The history of the Andaman and Nicobar Island is largely unrecorded and shrouded in mystery. From pre-historic times to very latest period, these islands remained as a unique abode of the negritos and mongoloids. It is assumed that the colonisation efforts of ancient times might have failed as these islands are well isolated from the mainland’s geographically.
The maps prepared by the great Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemaeus provides the earliest historical reference regarding these islands.
I-Tsing, a Chinese Buddhist monk of 672AD, had referred these islands as “Lo-Jen-Kuo” (Land of the naked).
The famous traveller Marco Polo had described these islands a, “a very large island with plenty of spices, a rare place which was not governed by a king”.
The Arab record of 9th century and the Cholas (Tamil Kings) records also do refer these islands.
The Arab records refer these as, “the islands of dog faced cannibals’ and the Cholas records refer as, “Theemai Theevughal”. (Meaning Islands of evil).
In the 17th century, some Portuguese and French missionaries tried to colonise and propagate Christianity here. In early 18th century he had his base here and attacked passing Portuguese, Dutch and English vessels on their way to or from their colonies in the East Indies. Despite many efforts by the British and Portuguese naval forces, Kanhoji Angre was never defeated until his death in 1729.
The British under the East India Company established their first colony in these islands in 1789 bud had to abandon in 1796 due to panic caused by some strange diseases which claimed many lives. After the first war of Indian independence 9The Great Mutiny) in 1857m the British Empire took over these islands along with the Indian mainland. They turned these islands into a penal colony for Indian freedom fighters and constructed the infamous Cellular Jail.
World War II brought these islands under Japanese troops. From March 1942 to October 1945, Japanese occupation continued. As the great Indian nationalistic leader and the founder of Indian National Army Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was on the sides of Japan then, the Japanese handed over these islands to him. Netaji himself paid a visit here (Dec 23 1943) and hoisted the flag of independent India. He created the first Independent Indian government here and appointed Colonel Loganathan (a Tamilian in his Army) as the first presiding official.
The INA and Japanese troops had to face the fierce guerrilla activities of the local tribes as well as the severe attacks of British. Around the second week of October 1945, British forces recaptured these islands.
In 1947 with the independence, the Islands were attached with Indian Union. On 1st November 1956, the islands were constituted into a union territory, administered by the President. The local administration is heated by a Lt. Governor.