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LAKSHADWEEP GUIDE

 
Welcome to a tropical paradise! Scattered on the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea off the western coast of India is a group of coral islands of unparalleled beauty known as Lakshadweep. "Lakshadweep" which means 'A Hundred Thousand Islands' is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands, 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks in the Arabian Sea.


Guide   -  Hotels  -   Attractions   -   Tour packages
 

  LAKSHADWEEP INFORMATION

 
Formerly Laccadive, renamed Lakshadweep (hundred thousand Islands) in 1973, is one of the most spectacular tropical Island systems. The archipelago consist of 36 coral islands in the Arabian Sea, about 185 miles (300 km) off the Kerala coast. It consists of 12 atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks.The atolls poised on submarine banks, harbour these islands with a total area of 32 square km (12 square miles). The islands form the smallest of the Union Territories of India and the country's only coral islands.Though the land area is extremely small, if considered its lagoon area of about 4,200 sq km, 20,000 sq km of territorial waters and about 7,00,000 sq km of economic zone, Lakshadweep is one of the largest territories of our nation.This charming isolated destination has only 10 of its islands are inhabited. They are Minicoy, Andrott, Kavaratti, Kadmat, Agatti, Amini, Kalpeni, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra. Bitra is the smallest of all having only a population of 225 (1991) persons.
 
   

  LAKSHADWEEP FACTS AND FIGURES

 

Lakshadweep at a Glance ...

   

  Area:    

  39,000 sq km

  Capital:

  Kavarati

  Languages: 

   Malayalam, Hindi, English
   Distance:    225-450 Km from kerala
   Per Capita Income:    5,948
   Religion:    Hindu
   Main Income:    Tourism, Agriculture
   District:    1
   Best Time To Visit    All Year Through
 
   

  LAKSHADWEEP HISTORY

 
Early history of Lakshadweep is unwritten. Local traditions attribute the first settlement on these Islands to the period of Cheraman Perumal, the last king of Kerala. It is believed that the first settlers were hindus/ Buddhists. Even now unmistakable Hindu social stratification exists in these Islands. Buddhist archaeological remains are also found in Kavaratti and Andrott Islands. Cultural and social Influence from the mainland state of Kerala had a deep impact on the inhabitants of the Islanders. Greek, Roman and Arab sailors used to visit the Islands for collecting boatloads of cowries and tortoise-shell for commerce. Missionary activity in the 7th century AD and continued contact with Arab traders eventually led to the conversion of all the islanders to Islam. A Muslim saint, Hazrat Ubaidullah who succeeded to convert the inhabitants to Islam, was buried on Andrott. His grave is revered to this day as a sacred site. Later in the 12th century, when a Kolathiri princess married a Muslim convert, the islands became a part of the only Islamic dominion in the Kerala region. During the 14th century Marco Polo, the famous Italian Explorer, seemed to have visited these Island. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Portuguese arrived on the Islands and colonized them. Later Bibis (female rulers) and their husbands ruled the islands, until control of the islands passed to Tipu Sultan in 1783. When Tipu was killed by the British at the battle of Srirangapatnam in 1799, the islands came under British control. Sovereignity was transferred to India upon Indian independence in 1947, and the islands were constituted a union territory in 1956.
 
   

  LAKSHADWEEP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 
Kavarati (Lakshadweep) » Kalpeni (Lakshadweep) »Agatti (Lakshadweep) » Kadmat (Lakshadweep) » Bangoram (Lakshadweep) » Andrott (Lakshadweep) » Minicoy (Lakshadweep)
 
   

  LAKSHADWEEP FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

 
The second volume depicts the history and celebration of fairs and festivals in the Christian-dominated state of Kerala,Lakshadweep Islands. Several Hindu festivals are celebrated with much fervour. It is followed by Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Again the pattern of alphabetical order has been followed and the element of comprehensiveness has been maintained.
 
   

  HOW TO REACH

 
By Air : There are flights from Cochin to Agatti. From Agatti passengers are transported to Bangaram by fast boat and brought back to agatti in time for their departure. A helicopter service linkes agatti to other island.

By Ship :From October to April, Catamaran speed vessels operate as per monthly schedule between major islands in the group. Their is a regular ship service between cochin and the islands according to a scheduled programme.
 
