The name of the Andaman Islands is ancient. A theory that became prevalent in the late 19th century is that it derives from Andoman, a form of Hanuman, mentioned the islands and said that the name means "Island of Gold"
Located in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is an archipelago consisting of about 600 islands out of which only around 36 islands are inhabited. The archipelago is divided into two groups of islands - the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands. Of these, only 9 islands in the Andaman Islands group are open for tourists. In earlier times, the islands were referred to as Kalapani for their notorious penal settlement. Pristine beaches, gorgeous corals, fascinating marine life, adventurous water sports and the remain of Stone Age culture draw multitudes of tourists to these islands every year. These islands are covered with lush forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna. Incredible corals and marine life, crystal clear water and mangrove-lined creeks lure travellers to these picturesque islands. while the sandy beaches form as nesting homes to turtles, animals such as spotted deer, wild boar, gecko, crab-eating macaque and python can be spotted in the 86% area still covered by dense forests.
Points of Interests :
Havelock Island is one of the largest and most popular isles in the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands. Spread over a massive area of 113.93 square kilometres, Havelock Island is situated 57 km north-east of the capital city Port Blair. The island is named after a British General and comprises of Ritchie's Archipelago and a collection of five villages including Shyam Nagar, Vijay Nagar, Radha Nagar, Krishna Nagar and Govinda Nagar. It is one of the most developed islands when it comes to tourism, with a focus on eco - tourism.
Large coral reefs, an assortment of marine life and the calm blue waters of the Bay of Bengal all make the name "Emerald Isle" highly suitable for the Andamans. Most popular island among all the islands for the dives, however, is Havelock. It is an ideal diving destination for everyone, right from a novice to an experienced diver.
The Cellular Jail, also known as 'Kala Pani' is an old colonial prison situated in Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Constructed by the Britishers during their colonial rule in India, Cellular Jail was used particularly to exile political prisoners where they were subjected to many atrocities at the hands of the British. The construction of the jail began in the year 1896 and was completed in 1906, after which it was used to house many notable freedom fighters such as Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
Snorkeling in Andamans
Snorkeling is another popular water sport among tourists. Sea around Havelock Island serves as one of the best sites for snorkeling.