Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Seal of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.svg
status Union Territory
Capital Port Blair
surface 8,249 km²
Residents 380,581 (2011)
Population density 46 inhabitants per km²
languages Hindi , English
governor Devendra Kumar Joshi
ISO code IN-AN
Nordteil von Arunachal Pradesh: de-facto Indien - von China beansprucht Teilgebiete von Uttarakhand: de-facto Indien - von China beansprucht de-facto China - von Indien beansprucht de-facto China - von Indien beansprucht de-facto Pakistan - von Indien beansprucht de-facto Pakistan - von Indien beansprucht Siachen-Gletscher (umkämpft zwischen Pakistan und Indien) Jammu und Kashmir: de-facto Indien - von Pakistan beansprucht Ladakh: de-facto Indien - von Pakistan beansprucht Malediven Sri Lanka Indonesien Afghanistan Nepal Bhutan Bangladesch Pakistan China Myanmar Thailand Tadschikistan Delhi Goa Dadra und Nagar Haveli und Daman und Diu Tamil Nadu Kerala Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh Assam Bihar Chhattisgarh Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jharkhand Karnataka Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram Nagaland Odisha Punjab Rajasthan Sikkim Telangana Tripura Uttarakhand Uttar Pradesh Westbengalen Andamanen und Nikobaren Lakshadweepmap
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Map of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with details of Port Blair

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands ( Hindi : अंडमान और निकोबार द्वीप समूह ; English : Andaman and Nicobar Islands ) are an Indian union territory , 1,255 km southeast of Calcutta and 1,190 km east of Chennai .

They extend from 6 ° 45 'to 13 ° 41' north, roughly along the 93rd east longitude west of the coast of Thailand and northwest of Sumatra . On 10 Latitude running ten-degree street (ger .: Ten Degree Channel ) separates the northern Andamans from the southern Nicobar Islands . Around a quarter of the 380,581 inhabitants (as of 2011) live in the capital Port Blair .

The Andaman Sea with the North Preparis Channel separates the territory from Myanmar to the east . The Andaman wood pigeon ( Macropygia rufipennis ) was chosen as the state bird , the state animal is the dugong , the native padauk tree represents the flora.


The territory of both archipelagos has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the late 17th century , parts of the Andaman Islands were annexed by the Marathas . European colonized the Andaman Islands were from 1789 by the British East India Company . In the group of islands Nikobaren rose Denmark since 1756 claim. At the same time, it was an Austrian colony between 1778 and 1784 . In 1869 it became part of British India .

Before India's independence , the Andaman and Nicobar Islands served as convict colonies for members of the Indian independence movement due to their seclusion . The Cellular Jail built in Port Blair at this time , one of the first prisons with single cells, today keeps the memory of this fact alive in the rank of a national monument. The building with its formerly seven radially arranged cell tracts later also served the penal system of apolitical delinquents .

The Japanese occupation in World War II points to the strategic military importance of the island chain. India takes this into account today with a not inconsiderable presence of navy , air force and army (including a Gurkha regiment ). The reigning representative of the central government, the Deputy Governor (lieutenant governor), is a senior usually military personnel .

On December 26, 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean (9.0 on the Richter scale ) and the resulting tsunami waves wreaked havoc on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. More than 2,000 people were killed, more than 4,000 children were orphaned or lost a parent, more than 46,000 people were injured and at least 40,000 people were left homeless. Of the inhabited islands, Katchal , Car Nicobar , Nancowry and Groß Nikobar , among others , were most affected. While Trinket split in two, some uninhabited islands and coastal strips of larger islands sank due to the shifting of the tectonic plates below sea level, so that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands lost 120 km² of land to the sea.


Climate diagram of Port Blair

The climate is tropical , the water temperature is around 24 ° C all year round, the air temperature fluctuates between 18 ° C and 34 ° C. A light wind makes the high humidity (approx. 66 to 85%) bearable. The average annual rainfall , caused by the monsoons in Port Blair, is 3,180 mm on around 150 rainy days.

A large part of the 572 islands with a total of 8,249 km² (Andaman 6,408 km², Nicobar Islands 1,841 km²) is planted with tropical rainforest . The highest peaks are Saddle Peak on North Andaman with 730 m height and Mount Thullier on Groß Nikobar (642 m). The largest islands are Middle Andaman Island (1,536 km²), North Andaman Island (1,245 km²), South Andaman Island (1,210 km²) and Great Nikobar (1,045 km²), the smallest is Ross Island with 0.8 km². The chain of islands represents the peaks of an underwater mountain range that is part of the alpine orogeny from the Pyrenees to Indonesia . The origin of the heavily folded sedimentary rock goes back to the Cretaceous period . There are also some coral atolls and two islands owe their formation to volcanic events.

Strict fishing and hunting regulations protect the extraordinary biodiversity of the marine fauna. 27 of the approximately 60 species worldwide have been identified in the mangrove forests of the islands.


