History of Andaman & Nicobar
The original inhabitants of the island lived in the forest by hunting and fishing. There are four Negrito tribes, viz, the Great Andmanese, Onge, Jarawa and Sentinalese and Shompen in the Nicobar group of the island, and two Mongoloid tribes, viz, Nicobarese and Shompen in the Nicobar group of island. Among these, the Jarawas and the sentinalese have not yet learnt the concept of covering their bodies.
The modern history of the Andaman and Nicobar Island begins with the establishment of a settlement by east India Company in 1789. Portuguese came first who were followed by the Dutch and the British; however, in 1796 this settlement was abandoned.
Then came the revolt in 1837 in India. Andaman offered ready-made solution for the rebels. The construction of cellular jail was taken up in1896 which was carried out by the convicts. Following the first war of Indians independence in 1857, the British India Government founded the penal settlement in these islands in 1858, and dreaded criminals from the mainland India which continued till the Second World War. During the Second World War, the Japanese forces occupied the Andaman and Nicobar islands till 1942.
The constitutional reforms of 1935 necessitated a through revision of policy in September 1938 the first beach of prisoner's left the Andamanand by January 1938 all prisoners were released. The National flag was first hoisted here in 1943 by the great leader Subhash Chandra Bose. The Second World War and subsequent Japanese occupation from 1942-45 brought the island a taste of foreign military occupations. After evacuation of the Japanese in 1945, the Islands, a part of India, become free on August 15, 1947. In November 1956, the Andaman Nicobar Island was constituted into a Union Territory administered by the president of India.
A Sound and Light Show at Ross Island, the erstwhile British HQ, and at the Cellular Jail provides an insight into the sufferings of the inmates and their indomitable spirit. For history enthusiasts, The Heritage Walk, 'Naqsh-e-Kadam,' is a guided walking programmer covering the heritage buildings at Port Blair such as Cellular Jail and Clock Tower.
- Neil Island