Location: Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of more than 300 islands located to the South-east of the mainland India at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprises two island groups – the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 10°N parallel, with the Andamans to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobar group of islands to the south. Andaman Sea lies to the east of these islands and the Bay of Bengal lies to the west.
Climate: Andaman & Nicobar Islands usually have three distinct seasons – winter season, summer season and monsoon. Winter is the best tourist season for the islands. Winters start in the islands in late November and end in late February. It is just pleasantly warm during daytime and nights are pleasant. Temperature is seldom more than 30 degrees, with average temperature around 22 degrees.
Summer Season begins with March and ends around middle of May. Day time temperature reaches in the middle 30s and humidity level is also high. It makes it a bit uncomfortable during summer for tourists. This is why number of tourists reduce during summer.
Monsoon, which starts in May end lasts till the end of September in Andamans, is quite hot and humid. Storms with strong winds and heavy rainfalls become regular. Tourism is at its lowest during this season. Ferries between different islands become quite irregular.
Cuisines: No particular cuisine developed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as most of the native population here were primitive tribes who depended on hunting and gathering food materials. However, these islands have been attracting people from all over India. These people brought with them their own cuisines. Thus the cuisines of the Islands you can see influence of South Indian and North Indian food habits. Even Bengali cuisines are embedded in the acquired cuisine culture of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Soil is a bit saline and not so fertile. Hence, fruits, apart from coconut, are hardly grown here. Banana, guava and some oranges are also grown on these islands. Staple diet of those living on these islands is rice. Sea food is quite common as marine life is abundant here.
There are several restaurants serving all sort of Indian foods here.
Things to Do: Andaman and Nicobar Islands is about sea and beaches. Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and dense forests can be seen in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. But it is more than just beaches and islands. It is of historical importance. Freedom fighters were banished to these islands and often executed. One can see the Cellular Jail and the gallows on Ross Island. Andaman & Nicobar Islands is also home to some of the primitive tribes. There are mangrove forests and limestone caves to be explored. One should indulge in trekking, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Port Blair: Port Blair, the capital of the union territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, is located on the east coast of the South Andaman Island. An island town, Port Blair offers water based activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, sea cruises, and glimpses of the history and culture of the region for the visitors.
Havelock Island: Havelock, with an area of almost 114 square kilometer, is the largest of the islands that comprise Ritchie’s Archipelago. This is located 39km north-east of Port Blair. The Island is known for its beautiful sandy beaches fringed with green canopy of the rain-fed forests. Radhanagar Beach is the most famous of all the beaches of the Island.
Neil Island: Neil Island, with an area of around 19 square kilometer, is a small island located 37km south of the Andaman Islands. It is also a part of Ritchie’s Archipelago. With its unexplored coral reefs, lovely bio-diversity, white sandy beaches and tropical forest and vegetation, Neil Island is one of the most popular tourist hot spots in the Andamans. It is also known as the ‘vegetable bowl’ of the Andamans. The beaches in Neil Island are named after the mythological characters of Ramayan; for example, Sitapur, Ramnagar, Lakshmanpur etc.
Bartang Island: Bartang Island, situated 100km from Port Blair, between South and Middle Andaman, is a relatively unexplored from the tourist point of view. The route to Bartang Island passes through Jarwa Tribe Reserve, part of dense forest where people from primitive Jarwa Tribe live. In Baratang Island one can see mud volcano, mangrove and tropical forests, limestone caves, a nice deserted beach at Baludera. One can access Parrot Island only from Bartang.