Andaman-Nicobar the Treat to Go!

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Andaman and Nicobar a knownly place for natural beauty and charm. These emerald isles are intriguing in more than one way. A&N are the union territories of India among the 8. Read the way down some gleaming facts about Andaman and Nicobar islands.

  • The names ‘Andaman’ and ‘Nicobar’ are taken from the Malay Language
    • The name Andaman is presumed to be derived from Hanuman, who was known to the Malays as Handuman. The name Nicobar seems to be a corruption of the South Indian term ‘Nakkavaram’ (Land of the Naked) as indicated in the great Tanjore inscription of AD 1050.
  • The most widely spoken language on the islands is not Andamanese or Nicobarese
    • The most widely spoken language on the islands is Bengali followed by Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Andaman Creole Hindi is also widely used as a trade language in the Andaman islands.
  • Katchal Island received the first sun rise of the millenium
    • Katchal, a tiny island near Nicobar was virtually unknown till the Royal Greenwich Laboratory declared that it would be the first inhabited place on earth to catch the rays of the first sunrise of the millennium. In the first postal issue of the year 2000, India Post issued a commemorative stamp depicting the first sunrise of the millennium at Katchal.
Largest Turtle
  • The largest sea turtles in the world nest here
    • Andaman and Nicobar Islands have India’s best nesting beaches for three species of marine turtles – Hawksbill, Green turtle  and world’s largest sea turtle, the Leatherback (Dermocheleys Coriacea).  The nesting population of Leatherback turtles in Nicobar is one of the few colonies that exceeds 1,000 individuals in the Indo-Pacific, and is hence of global importance.
  • North Sentinel Island is home to one of the most isolated paleolithic tribes of the world
    • North Sentinel Island is home to one of the most isolated human populations in the world. The Sentinelese, thought to number around 300, have rebuffed all contact with the modern world and fire their arrows at anyone who comes within range.  They are thought to have directly descended from the first human populations to emerge from Africa, and have probably lived in the Andaman Islands for up to 60,000 years.
Sea Cow
  • Dugong, the gentle sea cow, is the state animal of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    • Large, plump marine vegetarians with short, paddle-like front flippers, the gentle Dugongs can be found grazing peacefully on sea grass in the warm coastal waters of the Andaman and Nicobar Island. These languid creatures, also called the ‘angel of the sea’, can be spotted at Ritchie’s archipelago, North Reef, Little Andaman and parts of Nicobar.
  • Pandunus or Nicobar Breadfruit is a rare fruit found and widely eaten in Nicobar
    • Pandanus is a densely arranged, wedge-shaped fruit that has an immensely hard, woody and fibrous body in which several narrow, edible seeds are embedded. Each section has a fleshy base that contains an aromatic pulp that, after cooking, is a staple food in Nicobar. An economically important plant in the islands, the stem branches of Pandanus are used in construction, the leaves used for weaving mats and the hard exterior of the fruit is used as a bathing brush.
  • The extremely narrow limestone Alfred Caves are home to Swiftlet birds that make edible nests
    • The limestone Alfred Caves of Diglipur change their shape every monsoon due to a chemical process. These extremely narrow caves are home to the Swiftlet birds that make a unique edible nest. This tiny brown bird uses its own saliva and attaches its sticky home as a little cup against the most inaccessible places on the cave walls. Limestone caves with stalactite formations can also be seen at Baratang.
INR 20 Note Scenery of Mount Harriet
  •  The 20 rupee note depicts a scene from Andaman and Nicobar islands
    • Ever noticed the scenery on a 20 Rupee note? The image of a picturesque bay lined with lush greenery captured on the red-coloured note is the North Bay Island and the same view can be see on the way to Mount Harriet. Mount Harriet is the second highest peak in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
  • Other Facts:
    • Commercial fishing is banned in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    • The only active volcano in India, the Barren Island, is present in Andaman Islands
    • Baratang in Andaman is the only place in India with mud volcanoes
    • The largest living arthropod in the world, Robber crab (Coconut Crab), Birgus Latro resides here.
    • Little Andaman has two island waterfalls, White Surf Falls and Whisper Waves, that are straight out of a story book
    • At Havelock Island, one can kayak through dense mangroves to reach the open sea.
    • India’s southernmost point, the Indira Point, subsided by 4.25 metres during the 2004 Tsunami
  • Historic Facts:
    • Andaman and Nicobar Island has India’s first and only joint tri-service defense command
    • Ross Island was once an important headquarter for the British and the Japanese.
    • A penal settlement, including the dreaded Kala Pani Jail (Cellular Jail), was established here by the British after the revolt of 1857
    • Jal Hans, India’s first commercial seaplane was launched in the Andaman Islands

Source: The Better India

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