To the east of the Indian mainland, in the blues of the Bay of Bengal, floats the splendid group of islands of Andaman and Nicobar. The erstwhile ‘Kalapani’, translated as ‘black waters’ from back in the day when the islands were the graveyards of martyrs, has now transformed into one of India’s best tourist spots. Forever scarred by the atrocities of the British regime, the islands retain an exciting aura that satiates the adventure junkie in us all.
Once a hill range extending form Myanmar to Indonesia, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands today are a group of 572 near deserted islets (small islands). Its majestic forests, and the sun beaming on the exotic flora and fauna take your breath away. More than 86% of the islands’ area is forest cover which is home to animals like the spotted deer, wild boar, gecko crab-eating macaque and pythons. Its glistening white beaches are nesting homes to turtles.
The jewel in the crown, however, is the marine life. The elegance of the crystal clear blue waters, incredible corals, and the myriad creatures that inhabit the ocean leave you spellbound. Exploring the marine life first-hand through activities like scuba diving and fishing guarantee an enriching experience of coming an inch closer to nature.
The history of Andaman is still a mystery to many. No one actually knows when and how the first inhabitants came to the island. The earliest archeological evidence yet documented goes back some 2,200 years. However, genetic and cultural studies suggest that the indigenous Andaman people may have been isolated from other populations since the middle Paleolithic (old stone age). In that time, the Andamanese may have diversified into distinct linguistic, cultural and territorial groups, now known as tribes.
The fist empire to list the islands under its territory was the Maratha empire. Rajendra Chola one of the Chola dynasty kings, conquered the islands to use it as its strategical navy base against the Sriwijaya empire (located in Indonesia). They called the islands Tinmaittivu or the impure islands
A major chunk of the known history however dates back to the post colonial period. The history of organised European colonization began when the Danish settlers of the Danish east India company arrived at the nicobar islands on 12 December 1755. On 1 January 1756, the Nicobar Islands were made a Danish colony, first named New Denmark. But this colony did not last very long as most of the empire was wiped out because of the outbreaks of Malaria by 1848. It was only the British who can then be called the true colonizers of the island.
In 1789, the British established their colony in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But, the island was abandoned the British in 1796; yet, the British resumed control over the island in the 19th century. During the 19th century as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands history maintains, the British used Andaman and Nicobar as a penal colony, which was named ‘Kalapani’ or the Cellular Jail. The history of Andaman and Nicobar Islands proves that criminals convicted of crime against the East India Company was sent to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with a life sentence: the convicts were forced to live in exile in the Kalapani. But, with the end of the British rule, i. e. after the Indian Independence, the ‘Kalapani’ gave way to a conglomeration of beautiful islands. It was in 1947 that Andaman and Nicobar Islands formed a part of the India Union. Today, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is among the seven union territories of India. The unique islands of Andaman showcases the sight of erotic beaches blend with the greenery of the forests. With a landscape of picturesque extravaganza, the islets of Andaman are a paragon of beauty worth exploring for the tourists. With world class beaches, coral reefs, lush green rain forests and an active volcano, Andaman is a secret to be discovered by the tourists. Situated in the Bay of Bengal, this Island offers a lot of colorful sites to its visitors. Scuba diving and fishing give you an enriching experience of coming closer to nature. Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman houses majority of mainland settlers here. Despite having a lot of tourists visit this island, it still remains a virgin beauty with untouched natural surrounding and a marine life worth exploring. From attending the musical show in the Cellular Jail at Port Blair to walking through a forest in Havelock, this trip to Andaman islands is going to be a fun experience for you and your family. Touring this dreamland with your spouse for your honeymoon will be the best idea as it is one of the hottest destinations for honeymooners.
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