Cities (as of: 2011 census)

city Residents
Port Blair 108.058
Garacharma 9.431
Bombuflat 6,790



According to the 2011 census in India , the union territory has 379,944 inhabitants. Only 37 of the islands are inhabited, almost 90% live on the Andaman Islands and a good 10% on the Nicobar Islands. A third of the population lives in the capital Port Blair, 36% of the population live in cities. The population density with 46 inhabitants per square kilometer is one of the lowest of the 29 Indian states and 7 union territories (see Andaman / Nicobar in India-wide comparison ).

Population of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
31,480 64.160 115,874 189,496 281,990 356,650 379,944

6 Scheduled Tribes (registered tribal peoples) are officially recognized on the islands and are  entitled to (central) state protection and support:

  1. the Nicobarese : 27,168 members
  2. the Jarawa : 380 members, one of the last isolated peoples (2001: 240)
  3. the Shompen : 229 members (2001: 398)
  4. die Onge : 101 members (2001: 96)
  5. the Great Andaman : 44 members (2001: 43)
  6. the Sentinelese : 15 members, also isolated (2001: 39)

Except for the Nicobarese, all of them belong to the “particularly vulnerable tribal groups” ( PVTGs: Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups ) and are guaranteed additional funding from the Indian Ministry of Tribal Affairs .

In February 2010, the 85-year-old Boa Senior, the last member of the Bo tribe, died, the tribe is said to have settled there for 65,000 years. Her husband had died several years earlier after both surviving the 2004 tsunami, and she left no children. With her, her language died too.


The indigenous people of the Andamans are the linguistically, genetically and culturally related peoples of the Greater Andaman , Jarawa , Onge and Sentinelese . They are dark-skinned and curly-haired (so-called Negritos ) and live as hunters and gatherers . The contacts with the majority population vary in strength; the Sentinelese even live in complete isolation and reject any contact with the outside world. On the Nicobar Islands, the Shompen live as hunters and gatherers, while the Nicobarese also do horticulture .

Since 1981 the population has more than doubled, mainly due to immigration from mainland India. The non-indigenous population now makes up the vast majority of the population; According to the 2011 census, members of the tribal population (Scheduled Tribes) only make up 7.5% of the population of the Union territory. While the Andaman indigenous population is threatened with extinction and only counts a few hundred people, the indigenous people on the Nicobar Islands still make up almost two thirds of the population.


Languages ​​in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
language Language family proportion of
Bengali Indo-Aryan 25.7%
Hindi Indo-Aryan 18.2%
Tamil Dravidian 17.7%
Telugu Dravidian 12.8%
Malayalam Dravidian 08.1%
Nicobarese Austro-Asian 08.0%
Kurukh Dravidian 03.9%

Of the languages ​​of the indigenous population, the Nicobarese languages , which are spoken by the approximately 27,000 Nicobarese, belong to the family of the Austro-Asian languages . In contrast to earlier findings, the language of the Shompen also belongs to the Nicobarese languages, so it is not isolated. The Andaman languages , which are only spoken by a few hundred natives of the Andaman Islands, form a small language family of their own, which, as far as we know today, does not belong to any larger language family. (But see Indo-Pacific Languages .)

As a result of immigration, the majority of languages ​​from mainland India are spoken in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. According to the 2001 census, the most widely spoken languages ​​are Bengali (26.0%), Hindi (18.4%), Tamil (17.8%), Telugu (12.9%) and Malayalam (8.2%). Nicobarese languages ​​are spoken by 8.0% of the population. English and Hindi are the official languages .


Religions on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
religion percent
Distribution of religions (2011 census)

According to the 2011 census , Hindus make up the majority of the inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with 69 percent. There is also a larger number of Christians (21 percent) and a smaller Muslim minority (8.5 percent).


Trinket (Nicobar Islands)

In addition to the extraction of diamonds , nickel , gold , selenium and sulphate , the export of tropical timber is an important economic factor. With the Chatham Sawmill, one of the largest sawmills in South Asia is located near the island's capital. The working elephants, which swim to their locations on the neighboring islands, should be unique.

Despite the cultivation of rice , coffee , bananas and coconut palms as well as cattle breeding, the archipelago is dependent on additional supplies from the mainland. Besides agriculture, fishing is another line of business.


An important source of income for the islands is tourism , the Andamans are partly accessible to tourists, the Nicobar Islands are not.

In addition to the main islands, Havelock Island , Long Island , Mayabunder , Diglipur , Little Andaman and Rangat as well as Jolly Bouy , South Cinque , Red Skin , Mount Harriet and Madhuban are accessible for day trips .

There are nine national parks: Saddle Peak National Park on North Andaman Island , Campbell Bay National Park , Galathea Bay National Park , Mahatma Gandhi Marine (Wandoor) National Park , Middle Button Island National Park , Mount Harriet National Park , North Button Island National Park , Rani Jhansi Marine National Park , South Button Island National Park .


There are regular ship and air connections from Port Blair to Calcutta and Chennai . Occasionally there is also a ship connection to Visakhapatnam (as of 2004).


As a federal territory, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have no independent parliament and no government. Administrative powers in executive and legislative terms are exercised by the Vice-Governor (since 2017 Devendra Kumar Joshi ). The area is under the judiciary of the Calcutta High Court , which has a branch in Port Blair .

