The beauty of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands creates an impression of pristineness or being “untouched”. On the contrary, this archipelago in the Indian Ocean has a rich cultural history, shaped by the lives of its residents at various points of human evolution and civilisation.
The islands form an arc between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, connecting Myanmar in the north and Sumatra to the south. During the 65 million or so years of their existence (dating back to the Cenozoic era) these Islands have been a naturally isolated laboratory for incredible evolution and change.
Politically, the islands changed administrative hands three times (British, Japanese, and Danish) between the mid-1700s and being handed over to India in 1950. Rewind to 1014 AD when Rajendra Chola of the Chola Empire used these islands as a naval base to conduct expeditions planned against the Sriwijaya Empire (Indonesia today). The oldest residents of these islands are, of course, the indigenous people who have lived here for 30,000-60,000 years.