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Lakshadweep - Quick Facts

Area: 32 sq. kms.

Population: 65,473

Altitude: 2,133 m above sea level

Temperature: Min 25.6; Max 30 degree Celsius

Season: October to May

Clothing: Warm climate; Cotton cloth throughout the year

Rainfall:1,515mm average

Max Temp: 320C

Min Temp: 200C

Languages: Malayalam & Mahl

Best Time To Visit: Islam,Hinduism,Christianity



The coral islands of Lakshadweep, a total of 36, of which 10 are inhabited, in recent years have become popular tourist destinations. One of the last places in the world where little has changed, Lakshadweep Isles in the Indian Ocean's. Lakshadweep sea are surrounded by lagoons and are known for their pristine beauty. Coconut trees abound, the beaches are silver crescents, and the sea is a crystal clear endless blueness. The coral formations underwater form an amazingly colorful garden and the variety of fish that inhabit these waters is truly exotic.

The Lakshadweep archipelago is located between 155 and 261 nautical miles (287 and 483 km) from Cochin on the mainland. Tourism is restricted to ensure that the delicate environment is not ecologically damaged. Only five islands are open for tourism - four to domestic tourists and two for international travelers. Bangram, the resort for international tourists, is uninhabited. The four islands that are open for domestic tourism are Kavaratti the administrative capital; Kalpani with its rich coral and marine life; Kadmat with its very fine beach; and Minicoy which has one of the largest lagoons in the archipelago. Agatti has beautiful lagoons and the airport is located here. Visitors can arrive by ship, enjoy a wide range of water sports, explore marine life & relax. Tourism here is controlled by the Society for Promotion of Recreational Tourism and Sports (SPORTS).



The early history of Lakshadweep is not recorded; Local traditions attribute the first settlement on the islands to the period of cheraman Perumal, the last Chera King of King of Kerala. It is believed that the first setters were Hindus and Buddhists. Even Now, unmistakable Hindu social stratifications exist despite the influence of Islam. Buddha idols are found in islands like Kavaratti and Andrott.Floating on a plank he was swept ashore at Amini. Ubaidullah began propagating Islam in the face of strong protests. From Amini, he went to Andrott where too he met with strong opposition. Finally he succeeded in converting the people to Islam. Soon he went to other islands with the message of Islam and succeeded in propagating it. He died in Andrott and his place of burial is a sacred place now.

Even after the influence of Islam, the sovereignty remained in the hands of the Hindu Raja of Chirakkal for some years. Form Chirakkal Raja, the control moved into the hands of the Muslim House of Arakkal around the 16th century. The Arakkal rule was oppressive and unbearable. Eventually in 1787, some islanders from Amini took courage and met Tippu Sultan at Mangalore, and requested him to take over the administration of Amini, Soon five islands came under the Sultan and the rest continued to be governed by the Arakkal family.

After the battle of Srirangapattanam in 1799, the islands was annexed to the British East India Company from Mangalore. In 1854, the Raja of Chirakkal handed over all the remaining islands to the East India Company. So came the British rule. The Union Territory of Lakshadweep was formed in 1956, all islands now constitute on District for Administration with 4 tehsils. The administration head quarter is at Kavaratti. The Administrator heads the Union Territory. Each island has a democratic set-up in the form of Village (Dweep) Panchayat. At Union Territory level, there is a District Panchayat.


One of the world’s most spectacular tropical island systems, Lakshadeep is tucked away at 220-240 kms of the Malabar Coast. The island comprise of 4200 sq. kms. of lagoon rich in marine wealth and 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 founa enchance the mystique of these islands. Against the vast blue sea, the island looks like emeralds. The huge wall-like reef bordering the outer side of the shallow lagoons blocks the incoming swells of the sea.The island are link to the main land by ship helicopter passanger plans and mechanized sailing wooden vessels. Agatti and Bangaram can be reached by air and the other by ship from Kochi. The temperature increases frm south to North; April and May are the hottest with temperatures averaging at 32o C.

