Located in the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep is part of the Indian subcontinent and is known as the smallest union territory of India. Lakshadweep means ‘million islands’ in Malayalam and Sanskrit.
True to its name, this island is beautiful and gives the perfect holiday pleasure to those fond of beaches, water sports, and seafood.
The whole of Lakshadweep is nothing but a group of many small islands which are situated close to each other. It has 12 coral atolls, five shores, three coral reefs, and several small islets.
It is situated near the Kerala coast and comes under the jurisdiction of Kerala State and the Kerala High Court. The capital of Lakshadweep is Kavaratti and it is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Indian subcontinent.
This union territory was formed on 1 November 1956. The state bird here is the sooty tern and the state animal is the butterfly fish. The state tree of Lakshadweep is breadfruit. Malayalam, Hindi, Mahi, and Tamil languages are spoken here.
It is a group of 36 islands and its total area is 32 square kilometers which are spread over 30,000 square miles in the Arabian Sea.
Of the 36 islands, only 10 are inhabited and these ten islands are Androt, Amini, Agati, Bitra, Chatelet, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan, and Minicoy.
Lakshadweep is rich in biodiversity and the various facts about these islands offer a wide range of information about Lakshadweep.
Endowed with unmatched natural beauty, the enchanting coral reef island of this union territory is an intriguing combination of scenic views and modern infrastructure that attracts tourists from all over the world.
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History of Lakshadweep
According to local tradition, the history of Lakshadweep is said to be associated with Cheraman Perumal, the last Chera king of Kerala. Historians believe that he converted to Islam at the behest of Arab traders and left his capital, Craiganor, which is today called Kodangalore in Mecca.
Several search teams were sent to find the king. However, due to a strong storm, his ship broke down on an island named Bangarma. As the effect of the storm subsided, the team reached Agati Island and on their way back home they encountered various islands of Lakshadweep. Some soldiers started living on one of these Amini islands.
The history of Islam in Lakshadweep dates back to the seventh century when St. Ubaidullah used to travel to many places to preach Islam. When his ship broke down, he found himself on this island and thus reached here.
He married here and successfully converted people to Islam. Even today his grave is present here in Andraut and is considered a holy place.
With the arrival of the Portuguese, looting started in Lakshadweep. He was only interested in coir. However, the Portuguese also did not survive here for many years and it is believed that they died after being poisoned by the local people.
According to modern history, Lakshadweep was ruled by the Raja of Chirakkal in the 16th century. After some time some islands came under the rule of Tipu Sultan. The British East India Company arrived here in 1799. Later in the year 1854, the whole of Lakshadweep came under the rule of the East India Company.
After independence, these islands became part of the Republic of India and became a separate union territory in 1956.
Economy of Lakshadweep
The islands offer incredible economic potential due to their excellent economic zone. Although agriculture is the main part of the economy here, fishing is also very important.
The people here also do a lot of cultivation of coconut, which is the main crop here as well as the main source of income for the people here. The industries here are based on making coconut fiber and its related products. There are many coir fiber factories here.
A large number of people work in these factories. Fishing ranks the island first in the per capita availability of fish. Apart from the various industries here, the tourism industry is also huge which helps a lot in earning revenue here.
Society and culture of Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep has a deep tradition and culture which is going on since time immemorial. There are various traditions and customs here.
It is predominantly a Muslim area and has many folk festivals, dances, and various traditions which are deeply connected. Due to its proximity to Kerala, many religious customs and traditions here are influenced by Kerala. Among the festivals celebrated here are Muharram, Bakrid and Milad-un-Nabi, and Eid-ul-Fitr.
All festivals are celebrated with a strong sense of integrity. The food here reflects the people and their tastes. The local cuisine here includes sea fish and coconut.
There is a lot of consumption of coconut water here. People here use a lot of coconut in their food which is very tasty. Here you can enjoy delicious non-vegetarian food along with spicy dishes. You will find the best cuisines of India here. Apart from all this, you can also enjoy mouth-watering idli, dosa, rice, etc.
