Amazingly enhanting and greatly mystifying, the beauty and essence of Andaman and Nicobar Islands can hardly be defined in singular words. The islands have been mentioned by numerous travellers in their dairies and travelogues for the longest time, and there are limited but concrete evidences, which speak of the people who are native to these lands and have been here for centuries.
During the British colonial rule, these beautiful islands were something that were dreaded since Kaalapaani or Black Waters, where the freedom fighters were tortured, was situated here. But now things have changed, people from all over the world come by to enjoy the local culture and enjoy the beautiful beaches that the island is home to.
Geographically, these islands are located in the Bay of Bengal and are part of the Indian mainland. It was once a continuous hills range that extended all the way from Myanmar right up to Indonesia. A large part of the island is covered in evergreen forest and is home to a wide range of flora and fauna.
Tribals of Andamans
The islands are considered to be home to some of the oldest tribes in the world. There are four known Negroid tribes of the region, namely Sentinelese, The Great Andamanese, Jarawas and and Onges, while there are also two known Mongloid tribes namely Nicobarese and Shompens. The population of these tribal people have reduced considerably, however measures are being taken by the Indian government to ensure that the race continues to remain preserved. The government prohibits the tourists from contacting any of the tribals.
They have remained isolated from the rest of the world and perhaps this is the reason why they are more in tune with nature, so much so that they could predict the onset of the Tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean back on 26th December, 2004.
The islands of Andaman and Nicobar like most of the islands in the Indian Ocean have a tropical kind of climate. There is a little warmth, a little rain and, as is common with tropical climate, a lot of humidity. The islands mostly experience rain or heat. However due to the winds that keep blowing in from the ocean the temperature remains between 23 degree Celsius and 30 degree Celsius.
The monsoons come in twice, once between May and August and again from November to December. Although it is considered to be an ‘off season’, it remains pleasant. However sightseeing and water sports activities do take a backseat during these months. It is in the months from December to April that the island is considered to be ideal for a visit.
Considering the fact that the islands of Andaman and Nicobar consist of about 572 islands, it is no wonder that it has possibly the most beautiful beaches in the world. This in turn attracts a lot of tourists, both Indian and foreign, to the region when the climate is pleasant. Some of the most important beaches include Radhanagar Beach, Ramnagar Beach, Karmatang Beach, Laxmanpur Beach, Corbyn’s Cove etc.
Most, if not all, of the beaches have huts and also benches which allow you to spend many hours enjoying the beautiful sun and sand. The pristine white beaches are a result of corals and shells washing up on the beaches and then breaking down resulting in sand.
Since the islands are home to a large number of beautiful beaches, it is no wonder that the adventure sports that are available here have a lot to do with water. Its most popular adventure sport is the Sea Walking which involves watching the beautiful fishes and corals while walking on the ocean floor.
Some of the other popular adventure sports include scuba diving, snorkelling, sport fishing, wind surfing etc all of which find great demand with the tourists. The place is haven for those who love nature. There are several areas on the island where one can enjoy trekking or even camping.
Accommodations of all kinds are available on the island. There is something for everyone depending on the budget. There are hotels, resorts, manors, inns and even government hostels that can accommodate the large number of tourists who visit the island each year. The cost of staying at one of these places varies on the basis of several factors like location, luxury etc. However, irrespective of whether you are capable of splurging money or are on a shoe string budget, there is something for everyone here.
Places of Interest
Andaman has a rich, although painful, history and there are quite a handful number of places which showcase this history. There is a lot to see for all the nature lovers as well. Apart from the structures which you can check out, there are several natural places including the beautiful islands like Neil Island, Baratang Island, Long Island, Cinque Island etc. Some of the popular places to visit include the cellular jail, Mahatma Gandhi National Park, Chatham Saw Mill, Samudrika Museum, Anthropological Museum etc. All of these places are very captivating and you will spend a considerable amount of time here.
The beautiful beaches are always the most popular haunt of the tourists and during the peak season you will find most, if not all, of the popular beaches chock – a – bloc with tourists.
These beautiful islands of Andaman and Nicobar can be reached either by air or by water. There are regular ships and flights that leave from mainland India to Port Blair, the capital of the island. Although Indian nationals do not have to apply for any special permission, foreign tourists get a permit issued by the government.
The islands of Andaman and Nicobar have only recently began gaining popularity but people have been coming in from all across the globe to indulge in its beauty and serenity. While some come here for its tourist spots and the water sports that are provided here, some others come in to immerse themselves in the calm that some of the islands offer. It is a place that must be visited at least once in your lifetime.