• Andaman and Nicobar Island
  • Scuba Diving in Andaman
  • Andaman & Nicobar Island

ANDAMAN NICOBAR ISLANDS

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 technicolor fish steer their way through crystal clear water." The scenic beauty of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, would create a sense of dissatisfaction and the human mind would rebel against "the whole mass of the motley facts of life.

The Andaman & Nicobar are a group of picturesque Islands, big and small, inhabited and uninhabited, a total of 572 islands, islets and rocks lying in the South Eastern Part of the Bay of Bengal.They lie along an arc in long and narrow broken chain, approximately North-South over a distance nearly 800 kms. It is logical to presume a former land connection form Cape Negris at South part of Burma to Achin Head (Cape Pedro) in Andalas (Sumatra). The flora and fauna of these islands, however, indicate that this land connection if it existed, should have been prior to the development of their present life form.

The History

A clear history of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands can be had only from a British Survey of these islands conducted in 1777. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands remained the abode of the Negritos and the Mongoloids respectively, who occupied the Islands for centuries. These islands remained secluded from the mainland till the end of the 18th Century when people from the outside world first arrived. In the Second Century, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were located in the maps prepared by the great Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer, Claudius Ptolemaeus, which possibly is the earliest reference to these islands. The early history of Nicobar is not well known although these islands were familiar to traders in ancient times, the islands being situated close to the trade route to the Far East. Though little is known about Portuguese activities in these islands, it is evident that the Portuguese missionaries started preaching Christianity among the islanders. The Nicobarese language also reflects a few Portuguese words.

The British Regime

The history of the British in the Andaman and Nicobar islands began in 1788 when Lord Cornwallis, the then Governor General of India, thought of colonizing the islands and instructed Lt. Archibald Blair and Lt. R.H.Colebrook of the Royal Navy to Survey the islands and submit a report on their suitability for a British Colony. According to the recommendation of these two officers the first British settlement was founded in 1789 on Chatham Island , near Port Cornwallis (Now Port Blair). After the First War of Independence in 1857, the British Government thought of establishing a penal settlement here. In March 1858, the first penal settlement was established, with 200 prisoners, mostly rebels from the Indian Army. Initially the convicts were kept in a jail at Viper island, which is about 15 minutes boat ride from Port Blair. The island had a jail, gallows, Kutcheri, Doctors residence, etc. Subsequently, this Jail was abandoned and the Cellular Jail at Port Blair was constructed. During the time of successive Superintendents, E.H.Man, General Steward, and Col. Cadell, the number of convicts increased and they were subjected to inhuman tortures at the hands of the British jailors. The foundation of the famous Cellular Jail was laid in 1896. The building was completed in 1906. Many changes, both in policy and practice, took place during Colonel Ferrars time, which, inter alia, included concession to the convicts, mainland visit, etc.

The Japanese Regime

World War II brought another series of changes in the life of the Andamans. During the War, the Japanese occupied Andamans on March 21, 1942 and kept the region under their effective control till October 8,1945 . Initially the Japanese behaved cordially towards the locals, but became harsh and suspicious after instances came to their notice of some locals maintaining contacts with the British. As a result a large number of innocent people were killed. One such place where the massacre occured is Humfreygunj. But one good result of the Japanese occupation was making the Andamans self-sufficient, at least in food production. The naval blockade created an acute food crisis and the Japanese compelled the local people to bring more land under cultivation. They also constructed roads. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose arrived in Port Blair on December 29, 1943 and was given a ceremonial welcome. He hoisted the National Flag at Port Blair on 30th Dec. 1943 for the first time during the British regime in India . On October 8, 1945 , the Japanese surrendered to the South East Asia Command at Port Blair. The Government quickly restored normalcy in the area and started rehabilitation work.

Port Blair, the capital City of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India. It lies on the east coast of South Andaman Island and is the main access to every part of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Port Blair is a Headquarter of Andaman & Nicobar Andaman and Nicobar Administration.