The relative humadity is 70-75%. Generally the climate is humid ,warm and pleasant. The climate is equable and no well marked, distinct season are experienced. From Jun-October the south-west mansoon 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 atolls, 3 reefs and 6 submerged banks. The name Lakshdeep or its anglicized from Laccadives is of resent origine. The early geography and Arab Travellers have alluded to the island as divis or Dibatat covering both Maldives and Lakshadweep. By several accounts the cultural and geographical affinities of Lakshdweep 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 spred out throughout the Islands.


The flora of the islands include Banana, Vazha, (Musaparadisiaca), Colocassia, Chambu (Colocassia antiquarum) Drumstic moringakkai (Moringa Oleifera) , Bread Fruit, Chakka (Artocarpus incisa) wild almond (Terminalia Catappa) which are grown extensively. Some of the shrub jungles plant like Kanni (Scaevolakeeningil), Punna, (Calaphylluminophyllum), Chavok (Casurina equisetifolia), Cheerani (Thespesia Populnea) are unevenly grown throughout the island. Coconut, Thenga (Cacos nucifera) is the only crop of economic importance in Lakshadweep. These are found in different varieties such as Laccadive micro, Laccadive ordinary, green dwarf etc. Two different varieties of sea grass are seen adjacent to the beaches. They are known as Thalassia hemprichin and Cymodocea isoetifolia. They prevent sea erosion and movement of the beach sediments.

The marine life of the sea is quite elaborate and difficult to condense. The commonly seen vertebrates are cattle and poultry. Oceanic birds generally found in Lakshadweep are Tharathasi (Sterna fuscata) and Karifetu (Anous solidus). They are generally found in one of the uninhabited islands known as PITTI. This island has been declared as a bird sanctuary.

Molluscan forms are also important from the economic point of the islands. The money cowrie (cypraea monita) is also found in abundance in the shallow lagoons and reefs of the islands. Other cypraeds found here are cypraca talpa and cyprea maculiferra. Among crabs, the hermit crab is the most common. Colorful coral fish such as parrot fish (Callyedon sordidus), Butterfly fish (Chaetodon Auriga), and Surgeon fish (Acanthurus lineotus) are also found in plenty.

The following animal, bird, and tree are declared as state symbols of Lakshadweep
Animal - Butterfly fish (Chaetodon Auriga) locally known as "Fakkikadia".
Bird-- Sooty tern (Anus solidus piletus) locally known as "Karifettu".
Tree - Bread-fruit (Artocarpus Incise) locally known as "Chakka"


Agatti Island
•        Location: 10o-51*North Latitude 72o longitude, located 459 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 7072
•        Land Area: 3.84 sq. Kms. 6 Kms long and 1000 mts wide
•        Climate: The climate of the island is hot when compared to the islands in the rest of the group

In Agatti, coral growths and multi colored coral fishes abound in its lagoons. The climate of the island is hot when compared to the islands in the rest of the group. Fishing is the moat important industry in Agatti, when is perhaps the only island besides Minicoy getting surplus fish. Next to fishing, coir and copra are the main Industries. Agatti is the airport stopover from Cochin and Goa on the way to Bangaram, which can be seen on the northern horizon. Agatti offers a fully furnished resort managed by a private entrepreneur. Unlike most other resorts in Lakshadweep, Agatti Island Beach Resort is open through out of the year, as it can be reached by the airlines operated from Cochin and Goa. The main attraction at the resorts is the water sport facilities. A medical center with qualified doctors functions at Agatti.

Bangaram Island
•        Location: 10o-56*North Latitude 72o-17* East longitude, located 459 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: uninhabited
•        Land Area: 2.30 sq. Kms.
•        Climate: The climate of the island is warm round the year

A bewitchingly beautiful 7 breathtaking island in the Lakshadweep, Bangaram is un-inhabited. A shallow lagoon enclosed by coral reef surrounds it. It has been ranked among the best gateways of the world. Hare the harmony of the Sun; Sand & Surf casts a spell on the visitor. It offers utmost privacy unpolluted comfort with Crystal clear Water. Sparkling coral reef & blue lagoon perform magic on the soul-searching traveler. It’s a place or a Van Gogh would paint a masterpiece. And who knows the muse may inspire one to create too. A matchless sense of well being takes over & one begins to discover the graceful fishes, porcupines, parrots, puffer fishes, hermit crabs & sea birds on the vast 120 acres of lush coconut groves in Bangaram. There are numerous adventures like scuba diving, beach games, swimming, snorkeling & deep-sea fishing. The resort is 60 bedded beach cottages with a multi cuisine restaurant. A well stocked bar is also available. Agatti is the gateway to Bangaram & is linked to Cochin for onward flights to metros.

