Lakshadweep TourismWelcome to the ocean world of the most spectacular tropical island system Lakshadweep. As the name itself means “100 thousand islands” in Sanskrit and many other south Indian languages, Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 small islands close to each other. With a view from the top they sparkle like small emeralds in the vast ocean of blue waters. Ten islands of the thirty six are inhabited, seventeen are uninhabited, four are new islets and five are submerged islands. Stationed in the northernmost of the Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos cluster Lakshadweep is beyond doubt on top of the list.
The inhabited ones are Kalpeni Minicoy, Andrott, Agatti, Bitra, Amini, Chetlat, Kiltan, Kavaratti, and Kadmat. If you are a beach lover-cum-travel freak or looking for a romantic escapade to the marine world, you have got to see the spectacularly breathtaking Lakshadweep.
In terms of trade and business of Lakshadweep, tourism happens to be the main source of generating substantial income and employment to the locals; besides, coconut cultivation and tuna exports are other occupations. Tourism department in Lakshadweep has been trying hard to balance promotions with environmental conservations. The prized heritage of culture and ecology is sustained by a radically crumbly ecosystem. The impact of coastal tourism and its effective management, keeping in mind environment concerns, is a tough job that the administration has on hands.
These marvelous 36 coral islands have been an all-in-one secluded getaway for travelers of all breeds, far away from the metropolitan menace, and in the heart of Indian Ocean. The magnificence of this awe-aspiring islands is further enhanced to its zenith by the tranquility of the deep waters of the oceans and the coral sands margined with coconut plantations. The ravishing blue lagoon sparkles in all its glory, coupled with a gush of the lush green landscapes overlooking the sun-kissed, long, white-sandy beaches. Every isle is a volume of blue hues, serenely set in an ocean whose waters diverse from pale aquamarine to turquoise to deep shaded sapphire to lapis lazuli.
In the making are 3 major projects for tourists like the lagoon villas at Cheriyam, Thinnakara and Bangaram, and ships for individual cruise, also new islands are being introduced to them for more revenues.
Major Tourist Attractions in Lakshadweep
Also known for its activity on non-intrusive water sports like scuba diving, para sailing, boat racing and adventure sports, if you are one of those who love canoeing, yachting, kayaking, snorkeling, wind surfing, water skiing then Kadmat Islands is the place for you. It has a flourishing water sport institute. Kavaratti and Agatti islands are the destination for fully-equipped scuba diving for the tourists. Boats that ferry you from island to island and used for transporting fish and coconut to the main city are seen parked in the sea all along.
Take pleasure in the flora, and delicious fruits like wild almonds, bananas, colocaisa, bread fruits and drumsticks besides of course the main coconut grow here in abundance. One can find oceanic birds at Pitti a once uninhabited Island which is now a bird sanctuary.
Islands in Lakshadweep
KavarattiIt is the headquarter of Lakshadweep which had a number of 52 mosques spread around the place out of which the prettiest of them is the Ujra Masjid with a carved ceiling in ornate from driftwood piece . A lovely varied collection of ancient specimen in the museum and marine aquarium accentuate the face value of this island. Enjoy exotic water world from glass bottomed boats. At Kavaratti, stay in the exquisite and fully furnished tourist huts on white sandy beaches as the colorful lagoon welcomes you.
KalpeniThe largest and relatively shallow amongst the bunch of islands is Kalpeni. Known for the beauty, there is a storm bank of coral debris. Swimming water sports and kayaking are the prime time activities here. The small islets Tilakkam, Pitti and the uninhabited Cheriyam with the sparkling lagoon in between them. Visitors consist of morning to evening and the ones who stay overnight for a few days can be accommodated in the beach huts too.
MinicoyMinicoy is an isolated southernmost island with the largest lagoon of this group, As a result one gets a mixed flavor of South Indian and Maldivian culture of the people. The prime vocation of people here is shipping and carpentry. To experience the pleasure of these marvels, ride in the breezy hamlet lanes with a trail of thick coconut grooves and enjoy the enriched traditions of performing arts, likes of the popular lava dance, go sightseeing at the famous tuna packaging factory, and the ancient light house built by Britishers in 1985. While in Minicoy you can stay with the Coral Reef or the Swaying palms packages.
KadmatKadmat the only island with lagoon on both ends, a paradise of solitude for honeymooners and divers. Having the right stretch of water with the apt depth for swimming and also ideal for water sports. The dense coconut trees make a natural umbrella for sun-protection. It has a dive school and water sport institute. International tourists are permitted here. It can accustom 49 to 50 tourists in the luxury huts on the beach.
AgattiThe only airport to bring you to the Lakshadweep is situated here, needless to say this island has one of the most beautiful lagoons too. A resort with 20 beds is harbored and one can enjoy staying as much as one wills. Well not only this one can hop skip and jump to secluded islands of Thinnakara, Bangaram, Parali-I - II and luxuriate in a one day excursions in any one of these .