About Andaman & Nicobar Information | Andaman Ferry Timings | Andaman Banks & ATM's | How to reach andaman | Flight Timing Information | Andaman & Nicobar Tourism | Tourism in Andaman & Nicobar
About Andaman & Nicobar

General Information, How to Reach and Entry Formalities

LOCATION
Location Bay of Bengal
Longitude 920 to 940 East
Latitude 60 to 140 North
ALTITUDE ( HIGHEST POINT )
Andaman Islands (North)
Saddle Peak 732 Meters
Andaman Islands (South)
Mount Harriet 365 Meters
AREA
Total Area Sq.km 8249
Andaman District '' 6408
Nicobar District '' 1841
URBAN AREA '' A 16.64
RURAL AREA '' 8232.36
LENGTH AND BREADTH OF ANDAMAN ISLANDS
Total Length 467kms
Maximum Width 52 Kms
Average Width 24kms
Length and Breadth of Nicobar Islands
Total Length 259 Kms
Maxiimum Width 58 Kms
Biggest Island in Andaman Group
Middle Andaman Island 1536 Sq.Km
Biggest Island in Nicobar Group
Great Nicobar Island 1045 Sq.Km.
Smallest Island in Andaman Group
Ross Island 0.8 Sq Km.
Smallest Island in Nicobar Group
Pilomillow Island 1.3 Sq.Km
DISTANCE BY SEA (IN KMS.)
Between Port Blair & Chennai 1190
Between Port Blair & Calcutta 1255
Between Port Blair & Vishakapatnam 1200
Distance by Air Kms.
Between Calcutta & Port Blair 1303
Between Chennai & Port Blair 1330


How to Reach

BY AIR

Port Blair (Capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands) is connected with Chennai, Kolkata & Delhi by air. The following flights are presently operating in these sectors are :

FLIGHTS SSECTOR AVAILABILITY
Air India Chennai - Port Blair - Chennai Check Airfares and Availability
Kolkata - Port Blair - Kolkata
Delhi - Port Blair - Delhi
Jet Airways Chennai - Port Blair- Chennai Check Airfares and Availability
Mumbai - Port Blair - Mumbai
Go Air Chennai - Port Blair- Chennai Check Airfares and Availability
Kolkata - Port Blair - Kolkata
Delhi - Port Blair - Delhi
Mumbai - Port Blair - Mumbai
Jet Lite Kolkata - Port Blair - Kolkata Check Airfares and Availability
Delhi - Port Blair - Delhi
SpiceJet Kolkata - Port Blair - Kolkata Check Airfares and Availability
Chennai - Port Blair - Chennai

BY SEA

Port Blair (Capital City of Andaman & Nicobar Islands) is also connected with Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam. Regular passenger ship services are available between Port Blair and Chennai/ Kolkata/Vishakhapatnam and back. There are three to four sailings between Port Blair and Chennai/Kolkata, one sailing between Port Blair and Vishakhapatnam in a month. The sailing duration is approx 60 to 72 hours.

Foreigner Nationals

All foreign nationals can stay in the islands for 30 days. This can be extended by another 15 days with permission. They require a permit to stay from the immigration authorities. In addition, permits can also be obtained from: Indian Missions Overseas, Foreigner's Registration Offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and the immigration authorities at the airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.


For Indians

Indians need no permit to visit Andamans Islands. But permits are required to visit Nicobar Islands and other tribal areas, which are given in exceptional cases. Application on a prescribed form may be addressed to the Deputy Commissioner, Andaman District, Port Blair.

