Lakshadweep Islands is a tropical archipelago. Laccadive was its former name. Minicoy and Aminidivi Islands were its other names. This group of islands is situated off the coast of Kerala, India. Lakshadweep comprises of 12 atolls. There are 3 reefs. 5 submerged banks. The total surface area is 32Km². It has a diverse culture. It is home to a dozen mosques. This includes the renowned Ujra Mosque. The archipelago is administered as a union territory. Also as a district of India.
“Lakshadweep” in Sanskrit, Marathi and Malayalam means “one hundred thousand islands”. Yet they form the smallest union territory of India. The islands are the northernmost a group of islands. Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos. They are the tops of a vast undersea mountain range. Chagos-Maldives Ridge. Most of the ethnic groups present here are Malayalis and Mahls. The official language of the Lakshadweep Islands is Malayalam and English. It has a literacy rate of 92.28%.
Did you know?
•The Buddhist Jataka Tales mentions Lakshadweep. Jataka stories date back to the 6th century BC.
•The main occupation of the people is fishing. They also cultivate coconuts. Tuna is the principal item of export here. •Coconut, Copra and bananas are crops grown here.
How To Reach Lakshadweep
•Any Indian Traveller wouldn’t need a passport. One often has this misconception. They do not need a passport. However, a valid Photo ID like Adhar/Voter Id is required. An entry permit is also needed.
•Lakshadweep Island can be reached by ships. Flights are also available.
•Take a flight from Kochi. Reach Agatti and Bangaram Islands.
•Flights can be availed. You can also use ships. Avail them from Kochi/ Cochin in Kerala.
Where to Stay in Lakshadweep
There are many hotels in Lakshadweep. Eco-friendly cottages are available here. You can stay at Kavaratti. You can also stay at Minicoy. Kadmat or Bangaram Islands. Government lodges at reasonable rates are available here. There are many resorts. Homestays are also there on these islands. You can stay in any. Choose according to your budget. Minicoy Beach Resort and Coral Paradise Beach Resort are some of them.
Top 5 Places to Visit in Lakshadweep Islands
1. Minicoy Island- This Island is also called Miliku. It is one of the most prominent parts of the Lakshadweep Islands. You can go for boat rides here. Hiking is another popular activity. Minicoy is the central hub. All activities in Lakshadweep are present here. It is situated on the Southwest side of the archipelago. The lighthouse here is a must-visit for tourists.
2. Kavaratti Island– Kavaratti is the capital of the Lakshadweep Islands. A surf club is situated here. It is a treat for surfing enthusiasts. There is also a phenomenal marine aquarium. You will see endless lagoons. Mesmerizing pristine white sand beaches will amaze you. Kavaratti Island is also a base for INS Deeprakashak. It is one of the main Indian Navy Base. Ajara and Jamnath Mosques are among the many tourist attractions here.
3. Marine Museum- Marine museum here showcases a plethora of marine-related artifacts. It aims at promoting marine products. Also aims at preservation. This marine aquarium museum has striking species of sea fishes. The colorful aquatic species here are extremely ravishing. It is a handsome sight to see these ornamental species.
4. Kadmat Island- Also known as Cardamom Island. It is a coral island belonging to the Amindivi subgroup. It is an ideal getaway. This blue lagoon encircles invaluable colorful corals. Coral habitats& the reef banks. Also, unspoiled virgin beaches are present here. Take a short helicopter ride. Reach Kadmat from Agatti.
5. Thinnakara Island- A paradise for divers. Must visit for lovers of water sports. The island has crystal clear waters. Exotic marine life is found here. These make it a great place for scuba diving. You can explore several varieties of tropical fish & coral reefs. Octopus & turtles. You can meet other aquatic species here.
7 Other Places To Visit In Lakshadweep
1. Agatti Island- People of this island are courteous. It is 7.6Km long. Many people opt to do water sports here. The airport is also located on this island.
2. Pitti Bird Sanctuary- The island is not inhabited by humans. Instead, it is an important nesting place for seabirds.
3. Andrott Island- Andrott is the largest island here. It has thick vegetation of coconut groves.
4. Bangaram Atoll- This is a serene island. It is famous for the numerous species of tropical birds found here.
5. Kiltan Island- This island is diverse in flora. You can explore many magical beaches here.
6. Kalpeni Island
7. Amindivi Islands
Day 1- Arrive at Aggati Airport. Travel to Bangaram island by boat. R&R (Rest & Relax) at your hotel.
Day 2- Get an ayurvedic massage followed by a visit to local food joints. Explore the beaches on this day.
Day 3- Hike and enjoy water sports. Children can do shell picking. They can spend time at the beach. Leave for Minicoy Island. Take a ferry.
Day 4- Explore Minicoy and its tranquility. You can also participate in adventure sports. Leave for Kalpeni Islands at night.
Day 5- Take a tour of the island and beaches. Explore the island and watch the sunset. At night you can leave for Aggati Airport. You can also extend your stay. Visit the other islands.
12 Things To Do In Lakshadweep
1. Scuba Diving is the most popular activity here. Check off your bucket list by scuba diving here.
2. Shipwreck snorkeling is another sport. Aqua-lovers can enjoy water sports here.
3. At night, you can watch the incredibly starlit skies. Spot constellations in prized seclusion.
4. Go Fishing at the many entrancing lagoons here.
6. Kite Surfing.
9. Exploring the flora and fauna.
10. Tasting the different seafood and delicacies. 11. Turtle watch. 12. Sunset cruise.
Distance From Lakshadweep to other places like
- Kochi- 384Km
- Mumbai to Lakshadweep – 927Km
- Kanyakumari- 578Km
All islands are coral atolls here. They are surrounded by live corals and reefs. This group of islands is rich in bio-diversity. Seaweeds & seagrasses. Mangroves and corals can be found here.
Prawns and crabs are abundant. You can spot sharks too. Dolphins and whales can be seen. Turtles & tortoises are found here. Varied fauna is present on this island. You can see birds like Curlews. Sandpipers and Plovers can be spotted also. These birds are on the Pitti island.
You should come to Lakshadweep for the vibrant corals. Have chills & thrills with the water activities. And most definitely for the tranquil atmosphere. Meet the friendly citizens of this Indian union territory. Visit this not-so-lonely island amidst the Arabian Sea. Come for a fun and exhilaration filled vacay!
Written by Riddhi Bhattacharya, Travelofina Travelstories.