Locator map Map of the Nicobar Islands
The Nicobar Islands are an island chain in the eastern . They are located in , 150 km north of on , and separated from to the east by the . Located 1,300 km southeast of the , across the , they form part of the of , .
has declared the as one of the .
The Nicobar Islands cover a land area of 1,841 km2 and had a population of 36,844 during the . They comprise three distinct groups:
Indira Point () is the southernmost point of Great Nicobar Island and also of India itself, lying about 150 km north of , .
The Nicobar Islands are part of a great created by the collision of the with . The collision lifted the and most of the Indonesian islands, and created a long arc of highlands and islands, which includes the range of , the Andaman and Nicobar islands, and the islands off the west coast of , including the and .
The climate is warm and tropical, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 30 °C. Rainfall is heavy due to annual monsoons and measures around 3000 to 3800 mm each year. The vegetation of the Nicobars is typically divided into the coastal mangrove forests and the interior evergreen and deciduous . Additionally, several islands contain extensive inland , though these are thought to result from human intervention.
The Nicobar Islands are recognised as a distinct , the Nicobar Islands rain forests, with many species.
As a result of lower sea levels during the , the Andaman Islands were linked to the Southeast Asian mainland, but it is not believed that the Nicobar Islands ever had a land bridge to the continent. Lower sea levels did link the islands to one another: Great Nicobar and Little Nicobar were linked to each other, and Nancowry, Chaura, Katchall, Trinka, Camorta, and the nearby smaller islands were linked to one another as well.
The Nicobar Islands are believed to have been inhabited for thousands of years. Six indigenous are spoken on the islands, which are part of the of the , which includes , and languages of , and the of India. An indigenous tribe living at the southern tip of Great Nicobar, called the , may be of Southeast Asian origin.
The earliest extant references to the name "Nicobar" is in the chronicles, the (c. 3rd or 4th century CE) and the (c. 4th or 5th century), which state that the children of the followers of the legendary founder of the Sri Lankan Kingdom, Vijaya, landed on Naggadipa (the island of the children, from the Pali nagga meaning 'naked'). The modern name is likely derived from the name for the islands, Nakkavaram or 'Puup Pii' (literally, "naked man" in ) which is inscribed on the (Tanjore) inscription of 1050 CE. (12th-13th century) also referred to this island as 'Necuverann'.
The history of organised European on the islands began with the in 1754/56. During this time they were administrated from (in continental ) administrated under the name of Frederiksøerne; missionaries from the Brethren's settlement in attempted a settlement on and died in great numbers from disease; the islands were repeatedly abandoned due to outbreaks of : 1784–1807/09, 1830–1834 and finally from 1848 gradually for good. Between 1778 and 1783, attempted to establish an Austrian colony on the islands on the mistaken assumption that had abandoned its claims to the islands.
made an attempt at buying the Nicobar Islands from Denmark between 1864 and 1868. The Italian Minister of Agriculture and Commerce started a negotiation that looked promising, but failed due to the unexpected end of his Office and the . The negotiations were interrupted and never brought up again.
's presence in the islands ended formally on 16 October 1868 when it sold the rights to the Nicobar Islands to Britain, which in 1869 made them part of .
During , the islands were . India occupied these islands after the , as its Territory.
Together with the Andaman Islands, they became a of India in 1950.
Andaman and Nicobar islands are also known for the various types of water sports available. Water sports include snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, under-sea walking and other thrilling sports. Water Sports is one main cause of the huge tourist attraction to this place. People can enjoy with their families and prefer to relax or excite themselves.
On 26 December 2004, the coast of the Nicobar Islands was devastated by a 10–15 m high following the . At least 6,000 people were killed on the with reports putting the death toll on alone at 4,600.
Several islands were heavily damaged with initial reports of islands broken in two or three pieces and coral reefs moved above water. Teressa Island was said to have been split into two pieces and Trinkat Island into three pieces. Some estimates said that the islands were moved as much as 100 feet (30 m) by the earthquake and tilted.
subsided 4.25 m and the lighthouse there was damaged.
On 31 May 2013 it was reported that Nicobar Islands have been declared as by .