From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Location||Bay of Bengal|
|Adjacent bodies of water||Indian Ocean|
|Area||13.7 km2 (5.3 sq mi)|
|Length||3.7 km (2.3 mi)|
|Width||6.3 km (3.91 mi)|
|Coastline||19.4 km (12.05 mi)|
|Highest elevation||101 m (331 ft)|
|Highest point||Nipple Hill|
|Island group||Andaman Islands|
|Island sub-group||Ritchie's Archipelago|
|Tehsil||Port Blair Tehsil|
|Largest settlement||Neill Kendra (pop. 1000)|
|Population||3040 (in 2011)|
|Pop. density||222.00/km2 (574.98/sq mi)|
|Ethnic groups||Hindu, Andamanese|
|Avg. summer temperature||30.2 °C (86.4 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||23.0 °C (73.4 °F)|
|Official languages||Hindi, English|
Shaheed Dweep, formerly known as Neill Island, is an island of the Andaman Islands, located in Ritchie's Archipelago. It belongs to the South Andaman administrative district, part of the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. the island lies 36 km (22 mi) northeast from Port Blair.
In December 2018, it was renamed as Shaheed Dweep as a tribute to Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose had hoisted the Indian flag at Port Blair on 30 December 1943 and proclaimed the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as territories liberated form British rule. He had subsequently named Andaman Island as Shaheed and Nicobar Island as Swaraj.
Shaheed Dweep, then Neill Island, was uninhabited until the arrival of settlers in the late 1960s. Like Swaraj Dweep, then Havelock, the vast majority of settlers at Shaheed Dweep were refugees from erstwhile East-Pakistan, following the exodus of Hindu Bangladeshis prior to that country's war of independence in 1971.
On 30 December 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Neill Island would be renamed as Shaheed Dweep.
The island belongs to the Ritchie's Archipelago and is located between Havelock Island and Rose Island. It is a comparatively flat island, and much of the landmass was deemed suitable for paddy cultivation. Unfortunately, as a result of this, very little forest cover remains at Shaheed, and almost all of it is concentrated in the reserve forest on Shaheed's north-western side. Shaheed Dweep tends to remain a degree or two warmer than Havelock as a result of the lack of forest cover. The island is not without charm however, but it is a different, pastoral sort of charm that the island offers.
The population of 3040 lives in five villages, listed below, with population at 2011 census in parentheses:
- Sitapur (274)
- Bharatpur (629)
- Neill Kendra (1000)
- Lakshmanpur (382)
- Ram Nagar (755)
There is a jetty at Neill Kendra, which serves as the only access point of the island. There are regular Government ferry from Port Blair to Shaheed Dweep. There are private cruise ships such as Makruzz, Green Ocean, Sea Link and Coastal Cruise.
Agriculture is the primary occupation of the villagers, and the island supplies vegetables to the rest of Andaman. Neil island is known for it organic cultivation and provides much of the organic produce to remaining part of the islands.
Despite its minuscule tourist infrastructure, an increasing number of tourists have chosen to stay at Shaheed Dweep instead of neighboring Swaraj Dweep. There are a handful of restaurants and basic beach hotels that cater to international and domestic tourists.
Some notable places to visit in Neil Island are, Bharatpur Beach, Laxmanpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, and Natural Bridge. Some people also like to visit the Ramnagar Beach, also known as the Sunset Beach. Water Sports Activities are only available in Bharatpur Beach. Rest of the attractions are only for sightseeing. 
Shaheed Dweep can be explored by renting a two-wheeler, cycle or by hiring private cabs. Currently, no self drive vehicles are available at Shaheed Dweep. Activities such as boat scuba diving, snorkelling, glass bottom boat rides are available at Shaheed Dweep. Limited ferry are available from Port Blair to Shaheed Dweep. Its is recommended to reach Swaraj Dweep before coming to Shaheed Dweep for better connectivity.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Neil Island.|
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- Registration Plate Numbers added to ISO Code
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- Experience Andaman. "Ferry in Andaman Service, Timings and Tickets - Experience Andamans".
- "Neil Island Travel Guide- Worth Visiting? | Attractions, Hotels, Things to do, and Transfers". www.eternalandamans.com. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
- "Neil Island Tourism - Detailed Travel Guide 2020 with Photos". www.experienceandamans.com. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
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