Nicobar Islands – An Island of Unexplored Astonishment
Nicobar Island is one of the few, lesser explored tourist destinations in India. One of the rate tourist destination in India where you can enjoy and relax minus the usual crowd and traffic snarls inherent to majority of Indian destinations.
‘Nicobar’ Islands gets its name from a Tamil information ‘Nakkavaram’ referring to a naked man, the use of this information can be traced back to the rule of Chola dynasty. In the year of 1789, Britishers were the first to discover the Andman & Nicobar Islands. The British Rule used the Ross Island as capital of Andman and Nicobar Islands however post independence the Indian government shifted it to Port Blair.
The total land area is 1,841sq.kms. The Nicobar Island includes 22 islets. All 22 islets group together to form three clusters: northern group (has 2 islets), central group (a formation of 9 islets) and southern group (includes 11 islets including the largest one “Great Nicobar”).
The climate of Nicobar Islands is tropical and humid, where humidity levels may vary from 70%-90%. Though the weather is pleasant mostly here with a pleasant temperature range i.e. from 23°C to 30°C nevertheless you feel the chill from the gentle breeze blowing every time. The ideal time to visit Nicobar Island is in between October to May, however you may also consider visiting between the month of June to September to enjoy the monsoon of this charming and splendid Island.
Language & Religion
A thick population (i.e. 15%) of a rarely populated Nicobar Island speaks Hindi while rest 85% speaks other languages. English is the official language. There are 24 different languages spoken by the people in this amazing Island like Tamil, Malayalam, Urdu, Karen, Konkani, Manipuri, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Assamese, Rajasthani, English, Punjabi, Nicobari, Tulu, Burmese, Barsi, Sindhi, Dokri, Munda, Marwari, Nepali, and Oriya. You can find people of all faiths and with different spoken languages staying together in complete peace and harmony. Such amazing ethnic and cultural blend is often referred to as Mini-India.
The original inhabitants of the Nicobar Islands belong to two different Mongoloid tribes namely Nicobarese and Shompens, and they nevertheless earn their livelihood by hunting and fishing in the thick forest of Nicobar.
· Island Tourism Festival: Every year, this fortnight long festival is organized by the ANI Administration during the month of December to January. It includes an exhibition, cultural programs, competitions and more.
· Subash Mela: Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s birthday day is observed as a weeklong festival every year in the Havelock during the month of January.
· Vivekananda Mela: The Niel Island organizes a festival on event of Swami Vivekananda birth anniversary every year in the month of January.
· Block Mela: It is held at Diglipur every year in the month of January and February.
· Others: Durga Puja, Panguni Utharam and Mari Amman festivals.
· Chatham Saw Mill: One of Asia’s largest saw mills built by Britishers.
· Naval Marine Museum: Located in Hadoo and set up at Samudrika.
· Anthropological Museum in Phoenix bay.
· Cellular Jail in Atlanta point.
· Fishers Museum in Aberdeen jetty.
· Water Sports complicate in Aberdeen jetty.
· Corbyn’s Cove Beach, Wandoor Beach, Aam-Kunj Beach
· Mahatma Gandhi marine national park
· Islands like Cinque, Havelock Island, Viper Island, Chidiyatapu, North Bay, Red Skin Island, Ross Island, Little Andaman and Diglipur (Ross and Smith), (Bird watching), Neil Island,
· For your interest, the ANI territory consists of a Biosphere save, around 96 Wildlife Sanctuaries and nine National Parks.
How to reach Nicobar?
· By Air: Port Blair is connected to Chennai and Kolkata, with journey duration of minimum 2 hrs. Currently, flights are operated by Indian Airlines (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday only) and Jet Airways (To-and-Fro Chennai on daily basis). Jet Airways flight ticket for the Chennai – Port Blair route may cost you Rs. 7,820, while in Indian Airlines it may be around Rs. 7,790. Indian Airlines flight fare for Kolkata – Port Blair is Rs. 8,435.
· By Sea: Regular traveler ship sets are easy to reach to Port Blair.
Chennai-to-Port Blair Distance = 1190 kms Time = 60 hrs.
Kolkata-to-Port Blair Distance = 1255 kms Time = 66 hrs.
Vishakhapatnam-to- Port Blair Distance = 1200 kms Time = 56 hrs.
Ships traveling between Chennai-to-Port Blair: M.V. Nancowry and M. V. Swarajdeep
– Deluxe class cabin – INR 5240.00
– First class or A-class cabin – INR 4320.00
– Second class or B-class cabin – INR 3420.00
– Ordinary class or Bunk – INR 1330.00.
To show the mysteries and awe inspiring splendors, hidden in the heart of Nicobar; you must have a special permit from the government or else it will be heart-breaking for those who don’t have.