The story of island begins when time began. Once the geological forces has created mountains, islands and oceans, living creatures evolved, until at last the earth came to be dominated by homo sapiens. The world was in its primitive stage, when at the end of this period, for reasons as yet inexplicable, while the rest of the world marched on, the process of evolution halted in the Andamans and Nicobars. The islands are therefore inhabited by aborigines, though there are some islands that are quite uninhabited.

Geographically, as mentioned earlier, these islands, sometimes called the Bay Islands, lie in the Bay of Bengal. The Andamans, the northern archipelago, which consists of 204 islands and islets, is about 600 kilometres in length, about 60 kilometres at its widest breadth, and lies in a gentle crescent. The most important islands in the Andaman group are three- North, Middle and South Andaman, which are commonly known as Great Andaman. These islands are separated by very narrow straits and are garlanded by several little islands. There is the Landfall Island which is north of North Andaman, the Labyrinth Islands off the south-west of South Andaman, Ritchie’s Archipelago off the east coast of the same island between Middle Andaman and South Andaman, and Rutland Island at the southern extremity. Separated by Duncan passage is little Andaman, about 50 kilometres away from Rutland Island. It is in Duncan passage that lie the Cinque Islands and several other smaller islands.

The Andamans are dotted with numerous hills interspersed with narrow valleys. While the hills are entirely covered with tropical jungle it might surprise you to know that there is a total absence of rivers, though there are a few perennial streams. The highest hill in north Andaman is 732 metres high, topped by saddle peak. The beauty of thee islands can best be described in colours. Fly over the islands and you will find that the hills look as if they have had a lavender wash, the sea glistens myriad hues of green and blue, and some of the coral beds in the innumerable bays- the most prominent feature of the landscape- shimmer all the colors of the rainbow. The very nature of the relief of these islands provides many natural harbours and tidal creeks.

How to reach : Some might begin the journey from Meenambakkam airport in Madras, flying over 1100 kms. to their destination. These distances have been specifically mentioned so that the fact that India is a vast subcontinent of infinite variety with a strong chord of harmony running though it is at once clear. Or perhaps you have a lot of leisure-time on your hands, in which case a sea voyage to the Andamans & Nicobars is both from Madras and Calcutta to Port Blair. A three-day journey by sea has the great advantage of getting your sense accustomed to the solitude of the vast sea and the islands that are your destination. When you finally arrive at Port Blair, no doubt with excited expectancy, the pandora’s box opens to unravel the secrets of the islands- you will begin your journey into the two archipelagos that are together known as the Andaman & Nicobar islands. At the end of the day, even the most seasoned traveler will agree that the unusual people, their culture, their customs, their rituals, their fashion of doing things, the forests, the relief, the clear coral seas and the incredible marine life are far removed from anything he is ever likely to encounter.

Geography :
Archipelago – Andaman & Nicobar islands
Total Islands- 572
Major islands- North Andaman Island, Little Andama, Middle Andaman & South Andaman Island
Area- 6,408 km2 (2,474 sq mi)
Highest Elevation- 732 m (2,402 ft)
Highest Point- Saddle Peak
Union Territory- Andaman & Nicobar
Capital- Port Blair

Population- 343,125 (as of 2011
Density- 48 /km2 (124 /sq mi)
Ethnic Groups- Shompen, Mainland Indians, Jarawa, Onge, Great Andamanese & Sentenelese

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