Tucked away at India's eastern extremity, these lushly-forested, golden-beached tropical islands, over 300 of them stretch for about 725 kilometres from North to South in the Bay of Bengal. A naturalist's haven, the tropical rain forests and waters of the Bay of Bengal are home to a vast collection of plant, animal and marine life. Popularly known as the "emerald islands", the topography of these islands is hilly in places, fringed with coconut palms, covered with tropical jungle and interspersed with flat stretches of crescent shaped beaches.
CAPITAL – Port Blair
POPULATION - 356285
LANGUAGES - Hindi, Tamil, English, Bengali
LITERACY - 81.2%
AIRPORT ROADS - Surfaced -2758 Kms Total: 2886 Kms
BEST TIME TO VISIT - December to April
CLIMATE - Summer: 33°C to 22°C Winter: 31 °C to 20°C Monsoon: May to October.
Entry permits required by foreigners; Indians need them for the Nicobar Island.
Important Places and their importance Andaman and Nicobar Island
Car Nicobar: Tropical paradise, Beaches, Tribals.
Diglipur: Saddle Peak - the highest point in the islands, Kalpong - the only river in Andamans, watersports and trekking.
Great Nicobar: Indira Point - India's southernmost tip.
Galathia beach: The nesting ground for giant leatherback turtle, biosphere reserve area.
Labyrinth Islands: Beaches, Coral reefs. Little Andaman Tribals, Beach at Butler Bay, waterfall.
Long Island: Evergreen forests and sandy beaches
Mayabandar: Beach, turtle nesting during December-January.
Nancowry: Beach, Coral reefs
Neil Island: Lush forests, beautiful beaches at Laxmanpur, Bharatpur, Sitapur
and Howra bridge
Port Blair: Capital of the Union Territory, historic Penal settlement town where the Cellular Jail has been made a National Shrine. Beaches, Boating excursions, Mahatma Gandhi Marine Park, Gandhi Park, Sippighat Farm, Museum, Mini Zoo, Fishing. Elephant nursery. Chidiya Tapu (25 km) : Mangroves, forest, picnic spot. Collinpur (36 km): Beach. Madhuban (75 km) .: Trekking and wildlife.
Mount Harriet: Summer headquarters of the British Raj, trekking, wildlife.
Ross Island: Ruins of British administrative mansions. Wildlife reserve (Perm to visit is necessary).
Rangat: Nature, turtle nesting site.
South Andaman: Tribals.
South Sentinel: Fauna (green turtle and giant crab).
Festivals and fairs of Andaman and Niocober:
Durga Puja (September/October), Island Tourism Festival (December-January) Subhash Mela (January), Vivekananda Mela (January), Block Rural Mela (Janauary/February)
More info about the Andaman and Nicober Island
This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel