Thursday, October 21, 2021
Andaman and Nicobar


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The islands forming Andaman group consist of North, Middle and South Andaman popularly known as Great Andaman. These islands are separated from one another by narrow straits. The four straits which divide the great Andaman's are Austen strait, Homfray's strait, Middle or Andaman strait and Macpherson's strait. On the extreme north away from North Andaman lies Landfall Island; the Labyrinth islands are off the south-west coast of South Andaman, off the east coast of the same island lies Ritchie's Archipelago also known as Archipelago islands. Baratang, lies between, somewhat to the east of the Middle and South Andaman, and Rutland island near the southern end of South Andaman. At the southern end of the southern group of Andaman islands lie, Little Andaman island. This island which is completely flat is separated from Rutland island by Duncan Passage in which lies, Cinque Island and a few other tiny islets. 

The islands are a mass of hills enclosing very narrow valleys. The whole area is covered by an exceedingly dense tropical jungle. The hill rise especially on the east coast to a considerable elevation. The prominent heights are Saddle Peak in the north Andaman which is 732 metres, Mount Diavolo which is 511m behind Cuthbert Bay in the middle Andaman, Koiob which is 459m, Mount Harriett which is 364 m and the Cholunga Range which is 324m in the South Andaman and Ford's peak in Rutland Island which is 434m.

On the east of Great Andaman lie two volcanic islands namely Nariondam and Barren. Nariondom Island is like a high and lofty flat peak rising out of the deep waters of the sea. Barren Island is the crater of a volcano rising abruptly out of the sea. It lies 114kms (71 miles) to the north-east of Port Blair. Its diameter is about two miles and the ground all round, slopes gently from the sea.

The coasts of the Andamans are deeply indented forming a number of safe harbors and tidal creeks which are surrounded by mangrove swamps. The chief harbors on the east coast are Port Meadows, Colebrook Passage, Elphinstone Harbour (Homfray's strait), Stewart sound and Port Cornwallis. The chief harbors on the west coast are Temple sound, Interview Passage, Port Anson or Kwangtung Harbour, Port Cambell, Port Mouat and Macpherson's strait. Many other safe anchorages for sea-going vessels lie along the coasts. They are Shoal Bay and Kotara Anchorage in the South Andaman, Cadell Bay and the Turtle Islands in the North Andaman and Outram Harbour and Kwangtung strait in the Archipelago. 

The islands are formed by the summits of a submarine range connected with the Arakan Yoma of Burma, stretching a curve to which the Meridian 92o E forms a tangent between cape Negrais and Sumatra. The extreme north point of the Nicobars lies in 13o34'3" N and the extreme south point of the Nicobars in 6o45'N.

This curved line of submarine hills extends for 700 geographical miles and encloses the Andaman Sea bounded to the east by the coasts of Burma, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra and communicating with the outer ocean by seven broad channels or openings, six from the Bay of Bengal on the west and one from the Gulf of Siam on the east. 

The scenery of Andamans is beautiful and breadth takingly impressive. The multiple range of hills and the sea glistening on some of the coral beds in the innumerable bays are a prominent feature of the colourful landscape. The coastline is heavily indented, providing many natural harbors.