With idyllic beaches, clear turquoise waters, lip-smacking seafood, and endless expanses screaming peace and tranquility to a tee...
... Andaman Islands, an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, sits between India to the west and Burma to the north and east. Here are some fascinating facts!
1. The Andaman archipelago comprises roughly 600 major and minor islands, most of which form part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory in India and the remaining ones to the north of the archipelago lie in Myanmar.
2. Legend has it that while on his way to Lanka to find Sita, Hanuman took a small halt on the islands. The name Andaman may be the corruption of the Sanskrit name, Hanuman.
3. The 15th century “Book of Wonders” published in Paris mentioned that the Andaman Islands were inhabited by wolf-headed people. This indicates how inaccessible the islands may have been at that time.
4. The islands are home to some indigenous tribes, like the Jarawa and Sentinelese, collectively known as the Andamanese.
5. It is illegal to interact with the Jarawa tribe. Jarawa is a protected tribal community in India with the population ranging between only 250 to 400 people.
6. South Asia’s one and only active volcano is in Andaman. Located to the northeast of Port Blair, Barren Island volcano in the Andaman Sea first erupted in 1787 and then again in 2010.
7. During World War II, the Andaman Islands were an active war zone under the Japanese occupation, before the gave them to the British in 1945.
8. Millions of butterflies flock to the Andaman Islands each year from other tropical islands in the archipelago’s vicinity. To commemorate this yearly event, the Indian government has issued a postage stamp depicting colorful butterflies.
9. Andaman Islands are home to the largest number of hermit crabs in the world. These crustaceans are known to stay mostly on land and are also called coconut crabs, robber crabs, and palm thieves.
10. The endangered leatherback sea turtles come to nest on the Andamans. The species are the largest of all living turtles in the world.
11. The mud volcanoes of Baratang Island are a major tourist attraction in the Andaman archipelago. Formed due to chemical reaction between water and subterranean gases, these sights of bubbling mud are unique in India.
12. Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory in India, is known for its Cellular Jail, a.k.a. Kaala Paani. During India’s freedom movement, lots of freedom fighters served their sentences here.