Welcome to Andaman Islands
The population is a friendly mix of South and Southeast Asian settlers, as well as Negrito ethnic groups whose arrival here has anthropologists baffled. Adding to the islands' intrigue is their remoteness, 1370km east of the Indian mainland – but only 200km from Indonesia and 300km from Myanmar (Burma).
Of the archipelago's 572 islands, only 36 are inhabited and a small selection is open to travellers. With splendid beaches and diving, Havelock (Swaraj) is by far the most popular.
Permit requirements for the Andamans were eased in 2018; the effects of this on the islands' unspoilt state, not to mention the survival of their indigenous peoples, remains to be seen. To the south, the Nicobar Islands have, so far, been strictly off limits to tourists.