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About Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Expansive sandy beaches, a host of water sports and a rich and pristine marine life, the islands of Andaman and Nicobar has all the ingredient to make your holiday a truly exotic one. The Union Territory of India is actually an archipelago of 572 islands. These islands are spread over an area of 700 km. Only 36 islands of the total are inhabited. Hilly landscape and dense growth of evergreen forests cover most part of the Andaman Nicobar Islands. Port Blair is the capital of the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar. This group of islands gives travelers an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life and reconnect with nature. Adventure tourism in Andaman Nicobar is a major crowd puller. Right from soft adventure to extreme adventure sports, these islands provide opportunities both for novices and the trained.

The ideal time to enjoy your holiday on the islands of Andaman Nicobar is between the months of October and May. However, if you are planning a monsoon holiday, you need to make a visit to these islands between June and September.

Water Sports
When it comes to indulging in exciting water sports, the islands of Andaman and Nicobar never fail to mesmerize holidaymakers. Adventure sports that magnetise tourists most include snorkeling, scuba diving, trekking and camping. As the forests of the Andaman and Nicobar islands abound in ever green forests, great camping opportunities await travelers. Even if you are looking for family camping, these islands wonderful destinations. The crystal clear water, the coconut palms and the mangrove lined creeks add much to the joy of holidaying in Andaman Nicobar islands.

Historical Background
The word Andaman is derived from ‘Hanuman’, a Hindu god, while Nicobar, meaning naked people, has been taken from the Malayalam language. The history of these islands goes back to the Middle Paleolithic, 30,000 to 60,000 years ago. According to the initial historical records, a round 7,000 Andamanese people inhabited the islands. The population of the Great Andamanese reached the point of extinction when settlers from mainland began to arrive on the islands. Other reasons that led to the extinction of the indigenous people were the encroachment of land and the onslaught of various epidemics. Another group of indigenous people that inhabited the islands were the Nicobarese and the Shopmen (inhabiting the Great Nicobar).

Agriculture and Industry
Agriculture is done on around 48,675 hectares of land. Those inhabiting the Andaman Islands mostly cultivate paddy while Nicobarese cultivate coconut and arecanut as the major cash crops. Rabi season crops include paddy, pulses and oilseeds. Farmers living in the hilly areas grow fruits like sapota, mango, orange, pineapple and papaya among others.

The islands of Andaman and Nicobar feature numerous small scale handicrafts units. Fish processing, wood carving and shell handicrafts units form the base of the industries in these islands. In addition, the islands have industries like fiber glass, mini flour mills, polythene bags, bakery, furniture, rice mills, beverages etc.

Popular Islands
Much frequented islands in Andaman and Nicobar include Ross Island (one-time seat of the British), Cinque Island (known for water sports) and Havelock Island (features pristine beaches).