day in Corbett
Yatra / Trek
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a string of 300 tropical islands which
lie scattered halfway between Calcutta and the equator. The area of the
Andamans is 6,408 sq km. Most of the Andamans are hilly and forested, Saddle
Peak on North Andaman, which rises to 732 m, is the highest point. The land
area of the Nicobars is about 1,645 sq km.
The inhabitants, live on 12
of the islands, particularly Car Nicobar in the north. Great Nicobar, the
largest and southernmost island in the group, is virtually uninhabited. The
capital of this Union Territory is Port Blair on Andaman Islands. The
existence of these islands was first reported in the 9th century by Arab
merchants, who sailed past them on their way to the straits of Sumatra.
The first western visitor was
Marco Polo who called it the land of the head hunters. The islands were annexed
by the Marathas in the late 17th century. In the early, 18th century, the
islands were the base of Maratha admiral Kanhoji Angre, whose navy frequently
captured British, Dutch and Portuguese merchant ships. Angre remained undefeated
by the combined British/Portuguese naval task force, right up to his death in
Andaman and Nicobar
Islands were finally annexed by the British in the 19th century and used
as a penal colony for Indian freedom fighters. The penal settlement
known as Kala Pani or Black Water where the most criminals were sent,
never to be seen again.
In the notorious 'Cellular Jail' many of the inmates were executed, either judicially or
clandestinely. During World War II the Japanese occupied the islands and
were not welcomed as liberators and created their own record of
cruelty. The local tribes took up guerrilla activities against the
Japanese. After India gained independence in 1947, the islands were
incorporated into the Indian Union.
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