Nature is the best teacher. We humans learn a lot from, nature.also we do enjoy and adore nature. The whole world is filled with nature in different facets. And to fell nature Andaman is the final destination for it.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India lies in the huge Bay of Bengal. It consists of about 527 islands both small and large. The coastline of the Islands stretches for about 100 Kms. The Islands are covered with dense forests all around. The area of the Islands is about 8,293 square kilometers.The Islands consist of 2 groups, the Andaman and Nicobar. These two groups are separated by about 300 Km the capital city is Port Blair. Of the total land area 92% of the land is covered with rain forests. Of the 527 islands, in only 38 islands we find the inhabitants.
The rest of the land is barren. Andaman and Nicobar Islands lie close to the Arakanmayo mountain range of Burma which lies to the sides of Sumatra of Indonesia. Andaman is a developing land, with people being cultured and literate.
The Nicobar Islands are still inhabited by primitive tribes and backward communities. The population of the whole land is about 5 lakhs. Men and women populate equally. 2.5 lakh people have the right to vote. We can find high mountains, lush green forests, wide roads, new buildings and long coastline where are some entering features of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which make it beautiful.
The people in the Islands speak many languages. Peace prevails all over as there are no political or communal riots or atrocities. Not only the beauty of nature and the various enticing features but the peace loving people have made the Andaman and Nicobar Islands a tourist spot for visitors overseas. The people are given quality education. Medical facilities are qualitative. The people are very much aware of their rights and concessions and so do they abide and maintain their standards. The people enjoy a lot of freedom. They do not have any limitations. They live in harmony. This is a rare sight that one finds in India which is unusual as there are constraints, political and communal riots, and calmless situation in the other parts of India.
The people who dwell here are descendants of the prisoners put in from other parts of India, the refugees who settled down from countries like Bangladesh, Burma and Srilanka and Government officials and army personnel. There are people of various castes and creed but these differences have not thrust a difference in people rather as they have formed a harmonious society. The great leader Mahatma Gandhi’s dream vision of finding a peaceful land has become a dream come true, a reality in the form of this new land, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. People of the various states and union territories have a free access to these Islands. If they wish to settle down in these Islands they are permitted to gain permanent resident status. Special permission is not needed to settle in these Islands. But tourists from other countries who wish to visit these Islands have to get prior permission from the Indian government. They are granted a visa for 30 days to visit the Islands. The visitors will enjoy Andaman and Nicobar islands more during December and march as the climatic conditions and weather will be excellent. People visit the hill stations during the summer between April and June. But in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands the months between December and March is ideal to visit.
Every individual knows the saying that the sun never sets in the British Empire. This is true as the Britishers conquered the whole of the world, established their rule and supremacy which resulted in a lot of changes all over culturally, traditionally, politically and economically. They explored throughout the world colonized many islands discovered by them. In the year 1789, they first discovered the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But due to the natural calamities, they left the island by 1796. Nearly 6 tribal groups occupied the islands then. The Nicobar Islands were thickly populated by the Nicobari tribes especially in Car Nicobar, Nancowrie, Camorta and Katchal islands. The other groups of tribes are the Shompan tribes who lived in Campbell Bay at Great Nicobar.
These tribes were of Mongolian origin apart from the Nicobari and Shompan tribes, four other tribes namely Jarawa, Ongi, Sentinel, and Andamanese were the Negroid Tribes who lived in south Andaman, central Andaman and north Andaman Islands. The Andamanese groups of tribes were many in number. The others lived in small groups in and around the dense forests. They hunted animals and birds ate fruits and vegetables to fill their stomachs. They were skilled in fishing and collecting honey. They made boats. The weapons they used were bows, arrows, spears and swords. They were skilled in making pots and other clay goods too. They were primitive, uncultured and roamed around naked. The Britishers established their colony in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for the second time in 1858.During this colonization the British Officials and soldiers settled in large groups.
But the tribes did not like the Settlement of these foreigners and they were terribly annoyed. They had the feeling that the settlers would empower them and they were scared The Britishers used the sign language to interact with the tribes to befriend them. But these refused to accept them and shot them with poisoned arrows. In turn these British soldiers fired the tribes using guns and many tribes died. The fight ballooned to a weary battle. Fearing the Britishers by their extra-ordinary weapons such as guns, the tribes moved into the dense forests for Refuge. Few tribes died of diseases. The natures were pathetically defeated in the battle of Aberdeen. The rest of the natives gradually faded away. During the Britishers supremacy in the sub-continents, they sent the convicts from India and Burma to the island.