DO's
All visitors please confirmed the air tickets and accommodation in advance before proceeding to the Andaman Island to avoid accommodation problems.
Foreign nationals should obtain the required permit from the immigration authorities soon after landing on the island at Airport/Harbour.
Visit the permitted areas in the Islands only.
Please carry legal documents like permit, passport for foreign nationals and any valid ID cards for Indians for identity.
Swim in safe area only and consult life guards before entering sea.
Keep the beaches and the environment clean. Please avoid using Polybags and use jute/cotton & paper bags.
Dispose of the garbage at proper places/dustbins and avoid plastic.
Observe decency and decorum in dress.
Avail the service of Scuba Dive instructors having certification of international/professional organizations like PADI, CMAS, NAUI, BSAC and SSI for safe diving experience.
Please follow the rules & policy while passing through Tribal areas.
On beach, parents are requested to keep an eye on your kids at all times.
Please drink sufficient water to avoid dehydration.
Please pick up your bags and bottle while leaving the visiting spot.
DONT's
Foreign nationals should not enter the islands without required permit.
Do not enter into restricted/tribal areas.
Do not take video, film or photographs inside Tribal Reserve areas of the indigenous tribes.
Do not carry sea fans and seashells unless specific permits are obtained from Fisheries Department.
Do not light fire in forest areas.
Do not stay on the beaches or forest during nights by putting up down tents/hammocks.
Nudity on beaches and public places is forbidden.
Do not enter the National Parks without permission.

PORT BLAIR OPEN FOR CHARTER FLIGHTS

Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India has permitted foreign charter flights to land at Port Blair subject to the fulfillment of the guidelines issued by Director General, Civil Aviation, Govt. of India. These undulating islands in the Bay of Bengal are covered with dense forests and endless variety of exotic flora and fauna. The topography of the islands is hilly and abounds in evergreen forests. The sandy beaches on the edge of meandering coastline are fringed with coconut palms that sway to the rhythm of the sea. The sea around the islands offers excellent scope for adventure water sports. The rare flora and fauna, underwater marine life and corals, crystal clear water and mangrove-lined creeks, offer a dream-view of the rare gifts of nature. This blessed Islands attract any nature-lover, who seeks absolute peace and tranquility in the lap of Mother Nature. Adventure tourism like trekking, island camping, snorkeling, scuba diving etc., are the major attractions here. A visit to these islands is a memorable lifetime experience. Andaman Islands are a world class eco-tourism destination and has immense potential for adventure water sports.

The following are the facilities available at Port Blair airport.

❯   Runway having length of 6000 ft. (being extended to 11,000 ft.)
❯   A new terminal building having capacity to handle 400 passengers at a time.
❯   Flight operations are carried out at the airport before noon.

BANK's

The following Banks having their service at Andaman & Nicobar Islands

SR NO. NAME OF BANK ADDRESS
1 A & N Islands State Co-operative Bank Aberdeen Bazar, Port Blair - 744101
2 State Bank of India Aberdeen Bazar, Port Blair - 744101
3 Axis Bank Ltd 5, Middle Point, Port Blair - 744101
4 Syndicate Bank Phoenix Bay, Port Blair - 744101
5 Vijaya Bank Aberdeen Bazar, Port Blair - 744101
6 Allahabad Bank Aberdeen Bazar, Port Blair - 744101
7 Punjab National Bank School Line, Port Blair - 744103
8 Canara Bank Aberdeen Bazar, Port Blair - 744101
9 Bank of Baroda Aberdeen Bazar, Port Blair - 744101

ATM's

SR NO. NAME OF BANK ADDRESS
1 ICICI Bank P/o A & N Islands State Co-operative Bank, Aberdeen
Bazaar, Port Blair
2 Syndicate Bank Attached with Bank, Phoenix Bay, Port Blair
3 Canara Bank Attached with Bank, Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair
4 Bank of Baroda Middle Point, Port Blair
5 State Bank of India i Ground Floor, SBI Building, Port Blair
ii DC Office Complex, Port Blair
iii Ground floor, CCS building, Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair
iv ANIIDCO Petrol Pump Complex, Junglighat, Port Blair
v Dairyfarm Junction, Port Blair
vi Bathubasti Junction, Port Blair
6 Axis Bank i Middle Point, Port Blair
ii Paniphat Road, Port Blair
iii Near Netaji Stadium, Port Blair
iv Nayagaon, Port Blair

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