Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been divided into 3 main districts —
- The district of North and Middle Andaman with District Headquarters at Mayabunder was created in 2006. Its jurisdiction stretches from Baratang in Middle Andaman to Diglipur in North Andaman. It has 2 subdivisions and 104 revenue villages under it.
- The district of South Andaman and Little Andaman has its District Headquarters at Port Blair. It has 3 tehsils: at Port Blair, Ferrargunj and Little Andaman. However, a sub division has been separately established for Little Andaman at Hut Bay.
- This district is also responsible for the upkeep of 4 tribes of the Negrito stock- the Onge, the Jarawa, the Great Andamanese and the Sentinel tribes.
- The district of Nicobar comprises of 22 large and small islands out of which only 12 are inhabited. It has its district headquarters at Car Nicobar. Car Nicobar is the Northern most tip of Nicobar and is about 143 miles from Port Blair.
- It also houses the Centre for Tri Service Geographical Command of Indian Armed Forces-Army, Navy and Air force. Central Nicobar comprises of Chowra, Teressa, Bompoka, Katchal, Kamrota, Nancowry and Trinket. The southern group of Nicobar Islands comprises of Pulo Milo, Little Nicobar, Condul and Great Nicobar. Great Nicobar is the southernmost tip of India.
Set sail or leave on a Jetplane
Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is well connected to major cities of Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Bhubaneshwar on mainland by direct and hopping flights .
Air India, Jet Airways, Go Air and Spicejet operate regular flights to Port Blair from these cities. Foreign chartered flights are also permitted to land at Port Blair but are subject to fulfillment of the guidelines laid down by Director General of Civil Aviation.
There is a regular ship service from Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata. The voyage takes about 50-60 hrs. The concerned authorities at the respective ports can provide further information regarding the schedule and dates.
Taxis, autos and local buses can be taken from airport to travel within the island. Mohanpura is the main bus stand where one can get buses to other islands which are connected by road. To visit the nearby islands one can take the local administration’s ferry service from Phoenix Bay jetty to other islands.
Ferries are operated on a regular basis and the sailing schedule is published in the local newspapers and also announced on radio and Doordarshan. Tickets are issued at counters managed by the Directorate of Shipping Services. In addition to this, private operators are also authorized to ply private vessels but only to a few islands.
A little more information, tourists.
Foreign tourists need to obtain entry permits called RAPs (Restricted Area Permit) for Andaman and Nicobar Islands. RAP is available at the immigration counters at Port Blair and a valid for 30 days. The permit and further information regarding the same can also be obtained from Indian Missions overseas or Foreign Registration offices at New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.
It is however, necessary to note that certain area have been developed and opened to tourists for day and night visits. They are:
- Entire Island of middle and south Andaman excluding the tribal reserve.
- Municipal area of Port Blair
- Havelock Island
- Long Island
- Neil Island
- North Passage
The areas mentioned below are for day visits only:
- Jolly Buoy Island
- South Cinque Island
- Red Skin Island
- Mount Harriet
- Barren Island (no landing on shore. Only to be viewed from the vessel/boat)
- Narcondam Island (no landing on shore)
- Brother Island and Sister island