   

  LAKSHADWEEP MAJOR ISLANDS

 
Kavarati (Lakshadweep) » Kalpeni (Lakshadweep) » Kadamath (Lakshadweep) » Minicoy (Lakshadweep) » Agatti (Lakshadweep)
 
   

  LAKSHADWEEP WILDLIFE AND BIRDS

 
What meets the eye at first glance is the lush green colour that gracious tall palm trees paint. Undoubtedly, coconut is the only commercial crop. Deep green shrubs known lacally as Kanni, Cholam, Punna, Cheerani characteristically border the base of coconut palms. Iplomea is a conspicuous ground runner. Shrubs & runners play a strongrole in preventing erosion. The state tree is the breadfruit tree. Common farms spacies taht people tend, are Cows, Goats & Ducks. Rats as usual rae a menace to coconut crops. There are no Dogs & Snakes on the islands. Only a few islands have Crows. Common sea birds are Taratashi & Karifetu, the farmer being the state bird. Most of them nest on an island called Pitti- a bird sanctuary. Apart from common froms of life, exotic, kaleidoscopic life under watre is abundent & marvellou. As a result of rich life, there always exists competition for good, shelter & mates. To cope up with this, some day dream & wake up at light allowing others to have their meal by the day. Strikingly the colourful fishes draw one's attention by their interesting behavior, peculiar forms & captivating movements. Gracefully swimming from place to place are the butterfly fishes resembling butterflies in the underwater garden. Gazers of the green pastures are Surgeonfishes. Of great many varieties of surgeons, the one commonly seen is the Powder Blue Sureonfish. They are called so because of a razor like spine they carry near the tail. Beacuse of strong beaks, the Parrotfishes attained their name. Cute Damselfishes live among branching corals showing territorial behavoir. Earthly pincushions aliens are Porcupine fishes that inflate themselves into a ball, eracting the spines when distributed. A similar cousin to them is the Pufferfish, snake like resident of dark crevices are Morey Eels which hunt by smell at night & their enemy is the Octipue as it seeks the same dark resting places.Sedentary & slow moving creatures are Sea Cucumbers, shelled animals(Molluses) & Hermit Crabs. A variety of crab, lobstres 7 shrimps inhabit the crevices of corals. Lots of food fishes inhabit the coral atolls. The Mas-Choorai or Choorai, as people of Lakshadweep call Tuna, is their chicken of the sea & is mainly caught using poles & lines, with live bait to charm them. Playful Dolphins, Turtles, Rays & Flying fishes are occasionally seen by keen observers.
 
   

  LAKSHADWEEP WATER SPOTS

 
The vast expanses of the shallow lagoons provide an ideal setting for water sports enthusiasts. All the islands included in the various tourist packages offer kayaks, pedal boats, sail boats, wind surfers, glass-bottomed boats and other facilities to tourists who wish to indulge in water sports in the unpolluted lagoons. Kadmat, Kavaratti and Bangaram have facilities for scuba diving. Deep-sea fishing buffs can pursue big game fishing. Barracuda, Sail Fish, Yellow Fin Tuna, Travelly and Wahoo are abundant in the seas around Lakshadweep. Local boats with experienced crew can be hired. Kayaks, canoes, surf modules, snorkels and other water sports are also available in all the islands open for tourists.
 
   

  DO'S AND DON'T ON LAKSHADWEEP

 
Do's
- Make sure your reservation of tour in advance before leaving your station.

- Carry your special brand of medicines, cosmetics, cigarettes etc. as only ordinary varieties will be available on the islands.

- While on board the ship, a representative of SPORTS has been specially designated to assist you. In case of any difficulty, please avail of his services.

Dont's
- Litter the land or the water. It pollutes.

- Pick up corals as souvenirs. It is a punishable offence.

- There is prohibition on all islands except Bangaram

- Carry narcotics or drugs. It is a punishable offence.

- Swim or sunbathe nude. It is prohibited.

- Go out of your island lagoon without permission of the SPORTS authorities and without a proper escort. It can be risky.

- Pluck tender coconuts yourself. The trees are privately owned and unauthorized plucking of coconuts is a theft. Also a fall from the palm can prove dangerous.