Table of Contents
- History & Culture
- How to Reach
- Interesting Facts
- How to Reach
- Places to visit in Lakshadweep
- Things to do
- Places to eat
- Hidden Gems
- Places to visit near Lakshadweep
- Hotels & Resorts
About Lakshadweep Island
Lakshadweep is a picturesque archipelago of 36 islands off the coast of the Arabian Sea on the western shores of India. The name Lakshadweep means “one lakh islands” in the local language. It is the smallest Union Territory of India comprising Minicoy, Amindivi, and Laccadive Islands. Kavaratti or Kavaratti Island is the capital city of Lakshadweep. But Andrott on the Lasksadweep Sea or the Laccadive Sea is the largest in Lakshadweep. It is also the most populated island in Lakshadweep and the nearest island to mainland India.
Also Read: [Lakshadweep Islands – The Maldives we all deserve]
The Lakshadweep Island is located 400KM off the Malabar Coast in Kerala. The archipelago includes 12 atolls, three coral reefs, and five submerged banks. There are a total number of 39 islands and islets here. But of that, only 11 islands are inhabited with a total population of 64,429 (census 2011). The main islands, which are popular tourist places, are Kavaratti, Agatti, Minicoy, and Amini.
Lakshadweep experiences a tropical coastal weather pattern with hot and humid summers, pleasant winters, and a heavy monsoon period. The temperature here is the best between September and February, which is also the best time to visit.
History & Culture
The old name for Lakshadweep was Cannanore Islands, after the coastal town of Cannanore (now Kannur) in Kerala. It was known as the cluster of Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands, which was changed to Lakshadweep after the Parliament Act in 1973.
Since there is no recorded evidence of aboriginals in Lakshadweep, the history of this island group comes from different settlers. The earliest evidence of human settlement here is from 1500 BC. From sailors on the Erythraean Sea to ancient Islamic rulers, the Buddhists, Portuguese, Mughals, and British, this island territory has seen many changes of hands. Collectively all these earlier communities influenced the culture of Lakshadweep. The current islanders are ethnically similar to the Malayali people of Kerala, with Malayalam being the most spoken language, while Jeseri and Dhivehi are used in other islands.
How to reach Lakshadweep
The location of Lakshadweep makes this island territory inaccessible by road or railways. The only way to reach there is by waterways or airways. For your tour, you can either take a flight or one ship from Kochi in Kerala. There are seven-passenger ships that sail frequently from Kochi and take 14-20 hours overnight to reach different islands here. The average Lakshadweep travel cost for two including travel, stay, and food, comes to around INR 7000-10000 per day.
There is no train connectivity to Lakshadweep
If you are travelling from other cities in Kerala or neighbouring states, you can take a train, bus, taxi, or private car to Kochi and from there take a flight or ship to Lakshadweep.
There is only one airport in Lakshadweep, in Agatti. The only direct flights are from Kochi.
Interesting Facts about Lakshadweep
Besides tourism, Lakshadweep has a lot of interesting facts that will intrigue you about this island territory.
- The islands form the smallest union territory of India with a total surface area of just 32 sq. km.
- The name Lakshadweep means “one lakh islands” but the archipelago consists of no more than a hundred islands.
- It has the lowest population ranking in India, with 65000 people residing across 11 islands (not including tourists).
Places to visit in Lakshadweep
There’s a host of exotic and unique tourist places to see. Explore these places on your sightseeing tour –
- Pakshi Pitti – The only bird sanctuary in Lakshadweep, Pakshi Pitti is located on an uninhabited coral reef, off the island of Kavaratti.
- Marine Museum – The museum is located in Kavaratti and preserves a huge collection of marine artefacts and information on marine life. Also, check out the aquarium housing several rare and engendered species of fishes and other sea creatures.
- Bangaram Island – The beautiful tiny island is known for virgin beaches and crystal blue water and is known for breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset.
- Andrott Island – The largest island of Lakshadweep, Andrott is famous for some untouched Buddhist archaeological remains and the tomb of Saint Hazrat Ubaidullah. You can also spot octopuses here.
- Minicoy Lighthouse – Built in 1885, it is the oldest lighthouse of the island territory. The 300ft towering structure offers stunning views of the island and the ocean.
