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 Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Introduction

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:

Climate

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.

Soils

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.

Language

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.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands at a glance
Location
Location Bay of Bengal
Longitude 92° to 94° East
Latitude 6° to 14° North
Altitude (Highest Point) Andaman Islands
Saddle Peak (North Andaman Island) 732 Metres
Altitude (Highest Point) Nicobar Islands
Mount Thullier (Great Nicobar Island) 642 Metres
Area
Total Area 8249 sq.km
Andaman District 6408
Nicobar District 1841
Urban Area 16.64
Rural Area 8232.36
Forest Cover 92%
Capital Port Blair
ISD Code +91-3192
STD Code 03192
Length and Breadth
Length and Breadth of Andaman Islands
Total Length 467kms
Maximum Width 52 Kms
Average Width 24kms
Length and Breadth of Nicobar Islands
Total Length 259 Kms
Maxiimum Width 58 Kms
Biggest Island in Andaman Group
Middle Andaman Island 1536 Sq.Km
Biggest Island in Nicobar Group
Great Nicobar Island 1045 Sq.Km
Smallest Island in Andaman Group
Ross Island 0.8 Sq Km.
Smallest Island in Nicobar Group
Pilomillow Island 1.3 Sq.Km
Distance
Distance by Sea (In Kms.)
Between Port Blair & Chennai 1190
Between Port Blair & Calcutta 1255
Between Port Blair & Vishakapatnam 1200
Distance by Air (In Kms.)
Between Calcutta & Port Blair 1303
Between Chennai & Port Blair 1330
Administrative Unit (No.)_
District 2
Sub-Division 4
Tehsil 7
Town 1
C.D.Block 5
Lok Sabha Seat 1
Municipal Council 1
Municipal Ward 18
Panchayat 67
Police Station 15
Panchayat Samiti 07
Zilla Parishad 01
Island/ Village (Nos. )
Revenue Village 204
Census Village 547
Inhabited Village 504
Uninhabited Village 43
Inhabited Island 36
Climate
Normal Rainfall at Port Blair 3180 mm
Actual Rainfall at Port Blair during 1999 2975.0 mm
Rainy days at Port Blair during 1999 209
Mean Minimum Temperature at Port Blair during 1999 22.8° Celcius
Mean Maximum Temperature at Port Blair during 1999 29.8° Celcius
Mean Relative Humidity at Port Blair During 1999 81%
Population (2001)
Total 356265
Male 192985
Female 163280
Rural
Total 205706
Male 111986
Female 93720
Urban
Total 74955
Male 42383
Female 32572
Literacy Rate (As per Census of India - 1st March 2001)
Male 1,46,536
Female 1,06,409
Total 2,52,945






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