The name Lakshadweep in translation means One Lakh islands. It is a group of 36 islands, located off the Kerala Coast on the Arabian sea, out of which only 10 are inhabited and only 5 are accessible to tourists.
The island system is deliberately kept detached to tourism, as a measure to preserve its rich natural habitat. It is the smallest Union Territory of India, located around 400 km off India west coast into the Arabian Sea.
It is made up of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. The entire island has a total area of 32 sq. kilometers. The charm of Lakshadweep islands lies in their remoteness, the beauty of the island lies in the dense cover of coconut palms, and the thread of an unbroken line of creamy sand. Each island is serenely set in a sea whose waters range from palest aquamarine and turquoise to the deepest sapphire.
Lakshadweep is accessible from Kochi and a permit is required to visit Lakshadweep for all tourists (including Indians). Indians are permitted to visit all the islands, however, foreigners are permitted to visit only three islands. The permits can be obtained from Kochi.
Best Time To Visit
The peak season is from December to February. The ideal time to visit would be between the months of September and May, when the weather is pleasant and conducive for water sports.
The people here were the followers of Hinduism, who later converted to Islam in the 14th century.
A Little More About The Place
It is the only place in India where one can find a coral reef formation which is multi-hued and very beautiful. The water here is crystal clear which actually helps one to see through it and enjoy the vibrant reefs.
The presence of corals makes the water shallow and easy to wade into, the rich marine life and the coral reef formations simply add to the mystique of the islands. A point to be noted - picking up corals from the reefs is deemed as a criminal offence and is punishable by law.
Tourism here is primarily centred around water sports, you can indulge yourself in scuba diving, snorkelling, para-sailing, kayaking, sailing, glass bottom boat rides, water skiing and deep sea fishing.
The localities are extremely friendly and welcoming. The principal languages here are Malayalam, Jeseri and Mahl.
Places To See
1. Agatti Island
The only island with an airstrip in Lakshadweep. Agatti is very rich in biodiversity, it is spread across 5.6 km with a variety of flora and fauna. For an adventure junkie, this is your destination, one can be mesmerised by the scenic beauty of this isle.
2. Kavaratti Island
The administrative headquarters are here.It is the most developed island and one of the prime destinations for tourists. The island is home to the amazing white coral sand beaches, lagoons and immense greenery.
The Urja Mosque is a major tourist attraction here. It is one of the important pilgrim destinations for Muslims and a magnificent shrine in Lakshadweep. A wonderful aquarium displaying the never-ending variety of corals and fishes is a must visit.
3. Minicoy Island
It is the second largest island in Lakshadweep, geographically isolated from other islands. The culture here is a mixture of Maldivian and South Indian culture. The Island has a rich tradition of performing arts.
A visit to the tuna canning factory and the lighthouse built by the British in 1885, is a must.
4. Bangaram Island
Bangaram is an island for the exploration enthusiasts. Filled with natural scenery, the island is home to the fauna of all sorts from Asian dolphins to frog-fish, octopuses to turtles and even eels.
Tropical fishes like clown fish and snappers will surprise you every now and then. You can choose this spot among the best places to visit in Lakshadweep to relax and unwind, with no one to poke you around.
5. Kalpeni Island
The island bears striking resemblance to the Maldives. A distinguishing attribute of Kalpeni atoll is the remains of coral debris running along the shorelines of the Southern and South Eastern area.
The clean waters allow a clear view of what lies inside the waters, thus making your imagination perk up to a whole new level.
6. Kadmat Island
The isle has very clear water, which would keep you captivated all day and all night long. Water sports are very abundant by the beach which is sandy and perfect stop if you would like to have a sunbath.
Food and Accommodation
Accommodation is available in plenty in all the islands in the form of cottages and also resorts. Government lodges are also available at very reasonable rates.
There are ample places to satisfy your taste buds as well, so do try out the local cuisine.