Lakshadweep, One of world’s most spectacular tropical island systems, is tucked away at 220-440Kms off the Kerala Coast. The islands offer a precious heritage of ecology and culture. The unique feature of the Islands is its coral reef, making it a pristine leisure spot to come back to. 4200 sq kms of lagoons, rich in marine wealth, is spread over 36 islands in an area of 32 sq kms. The underwater view at Lakshadweep is kaleidoscopic and breathtaking. The lagoon offers excellent potential for water sports like swimming, wind-surfing, diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
No wonder, Lakshadweep is fast becoming India’s one of its kind ‘Adventure sport – Nature Tourism’ location. Each island is fringed by snow white coral sands. The crystal clear water and the abundant marine life enhance the beauty of these islands. Against the vast expanse of the blue sea, the Islands look like emeralds. The huge shallow calm lagoon on one side with wall like reef made of marine live coral boulders blocks the incoming swells of the outer sea.
The Islands are linked to the mainland by ship, Flight and helicopter. The islands like Agatti and Bangaram can be reached by ship and air from Cochin. From Agatti, Kadamat and Kavaratti are linked by speed ferry.
The Lakshadweep Islands are an inviting holiday destination for nature lovers and family holidaying. With sun kissed soft beaches and plenty of sun, this group of islands mesmerizes with lush green landscape with less human interference. It is a heaven for those who prefer silence to maddening crowd. The Lakshadweep islands offer nature at its best to the travellers. Marvellous marine life to embed in your memories! Lakshadweep offers everything to relax and rejuvenate you besides being far away from the polluted cities. The beautiful beaches here are known for diving and snorkeling facilities as the real gem is found under water, in form of corals, hence called a Coral Paradise. Kavaratti, the capital is a cluster known for its virgin marine flora and fauna.
Tourist Attractions in Lakshadweep
Bangaram Island : Developed as a tourist centre, is the only island open to foreign tourists, besides certain other specified islands where day visits are permitted. Just an hour and a half away from Agatti, the island of Bangaram charms you with its coconut canopies, colourful boats and fish is all sizes and hues. Right from the glass bottom boat and the speed boat to wind surfing and kayaking you may indulge in any of the amazing activities offered at Bangaram. Deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, rafting, catamaran sailing and snorkeling are other water activities you may enjoy at Bangaram. Don’t forget to treat your taste buds with the Lakshadweep tuna, squid and other sumptuous seafood options. Spot the Asian dolphins, Leopard Moray Eels, frogfish, manyan, octopus and the turtle as they swim by you. Tinnakara, located close-by is an excellent day excursion option from Bangaram.
Agatti : The palm fringed western beach of Agatti is indeed heaven on Earth; one of the nature’s treasures. Soothe yourself in the combination of the sun, sand and the sea. Agatti is the only island in Lakshadweep with an airport. Thus the entire air transportation between the Lakshadweep islands and the Indian mainland takes place through Agatti. Thus, Agatti is rightly addressed as the ‘Gateway to the Lakshadweep islands’. While at Agatti do not miss the experience of the fiberglass boats and the country canoes cruises and water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing.
Kavaratti : The administrative capital of the islands with magnificent swaying coconut canopies invite you for the time of your life. While at Kavaratti do not miss out on the Urja mosque that happens to be one of the most beautiful mosques amongst the 50 odd mosques. The ornate ceiling of the mosque has been carved out from a single piece of driftwood. The other must visit is the Aquarium that will captivate you with the variety of colourful fish and corals as also the Lakshadweep Museum that is home to several artefacts.
Other Tourist Spots in Lakshadweep
Andrott Island – the longest island has the tomb of Hazrat Ubaidullah and the Buddhist archaeological remains are the major attractions.
Minicoy is a large island in the Lakshadweep group of islands that is close to Maldives. While at Minicoy you must visit the Tuna Canning Factory,the lighthouse built by the British way back in 1885 and enjoy the performance of the traditional Lava Dance.
At the Kalpeni island you may enjoy the charming coral life with the tourist facilities. Amidst the spectacular sights of the lovely lagoon you may swim, reef walk, snorkel or indulge in water sports like kayaking and sailing. .
How to Reach Lakshadweep
By Air: from Cochin International Airport to Agatti Island. Helicopter transfer is also available from Agatti Island.
By Sea: Several passenger ships operate between Cochin and the Islands of Lakshadweep. It takes approximately 14 to 20 hours.
Important Travel Information
- You will need to obtain an entry permit to get in many of the Lakshadweep islands
- Tourists are prohibited from carrying alcoholic beverages into the islands of Lakshadweep.
- Carrying narcotics or drugs is a punishable offence.
- It is illegal to pick up corals from any of the Lakshadweep islands.
- The tourists are expected to not litter around and spoil the beautiful waters and support to preserve the fragile ecology.
- The best tourist season may be between October – May
- Do not swim or sunbathe nude. It is prohibited
- Do not go out of your island lagoon without permission of the authorities and without a proper escort. It can be risky.
- Do not 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.
- Make sure your reservation of tour in advance before leaving your station. Avoid booking return journey on the day of arrival back at Kochi. Ships arrival timing is subject to weather, current port clearance