Chatham Island became the dwelling place for the people when the British East India Company settled there. The tiny Island of Chatham is located near the Port Blair, about 5 km from the Airport at 11 degree and 41 minutes North latitude and 92 degree and 43 minutes East longitude with an area of 7.3 hectares of Land.
In the year 1789, Chatham Island became the industrial establishment of the British settlement during the Governor Generalship of Lord Cornwallis in the early British period. The British East India Company founded the first penal settlement in 1858, with 200 prisoners, mostly rebels from the Indian Army who militated against the suzerainty of British East India Company during the First War of Independence that occurred in 1857.
Chatham Island is five kilometres northwest of Aberdeen Bazaar. This bazaar is well connected to Port Blair through a tiny land strip, with the sea lapping on both sides. The British Government in India built the Chatham Sawmill, which is known as the Asia's Largest Saw Mill. It is one of the oldest and largest timber processing plants in India. Dating back to 1836, the enormous workshops are built in the durable and expensive Padauk wood, which was abundant in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Since the 1970s, logging on the islands has been banned and most of the wood now comes by ship from Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.
Chatham Island not only offers the colonial penal history, but also the scenic beauty and the serene atmosphere will attract the tourists of both national and international level. The huge saws, with 200 to 300 teeth, crush their way for two to three hours before their teeth need to be sharpened again.
The centre of activity of the Forest Department is to preserve the animal phylum of Chatham Island. "Burma Nallah" in Chatham Island" is about 17 kilometres from Port Blair. Here logs are extracted with the help of elephants. The forest in Chatham Island is a feast to the wayfarer eyes with most colourful and rare varieties of orchards and beauty of other flora and fauna. Photography here is not permitted in this island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
(Last Updated on : 12-09-2014)
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