They separated the Indians who fought for the country’s independence and were sent to these islands by ships. They were chained and were sent into the dense forests to fell the trees and clear the lands. They were allotted stipulated time and were ordered to complete the works within the stipulated time. It was a tortuous treatment. The prisoners who protested were hanged to death.
The first Prison and Hangman’s Noose (place where people were hanged) were built at a small island named Viper. There were no sufficient cells to prison the convicts and so they built a new prison in Atlanta Point at Port Blair. In 1896 they started building a three storied prison wherein hundreds of prisoners were made to work in the construction of the prison and the herculean task was completed within ten years by 1906. The cellular jail had 698 rooms with heavy security. This jail had imprisoned the Maharastra freedom fighter Damodar Veera Savarkar, his brother and many others.
The Britishers were rude, tortured the prisoners and killed plenty of prisoners. Those who protested were put in separate cells. Whenever a Prisoner was brutally killed by hanging to death; the prisoners in a passionate cry echoed the slogan ‘Vande Martharam’. The cry of the Slogan was very loud and repeated. The whole of the country’s populate protested against the cruel treatment by the Britishers in these cells. They were against freedom fighters being sent to the Islands. The prisoners held a hunger strike and in result many lost their lives in the struggle. The father of the Indian nation mahatma Gandhi sent a letter to the prisoners requesting those to give up the strike and the prisoners nodded to the request of the mahatma. By 1937, the Britishers gave up the practice of sending the prisoners to the Islands and in 1938 the prisoners were released and sent To their states and the Britishers left the Islands. Those prisoners who had a Good name with the Britishers enjoyed much welfare and settled in various parts of the island.
According to their education and their skills, they worked in Government office; illiterates were given farmlands for cultivation and they settled in these farmlands. Some went back to their, got married and came back to settle down in the islands. Many towns were established. The Britishers provided food and other provisions for the rehabilitated prisoners. In the early 1940s, the Japanese landed in the islands. Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose visited the island, and hoisted the flag of Independent India on December 29, 1943. He also created the first Independent Government. Col. Loganathan a Tamilian was the first presiding official of the island. This island is also considered as the first independent state of India. In 1945, the Britishers recaptured the island. When India got freedom the island was retained back by India and was declared as a Union Territory.
Tourists from all over the world travel round the countries to enjoy as well as visualize the land, the climate, and the people and the Historical monuments found in that place. Even places which are least spoken off have many tourist spots to enjoy. These specific groups of islands too have many tourist spots in them.
Chatham Saw Mill, one of Asia’s largest saw mills was built here during the British rule. Expensive woods like Patak, Marble, Curzon and Satin wood are all cut into various sizes of planks, blocks and sleepers. They are dropped in chemical solutions and then sold. These are used for the islanders as well as the people of other states for their requirements. They must get permits to use these woods for houses, government offices and factories. Containers cater these huge logs of woods by ships to other states in India. 1000 employees work in this mill and are owned by the government. Tourists are permitted to see the process in this mill. There is a museum undertaken by the forest department in Hadoo, which is a store house of the kinds of trees available in the islands. The trees and its kinds are exhibited by their names. Wooden handicrafts are displayed and sold. Hadoo also has a mini zoo where rare species of birds, crocodiles, monkeys, foxes, pythons, deer, wild goats, pigs, parrots and pigeons are found. There is a naval marine museum set up at Samudrika in Hadoo where Corals, Shells, Fish, Sea creatures are found here. Navy’s costumes, equipments and weapons are also displayed. We also find documentaries of same islands. There is an anthropological museum in phoenix Bay where the weapons, pottery, hut models, wooden boats and the photographs of the native tribes have been displayed. This exhibits a five cultural heritage of the tribes. Another national monument is the cellular jail located in Atlanta point which was constructed by the Britishers. This is a symbol of cruelty and brutal treatment that the Britishers imposed on the Indian freedom fighters.
