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The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the seven union territories of India comprising 572 islands of which 37 are inhabited, are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
It comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands (partly) and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 150 km wide Ten Degree Channel with the Andamans to the north and the Nicobars to the south. The Andaman Sea lies to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west.
The territory's capital is the city of Port Blair. The total land area of these islands is approximately 8,249 km2 (3,185 sq mi). The capital of the Nicobar Islands is Car Nicobar. The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces.
The Andaman Islands are home to the Sentinelese people, an uncontacted people. The Sentinelese are the only people currently known to not have reached further than a Paleolithic level of technology.
In December 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was on a two-day visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, renamed three of the islands as a tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep; the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep; and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep. The PM made this announcement during a speech at the Netaji Stadium, marking the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Indian flag by Bose there.
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Tourism In The Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are developing into a major tourism hub with exotic-looking beaches and pristine islands having equally exotic names, wonderful opportunities for adventure sports like snorkelling and sea-walking. Plans to develop various islands under NITI (National Institute of Transforming India) Aayog is also in progress. Luxury resorts with participation from the Government are set up to plan in Avis Island, Smith Island and Long Island.
In Port Blair, the main places to visit are the Cellular Jail, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman Water sports complex, Chatham Saw Mill, Mini Zoo, Corbyn's cove, Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor Beach, Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Fisheries Museum, Naval Museum (Samudrika), Ross Island and North Bay Island. Viper Island which was earlier visited is now kept closed by the administration. Other places include Havelock island famous for Radhanagar Beach, Neil Island for Scuba diving/snorkeling/sea walking, Cinque Island, Saddle peak, Mt Harriet and Mud Volcano. Diglipur, located at North Andaman is also getting popular in 2018 and many tourists have started visiting North Andaman as well. The southern group (Nicobar islands) is mostly inaccessible to tourists.
Indian tourists do not require a permit to visit the Andaman Islands, but if they wish to visit any tribal areas they need a special permit from the Deputy Commissioner in Port Blair. Permits are required for foreign nationals. For foreign nationals arriving by air, these are granted upon arrival at Port Blair.