Transportation in Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep is an island located a little away from the mainland. It is considered an environmentally sensitive place. Hence you will find that the transportation in Lakshadweep is very less. Since the islands are very small here, people here prefer to walk.
The cycle is the preferred mode of transport of the people here. You can also use boats, ferries, and helicopters to go from island to island. The only airport is at Agatti. From here you can also take flights to the mainland. You will also get ships to Lakshadweep from Kochi and Goa.
Geography of Lakshadweep island
The geography of Lakshadweep is very interesting and beautiful. This place is rich in varieties of flora and fauna. It has coral reefs, incredible lagoons, beautiful azure waters all along the islands, and of course, along with sparkling sandy beaches.
There are 36 islands here and many of these islands are isolated. These islands are located in the Arabian Sea, about 220 to 440 km from Kochi, Kerala. The area of the lagoon is about 4200 square kilometers, the water area is about 20,000 square kilometers and the economic area is about four lakh square kilometers. The entire Union Territory is about 32 square kilometers.
Due to its location, its climate is tropical and the weather remains pleasant throughout the year. The weather conditions here are very similar to Kerala.
The temperature here ranges from 25 °C to 35 °C. The humidity in this area is 70 to 76 percent. The annual average rainfall in Lakshadweep is 1600 mm. In which the maximum rainfall occurs in the southwest monsoon. All the islands in this union territory have unbroken beaches and all the coasts are covered with dense coconut palm trees.
The global position of Lakshadweep is 71°-74°E longitude and 8°-12°13′ North latitude. These islands have five underwater beaches, three reefs, and 12 atolls.
Places to visit in Lakshadweep
The tourism industry is the most successful and newly developed industry here. The tourism experience here is different from all the other tourist places. It is so natural and beautiful and an absolutely wonderful place.
The coconut palm trees bordering the long white beaches are very nice to see. Emerald green waters and serene natural scenery around will make you leave this place hard to leave. There are many interesting facilities to visit in Lakshadweep.
You can see the beautiful island of Kavaratti, apart from this you can also visit Ajara and Jamnath Mosque. If you want, you can also just relax and go swimming on any beach. Kalpeni is another attractive place that has a coral beach apart from beautiful views.
Here one can enjoy reef walks or water sports such as sailing, pedal boats, and kayaks. In Agati also you can enjoy many water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing trips, and others.
Other famous places are Kadam Bangaram and Minicoy. Kavaratti is the most developed island and is famous for Ujra Masjid and 52 other mosques. Here you can also visit the Marine Museum.
Here one can enjoy underwater adventures from glass-bottomed boats. Lakshadweep tourism is perfect for family vacations, honeymoons, and adventures. There are many resorts and hotels here for tourists. You can enjoy both local and international food here.
Agatti Island of Lakshadweep
Among the places to see in Lakshadweep, Agatti Island is a very adventurous place. The island is known for the mesmerizing beauty of the coral reefs. Despite being small in the group of islands of Lakshadweep, it is a very exciting place for couples with its clear water, white sand, beach, and couples. Let us tell you, Lakshadweep is spread over an area of 8 km, where more than 8000 people live. Agatti Island is also known for its snorkeling activity.
Minicoy Island of Lakshadweep
Minicoy Island, one of the major attractions of Lakshadweep, is a beautiful tourist destination that is included in the 36 small islands of Lakshadweep. Let us tell you that Minicoy Island is also known as Maliku in the local language. Minicoy Island is about 400 km from the Cochin coast. On this island, you can see coral reefs, attractive white sand, and the beautiful waters of the Arabian Sea. Let us tell you, Minicoy Island is also the second-largest island of Lakshadweep. Here you can also see luxury resorts.
Bangaram Island of Lakshadweep
The Bangaram Islands are a wonderful place in the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. This island is known for its ancient coral reefs and beaches. On Bangaram Island you can swim with beautiful fish, and dolphins watching, do water sports, and enjoy sunrise and sunset. You can also enjoy scuba diving in the clear waters here.