Kadmat Island
•        Location: 11o-13*North Latitude 72o-47* East longitude, located 407 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 5319
•        Land Area: 3.20 sq. Kms. 8 Kms long and 550 meters wide at the broadest point
•        Climate: The climate of the island is moderate
•        Language: Malayalam

It is very large lagoon on the western side with abundant coral growth. Long sandy beaches & excellent water sport facilities are the stellar attraction here. Main occupation of the people is coir twisting. It is famous for its limestone used for building purpose. In addition to the beautiful shallow lagoon on the west that forms an ideal spot of water sports, there is a narrow lagoon on the east. Kadmat has been identified for staying tourists with its tourists huts aesthetically situated in the coconut palm groves in the beaches facing the lagoon. The place is ideal for a real holiday that takes one away from the maddening crowd, hustle and bustle of city life. Under Marine wealth Awareness programme, one can spend 3 – 4 days enjoying sea breeze and moonlit beach. Water sport crafts like kayaks, pedal boats, sailing yachts, skiing boats and glass bottomed boats are available on hire. The scuba Diving center in the island has become an attraction for water sport enthusiasts. The island resort is managed by SPORTS.

Kalpeni Island
•        Location: 10o-05*North Latitude 73o-39* East longitude, located 287 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 4319
•        Land Area: 2.79 sq.kms
•        Climate: The climate of the island is moderate.

It is known for its scenic beauty & the small islets called Tilakkam & Pitti & a uninhabited island on the North called Cheriyam. A huge shallow lagoon encloses all of them. A peculiar feature of Kalpeni atoll is the huge storm bank of the coral debris along the eastern & the south – eastern shorelines. It is believed that huge boulders were thrown up during a storm in 1847. it is a progressive island. It was in this island that girls first went to School, when woman’s education was considered a taboo. Hare one can swim reef-walk or water sport on kayaks, sail boat & pedal boat. Water sport crafts are given on hire; two bathing huts with change rooms are available Koomal Beach Resort. A visit to Baniyan Factory & the Light House is also included in the day’s program. Kalpeni is part of Coral Reef packages of SPORTS.

Kavaratti Island
•        Location: 10o-33*North Latitude 72o-38* East longitude, located 404 kms, from Cochin.
•        Population: 10113
•        Land Area: 4.22 sq. Kms.
•        Climate: The climate of the island is moderate 

It is the Headquarters of the U.T Administration since 1964. You have enough time to explore the island. The beautiful calm lagoon forms an ideal spot for water sports, swimming & basking on warm sandy beaches. Marina life exhibits can be seen at the new Marine Aquarium, which has an excellent collection of specimens. Do not bother if you are not good swimmer, we have made viewing the exotic underwater world easier for you through our glass-bottomed boats. Kayaks & sailing yachts are available on hire. The dolphin dive center is another attraction of water sports enthusiasts. Tourist availing ‘Taratashi’ package to Kavaratti stay in Coral Reef & Taratashi packages of SPORTS.

Minicoy Island
•        Location: 8o-17*North Latitude 73o-04* East longitude, located 398 kms, from Cochin.
•        Population: 9495
•        Land Area: 4.80 sq. Kms. It is about 10.6 Kms long
•        Climate: The climate of the island is moderate
•        Language: Mahl

It is the second largest island, the firs being Andrott. It is the southern most island in Lakshadweep, crescent shaped and has one of the largest lagoons. Viringili is the small islet that can be seen on the south. Minicoy is set apart from the northern group of islands by its culture; the islanders are employed as seamen in ocean going vessels the world over. The island has a systematically arranged village system known as ‘Avah’ each Avah is a cluster of houses, which is headed by an elected elderly man called Bodukaka. Traditionally all powers to manage village affairs are vested in him. Each village house beautifully decorated and maintained. Mahi is the spoken language. Minicoy is an important centre for tuna fishing. The Light House of the island is one of the oldest and was constructed in 1885. One can visit the villages, tuna canning factory, the light house and go far a long drive through dense coconut groves and winding village roads. The beaches have bathing huts and change rooms. So swim and beach walk, pedal boat, kayak and sail. Three tourist cottages and a twenty bedded tourist home have been constructed for the staying tourists. This island is part of Coral Reef and Swaying Palm packages of SPORTS.

