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Did You Know? 7 Interesting Facts about The Andaman & Nicobar Islands

January 19, 2018

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Celebrated among the savviest of travelers, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are well-known for the beautiful beaches, gorgeous marine life as well as its pristine and secluded location. An ideal place for a getaway, this archipelago has more than 550 islands out of which only 36 are accessible to tourists.

However, if this is the first time that you’ve heard of the Andaman & Nicobar islands, one of the seven union territories of India, then you’re in for a treat! This amazing destination offers many interesting and fun facts. For starters, you might be interested to know that the population of the islands is made up of a fascinating mix of Southeast Asians and South Indians along with ethnic groups like the Negrito. 

Read on to find out even more exciting facts about this slice of heaven on Earth: 

 

The name, ‘Andaman’ originated from Malay while ‘Nicobar’ was derived from the South Indian language

 

Apparently, the name ‘Andaman’ was derived from ‘Hanuman’, who was one of the main characters of the epic tale ‘Ramayana’, he is known as ‘Handuman’ to the Malays. While the name ‘Nicobar’ is derived from the South Indian term ‘Nakkavaram’ which means “Land of the Naked” as specified in the great Tanjore engraving of AD 1050.

 

The Barren Island (India’s only active volcano) is located in the Andaman Islands

 

the Barren Island

Image credit: CNN.com

 

The  Barren Island is actually not only the only active volcano in India but also in the whole of South Asia. This island, located approximately 135 km northeast of Port Blair, is a small 3 km wide island which comprises of a 1.6 km wide crater partially filled by a cinder cone. If you’re curious to see it for yourself, you can book cheap New Delhi to Port Blair flights and explore this volcanic island for an experience like no other!

 

Andamanese and Nicobarese are NOT the widely spoken languages

 

Contrary to popular beliefs, the most widely spoken language on the islands is actually Bengali along with Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.

 

They are home to the world’s largest sea turtles

 

Leatherback turtle

Image credit: Biologicaldiversity.org

 

If you a lover of animals –  particularly sea animals, you would be happy to know that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have the best nesting beaches for species of marine turtles namely, the Leatherback (the world’s largest sea turtle and heaviest reptile), the Hawksbill and the Green Turtles! 

 

Katchal Island received the first rays of the sun of the Millenium 

 

Here’s a fun fact – A tiny island located near the Nicobar island, Katchal, was practically unknown until the Royal Greenwich Laboratory announced that it would be the first populated region on earth to receive the first rays of the sun of the millennium!

 

Commercial fishing is banned 

 

scuba diving andaman

Image credit: Traveltriangle.com

 

For more than four decades now, commercial fishing has been banned around the Andaman islands. Hence, fishes and other marine life in the protected areas would only die due to old age or of natural causes! This emerald island is surrounded by turquoise colored water and has an abundance of whales, sea turtles, dolphins, sailfish and other breathtaking marine life.

 

 The rare Nicobar Breadfruit can only be found here

 

 

Nicobar Breadfruit

Image credit: Onlygossip.net

 

Also known as the ‘Hala fruit’, the Nicobar breadfruit is a wedge-shaped fruit which is densely arranged and has an extremely rigid fibrous body with diverse small, edible seeds. Every section of this fruit has a fleshy base that comprises of an aromatic pulp which is one of Nicobar’s staples (along with plenty of fresh seafood).

This vibrantly colored fruit is also an economically important plant in the islands. This is because the stem branches of the Nicobar breadfruit are widely used for construction while the leaves are an important part for weaving mats and lastly, the rigid external covering of the fruit can be used as a bathing brush! 

 

Though the above are just a handful of the many interesting facts and insights about the Andaman & Nicobar islands, anyone can easily conclude that at least once in a lifetime visit to these off-the-beaten-path destinations is a must. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip, pack a bag and get ready to explore this exotic destination firsthand!

 


Want to experience the best that India – including the Andaman & Nicobar islands – without breaking the bank? Why not book yourself a budget culinary vacation in India? You’ll not only get to eat delicious food, you’ll also learn how to prepare them from scratch! 

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