Historical facts about Andaman and Nicobar islands are as fascinating as its diverse places of attraction. The marine archipelago is situated 1,400 km away from the east coast of India and comprises 572 islands, out of which only 37 are inhabited. The legendary charm and intriguing beauty have enraptured travelers for decades. The sultry beaches, emerald isles, azure water, scenic seascape, and a dollop of history here and there make Andaman and Nicobar islands a cherished holiday destination. The historical facts about Andaman make it more enticing.
7 HISTORICAL FACTS ABOUT ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS
Check out the list of incredible historical facts about Andaman and Nicobar islands:
One of the most interesting historical facts about Andaman is the story behind its unique name. It is widely believed that the term Andaman is derived from the Malay word Handuman, which is the Malay name for Lord Hanuman. The name Nicobar has an even more interesting history. When the Chola dynasty used Andaman islands as a naval base between 1014 and 1042 AD, they called it Ma-Nakkavaram. Marco Polo further corrupted the term and called it ‘Necuverann’ until the British finally settled down for Nicobar.
Contrary to popular belief, the most widely spoken languages on the islands are not Andamanese or Nicobarese. Bengali is the linguistic ruler followed closely by Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. One of the important historical facts about Andaman regarding language is lost languages like Moh-Khmer and Shompen which were spoken by local inhabitants when Europeans discovered them.
LEGENDARY AND MYTHICAL TALES
The most enigmatic of all historical facts about Andaman are the mythical and legendary tales of the islands. A book named ‘Book of Wonders’ depicted the inhabitants of the islands as wolf-headed people. Ptolemy and Marco Polo too portrayed the islands as home to man-eaters. Jean –Jacques Cousteau made a movie named ‘Invisible Islands’ dedicating it to the tribes of Andaman. These historical facts about Andaman clearly show how the East has always been viewed as a land of fantasy by the West.
WARS AND STRUGGLES
In the very beginning, the British tried to encroach on the island which led to a ghastly war between the great Andaman tribes and the British government. It is known as the ‘Battle of Aberdeen’ which was fought on 17 May 1859. The British ultimately won the war owing to their strength and tactics. Today, a memorial at the Andaman Water Sports Complex acts as a tribute to the tribesmen who lost their lives. This is one of the most heart-wrenching historical facts about Andaman.
SYMBOL OF BRITISH RULE
One of the most painful historical facts about Andaman is the ‘Cellular Jail.’ Yes, the building alone is capable of bringing back gut-wrenching memories. During British rule, many notable freedom fighters were exiled here. The jail was famous as ‘Kala Paani’ or black waters denoting the sheer pain and struggles of the freedom fighters. Every gallows and walls scream of misery, disdain and tortures undergone by our heroes at the hands of British soldiers. Undoubtedly, the sight is a gruesome reminder of the merciless nature of the British Raj.
TSUNAMI OF 2004
One among the darkest of all historical facts about Andaman is the tsunami that hit the island on 26 December 2004. First, the islands were hit by a 33 ft. tsunami. Soon, it was followed by an Indian Ocean earthquake. More than 2000 lives were lost, 4000 children were orphaned and 40,000 people lost their shelter. Among the most affected were the islanders and tourists. The aboriginal tribes however survived the catastrophe.
HOME TO AN ACTIVE VOLCANO
Andaman is home to the only active volcano in South Asia. It is situated on Barren island. The island recorded its first volcanic eruption in 1787. Since then, there has been a total of 10 eruptions, the latest being in 2017. This is one of the most interesting historical facts about Andaman which has made Barren island a much sought-after tourist destination.
As has been mentioned previously the historical facts about Andaman make the islands more charming and fascinating. Are you already planning a visit? With Andaman Love, you can tour the islands at ease and get acquainted with all the historical facts about Andaman. Bask in the Sun, relish the sunset views, and explore the historical facts about Andaman with us. Visit our website or contact us.