Union Territory of India - Lakshadweep
The Laccadive Islands, renamed Lakshadweep in 1973, are located in the Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Kerala. Of the 36 coral islands covering a land area of 32 sq. km, only ten are inhabited by simple folk whose language is close to that spoken in Kerala.(Malayalam). They are, in descending order of size, Minicoy, Andrott, Kavaratti, Kadmat, Agatti, Amini, Kalpeni, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra. The islanders have lifestyles and occupations that revolve around coconut cultivation, coir matting and fishing. Even today, nothing is actually produced on the islands themselves, and everything comes from the 'mainland', as India is somewhat quaintly referred to there. One of the smallest Union Territories, the Lakshadweep coral islands are one of the country's newest tourist destinations. Tourism's major focus is on water sports, as each of the islands are surrounded by a coral reef providing large areas of crystal clear water for everything from swimming and snorkelling, to fishing, wind surfing, and sailing in glass-bottomed boats.
The five islands which are open to tourists have simple accommodation in the shape of beach cottages. While equipment for water sports is available at the islands themselves, not much in the way of shopping and entertainment is possible as yet. Lakshadweep is the perfect holiday for those who want to get away from the artifices of the world and enjoy a few days in simple yet stunningly beautiful surroundings.
Fast Facts of Lakshadweep
Places to Interest :
At Kavaratti Island
The wood carving in the Ujra Mosque.
At Andrott Island
The Tomb of Hazrat Ubaidullah.
At Minicoy Island
The Lighthouse here is worth a visit.
Permits to visit Lakshadweep can be obtained from the Lakshadweep tourist office in Cochin. Regular flights operate from Cochin to one of the islands, as well as modestly priced ship cruises which stop at all the islands open to tourism. These cruises begin and end at Cochin.
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