Amini Island
•        Location: 11o-07*North Latitude 72o-44* East longitude, located 407 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 7340
•        Land Area: 2.60 sq. Kms
•Climate: The climate of the island is moderate It is 3 kms long and 1.5 kms wide with oblong shape. Corals and sand stone is used for building purpose.Tallented craftsmen living here are famous for making walking sticks with tortoise shells and coconut shells. It's also famous for stone engravers and has a rich tradition of fols songs. The island got its name for the Arabic word 'Amin' meaning "faithful".

Androth Island
•        Location: 10o-49*North Latitude 73o-41* East longitude, located 293 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 10720
•        Land Area: 4.90 sq. Kms
•        Climate: Enjoys a moderate Climate
Androth is the nearest island to the mainland and has an east-west orientation unlike other islands lying in the north-south direction. It is the Largest Island in the Lakshadweep. Thick vegetation mainly coconut groves, add to the beauty of the island. It was the first island to embrace ISLAM. The Saint Ubaidullah, who is believed to have converted the people of islands to Islam, died here and his tomb still remains in the Juma ‘at Mosque. Religious preachers from here are held in high esteem. Fishing industry is well developed, next only to Minicoy and Agatti. Coir and Copra are the major products of the island.

Bitra Island
•        Location: 11o-36*North Latitude 72o-10* East longitude, located 483 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 264
•        Land Area: 0.10 sq.kms
•        Climate: The climate of the island is moderate

Bitra is the smallest inhabited island in the territory. Till 1835 BITRA was the breeding ground for a number of sea birds, a favorite hunt of KILTAN and CHETLAT people. There is a small shrine of Malik Mulla, an old Arab Saint who is said to be having been buried here. The shrine is a place of pilgrimage for the people of other islands. Surprisingly the first permanent settler at Bitra was a women from CHETLAT who with her son set up a permanent settler at house around 1945.

Chetlat Island
•        Location: 11o-41*North Latitude 72o-43* East longitude, located 432 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 2289
•        Land Area: 1.40 sq. Kms.
•        Climate: The climate of the island is moderate
Chetlat is the northern most inhabited island. Coir twisting is the chief occupation of the people here. The coconut yield is poor and income is meager. Manufacture of mats and weaving of coconut leaves are the spare time industries here. The island suffered a great deal at the hands of the Portuguese in the 16th century. Boat building was a flourishing industry at the beginning of the 20th century when all the vessels needed by the Amindivi islanders were built here.

Kiltan Island
•        Location: 11o-29*North Latitude 73o-04* East longitude, located 394 kms, from Cochin
•        Population: 3664
•        Land Area: 2.20 sq .Kms
•        Climate: The climate of the island is moderate
Kiltan lies 51 kms. north-east of AMINI on the international trade route between the Persian Gulf and Sri Lakethe island is only on 3 kms. On the northern and southern ends of the island there is a high storm beach. The island is thick in flora and is fertile. The summer nights in KILTAN are warmer and it is usual for the people to sleep outside their homes, on the beaches. KILTAN has a rich tradition of folk dances.


Scuba Diving
To see the life under sea, untouched and unspoilt.

Deep Sea Big Game Sports Fishing
Deep sea fishing available from October 1st-May 15th only.

Boat Trip within Lagoon
Glassbottom boat excursion to near by uninhabited islands and /or snorkelling at shipwrecks.


Indians
All visitors to Lakhsdweep require entry permits from Lakshadweep administration. Out of 10 inhabited isalnd only 4 islands viz., Kalpani, Kavaratti, Minicoy, ad Kadmat have been opened for domestic tourists and SPORTS, a wing of Lakshadweep Administration is organising package tours by ship covering the above 4 islands from September to May every year and suspended during the monsoon period.

