Great Nicobar Island
Map of Great Nicobar Island
|Location||Bay of Bengal|
|Area||1,045 km2 (403.5 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||642 m (2,106 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Thullier|
|Union territory||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
|Population||9,440 (as of 2001)|
Great Nicobar (Hindi: बड़ा निकोबार, Nicobarese: टोकिओंग लोंग, Tokieong Long) is the largest of the Nicobar Islands of India, north of Sumatra. Indira Point, its southernmost tip, is also the southernmost point of India. The island of Sumatra is located to the south of Great Nicobar. The island covers 1045 km² but is sparsely inhabited, with a population of 9,440, largely being covered by rainforest and known for its diverse wildlife.
The island has several rivers, including the Alexandra, Amrit Kaur, Dogmar and Galathea. Virtually all rivers flow in a southern or southwesterly direction, which is indicative of the general slope of the terrain across the island. There are undulating hills throughout the island, with the main range running in a north-south orientation. Mount Thullier, which is part of this range, has the highest elevation of any point in the Nicobars, at 642 m above sea level.
Indira Point (6°45’10″N and 93°49’36″E) is the southernmost point of the Great Nicobar Island and India itself. Indira Point subsided 4.25 m in the 26 December 2004 tsunami and the lighthouse there was damaged. The lighthouse has been made functional since then.
The majority of the island is designated as the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve— home to many unique and endemic species of plants and animals including the Nicobar scrubfowl (Megapodius nicobariensis, a megapode bird), the Edible-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus), the Nicobar Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosa), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Giant Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Malayan box turtle, Nicobar tree shrew, reticulated python (Python reticulatus) and the giant robber crab (or coconut crab, Birgus latro).
Indira Point is the name of the southernmost point of Republic of India. It is situated on Great Nicobar Island in the Nicobar Islands, which are located in the eastern Indian Ocean at 6°45’10″N and 93°49’36″E. This is not on the Indian mainland, but within the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The point is named in commemoration of Indira Gandhi. It was formerly known by various names that include Pygmalion Point, Parsons Point, and for a brief period India Point.
It is located 540 km and more than a day’s sea voyage from Port Blair, the capital city and main port of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is approximately 150 km by sea from Sumatra, Indonesia.
Indira Point lighthouse
Indira Point has a 35 m high cast iron (with red and white bands) lighthouse with 16 nautical miles range. The lighthouse has (RACON (Code ‘G’) ii DGPS station) with a 300 mm 4 panel revolving light inside a 2.5 m diameter lantern house (BBT). It is an important landmark on the international shipping lane Colombo-Singapore route via Malacca Strait that passes south of Indira Point. It has also a helipad.
The tsunami which resulted from the Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 inundated much of the area. This partly damaged the lighthouse, which subsided 4.25 m. As a result of this subsidence, the coast retreated and the sea moved permanently inland. The lighthouse has since been repaired.
The base of the lighthouse was 5 m above sea level when constructed in 1972. After the tsunami, the sea rose and the base was less than a metre above the sea level, showing over 4 metres of sea floor subsidence. It has been observed that the sea is slowly retreating back to its original position and the subsidence has decreased as the ocean floor slowly bounces back partially.
- Shyam Singh Shashi (2005), Encyclopaedia of Indian Tribes, Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd, ISBN 81-7041-836-4, "... The main hill range runs from the north to south. Average height of the hills is 300m to 400m. The highest peak is Mount Thullier ..."
- Trivedi, Rajni; Sitalaximi, T.; Banerjee, Jheelam; Singh, Anamika; Sircar, P. K.; Kashyap, V. K. (March 2006). "Molecular insights into the origins of the Shompen, a declining population of the Nicobar archipelago". Journal of Human Genetics 51 (3): 217–226. doi:10.1007/s10038-005-0349-2.
- Gupta, K.R.; Gupta, Amita. Concise Encyclopaedia of India. p. 1209. ISBN 81-269-0640-5.
- Sharma, A.N. Tribal Development In Andaman Islands. p. 6. ISBN 81-7625-347-2.
- "Welcome to INDIRA POINT LIGHT HOUSE". Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Bilham, Roger. "Indira Point Lighthouse Subsidence 2004-2005".
- "Defunct Indira Point Lighthouse RACON repaired". oneindia.in. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Nicobar completely devastated" - from rediff.com
- 2001 Census - from the Andaman & Nicobar Police
- Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
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