The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a Union Territory of India. This is a group of 572 islands, islets and rocks formed by a submarine mountain range in the Bay of Bengal, more than a 1000km from the east coast of India. The islands form an arc over a distance of 800km, from near Myanmar towards Indonesia.
The original inhabitants of the islands are many tribal groups. Over the last century due to the policy of settling people from mainland India here, the indigenous tribes are facing extinction. These tribes belong to two groups: the Onge, Sentinelese, Jarawa and Andamanese of Negroid descent inhabit Andaman islands, while the Shompen and Nicobarese live in Nicobar Islands. Non-Indian nationals need permits to visit Andaman Islands while the Nicobar Islands are inaccessible to tourists.
The Andaman Islands are divided into South, Middle and North Andaman. The islands are important for their unique ecosystem and are known for their evergreen tropical rainforest, corals, fishes and other marine life. Port Blair is the capital, the main town and the tourist hub in these islands.
In Port Blair the Cellular Jail was part of the British penal settlement during their rule in India and is now a national monument. The Chatham Saw Mill is one of the oldest and largest saw mills in Asia. Mount Harriet is the second highest peak in Andaman Islands and ideal for trekking and bird watching. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor comprises 15 islands and offers a rich variety of marine life and activities like snorkeling and glass bottomed boat rides. Andaman Water Sports Complex is under repairs after the damage due to the tsunami in 2004. It offers water surfing, skiing, water scooters, etc.
Havelock Island is known for the Radhanagar Beach and for scuba diving, snorkeling and mangrove creeks. From here one can visit other islands like Neil Island and Long Island. Baratang, Rangat, Mayabandar and Diglipur are known for their unspoilt beaches.