There is very little documented evidence as when the first humans came to settle down in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The first evidence is known to belong to the 2nd century, when Greek astronomer Ptolemy noted the presence of humans. Again in the 17th century, renowned traveller Chinese monk Xuan Zang mentioned about the islands.
In modern history, it was on December 1755 that Danish East India Company arrived on the islands of Nicobar, and in January the following year, the Nicobar Islands were converted into a Danish colony. Soon after, Austrians arrived for brief time, but Andaman and Nicobar Islands had change in its rights, after the islands were sold to Britain in 1868, following which the British made it a part of the British India. The British colony established here came to have the much known and infamous Cellular Jail.
For a very long time, the islands of Andaman and Nicobar had a very bad reputation of being a penal colony. During the long period of freedom fight in India, many known freedom fighters were sent to the Cellular Jail for punishment, which was then known as the dreaded “KaalaPani”. Even today, the cells of the jail can give jitters to anyone who is remotely aware of the freedom fight in India.
In recent times, there has been a drastic change and it is now one of the most visited destinations in India. The beaches here are exotic and these places have played a very big role in pulling the tourists here.
Arab merchants have reported the presence of these islands back in the 9th century while they sailed past the islands while on their way towards Sumatra. The very first western visitor to the place seems to be Marco Polo who called this place ‘the land of head hunters’ because of the hostile tribes that lived here. The islands had been annexed by Marathas and remained under its control until the death of the Maratha admiral Angre post which they were taken over by the British. The Japanese forces captured the islands from the British back in 1942 and it continued to remain with them until 1945. The control of this territory was handed over to India when it gained independence in 1947.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located in the Bay of Bengal. This group of islands, islets and rocks are spread over an area of about 8,249 sq. km. The capital of the islands is Port Blair which is considered to be every tourist’s paradise. It is also the largest city in the entire island.
The islands have a tropical type of climate and they experience moderate temperature all through the year. However the humidity of the island can go top being as high as 80% however the sea breeze which constantly blows in from the sea maintains the temperature and cools the island down. This breeze is also helpful in maintaining the temperature of the island in the range of 23 degree Celsius and 31 degree Celsius.
Unlike most of the Indian mainland, the islands experience monsoon twice in a year. The weather is very pleasant while it isn’t raining but when it rains it practically pours with an occasional storm. While tourists throng the islands in summers the rains make them stay away since the water and adventure sports that the island is famous for shut down for the rains.
Reaching Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Although the islands are secluded since they are situated in the Bay of Bengal, it isn’t very hard to reach the place. The islands can be reached from the Indian mainland either by air or by sea. There are regular flights which take tourists from Kolkata and Chennai to the capital Port Blair. Few major airlines operate on this route.
There are also ships which take you from the mainland to Port Blair. There are about 3 or maybe 4 ships which leave from Kolkata and Chennai every month. A ship is also available from Vishakhapatnam every month. It does take longer to travel by water than by air.
The ships and flights will only take you to Port Blair and if you would like to go someplace else then you will have to make use of the local transport.
Andaman is more of a holiday destination which is great top relax and unwind and maybe seek out a few sports which will get your adrenaline pumping. However the Aberdeen Market in port Blair is a great place to shop in. It is great to look for some popular artefacts like shell jewellery, jewellery made out of mother of pearl, lamp shades made using coconut shell, bamboo cane craft, palm mats and many more. You will find several stores here selling these artefacts in the most famous shopping destination in all of Andaman and Nicobar Island.
Some of the other shopping centres include Junglighat, Delanipur, Prem Nagar and Goalghar. All of these centres are located only 3 or 4 kms away from the Aberdeen Bazaar.
The islands of Andaman and Nicobar see a large influx of tourists every year but the island is more than prepared to accommodate all of these tourists. Irrespective of the kind of budget you are on while visiting the islands, you will find very comfortable place to stay in.
The islands have everything from luxury hotels to budget hotels. There are hotels, lodges, resorts, government lodges and many other types of accommodations that are available all across the Andamans which will allow you to stay comfortably all through your vacation. Most of these places are quite famous for the food that they serve as well.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands have grown as a tourist destination and provides all the comforts that are needed to have a comfortable vacation. There are white sandy beaches and turquoise waters which seem to be straight out of a picture postcard. So plan a vacation to the islands and enjoy your stay there.