An Archipelago of 572 islands adrift in the Bay of Bengal, the union territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands stretches over an area of more than 700 sq. kms. Port Blair and its surroundings offer sightseeing possibilities that interest all. There is history, nature and beauty that will fascinate you.
If you love the sight of wispy coconut palms swaying in the breeze… the feel of soft white sand under your bare feet… the flash of birds vivid against the blue sky … the games of the green shadows in the forest… the infinite variety of under water marine life… you enjoy it all when you are in Andamans & Nicobar Islands, also known as Emerald Islands for the breath taking colour of the sea.
A clear history of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands can be had only from the time of a British Survey of these islands conducted in 1777. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands remained the abode of indigenous people of Negrito and the Mongoloid stock respectively, who occupied the Islands for centuries. These islands remained secluded from the mainland till the end of the 18th Century when people from the outside world first arrived. The history of these islands could be divided into four broad periods:
a) the period of seclusion and piratical disturbances
b) the British regime - a period of foreign intrusion and settlement
c) the Japanese regime
b) and the Post-Independence period.
In the Second Century, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were located in the maps prepared by the great Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer, Claudius Ptolemaeus, which possibly is the earliest reference to these islands. The early history of Nicobar is not well known although these islands were familiar to traders in ancient times, the islands being situated close to the trade route to the Far East. Though little is known about Portuguese activities in these islands, it is evident that the Portuguese missionaries started preaching Christianity among the islanders. The Nicobarese language also reflects a few Portuguese words.