Places of Interest in Nicobar

Nicobar is an archipelago which is located in the eastern Indian Ocean that is in the Southeast Asia. The location of Nicobar Islands is 148 kms away from Aceh on Sumatra and the Andaman Sea separates this island from Thailand. Now let us check the position of this island group with respect to the Indian mainland. It is around 1300 kms apart from the Indian subcontinent and is located in the Bay of Bengal. We all know that Nicobar Islands come under the union territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This island is declared as a world Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Almost an area of 1850 km2 comes under this island and around 36,800 people lives here as per the 2011 census. Just like the Andamans, the Nicobar also comprises of three districts, they are Northern group, Central group, and the Southern group. The northern group includes the Car Nicobar which is the capital of Nicobar and Battimaly. The central group consist of Teressa, Chaura, Camorta, Nancowry, Trinket, Katchal, Bompuka, Tillangchong and Lauk. The southern group includes Meroe, Pillomilo, Little Nicobar, Kondul and Great Nicobar. Both Christians and Muslims and the ethnic group known as the Shompen live in this island. They mainly use the nicobarese language and English and Hindi are also used. They mainly depend on plantations for their living. Both coconut palm and areca nut palms are grown here.

It is believed that the Nicobar island have been inhabited for thousands of years. The Shompen which is an indigenous tribe of the Nicobar Islands may be of Mesolithic Southeast Asian origin. The Nicobar Island became the union territory of Indian union in the year1950. This island was declared as the world biosphere reserve by the UNESCO on 31 May 2013.

Nicobar Islands have a warm and tropical climate and receive heavy rainfall because of the annual monsoons. The coastal area has mangrove growth and the interior parts have the subtropical moist broadleaf deciduous tropical forest. Some of the important places of Nicobar Islands are Car Nicobar, Katchai, Great Nicobar and Indira Point.

Car Nicobar

The northern most point of these islands (Nicobar). It covers an area of 127 square kms and around 29,140 live in this area. Car Nicobar is located between the Nancowrie and the Little Andaman. This has got a flat surface with some coconut palm. Car Nicobar comprises of 15 villages and Malacca is the largest among them. It is locate 9 degrees from the equator so this area will be experiencing a tropical climate. You will have to cover a distance of around 250 kms in order to reach Car Nicobar from Port Blair. Air force base is located at Car Nicobar, so people use to come here by air in chartered air-crafts starting from Veer Savarkar International Airport (Port Blair) and will be halting at the Air Force base.

Andaman Wood Pigeon and Dugong, which is an endangered marine mammal, are some of the endemic animals of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The nicobari hut is a unique feature of this island. The main specialty of this hut is that it is constructed on stilts having entry through floor with ladder. It will take around 16 hrs to reach Car Nicobar from Port Blair if you travel by sea.

Katchai

Katchai is a small island of Nicobar. This was the island which heralded the new millennium with the first rise on 1st January 2000. There are many beautiful beaches in this island.

Great Nicobar

Considered as the capital of the Nicobar Islands.This is the largest island in the Nicobar Islands, which is located towards the north of Sumatra. The Indira point is located in the Great Nicobar. Indira Point is the southernmost tip of both Nicobar Islands and the union of India. Almost 1045 square kms of land comes under the Great Nicobar islands but the population is very less when compared with its area. The population of Great Nicobar is around 9,440. Major area of this island is covered by rainforest with variety wildlife. Tsunami of 2004 had vandalised this island and caused the death of many people.

Dogmar, AmitKaur, Galathea and Alexandra are some of the rivers of this island. The flow of these rivers substantiates the fact that the island has a slope in the same direction. Along with these rivers there are many hills in this island. Mount Nicobar which is the highest point in Nicobar is one such hill. The elevation of this mountain is 642 mts above sea level

A major part of this island comes under the Great Nicobar Bisphere Reserves. Many endemic species of animals and plants are protected in this biosphere reserve. The giant robber crab, Giant Leatherback Sea Turtle, Nicobar scrubfowl, Nicobar long tailed macaque, saltwater crocodiles etc are some of the endemic animals protected in this biosphere reserve. Another peculiarity of this island is that it is the home to the Shompen People.

Indira Point

The southernmost point of the Indian Republic is known as the Indira Point. This is located on the Great Nicobar which comes under the Nicobar Islands. That is the Indira point falls in the Bay of Bengal. This point is in the Andaman and Nicobar Island which comes under the Indian Union. Earlier this point was known as Pygmalion point which was later renamed as Indira Point in the year1985. It was named as Indira Point in memory of Indira Gandhi. This place was also known as India Point and Parsons Point. It is around 540 kms away from the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Port Blair). It will take around one day to reach Indira Point, if you travel from Port Blair by sea. And the distance between this point and Sumatra (Indonesia) is around 150 kms. The southernmost tip of Indian mainland is at Kanyakumari.

This place has a light house which is made of cast iron. The height of this light house is 35 mts. The light house has a range of 16 nautical miles. It has a 2.5 mts diameter lantern house and this has a 300 mm 4 panel revolving light. It has a helipad. This point has got great importance in the international shipping lane Colombo-Singapore route through Malacca strait.

The Indian Ocean earth quake which led to the formation of the Tsunami of 2004 submerged some area of this Indira Point under water. Tsunami also damaged the light house, which subsided 4.25 m. The base of the lighthouse was 5 m above sea level at the time of its construction (1972). As a result of the Tsunami the base of the light house is just 1 m above sea level. Later on it was detected that the sea was retreating at a slow pace to its original position. So there is a decrease in the subsidence and the ocean floor slowly bounces back

So these are some of the important places of Nicobar Islands. The pleasant beaches and the calm conditions in this island will give you good time. The wide variety of flora and fauna will mesmerize you. So people who are planning to visit the Andaman and the nicobar islands should not drop the chance of visiting these places.