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Knowing the Unknown - The Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Unfolding mysteries have always been the job of the 'BRAVES'. Not many dare to touch this running water. While some mysterious facts can make you bewildered, others might make you feel shocked. It is always joy to know such facts about places, movies, persons, books, and others that we have never known of. While not many disclose them, we at siliconindia unfold the strangest and craziest facts, stories, and myths about stuffs that you won't find elsewhere in the internet. The series titled 'Knowing the Unknown' reveals the facts that are less popular or unexplored. We dedicate this first series to the Indian archipelago in the Bay of Bengal.

The Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Have you ever noticed the image behind the Indian 20 rupees note?, the beautiful picture depicts to the 'North Bay Island/Coral Island' which is a well known tourist place in Andaman island. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the legendary writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character 'Sherlock Holmes' once referred to the Andaman Islands in his Sherlock Holmes novel as 'The Sign of the Four' just because he found the place 'mysterious', which is one of his major attitude throughout his entire work. It's the kind of mystery that makes the whole world crave to know more about this place. Being one of the seven union territories of India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is home to beautiful beaches, biggest crabs and turtles, scrumptious food and many more. I'll leave you here with some strange facts about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that will tempt you to book the next vacation flight to this beautiful island.

What History speaks about this Enchanting Place

Did you know that Andaman has a connection with lord Hanuman? You might not! It is said that the name Andaman comes from the word 'Handuman', which means 'Hanuman in Malay language, while the name Nicobar comes from the term 'Nakkavaram', meaning 'Land of the Naked', which is believed to be named during the Chola empire period. The language of rosogolla (Bengali) is the most spoken language in the region, followed by Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The land is still home to around 300 tribal 'Sentinelese' people, who have been living in the Islands for more than 60,000 years and repelled everyone who tried entering their sacred space with fire arrows and more ... STRANGE indeed!!

The Andaman And Nicobar Islands

The infamous Kala Pani is another name of Andaman and Nicobar Island, which was entrusted during the British Raj. Surrounded by hundred miles of ocean in every direction, the Britishers found the island a perfect place to keep the freedom fighters cut off from others, and hence built the Cellular Jail to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. It got its name because of its structure as prisoners could only see a brick wall compromising the rear of another cell, hence no other prisoners were in sight, thus the name came into existence.

The Andaman And Nicobar Islands

The Britishers treated these captives very dreadfully, horrifyingly, and horrendously. If inmates become fatigued, resting was definitely not an option, as any sign of slowing got them terrifying punishments. Guess what, toilet breaks were also restricted, as they had to hold it for hours until they were permitted by the guards. Self-proclaimed as the 'God of Port Blair', Irish Jailor David Barrie was the famous of them all, infamous for his brutish treatments such as flogging. He and his men even beat people to death. Being one of the darkest chapters in Indian history, many notable freedom fighters such as Batukeshwar Dutt, Indu Bhushan Roy and the renowned Savarkar Brothers were imprisoned here during that time.

The place holds several such stories that will surely give you goosebumps. Let's take it to a lighter tone and see the beauty that lies within the Islands.

Land of Huge Turtles, Coconut Crabs and One Huge Scary Volcano

When it comes to features, Andaman and the Nicobar Islands are entirely different from the other places of India. From Katchal Islands to Leatherback turtles to active volcano, the below mentioned unique features will make your jaw drop.

The Andaman And Nicobar Islands

For most of the Indians, Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India, but it's just in the Indian Mainland. 'Indira Point' (formerly known as the 'Pygamalion Point'), a village in Nicobar village is the southernmost tip of India and sadly, due to the 2004 Tsunami, a large part of the region remains underwater. However, Indira Point Lighthouse survived the tragic devastation and is currently operational. It's a treat to watch the lighthouse in the touching sun-kissed beaches of Nicobar Islands.

The Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Known to the less, India's only active volcano, 'the Barren Island' lies in Andaman and it is the only one in the whole of South Asia. It is situated just 138 kms northeast of Port Blair (the capital of the Andaman) and has erupted almost ten times already and studies also points out towards a possible link of the volcano in the 2004 Tsunami that killed almost two lakh people from 14 countries.

'Katchal Islands', from the Nicobar Islands was in the news on the Millennium eve as it is the first inhabited place on earth to caught the first rays of sunrise of the Millennium. On 1st January, 2000, several rich and well known people from across the globe came to the 'Katchal Islands' to get a glimpse of the first sunrise. Unfortunately, 'Katchal' is one of the worst affected islands in the 2004 Tsunami and now they have recovered from that disaster by establishing schools, primary and secondary health centres, and more which make the island one of the developed places in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The Wonderlicious Flora & Fauna

When it is comes to being a habitat for flora and fauna, the Nicobar Islands is very concerned about the safety of the organisms as the islands consists of 96 wildlife sanctuaries, nine national parks and one biosphere reserve in these islands. The Nicobar Islands is one of the best nesting beaches for marine turtles such as Hawksbill, Green turtle and Leatherback, (world's largest sea turtle). Interestingly, in the Andaman Islands, commercial fishing is banned for almost 40 years and it is said that fishes here die of old age, yeah!

coconut crabs

Ever heard of coconut crabs? No? Andaman & Nicobar Islands are the land of coconut crabs, the largest land living arthropod in the world and its bone crushing grip is 10 times stronger than ours. These gigantic crabs at night climb up the coconut trees to eat the soft kernel by carving a hole into the tender coconuts. Be careful when you set your feet in the beautiful beach, I bet you don't wanna end your vacation on a sad note.

Long known for drawing the travelers to its beautiful beaches and resorts, Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a paradise for art lovers, foodies and others. Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi renamed the Ross Island as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep, Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Islands as Swaraj Dweep. In addition, the Andamans have a large presence of the Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Army who practice amphibious warfare.

I guess your perception on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands have changed enormously. Andaman Islands are more to just beaches and sea-food; it is a place for you to rejuvenate and explore our history.
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