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Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep

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Lakshadweep is the smallest union territory of India. The group is located 200 to 300 km off of the coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea. The total land area of the territory is 32 km². Eleven of the islands are inhabited. Lakshadweep is the northern part of the erstwhile Lakshadweepa.

Lakshadweep is a sort of navigators compass, the word meaning destination.  The name “laksha” is only symbolic since the total number of Islands doesn’t even add up to a 1000.  The word “laksha:” means 1,00,000 in Malayalam and Sanskrit.  But it has other meanings too! For example, “Lakshya” means “Purpose” and Lakshadweep lies in the hub of the Arabian –African-Asian trade route

One of the world’s most spectacular tropical island systems, Lakshadweep is tucked away at 220-240 kms. Off the Malabar Coast.  The islands comprise of 4200 sq.km. of lagoon rich in marine wealth ad 36 islands in an area of 32 sq.km. 

Each island here is fringed by snow white coral sands.  The crystal clear water and the rich marine flora and fauna enhance the mystique of these islands. 

Against the vast blue sea the islands look like emeralds.  The huge wall like reef bordering the outer side of the shallow lagoons blocks the incoming swells of the sea.

The Lakshadeep islands are linked to the mainland by ships & passenger planes.  Agatti island and Bangaram island can be reached by Air and the others by ship from Kochi (Cochin).  The temperature increases from South to North; April and May are the hottest with temperatures averaging at 32° C. The relative humidity is 70 – 75 %.  Generally the climate is humid, warm and pleasant.  The climate is equable and no well marked, distinct seasons are experienced. 

From June to October the south-west monsoon is active.  The average rainfall is 10-40 mm.  Annual rainfall decreases from south to north.  On an average 80-90 days a year are rainy. 

Winds are light to moderate from October to March.

The Lakshadweep Archipelago has 12 atoils, 3 reefs and 6 submerged banks.  The name Lakshadeep or its anglicized form Laccadives is of recent origin.  The early geography and Arab travelers have alluded to the islands as “Divis” or “Dibarat”covering both Maldives and Lakshadweep. 

By several accounts, the cultural and geographical affinities of Lakshadweep are closely linked to Sri Lanka, Kerala, Maldives and Tamil Nadu.  The whole group of islands is one vast coconut garden with 100 trees crowded per acre.  There are no boundaries between individual plots and almost no ground vegetables.  The houses are spread out throughout the islands.

Sightseeing at Lakshadweep

Kavaratti : About 404 kms. from Cochin, Kavaratti is a beautiful calm lagoon and forms an ideal spot for water sports, swimming and basking on warm sandy beaches. The Ajara and Jamnath mosques (of the 52 on the island) have the best woodcarving and the former has a particularly good ceiling carved out of driftwood.

Kalpeni : Kalpeni is at a distance of about 287 kms. from Cochin. It is known for its scenic beauty with the small islets called Tilakkam & Pitti and an uninhabited island on the north called Cheriyam. A striking feature of Kalpeni atoll is the huge storm bank of coral debris along the eastern & southeastern shoreline. Here, one can swim, reef-walk or water sports on kayaks, sail boat and pedal boat.

Agatti : Agatti is about 459 kms. from Cochin. It is 6 kms. long and 1000 meters wide at the broadest point. Agatti presents a breathtaking spectacle of amazing coral reefs, turquoise blue lagoons, silvery beaches and lush green coconut palms that sway to the rhythm of the sea. There are facilities for Kayaking, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Excursions on Glass-bottomed Boats, Sail boats and Fishing trips. 

Kadmat : Kadmat is about 407 kms. from Cochin. Land area of Kadmat is 8 Km long and 550 m wide at the broadest point. The best attractions at Kadmat are the long sandy beaches and the sand banks on the southern tip for sunbath. The place is ideal for a real holiday that brings you away from the busy crowd, hustle and bustle of city life.

 

Bangaram : Bangaram is located at a distance of 459 kms. from Cochin. An undomesticated island, Bangaram is one of the islands open to foreign tourists. It has been ranked among the best hideaways of the world. The teardrop-shaped island has superb beaches and beautiful lagoons. There are numerous adventures like scuba diving, snorkelling and deep sea fishing in which you can engage yourself. 

Minicoy : Located 398 kms. from Cochin. Minicoy is the southern most island in Lakshadweep. It is about 10.6 kms. long, the second largest island, the first being Andrott. Half moon shaped, it has one of the largest lagoons. Viringili is the small islet seen to the south of Minicoy.

lakshadweep kavaratti india

Water Sports

The vast expanses of the shallow lagoons provide an ideal setting for water sports enthusiasts. All the islands included in the various tourist packages offer kayaks, pedal boats, sail boats, wind surfers, glass-bottomed boats and other facilities to tourists who wish to indulge in water sports in the unpolluted lagoons. Kadmat, Kavaratti and Bangaram have facilities for scuba diving. Deep-sea fishing buffs can pursue big game fishing. Barracuda, Sail Fish, Yellow Fin Tuna, Travelly and Wahoo are abundant in the seas around Lakshadweep. Local boats with experienced crew can be hired. Kayaks, canoes, surf modules, snorkels and other water sports are also available in all the islands open for tourists.