There is a fishers museum located of Aberdeen jetty were many strange sea creatures and fishers are found. Fishers of great quality are exported from here. One who is interested in getting information regarding fishers can stopover this museum. There is a beach named Corbyn’s Cove Beach which is natural and a picturesque coastline next to the capital city, surrounded by coconut palms. The favourite sports are sea swimming, sun bathing, and beach combing and riding. One has the facility of changing the clothes after swimming. A restaurant is nearby where drinks and snacks can be got. Well off people stay in the star hotel which faces the coastline. There is a water sports complex located at Aberdeen jetty called Aberdeen water sports where rowing boats, Pedal boats, kayaks aqua cycle, aqua glides and bumper are available.People can enjoy water sports in deep sea.
A marine park is situated near Aberdeen jetty. This is the suitable place for family picnic and one can taste sea breeze. It is an amusement park. There is a toy train and a traffic park which explain traffic rules and road safety to children. A sound and light show takes place in the cellular jail where one can witness the gory sights of the Britishers fortune both in Hindi and in English at specific times. Tickets are sold at the entrance of the jail. The Sipicot central agricultural research form which belongs to the central government is near port Blair, about 14 kms away from the city. This centre cultivates experimental crops, vegetables, essences and perfumes. The area is on a stretch of about 80acres. Researchers are made on sea creatures and fishers too.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Wandoor Beach and Mahatma Gandhi marine national park is a beautiful locale located 29km away from port Blair. Mahatma Gandhi marine national park has been constructed on these islands which stretch about 281.50gq.km. People come across coral reefs, deep sea animals and mangrove forests here. Pristine coastline adds beauty to the beach. Tourists will surely love the fun here.
A small port charters boats to Jolly buoy and Red skin Islands. The Jolly buoy and red skin islands are port of the mahatma Gandhi Park. Clean sands and swimming pools add fun to these islands. The water is clear and transport. Lots of fish of various colour swim across without fear of humans. Life style of deep sea creatures can be observed. It is a half day trip. Tourists must take food and water along with them. Mount Harriet, a big mountain about 55km away from port Blair, raised about 365 m from sea level. One has to travel to Pamp Plot by boat and travel 15 km by car. Phoenix Bay is the starting point for the boats to Ferry to bamboo plot. The Governor of the British Empire spent his summer on this mountain. The whole Government too functioned here during the British rule. This is a place filled with fantastic atmosphere, Verdant forests, solitude, blue skies, visible pristine sea coasts are rare spots from this mountain. This mountain is a favourite place for private time seekers and it is also a creator’s paradise. The mountain has a government tourist home also.
Ross Island which is opposite to Aberdeen jetty was the capital city during the British rule. Now this is a part of the naval force. It’s near phoenix bay. The Island can be reached through cruises. Some of the ruins built by the British officials still remain. A museum named ‘Smrithka’ maintained by the naval force is also located here. Photo copies of letters written by British officials, photographs and detailed documentary about the Island are found in the museum. Due to earthquakes, some parts of the Island are sinking. The Island might completely get sunk after some years. The tourists can find deer and peacocks in abundance in this Island. It is pleasant during day time. There is a graveyard for the Britishers. The island is completely surrounded by coconut palms. It also whispers woeful tales of the past.
Chidiya Tapu which is in south Andaman is located 26 km away from Port Blair. The forests here are dense and have a beautiful coastline. This is a village fully populated with birds. The sunset amidst the mountains is awesome. The favourite sports in Chidiya Tapu are snorkeling and boat riding. The industrial emporium in Sagarika is an emporium for wooden handicrafts undertaken by the government in Port Blair. Variety of furniture, wooden dolls, chairs, vessels made of wood, shell ornaments, walking sticks made of wood and ornamental lamps are exhibited in this emporium. The prices of the goods are cheap.
Gandhi Park is located near the Lieutenant Governor’s residence. It is also located near Shri Vetrimalai Murugan temple. The Gandhi Park is constructed in Dil Dhaman Lake. The park has an ancient Buddha Temple. There is also a statue of Gandhi in a seated position. Here children enjoy Giant Wheels, Bumper boats and Boat riding. This place is well suited for families to enjoy their weekends. There is a restaurant also in this park. Port Blair features cruise rides. From Port Blair, tourists and people of the Islands cruise to some Islands such as Ross Island, Hadoo, Panighat, Viper Island, Harbour and Floating Shipping yard.
