Lakshadweep, a land in the deep Arabian Sea is a part of the Indian Subcontinent and is recognized as the smallest Union Territory of India. Lakshadweep means "hundred thousand islands" in Malayalam and Sanskrit. True to its name, these islands are very picturesque and provide a true vacation for those who love beaches, water sports and sea food.
The whole of Lakshadweep is nothing but a set of small islands situated near each other. It comprises of a total of twelve coral atolls, five banks, three coral reefs, and several islets. The location is near the Kerala coast and falls under the jurisdiction of Kerala state of India and Kerala High Court. Kavaratti is its capital and it is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Indian subcontinent.
Lakshadweep is a Union Territory of India. It is a group of about 36 islands and has a total land area of 32 square kilometers which is scattered over 30,000 square miles of the Arabian Sea. Representing the rich biodiversity of the region, the various facts on the islands enables one to accumulate a wide range of interconnected and sound knowledge about the Lakshadweep. Blessed with an unmatched natural beauty, the exotic coral reef island of the union territory is an interesting blend of scenic beauty coupled with modern infrastructural facilities that draw several tourists to this place from across the globe.
A large conglomerate of 36 exotic islands that represent a variety of biological species, the beautiful island of Lakshadweep casts a magical spell on the tourist with its bewitching beauty. The capital Kavaratti is endowed with the bounty of nature. The golden sandy beaches, crystal clear water of the Arabian Sea and the tall coconut trees bordering the shores of the deep blue sea of Kavaratti captures the imagination of the poet.
Out of these islands, only ten are inhabited and they are Andrott, Amini, Agatti, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. These islands form the smallest of the Union Territories of India, and are the country's only coral islands. The name Lakshadweep means "Hundred Thousand Islands" in the Malayalam language and also in Sanskrit. Lakshadweep is easily accessible by air or water. Equipped with excellent infrastructural facilities, the coral reef island of Lakshadweep extends a warm welcome to all the visitors.It provides the tourists with a plethora of water sports that enables them to explore their latent potentialities and sportsman spirit.
An important tourism hub, the local people of Lakshadweep mainly depend on the traditional industries of fishing, coir making and cultivation of coconut to earn their livelihood. For administrative convenience, Lakshadweep is further sub divided into several districts. Supported by efficient administrators who are appointed by the central government, this Union Territory falls under the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court. Comprising mostly of the Muslim population, the majority of the local people speak the Malaylam, while a few speak Mahl language. The oral tradition and the rich historical legends of the island that has percolated from the ancient times to the modern era is enough to know about Lakshadweep.
Climatic conditions are similar to that of Kerala . Average rainfall is 1600mma year with the major share from the southwest monsoon. Almost all islands experience tropical climate with temperature ranging from 25 °C to 35°C and humidity ranging from 70 -76 per cent during the most part of the year. March, April and May are the hottest months of the year.
The administrative centre is Kavaratti. The jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court extends over Lakshadweep. More Detail...
Lakshadweep - Facts
Below is a table representing important facts about Lakshadweep
Facts on Lakshadweep
|Nov 1, 1956|
|Size||32 sq km|
|Population (Census 2011)||64,473|
|No. of District||1|
|Pitti Bird Sanctuary|
|Languages||Malayalam, Mahl, Tamil, Hindi|
|Neighbouring States||Tamil Nadu, Karnataka|
|State Animal||Butterfly Fish|
|State Bird||Sooty Tern|
|State Tree||Bread Fruit|
History and Geography of Lakshadweep
The local traditions attribute the history of Lakshadweep to the last Chera king of Kerala known as Cheraman Perumal. Historians say that he converted to Islam at the behest of Arab merchants and left his capital Craganore, which is today known as Kodunagallor in Mecca. Search parties were believed to have gone to various places in search of the king. However, due to a fierce storm, the ship wrecked on one of the islands called Bangarma. After the storm subsided, the party reached Agatti Island and on their way back home came across the various islands of Lakshadweep. Certain soldiers started living in one of the islands called Amini.
Islam in Lakshadweep also dates back to the 7th century, when St. Ubaidullah set sail to places to preach Islam. He reached here after his ship wrecked and found himself on this island. He got married here and successfully converted people to Islam. His grave is till today seen in Andrott and is now a sacred place.
