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ABOUT ANDAMAN & NICOBAR - The Andaman Islands are an Indian archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. These roughly 300 islands are known for their palm-lined, white-sand beaches, mangroves, and tropical rainforests. Coral reefs supporting marine life such as sharks and rays make for popular diving and snorkeling sites. Indigenous Andaman Islanders inhabit the more remote islands, many of which are off-limits to visitors. Tourism to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is increasing due to the popularity of beaches and adventure sports like snorkeling and sea-walking. Plans to develop various islands under NITI (National Institute of Transforming India) Aayog is also in progress. Luxury resorts with participation from the Government are set up to plan in Avis Island, Smith Island, and Long Island. In Port Blair, the main places to visit are the Cellular Jail, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman Water sports complex, Chatham Saw Mill, Mini Zoo, Corbyn's cove, Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor Beach, Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Fisheries Museum, Naval Museum (Samudrika), Ross Island and North Bay Island. Viper Island which was earlier visited is now kept closed by the administration. Other places include Havelock island famous for Radhanagar Beach, Neil Island for Scuba diving/snorkeling/sea walking, Cinque Island, Saddle peak, Mt Harriet, and Mud Volcano. Diglipur, located at North Andaman is also getting popular in 2018 and many tourists have started visiting North Andaman as well. The southern group (Nicobar islands) is mostly inaccessible to tourists. Indian tourists do not require a permit to visit the Andaman Islands, but if they wish to visit any tribal areas they need a special permit from the Deputy Commissioner in Port Blair. Permits are required for foreign nationals. For foreign nationals arriving by air, these are granted upon arrival at Port Blair. According to official estimates, the flow of tourists tripled to nearly 430,000 in 2016-17 from 130,000 in 2008–09. The Radha Nagar beach was chosen as Asia's best beach in 2004.
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