Administrative division

The Andaman and Nicobar Union Territory is divided into the following three districts :

District Administrative headquarters surface Population
Nicobar Islands Car Nicobar 000000000001840.00000000001,840 km² 000000000036819.000000000036,819 000000000000020.000000000020 people / km²
North and Middle Andaman Mayan thunder 000000000003252.00000000003,252 km² 000000000105539.0000000000105,539 000000000000032.000000000032 people / km²
South Andaman Port Blair 000000000002980.00000000002,980 km² 000000000237586.0000000000237,586 000000000000080.000000000080 people / km²

Strategic importance

Located at the northern end of the Strait of Malacca , the islands are of significant strategic importance. India has military bases on the islands from which this supply route, which is important for China and other Asian countries, could be blocked in the event of a conflict or at least maritime traffic could be impaired. The islands thus give India a strategic advantage over China, which is confronted with the Malacca dilemma .


  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs: Report of the High Level Committee on Socio-Economic, Health and Educational Status of Tribal Communities Of India. Government of India, New Delhi May 2014, p. 364/365: 9.12: Andaman and Nicobar Islands (English; PDF: 5.0 MB, 431 pages at
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST): Tour / Visits by Secretary during 2017-18: Andaman & Nicobar Island (Tour Report). Government of India, New Delhi July 7, 2018 (English; current information on the tribal populations of the islands; PDF: 10 MB, 22 pages on

Web links

Commons : Andaman and Nicobar Islands  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Carl Strand and John Masek (eds.): Sumatra-Andaman Islands Earthquake and Tsunami of December 6, 2004: Lifeline Performance . ASCE, Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering, Reston, VA 2007, ISBN 9780784409510 . Archived from the original on October 24, 2013.
  2. Joyce A. Quinn, Susan L. Woodward: Earth's Landscape: An Encyclopedia of the World's Geographic Features [2 volumes]: An Encyclopedia of the World's Geographic Features . ABC-CLIO, 2015, ISBN 978-1-61069-446-9 ( [accessed March 31, 2020]).
  3. Tsunami folklore 'saved islanders' . In: BBC News , January 20, 2005. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  4. Saibal Sen | TNN | Dec 30, 2004 10:50 am Is: Indira Point falls off map | India News - Times of India. Accessed March 31, 2020 (English).
  5. Meghalaya 2011 Census: Andaman and Nicobar Islands Population 2011-2018 Census. Census Population 2015 Data, accessed January 24, 2018.
    → Provisional data: Census of India 2011: Provisional Population Totals - India - Rural-Urban Distribution. (English; PDF: 7.7 MB, 2 pages on
  6. India: States and Greater Agglomerations - Population Statistics, Maps, Graphics, Weather and Web Information. In: Retrieved January 24, 2019 .
  7. ^ Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Statistics Division: Statistical Profile of Scheduled Tribes in India 2013. Government of India, New Delhi 2013, pp. 145–158, here p. 158xx: Table T 1.24: Census 2011: State-wise list of STs with details in terms of Households, Population (Total, Male, Female), sex ratio, child sex ratio, Literacy (Total, Male, Female), Worker Participation Rate, Main worker and Marginal Worker (English; PDF: 18.1 MB, 448 pages on
  8. On PVTGs : Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Statistics Division: Statistical Profile of Scheduled Tribes in India 2013. Government of India, New Delhi 2013, pp. 159–162, here p. 162: Table T 1.25: State-wise Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) and their Population in India: (1961 to 2011) (English; PDF: 18.1 MB, 448 pages on
  9. On the last Bo (2013): Ministry of Tribal Affairs: Report of the High Level Committee on Socio-Economic, Health and Educational Status of Tribal Communities Of India. Government of India, New Delhi May 2014, p. 364/365: 9.12: Andaman and Nicobar Islands , here p. 365 (English; PDF: 5.0 MB, 431 pages on
  10. ^ Announcement about the last Bo (2013): Last Member of 65,000-year-old Tribe Dies. In: July 8, 2013, accessed January 30, 2019.
  11. Percentages according to the 2001 Indian census
  12. Census of India 2011: Population by religious community.
  13. Federal Foreign Office: India - Travel and safety information (as of 2012)
  14. India News: The Union Territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands ( Memento from May 9, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  15. Map of the administrative structure (PDF; 203 kB)
  16. ^ Census of India 2011: Provisional Population Totals. Paper 1 of 2011: Andaman and Nicobar Islands. (PDF; 104 kB)
  17. ^ Daily News and Analysis: Andaman and Nicobar to become a major amphibious warfare base. Retrieved February 1, 2013 .
  18. Felix F. Seidler: Maritime Power Shifts in the Indo-Pacific Area: Geopolitical and Strategic Trends, p. 7. (PDF; 590 kB) (No longer available online.) Institute for Security Policy CAU Kiel , archived from the original on August 22, 2013 ; Retrieved February 1, 2013 .
  19. ^ India Defense Update: China's Malacca Dilemma Alternate Routes For Shipping. Archived from the original on November 21, 2012 ; Retrieved February 1, 2013 .

Coordinates: 11 ° 33 '  N , 92 ° 40'  E