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India: Offshore Islands
Country Study > Chapter 2 > Geographic and Demographic Setting > Geography > Principal Regions > Offshore Islands


India's offshore islands, constituting roughly one-quarter of 1 percent of the nation's territory, lie in two groups located off the east and west coasts. The northernmost point of the union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands lies 1,100 kilometers southeast of Calcutta. Situated in the Bay of Bengal in a chain stretching some 800 kilometers, the Andaman Islands comprise 204 islands and islets, and their topography is characterized by hills and narrow valleys. Although their location is tropical, the climate of the islands is tempered by sea breezes; rainfall is irregular. The Nicobar Islands, which are south of the Andaman Islands, comprise nineteen islands, some with flat, coral-covered surfaces and others with hills. The islands have a nearly equatorial climate, heavy rainfall, and high temperatures. The union territory of Lakshadweep (the name means 100,000 islands) in the Arabian Sea, comprises -- from north to south -- the Amindivi, Laccadive, Cannanore, and Minicoy islands. The islands, only ten of which are inhabited, are spread throughout an area of approximately 77,000 square kilometers. The islands are low-lying coral-based formations capable of limited cultivation.

Data as of September 1995

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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