The Lakshadweep archipelago is the only coral islands of our country. The beauty of the islands with their coral atolls, matchless marine environment, and myriad colored animate and inanimate things lend Lakshadweep its kaleidoscopic radiance. Lakshadweep, the ultimate exotic diving location is a boon for tourists from far and wide.
The unbroken creamy sand and serene islands in sea waters ranging from aquamarine and turquoise to deepest sapphire lapis lazuli shades are a popular tourist haunt. The islands of Lakshadweep afford plenty of opportunities for scuba diving, yachting, pedal boating, kayaking, canoeing and swimming. Snorkeling and sunbathing are other popular attractions. Attractive tour packages to these islands are available throughout the year.
Lakshadweep can mean destination, a sort of navigators compass. The name Lakshadweep can be split into 'laksha' which translates as 'hundred thousand' and 'dweep' which means island in Malayalam and Sanskrit languages. Lakshadweep is the tiniest of the Union territories belonging to India.
Lakshadweep comprises of 4200 sq.km of lagoon rich in marine wealth. Snow white coral sands fringe each island of Lakshadweep. The huge, shallow and clam lagoon on one side separate the island from incoming swells of the sea by the fort wall reef which is made of coral boulders and live corals.
The Lakshadweep chain of islands is coral atolls. The corals at Lakshadweep are breathtakingly beautiful. It is awesome to watch each atoll in the topmost point of a submarine pillar of limestone extending several thousand feet from an extinct volcano. The atolls offer a breathtaking underwater world. The corals also provide plenty of hiding spots Leopard Moray Eels and frogs.
The climate in Lakshadweep is generally humid, warm and pleasant. The climate is equable with no well-marked distinct seasonal changes. The usual tourist season to visit Lakshadweep is from October to May especially for ship-based tours. Bangaram and Agatti islands may be visited all the year round.
Bangaram, Agatti and Kadmat are only the three islands where international tourists are permitted to stay. There are plenty of tourist huts at Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy, Agatti and Kadmat for staying in Lakshadweep.
The marine life on the Lakshadweep Island is enormous and defies description. Oceanic birds like Tharathasi and Karifetu are seen here. The uninhabited island of Pitti is declared as bird sanctuary. Molluscan and cypraeds are found aplenty on these islands.
Other cypraeds found are cypraca talpa and cyprea maculiferra. The hermit crab is the most common sight in these islands. Colorful coral fish such as parrot fish, butterfly fish and surgeon fish are a pleasure to watch.
Bangaram Island: This uninhabited island is the choice destination for the rich and famous from throughout the world. Out of the thirty six islands that comprise Lakshadweep, tourists prefer to stay in this Island. Bangaram Island is sought after for its unique 'privateness'. Bangaram Island can be accessed ONLY by Air. The teardrop- shaped Bangaram is encircled by creamy sand. Manta point is famous with divers. A pod of ten to twenty Asian dolphins can be seen at the dive points. Bangaram is also famous for its coral formations.
Kavaratti: This is one of the most developed islands in Lakshadweep. About fifty two mosques are spread out over this island which included the most beautiful Ujra mosque. This mosque is known for its ornate decorations carved ceilings with driftwood. The lagoon in Kavaratti is ideal for water sports, swimming and sun basking. The Marine Aquarium exhibits marine life and a vast specimen at the Museum. It is a delight to watch the exotic underwater world from the glass bottomed boats.
Kalpeni: This Island has the largest lagoon among Lakshadweep islands. This lagoon is ideal for all kinds of water sports as it is relatively shallow. A huge storm bank of coral debris along the eastern and southern eastern shoreline is a peculiar feature of Kalpeni atoll. Sparkling lagoons and small islets like Tilakkam, Pitti and the uninhabited Cheriyam known for their scenic beauty make up Kalpeni.
Minicoy: This is the southernmost island of the group and geographically stands isolated from the other islands of Lakshadweep. The culture here is a mix of Maldivian and the South Indian. The language spoken is called Mahl which is a cousin of Indo Persian languages and whose script is written from right to left. Minicoy is often referred to as the Women's island on account of the dominating positions enjoyed by ladies in this island. The island has a rich tradition of performing arts. During festive occasions, the famous Lava Dance is performed to everyone's delight. Tuna canning factory, Light house built by British in 1885 and the dense coconut groves with the winding village roads are pleasures a tourist can enjoy. Carpentry is famous in the island villages and women are known for their extraordinary culinary skills.
Kadmat: This Island with well-secluded tourist huts has a long stretch of shoreline with thick green coconut palms that form natural canopy shading from the sunlight. It is a haven of solitude with fine lagoons of even depth, ideal for water sports and swimming. Kadmat is the only island in Lakshadweep that has lagoons both the sides.
Agatti: This is one of the most beautiful lagoons in Lakshadweep. Agatti is the virtual gateway to the other islands as Agatti is the only airport in this island.