Once known as Kalapani (Black Waters), for the patriots and freedom fighters in India were sent to languish in the jails, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is now a relaxed tropical island outpost that is a part of India and is geographically closer to Southeast Asia.
A relaxed environment attracts tourists from all over the world.
With its serene, near-deserted beaches, incredible corals and marine life, and a place of historical significance with a colonial past, Andaman and Nicobar Islands lures travellers to these mysterious islands, 1000 km off the east coast of India in the Bay of Bengal. The Cellular Jail, where hundreds of Indian revolutionaries were imprisoned during the Indian freedom struggle, still stands tall.
Until the beginning of colonial rule, the islands were populated mainly by indigenous people, but today the majority of the population consists of mainland settlers or their descendants who live in and around Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The territory comprises 572 tropical islands (of which 36 are inhabited), with unique wildlife and lush forests, although the Nicobar Islands are off-limits to tourists for security reasons.
The islands are close to the epicentre of the undersea earthquake that caused the 2004 tsunami, which caused a lot of devastation to life and property. Apart from flooding on low-lying areas of South Andaman Island and damage to the reefs near Wandoor, the main Andaman island group escaped major damage, while the other islands such as Havelock and Interview noticeably tilted with the movement of earth.
It is advisable to carry a few extra passport sized photographs and copies of your passport, as you would need to submit these to the authorities at Port Blair on arrival, for a permit to visit the Island. Best time to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands is from October to May. The climate is pleasant during this time of the year. Don’t forget to carry cool and breezy cotton clothes.
If you want to travel to an Island in India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands may just be the perfect destination for you.