum

14. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

15. Mini Zoo at Haddo


Travel Destinations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands


Districts in Andaman and Nicobar Islands