Andaman & Nicobar Islands of India hypnotizes you with its beauty. Here are some unbelievably interesting facts about these islands:
- The name “Andaman” is supposedly derived from the Malay word “Handuman”. The ancient Malay people used to call “Handuman” as the Hindu Deity Hanuman andthe word “Nicobar” probably comes from south Indian Word “Nakkavaram” written in Tanjore Inscription (AD 1050), which means “Land of the Naked”.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands has 572 Islands, out of which, only 38 are inhabited.
- Dugongor popularly known as sea cow is the state animal of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is an herbivorous marine animal with a large plump body and short paddle-like front flippers.They are extremely shy about mating. Often called “angels of the sea”, you can catch a glimpse of dugongs if you visit Little Andaman, North Reef and some parts of Nicobar.
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands is the resting place for three marine turtle species- Hawksbill, Green Turtle and The Leatherback. The Leatherback (Dermochelys Coriacea) is World’s largest sea turtle.
- The Robber Crab (Birguslatro), the world’s largest land-living arthropod is a resident of Andaman-Nicobar. These crabs climb on the coconut trees on the night to eat the soft kernel of coconuts.You can spot these nocturnal creatures on south sentinel islands and some islands in Nicobar.
- It is a place where you can find ancient Palaeolithic tribes like Jarawa, Great Andamanese, The Sentinels and Onge. The Jarawas live in Baratang Islands and are generally hostile. The Sentinels, living on their namesake island are highly hostile and attack those who try to contact them.They are descended from the African Human population and have probably lived in the islands for more than 60000 years.
- Pandunus (Nicobar Breadfruit), a rear fruit that iswedge-shapedwith soft aromatic pulp and hard, the woody exterior is a staple food in Nicobar. The stem branches, leaves of Pandunus are also used for various purposes.
- Barren Island is the only active volcano of India and of the whole South Asia. This small 3-km wide island has a 1.6-km-wide crater partially filled by a cinder cone which has been the source of eruptions since 1787.
- Baratang Islands have India’s only active mud volcano.
- Diglipur in Baratang Island has the limestone caves that change shape every monsoon due to the chemical process. These extremely narrow caves are home to the tinybrown Swiftlet Birds.They make a cup-shaped edible nest with their own saliva and place these nests against the cave walls.
- The most spoken language of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is Bengali; followed by Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Andaman Creole Hindi.
- Cellular Jail was built by the British government as a penal settlement for Indian freedom fighters. Known as Kalapani jail, it was also infamous for brutal punishments by the colonial rulers. Now, it is a museum.
- Have you ever wondered about the scenery in the back of Indian 20 rupee note? Well, it is the North Bay Island in Andaman-Nicobar Islands.
- The first flag of Independent India was hoisted in Andaman Nicobar Islands on 30thDecember 1943; by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who named them Shaheed and Swaraj.
- Commercial fishing is prohibited in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Coco Islands, a small group of Islands In the north of Andaman and Nicobar Islands belongs to Myanmar.
- Chatham Saw Mill is Asia’s largest and oldest sawmill.
- Indira Point which is in the Nicobar Islands is the southernmost point of India’s Territory and has just one village with four houses.
Hope these amazing facts regarding Andaman and Nicobar Islands will surely lure you to make a visit there in your lifetime.