Madhar Baba Dargah
Madhar Baba Dargah is located on the way to Corbyn’s Cove. It is believed that a person who wishes to get something will get it by the grace of the Baba. Animals’ sacrifices are common and devotees are served with meal. People come here irrespective of their cast and creed. Rangat-Cutbert Bay is in Middle Andaman which is about 170 kms away from Port Blair. The means of transports to this Bay are both by road as well as by boat. The population here is next to that of Port Blair. The village is surrounded by mountains. The place is serene and calm. Turtles lay eggs on the coast line of this village. There is both government as well as private resorts here.
Another picnic spot in Middle Andaman is Aam-Kunj Beach, a beach found in Rangat. This place is filled with commercial viability. Foreign tourists will surely have fun and enjoy this place. The waves in this beach are very high and strong. Maya Bunder, a dense forest about 240 kms away from Port Blair is in North Andaman. There is a harbour near by. Office of top police officials, government offices and educational institutions are here. This is a busy location. Karmatang Beach also in North Andaman is about 10 kms from Maya Bunder. The coastline is beautiful due to its white waves. A government tourist home ‘Yatrik Nivas”, is close to this beach.
Diglipur is also in North Andaman. One has to reach Diglipur by rowing to Kalighat from Maya Bunder and travel by bus to Diglipur. There is no roadway for 46 km. elephants cart the wooden logs to Diglipur. A dense forest has to be crossed to reach Diglipur. Bengalis are abundant here. Only few Tamilians dwell here. The Kalpang River has a hydro-electric power project. This place needs a day to enjoy. Havelock Island is in South Andaman. It is about 30 kms away from port Blair. There is no road transport. It is a peaceful island. The Havelock Island has Rudhanagar beach which is a natural one. Dense forests are found in the coastline. Elephants take bath and drink cool drinks. Nature lovers who love to live here all the time.
Neil Island is 32 kms away from Port Blair. One has to travel by boat to reach the island from Port Blair. It’s a very small island. Both Bengalis and Tamilians dwell here. Garden crops are found here and they are taken to Port Blair. People who love being alone would suit well to this place. Little Andaman is a bit far from port Blair and it requires small ships to travel to Little Andaman. The travel time is ten hours. Hut Bay is the capital city of Little Andaman. Here the head office of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Harbour and some other refugees from Bangladesh and Srilanka dwell. Farms, palms trees, are cultivated. Palm oil is extracted from the factories. There is a huge waterfall in the centre part of the island. The abode of the Nicobari tribes is Harmandar Bay a part of the island. The Ongi tribes live in Twank creek. Malaka is found in car Nicobar. A temple for lord Murugan is built on the coastline. A shrine built by the Tamils ‘Shri Gnana Dhandayudhapani’ is in Malaka. Christian tribes one populated here. A few Tamilians dwell here.
The boundary of Nicobar is Campbell Bay. The trip of Campbell Bay is called Indira point. It is 60 miles away from Indonesia. The actual and historical name for this place is Nakkavaram. Nakkavaram features in ancient Tamil literature. River Kalathiya runs here. Foreign turtles visit the Island. They come here to lay eggs and go back. The shore has Crocodiles. This Island is frequented by earthquakes and cyclones. Ex – Army men live here.
There is a tourism festival in the Islands. This is organized to encourage tourists to come in abundance. Before the festival starts decorations take place. At the time of the festival stalls are displayed both off government and private. The festival goes on for 10 days. We can find both North Indian, South Indian artists exhibit their talents in music, dance, poetry and debates. Every year the festival takes place during the second week of February. The inauguration of the festival is by a V.I.P from India. During these 10 days Port Blair will be crowded all the more.
The Andaman group of Islands are well connected by Air and Sea. While regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair (the capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands) from the Indian cities of Chennai ( Madras ), Kolkata (Calcutta ) and Vishakapatnam (Vizag), there are regular domestic flight services to Port Blair from Chennai ( Madras ), Kolkata (Calcutta ), and also flight from New Delhi
Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkatta ( Calcutta ) and Visakhapatnam to Port Blair, There are three to four sailings every month from Calcutta and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. There is one sailing from Vishakhapatnam in a month. The voyage takes about 50 to 60 hours and the ship normally berths at Port Blair for about two to four days.
Port Blair is connected with Chennai and Calcutta by air. Presently flights are operated by Alliance Air/Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.
Area 8249 sq km
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