Foreign Tourists
Foreign tourists are allowed to visit Bangaram Island and Kadmat Island only. They are not permitted to visit any other islands in Lakshadweep. Foreign tourist has to submit the detail as mentioned below for booking of hotel:

•        Full Name
•        Address
•        Place/Date of Birth
•        Nationality
•        Passport Number
•        Date of Issue/Expiry of Passport.


The glorious colours colors of Lakshadweep sunsets can be matched only by the colorful dresses of the women of the islands. They wear a Kachi around the waist tucked in a thread wound with solid gold or a silver waist belt. A silk Kachi is usually red with a black border.Others are black or white with a dark border.

While a tight fitting embroidered jacket covers the body above the waist a colourful scarf with silver and gold threads is slung loosely over the head.The scarf is called “Thattam”. The men are simply dressed in a “lungi” except in the Minicoy Island where the young prefer jeans.


Dishing out a delicious variety of sea-food with ample mix-up of coconut is the specialty of Lakshadweep Cuisines. From spicy non-vegetarian stuffs to healthy vegetarian delicacies, the island is ready with every possible kind of mouth-watering dish. The culinary influence of Kerala is quite evident in the cuisines of Lakshadweep.

Since the island has a close proximity with Kerala, hence the cuisines reflect the taste of the inhabitants of that place. The local food of Lakshadweep primarily comprises of coconut and sea fish. The people of the island have a great inclination towards the coconut water as it is the most abundant aerated drink of the place. As a tourist destination, Lakshadweep is one of the most-visited spots of India. People from all over the world come to this island to explore the unexplored coral reefs, the virgin forests and the surrounding serenity. In order to cater to the needs of the tourists the governing authority of Lakshadweep, along with several private bodies have established quite a number of restaurants and eatery joints. Apart from specializing in local food, these restaurants also serve a series of inter-continental dishes. From Chinese and Thai to Indian and Korean, the eatery corners of Lakshadweep provide a lip-smacking array of delectables to those who wish to have a taste of global cuisine. Apart from multi-cuisine eatery zones, one can also get the original taste of Lakshadweep during major festivals when the people of the island prepare special dishes in their own home.


Kolkali and Parichakali are the two popular folk art forms in the Territory. They are an integral part of the cultural milieu except in Minicoy where “LAVA” is the most popular dance form. Some of the folk dances have a resemblance with those in North Eastern India. For marriages “OPPANA” is a common feature, a song sung by a lead singer and followed by a group of women. Picnics are a common leisure activity in Minicoy. The most widely celebrated festivals are Independence Day and Republic Day, Milad - Ul – Nabi, Idulfitr, Bakrid, and Muharram in that order. Interestingly Independence Day and Republic Day are celebrated for days with religious fervor.


It is during the festivals that Lakshadweep puts on display the rich and long running culture of its people. Majority of the population residing in Lakshadweep follows Islam. So it is during the Muslim festivals that Lakshadweep islands are at its most exuberant and colorful. Though many tribal festivals are also celebrated here, their celebrations are not as visible as those of Ids that are celebrated here. The best place to witness these festivals is the many mosques that are spread in almost all parts of the islands. Among all Id-Ul-Fitr celebrated in the month of Ramadan is one festival that is celebrated by every soul on the island. This is one festival which is celebrated by every soul on the island. Even if you are just a tourist, visiting Lakshadweep for quiet and calm vacations, you will not be able to hold yourself from being a part of these exciting and exhilarating celebrations. The sudden and splendid change of a serene locality into loud vicinity will surely sweep you off your feet.

•        Id-Ul-Fitr
•        Bakrid
•        Milad-Ul-Nabi
•        Muharram


Lakshadweep is not a destination to offer you typical shop-till-you-drop experience. People visit the island not as much for shopping in Lakshadweep, as they do for spending an unhurried leisure and scuba diving. If you are still keen on shopping in Lakshadweep, taking back some souvenir to remind you of the great holiday you had, you can look for classic beach handicrafts made corals shells and oysters. Not also there are many shopping joints or large emporia or plush malls for shopping in Lakshadweep, you need to drop in some odd shop anywhere in the island. Or you may come across some local inhabitant with a roadside stall.
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