Things to do in Lakshadweep
Apart from the above places to visit in Lakshadweep, try these interesting activities –
- Try parasailing. It is one of the most thrilling and popular activities to do on these islands. You can sail over the azure waters and get a 360-degree view of the shores and oceans.
- Explore the marine life with scuba diving in Lakshadweep. The diving trips take you through sloping reefs, underwater caves, coral gardens, overhangs, shipwrecks and some drift diving, depending on your scuba experience. There are recreational activities also available for non-professionals.
- Go sailing on a luxury yacht. You can watch sunsets or spot exotic fishes, turtles, and other marine animals, as you sail on the clear blue waters.
- Shop for handcrafted goods in markets of Agatti, Minicoy, or Kavaratti islands. The islanders make quaint products with home décor, jewellery and other souvenirs shells, oysters, corals, and other stones. You can also buy coconut and seafood goods like fish oil, fish biscuits, coconut oil etc.
Places to eat in Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep food is dominated by coastal flavours with Malabari influence. Check out these places to eat on your Lakshadweep trip –
- Heaven’s Treat Beach Restaurant, Kavaratti
- Z Corner, Kavaratti
- TPBrother’s Thattukada, Kavaratti
- Andhaan Beach Restaurant, Agatti
Unexplored places/Hidden Gems of Lakshadweep
Beyond the standard island tourism in Lakshadweep, there are several hidden, unexplored places that you should check out. One such place is the Kalpeni islands, comprising Thilakkam, Pitti, and Cheriyam, most of which are virgin territories and not inhabited so far. While new beaches are being discovered and open to tourists. The shores here are shallow and marshy with scenic views of sunsets and sunrises. Kalpeni is great when you want to spend some quiet time strolling or swimming.
Beaches of Lakshadweep
Explore these best and most visited Lakshadweep beaches on your island vacation –
- Minicoy Beach – Located on the second-largest island of Lakshadweep, Minicoy beach is known for vibrant coral reefs and white sand beaches. You can swim, sunbathe, or fish on this beach.
- Kavaratti Beach – One of the most popular and scenic beaches of Lakshadweep, Kavaratti features clear blue lagoons, lush beach vegetation, sparkling shores with a vast expanse of marine life. This beach is perfect for snorkelling and swimming or relaxing on the shores.
- Agatti Beach – With interesting topography and clearwater beach, Agatti is popular among travellers. The beach is famous for water sports like snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking, water skiing, and deep-sea fishing.
- Amini Beach – Located in the town of Amini, this beach is one of the most famous ones of the archipelago. The beach is dotted with artisans selling handcrafted goods made of coconut shells and tortoise shells. Amini beach is also great for swimming.
Places to visit near Lakshadweep
Apart from the popular places, you can also visit nearby destinations, with your tourism package –
- Kannur – The otherwise underrated port town sitting in the northern part of Kerala Kannur is a hidden gem. Stay at one of the colonial mansions turned hotels for the best experience. Visit St. Angelo Fort, Payyambalam Beach or the Muzhuppilangad Beach.
- Kozhikode – also called Calicut, the 16th-century trading town is a popular tourist destination in Kerala. You can visit Kozhikode Beach, Kappad Beach, Mappila Mosque, Mother of God church, and sample local flavours at Kingsbay Restaurant.
- Kochi – An ancient port town, Kochi is famous for its colonial architecture and old-world charm. From historic forts and iconic churches to scenic beaches and abundant greenery, Kochi is a breathtaking delight at every glance. Visit the 1000-year-old Fort Kochi, Paradesi Synagogue, or the St. Francis Church.
[Also Read: A Savaari Guide to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale]
Lakshadweep Hotels & Resorts
Most resorts here are centred in Kavaratti city, Agatti and Kadmat, with a few in Bangaram. From luxury resorts to budget places, check out some of these best resorts that are currently open –
- Bangaram Island Beach Resort, Bangaram
- Kavaratti Island Beach Resort, Kavaratti
- Minicoy Island Beach Resort, Minicoy
- Kadmat Island Beach Resort, Kadmat
- Kasim’s Beach Villa, Agatti
- White Pearl Beach Hotel, Agatti