9 Interesting things about Andaman and Nicobar Islands that only a local can tell you…
Andaman and Nicobar Island is a heaven to explore nature. You can take any way and you will find your journey blessed with nature. I can guarantee you that if you will visit this place once; you will definitely want to revisit it. Like all the places around, this place has got many interesting things that I am quite sure that you must not be aware of.
It’s a land of dense tropical rain forests, never ending view of deep blue waters and home to rarely found birds, animals and dangerous reptiles. Let me tell you what else I found interesting after talking to people on my journey to this colorful place.
- Secret about the 20 Rs. Note:
Ok, so take out 20 Rs. note (Indian currency) from your pocket and see the picture printed on its back side. I am sure now you can see a few coconut trees and a phenomenal view of the ocean. This picture is captured in Andaman.
You will be able to see this place on your mountain and jungle drive towards Mt. Harriet. The distance of Mt. Harriet view point to Port Blair is around 54 Kilometers and on the way you will find this place from where the picture was captured.
2. A one and a half hour of drive through the tribal area:
This was my experience in life which is “once in a lifetime” types. I believe I am lucky enough to be able to witness these tribes during my journey. I have seen tribal people many times in pictures, movies and channels like discovery etc. but here I have experienced all of it in real. It was both dangerous as well as fulfilling from an explorer’s point of view.
The place is called “JIRGA TANG” from where starts dense tropical rain forest and the home to this tribe called “JARAWA”. I had to cover a stretch of 48 Kilometers from Jirga Tang to reach Middle Strait. These 48 Kilometers of my life were like entering an altogether different world where no trees were chopped down, no rivers or streams were used to dump garbage, no flowers were plucked to make bouquets, no one was walking the street peeping into their mobile phones, no access to wifi, and that was all because this place belongs to this tribe and they have protected their piece of land.
My driver asked me to just look outside and told me that if I am lucky enough, I will witness the tribal people. And thankfully, I did witness them. They were tanned bodies with big eyes, with their private parts covered with leaves and their accessories included arrows and knives and swords, all made up of what the forest offered them. They eat snakes, wild pigs and other animals and fruits in the forest which they hunt every day. As per locals, they have good knowledge of all the flora and fauna there. They never see doctors in the city. They have never been out of their forest. They have no idea what the mobile phones are. They are just so different. It was quite unbelievable to see such people in this century.
We were instructed to drive at 40 Kilometer per hour speed and not to stop anywhere before this 48 Kilometers stretch ends considering that the people in the tribes are not welcoming and it can be dangerous to be in their area.
It was a place where no phones and cameras were allowed, and so I have no picture to show you. But the picture couldn’t have explained the place anyway. Do visit this place before they extinguish.
3.As punctual as parrots:
Can you believe how precise nature can be? We have clocks and watches and still we often turn up late. But this island is the place where there are thousands of colorful parrots and they all start arriving at sharp 5:30 pm in the evening back to the island from wherever they spent their day.
This parrot island is in Bara Tang and is a great place to spend your evening. Heard of anything as beautiful as this one? So plan an evening to this parrot island and enjoy their company.
4. Color means something:
Andaman and Nicobar islands are all about ocean, sea beaches etc. All you will see is water all around. Somewhere the color of the water is light blue; somewhere it is dark blue, somewhere it is turquoise blue. You know what? The color has a meaning.
You will notice that the water near to the beach or coast is light blue in color and it turn dark as your eyes see far. So the logic for the color difference is the depth of the ocean. Light blue means shallow or less deep and as it turns deeper, the color turns darker. Interesting, isn’t it? These are the things you get to know when you interact with the local/native of that place like i did.
5.How these islands remain safe during Tsunami/other water pressure:
The nature is both a destroyer and a protector. Have you ever heard about mangrove forests? These are huge trees on the surface of the ocean and its roots deep down in the waters. They are spread in kilometers of area and whenever the islands are hit by massive water force, these roots deep down in the waters take all the pressure and not let the water reach and destroy the land. It mitigates the effect of huge water pressure. Nature is a true bliss is all I can say.
6. Only active Volcano in the country:
Barren Island’s Volcano is the only active volcano in India and it is in Andaman and Nicobar. Only Scientists and researches go to this place after taking many permits from the government. It is not allowed for tourists to visit this place and neither did I visit this place. But just to make you aware about one more interesting thing, I chose not to skip this one.
7. Betel/Areca Nut and other farming in Andaman:
This rich red soil land with such favorable climate supports agriculture to a great extent. I have witnessed myself how nature bestowed this place with the flora and fauna that it has. Right from coconuts to pineapples to litchis to velvet apples to jack fruits to vanilla creepers to cocoa farming to black pepper to cloves to lotus to orchids to honey bee houses to red chilies to all the medicinal herbs to betel nuts to cashews to nutmegs to cinnamon. This place is just so rich when it is about flowers, fruits, herbs, medicinal plants, spices, vegetables, dry fruits etc.
If you feel like witnessing all these things that I have mentioned above, do visit a horticulture farm that’s located in SippiGhat, which is just 20 Minutes’ drive from Port Blair City. You can also purchase plants and take them with you as souvenir for friends and family as I did.
8. Wood in the waters
We keep our furniture away from water right? Yes, because we know that wood gets damaged if kept in water. Ok, so let me tell you something interesting. In Andaman and Nicobar islands there are tropical rain forests and for that very reason they supply wood to many regions. The interesting thing about it is that they cut wood and then dip the logs in the salty waters of the ocean for many days. The reason for doing so is that when this water is soaked in the wood, it protects it from parasites and other kind of damages in a long run. So the wood that we use for making our furniture is first treated with water. Cool right?
- Crab Art
Heard about Crab Art? OK, Can you see this pattern on the sand? Yes I am talking about this design made using sand balls. While strolling on a “not much visited” beach, at one point I discovered many such different patterns on sand. On asking a local, I got to know that the hole in the center is crab’s home and it keeps throwing sand balls out, that has created this pattern. I was amazed seeing how unique nature can be and took few pictures to bring it to you. By the way it is called sand bubbler crab.