ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India. Informally, the territory’s name is often abbreviated to A & N Islands, or ANI. It is located in the Indian Ocean, in the southern reaches of the Bay of Bengal, near Indonesia and Thailand. It comprises two island groups – the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands – which separate the Andaman Sea to the east from the Indian Ocean. These two groups are separated by the 10° N parallel, the Andamans lying to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobars to the south. The capital of this territory is the Andamanese town of Port Blair.
The territory’s population as per the most recent (2001) Census of India was 356,152. Added together, the total land area of the territory is approximately 8,249 km².
There are 572 islands in the territory, of which only some 38 are permanently inhabited. Most of the islands (about 550) are in the Andamans group, 26 of which are inhabited. The smaller Nicobars comprise some 22 main islands (10 inhabited). The Andamans and Nicobars are separated by a channel (the Ten Degree Channel) some 150 km wide.
The total area of the Andaman Islands is some 6,408 km²; that of the Nicobar Islands approximately 1,841 km².
Occurrences of chromite, diatomaceous earth, gold, limestone, nickel, selenite and sulphur are reported in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.