BangaramWant to refuel the romance in your life? Go and revel in the splendid Bangaram Islands. Creamy sands encircle a teardrop piece of land surrounded by thick array of coconut plantations secures you from the sunlight even on a hot day.
For a perfect outing, there are three uninhabited islands in the same atoll, Tinnakara, Parali-I and Parali-II. The sparkling clean and clear water invites you to take a dip and revel in the flora and fauna of the place.
Stay at a state-of-the-art and well-equipped resort that can take about 60 tourists at a time. Entertain yourself at the underwater world seeing the coral fishes, sharks, stings rays, and clown fish, butterfly fish and the harmless turtles while you scuba dive a hop away from Agatti airport by a speedboat, the Bangaram Island Resort caters to high-end international tourists. This 60-bed resort is well equipped with water sports equipment and has Lakshadweep’s first Dive School.
Best Time to Visit LakshadweepLike most coastal regions Lakshadweep also has tropical climate and it has an average temperature of 27° C - 32° C. months of April and May are the hottest with an average temperature of 32° C. But overall the weather is pleasant although a bit humid and warm in the afternoons.
Bangaram and Agatti that can be visited all year round, having said that October-March seem to be the best time to visit specially for the ship based tour packages. Reason being south-westerly monsoon and humidity is at its peak with rainfall of 10-40 mm during the months of June to October. Rainfall reduces from south to north. Rain is almost 90 days in the year. It’s pleasant and moderately windy between October to March.
How to Reach LakshadweepBy Air
The islands are well connected by regular flights from Kochi. Between Kavaratti and Agatti you can even enjoy a helicopter ride throughout the year. As the climate is humid and windy during monsoons, ship-based tourism is closed. October to March is the ideal time to be on the islands. An Indian Airline and Kingfisher airlines flight from Kochi gets you to Agatti in about 90 minutes every day except Sunday. Earlier there were flights from Goa too which have now been stopped.
If you have a dream of cruising your way towards the blissful blue water world then simply hop on to one of these ships and indulge in the luxury of the scenic wonders of the oceans, lovely multi-cuisine delicacies and the cool moist breeze of the ocean sweeping you off your feet to indulge in these islands. MV Sea Fox was the first ship inaugurating the islands way back in 1962. There are occasional cruises from Mumbai. Except in the monsoons, the regular ships from Kochi connect you to all the islands. M.V. Tiousultan , M.V Bharatseema , M.V Aminidivi and M.V Minicoy get you there by 18-20 hours.
Travel between islands in small boats and ferries. Once there you may put on your beach hat and decide to paint the town red on rented bicycles up for grabs.
For more information on transport in Lakshadweep, click here
Weekend GetawaysYou do not have a plethora of appealing options to stay in Lakshadweep. However, Bangaram proposes some luxurious and popular resorts and hotels; you can discover many beautiful cottages and huts far from exorbitant pricing.
Depending on how much you would like to spend there are tailor-made packages for the spendthrift and the conservative spenders. Indian and foreign tourists can choose the place they want to stay depending on their budgets.
Those who wish to stay for a few days can stay at twin bedroom beach huts at the islands of Minicoy, Agatti, Kadmat, Kavaratti and Kalpeni others who are interested for a day tour can hop back on their cruise ship at evening. For foreign and Indian tourists prior permit is required to get into Lakshadweep. Most of the time the tour organizers manage the permits before your travel.
The 3 main resorts where one can put up are the following:
Agatti Island Beach Resort
This breathtaking spectacle is a privately-owned 20 bed resort and the oldest one here although renovations and new huts are in the making. People stay here for scuba diving which is an attraction better than other islands.
Bangaram Island Resort
Before the introduction of 128-acre resort this island was isolated. It is open to foreign tourists along with Indians; alcohol is allowed here. It holds the distinction of being the only place in the entire Lakshadweep archipelago that can serve alcohol. Owned privately by a company called Earth, an expensive 5 star property, unpretentious but comfortable living and good management, has been maintaining high standards of services. Here you have four private bungalows and 30 beach huts with a restaurant hut in the middle of the property made out of bamboo and palm fronds circling a tall pole. Although the resort is well run and fully operational in the last few years the government has not been allowing tourists to travel to Bangaram Island. The verdict is awaited from the Supreme Court to continue tourism soon.
Kadmat Island Resort
This resort is a 22-hut executive and 36-family hut, government run abode for scuba divers. With a tariff – Rs 3000 to 4000 per day.
All-in-all Lakshadweep is a must go for those globe trotters who love to experience this mystical aqua space tucked away in the Indian ocean. It’s a traveler’s paradise which takes you in the divine world of deep blue waters and the silver sun-kissed sands fringing it, a canopy of green coconut palms, coral reefs glowing in the mirror of crystal clear waters of the majestic ocea. Indeed a jewel in the crown of India.
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