The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located in the Indian Ocean and are considered to be part of Southeast Asia. They were declared a union territory on November 1, 1956.|
Official Animal: Dugong
Official Bird: Andaman Wood Pigeon
Official Tree: Andaman Padauk
Capital: Port Blair
Districts: North and Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Nicobar.
Area and Borders:
The islands cover an area of 8,249 square kilometres.
Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Telugu, Oriya and Nicobarese are the languages spoken here.
Learn To Speak Telugu:
What is your name?: Nee peru enti?
How are you?: Neevu ela unnaavu?
I am fine: Nenu kshemamgaa unnaanu.
What should I do?: Nenu emi cheyyali?
Whom should I contact?: Nenu evarini sampradinchaali?
The climate is tropical throughout the year and the humidity levels are high. The islands receive medium to heavy rainfall during the months of May to mid-September and November to mid-December. Tropical storms are seen during the late summer. The period between January to April is very hot. Temperatures vary between 23 and 30 degree Celsius.
The monsoon season lasts for about six months and the average annual rainfall is 3,000mms.Agriculture:
Around 50,000 hectares of land are under cultivation. Paddy is the main food crop and is mostly cultivated in the Andaman Islands, whereas coconut and areca nut are the main cash crops of the Nicobar Islands. Different kinds of fruits such as mango, sapota, orange, banana, papaya, pineapple and some root crops are also grown.
This union territory is very rich in natural resources. The economy is largely supported by the fishing industry. Agro-based industries are the second largest revenue generators. The economy also depends on the handicraft and timber industries.
The Cellular Jail at Viper Island is one of the most famous landmarks on the islands. It has 698 cells. The jail has seven wings and spreads out like a seven-petalled flower with a turret (small tower) at the centre.The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park comprises of 15 small and large islands and is a great place to learn snorkelling and scuba diving.The Chatham Saw Mill in Port Blair is one of the largest and oldest saw mills in Asia.
Arts And Crafts:
The tribes here create specialised handicrafts from cane, bamboo, coral, shells, driftwood and seaweed. The tribes from the Andamans shape driftwood into art objects. Bamboo is used to make cane baskets. Shell crafts include ashtrays, lamps, buttons and jewellery. Tortoise shells are also used here to create table lamps and small boxes.
The Jarawa tribe wears ornaments made of bark and shell. The Shompens are semi-nomadic and cover their body below the waist only. The people of Car Nicobar Island traditionally dressed in tassel or coconut leaf petticoats. The people from the Onges tribe have survived without dressing for centuries. The use of traditional ornaments like necklaces made of shells and waistbands made of bark fibre is now restricted to ceremonial occasions.
Tribes here are essentially hunters and thus no particular cuisine has really developed on the islands. Seafood is the specialty of the Andaman Islands.
The Island Tourism Festival is a 10-day festival that has a wide range of activities from dance to drama. The festival is organised between December and January.The Subhash Mela is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose. This weeklong festival is held in January and is attended by local and international artists.
The Union Territory is Famous for:
- Neil Island, which has lush green forests and sandy beaches and is considered to be one of the best places to grow vegetables in the Andamans.
- Beautiful beaches such as Laxmanpur, Bharatpur and Sitapur.Indira Point, on the southernmost tip of the Nicobar Islands. This is the southernmost tip of India.
- A beach near Galathia here is the nesting ground for Giant Leatherback Turtles.