Kavaratti Island of Lakshadweep
Kavaratti Island, one of the beautiful islands of Lakshadweep, is a gem here. Let us tell you, Kavaratti Islands are the capital of Lakshadweep. This island is known for its attractive sea islands, white sand, and beautiful views. Kavaratti is about 360 km from the Kochi coast. Kavaratti Island is known for its 12 atolls (12 atolls), five submerged banks, and three coral reefs. The island attracts a lot of tourists for its beautiful coconut trees and water sports.
Kalpeni Island of Lakshadweep
There are many major places to visit in Lakshadweep, one of them being the magnificent scenery of Kalpeni Island. Kalpeni Island is also known as Koifani Island. The island of Kalpeni has been formed by combining these three islands, Cheriyam, Pitti, and Tilakkam islands. You can enjoy many water sports on Kalpeni Island including reef walking, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, canoeing, and boating.
Marine Museum of Lakshadweep
The Marine Museum is located on Kavaratti Island in Lakshadweep. Artifacts related to the sea are kept in the Marine Museum. Let us tell you, that most species of marine fish and water animals are seen in this museum. If you are interested in activities like marine life and want to get other information related to it, then you must visit the Marine Museum.
Kadmat Island of Lakshadweep
Kadmat Island is another major tourist destination of Lakshadweep, which is most visited by couples. Kadmat Island is spread over an area of about 9 km. This place is also very popular for its attractive white, sunrise, and sunset. Thousands of tourists come to visit this island. Here you can also do many famous activities like paragliding, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, etc.
FAQs About Lakshadweep island
Q: Where are the Lakshadweep Islands located?
A: The Lakshadweep Islands are situated in the Arabian Sea, off the southwestern coast of India.
Q: How many islands are there in Lakshadweep?
A: Lakshadweep comprises a total of 36 islands, including 10 inhabited ones and several uninhabited ones.
Q: Is Lakshadweep a popular tourist destination?
A: Yes, Lakshadweep is a popular tourist destination known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and clear turquoise waters. It offers a tranquil and scenic escape for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Q: How can I reach Lakshadweep Islands?
A: The primary mode of transportation to Lakshadweep is by air or sea. Regular flights operate from various Indian cities to Agatti Island, which has an airport. Ships and ferries also connect the islands to the mainland.
Q: Do I need a permit to visit Lakshadweep?
A: Yes, tourists require a permit to visit Lakshadweep. The permit can be obtained through the Lakshadweep Administration's website or through authorized travel agents.
Q: What are the popular activities to do in Lakshadweep?
A: Visitors to Lakshadweep can indulge in activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, and exploring the coral reefs. The islands also offer opportunities for nature walks, beachcombing, and experiencing the local culture.
Q: What is the best time to visit Lakshadweep?
A: The best time to visit Lakshadweep is between October and March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities. The monsoon season from June to September should be avoided due to rough seas and heavy rainfall.
Q: Are there accommodations available in Lakshadweep?
A: Yes, Lakshadweep offers a range of accommodation options, including resorts, hotels, and government-operated guesthouses on various islands. It is advisable to make prior bookings, especially during the peak tourist season.
Q: Is Lakshadweep a protected area for marine life?
A: Yes, Lakshadweep is home to diverse marine life and coral reefs. The islands are protected as a Union Territory and efforts are made to conserve the fragile ecosystems through sustainable tourism practices.
Q: Are there any restrictions or guidelines for visitors to follow in Lakshadweep?
A: Yes, visitors are expected to follow certain guidelines to preserve the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Lakshadweep. These include avoiding littering, respecting local customs and traditions, and refraining from any activities that may harm the marine ecosystem.
In conclusion, the Lakshadweep Islands stand as a pristine tropical paradise in the Arabian Sea. With its breathtaking beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, this archipelago offers a serene and captivating destination for travelers seeking a tranquil escape. From exploring the underwater wonders through snorkeling and scuba diving to immersing in the local culture and indulging in water sports, Lakshadweep offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. While visiting this idyllic destination, it is important to respect the natural environment and follow the guidelines in place to ensure the preservation of its fragile ecosystems. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or an opportunity to connect with nature, the Lakshadweep Islands are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of a tropical paradise.