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What you should know about Andaman and Nicobar

June 30, 2005 14:02 IST

Situated in the Bay of Bengal, the islands are:

  • About 1,200 km from Chennai and Kolkata
  • 726 km in length and 58 km in width
  • Made up of 572 islands, of which only 38 are inhabited.
  • The population is about 400,000
  • The original settlers of the islands are the Great Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges and Sentinalese. The other two tribes are Shompens and Nicobarese
  • The non-tribal population consists of Bengalis, Tamilians, Malayalis, Telugus and North Indians
  • Has two districts, Andaman and Nicobar
  • Only Andaman island is open for tourism

The first outsiders to arrive in the islands were the British who came in 1789 but daunted by diseases, left in 1796. They returned in the early 19th century and succeeded in establishing themselves and constructed the Cellular Jail, a prison for Indian political prisoners, at Port Blair. The Japanese annexed the islands between 1942 and 1945.

After Independence, Andaman and Nicobar was deemed a Union Territory. Its highest constitutional authority is the Lieutenant Governor.

External link:

Andaman and Nicobar

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