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Island Groups of India

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GEOGRAPHY

Island Groups of India

India is a land of natural beauty and islands in India forms a significant part with well-encompassed by lush forests and possess the infinite variety of striking fauna and flora. 

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Island groups of India: An Introduction

The islands groups of India can be divided into two main groups:

  • Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago (A chain of islands similar in origin) in Bay of Bengal.
  • Lakshadweep islands in Arabian Sea.

1. Andaman and Nicobar Island:

  • This archipelago is composed of 265 big and small islands.
  • [203 Andaman islands + 62 Nicobar Islands].

Entire group of islands is categorized into two broad categories:

  1. The Andaman in the north
  2. The Nicobar in the south
  • The Andaman islands are further divided into three main islands i.e. North, Middle and South Andaman.
  • Duncan passage separates Little Andaman from South Andaman.
  • Ten Degree Channel separates The Great Andaman group of islands in the north from the Nicobar group in the south.
  • Port Blair, the capital of Andaman Nicobar Islands lies in the South Andaman.
  • Most of these islands are made of tertiary sandstone and limestone. 
  • They are bigger in size and more numerous and scattered.
  • The Barren Island is the only active volcano of India, situated in Andaman sea.
  • Some of the islands are fringed with coral reefs. Many of them are covered with thick forests.
  • Saddle peak (737 m) in North Andaman is the highest peak of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

2. Lakshadweep islands:

In the Arabian Sea, there are three types of islands.

  • Amindivi Islands 
  • Laccadive Islands 
  • Minicoy Island.

At present these islands are collectively known as Lakshadweep.

  • The Lakshadweep Islands are a group of 25 small islands.
  • They are widely scattered about 200-500 km south-west of the Kerala coast.
  • Amindivi Islands are the northernmost while the Minicoy island is the southernmost.
  • Most of the islands are of coral origin (Atoll) and are surrounded by fringing reefs.
  • The largest is the Minicoy island with an area of 4.53 sq km.
  • Most of the islands have low elevation and do not rise more than five metre above sea level .
  • The topography of these islands is flat and relief features such as hills, streams, valleys, etc. are absent.

 Significance of Island groups:

  • Great diversity of flora and fauna.
  • Important fishing grounds.
  • The forest in these islands has some good timber e.g. teak, mahogany, etc. 
  • Spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, etc. are also cultivated here.

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