The Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India. Informally, the territory's name is often abbreviated to A & N Islands, or ANI. It is located in the Indian Ocean, in the southern reaches of the Bay of Bengal. It is comprised of two island groups -the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands - which separate the Andaman Sea to the east from the Indian Ocean. These two groups are separated by the 10° N parallel, the Andamans lying to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobars to the south. The capital of this territory is the Andamanese town of Port Blair. The total land area of the territory is approximately 8,249 sq. km. The total area of the Andaman Islands is some 6,408 sq.km; that of the Nicobar Islands approximately 1,841 sq.km. There are over 570 islands in the territory, of which only some 38 are permanently inhabited. Most of the islands (about 550) are in the Andamans group, 26 of which are inhabited. The smaller Nicobars are comprised of some 22 main islands (12 inhabited). The Andmans and Nicobars are separated by a channel (the Ten Degree Channel) some 150 km wide. Administration
The territory is divided into two districts for administrative purposes. These are the Andaman district and Nicobar district, responsible for their respective island groups. Each district is headed by a Deputy Commissioner, in charge of the various local administrative service departments, assisted by several Assistant Commissioners and sundry other posts. These two districts are further sub-divided into tehsils, which are also grouped into local Sub-Divisions. By district, these Sub-Divisions and tehsils are:
The climate of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is described as Tropical Climate. The Islands are situated in the Hot or Torrid Zone. Nearly 86 percent of total area in these Islands is covered by forest. There are only two seasons viz. Rainy Season and Summer Season and virtually there is no Winter Season. Islands are visited by South - West and North - East monsoons during the period from May to December. Average annual rainfall in these Islands is 3000 mm. The period from January to April is Summer Season. The mean relative humidity is 79% The mean maximum temperature is 30.2oC and mean minimum temperature is 23.8°C.
The Soils of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been classified into 3 orders Entisols, Inceptisols and Alfisols. The main agricultural soils are found in the valleys and are of alluvial and colluvial origin. The coastal areas prone to tidal floods may have acid sulphate soils. On the whole soils of these Islands are nutritionally poor and their organic matter content is on decline.
Most of Indian languages are spoken in Andaman and Nicobar Islands because of its cosmopolitan nature. The common language is Hindi whereas English and Hindi are used in official correspondence. The languages spoken in these islands include Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Marathi, Kannada, Oriya, Gujarati, Karen. All these languages have their normal script as prevalent elsewhere in mainland. The Karen language has the Burmese script and alphabets. Apart from these languages, the tribal dialects include Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese and Andamanese Only Nicobarese, among these dialects, has a script of its own. The Nicobarese dialect has a Roman script and its own alphabets
How to reach
The mainland is connected by ship and air. Ships regularly ply between Port Blair, the capital, and Kolkata(1255 Km) and Madras (1190 Km) and Vishakhapatnam (1200 Km). Indian airlines operates Airlines between Port Blair and Kolkata and Chennai. Many of the inhabited islands are connected by ferry services.