With the advent of the Portuguese, started the plunder of the Laccadives (as Lakshadweep was earlier known). They were interested in the finely spun coir. However, the Portuguese could not last for many years as they are supposed to have been killed through poisoning by the locals.
The modern history says that the ruler of Lakshawdeep was Raja of Chirakkal and from there to Arakkal of Cannanore in the 16th century. Later some islands came under the rule of Tipu Sultan. In the year 1799, British East India Company arrived here. But by 1854 the whole of the Lakshadweep came under the rule of the East India Company. After Independence, the islands came under the Republic of India and formed a separate union territory in 1956.The geography of Lakshadweep is very interesting and beautiful. It has a variety of flora and fauna and a rich vegetation. All the islands comprise of coral reefs, incredible lagoons, perfect blue waters and, of course, shining sandy beaches. Lakshadweep comprises of 36 islands out of which many are isolated. The islands are located in the Arabian Sea and around 220 to 440 km from Kochi in Kerala. The lagoon area is around 4,200 sq. km, territorial waters around 20,000 sq. km and an economic zone of 4 lakhs sq. km. The whole of the union territory has covered an area of 32 sq kms. The climate is tropical and, due to its location, the atmosphere is pleasant year round. The climatic conditions are very similar to Kerala. The temperature here ranges from 25 degrees C to 35 degrees C. The humidity of the region ranges from 70 to 76% in the summer. The Union territory has unbroken beaches all over the islands and the beaches are covered with thick coconut palms.
The global location is 71 degree and 74 degree east longitude and 80 degree and 12 degree 30 minute north latitude. The islands comprise of five underwater banks, three reefs and twelve atolls. More Detail...
The tourism industry here is one of the most successful and newly developed industries. The place is simply spectacular and you would love it here. The experience is very different from the other tourist destination. It is raw and very natural, very scenic and totally magnificent. The long stretched white beaches bordered with coconut palms are a treat to watch. The emerald green waters and peaceful nature surrounding it will make it difficult for you to leave.
Climate of Lakshadweep
Climatic conditions are similar to that of Kerala. Average rainfall is 1600mma year with the major share from the southwest monsoon. Almost all islands experience tropical climate with temperature ranging from 25 degrees c to 35 degrees c and humidity ranging from 70 -76 per cent during the most part of the year. March, April and May are the hottest months of the year.
Lakshadweep is a land of beaches and corals. You can find long stretches of white and shining sands that will beckon you to have a sun bath. The enchanting beaches have a lot to offer for those who come here to relax and enjoy the sunset. It is a great place to be when you want to stay away from the crowd. The idle lagoons are great for spending time, watching the birds and the palms sway to the tune of the wind. The emerald green water is welcoming and a good swim in these waters is rejuvenating.
Water sports are another reason why you should be at the beach. Besides, take a look at those attractive corals that are lying all over the island. These attractive and colourful corals make the place distinctive. More Detail...
Politics & Government
Lakshadweep is the smallest union territory of India and has various functioning bodies in the government. The Union territory is administered by the governor who is appointed by the President of India. The island comes under the Kerala High Court jurisdiction which is situated in Kochi, Kerala. The district headquarters is located in Kavaratti. The government has developed various departments to develop the land. The various departments work for the upliftment of the people here and are very efficient. The island has 10 subdivisions. While Minicoy and Agatti have subdivisions under the Deputy Collector, the other 8 islands have sub-divisional officers. The collector is also the development commissioner and the District Magistrate who looks into the matters of land, law and order and revenue. Besides, there are also additional district magistrates and ten executive magistrates. More Detail...
Lakshadweep is a small place with plenty of islands. The population of the place is around 65,000 as per the 2011 census. The population per sq. km is only 2,013 in 2011. The male population is 34,000 and females about 31,000 approximately. The sex ratio is 946 females for every 1000 males. There is a literacy rate of 92.28%, which is great as compared to the mainland. The religion here is predominantly Muslim. The people here are actually the descendants of the migrants who came from south-west India. The majority of the population is indigenous. Most of the population can be described as tribal. They fall into the category of scheduled tribes. But the people here are mostly from the Sunni sect.
People here are simple and lead a simple lifestyle. There are four main communities called the Malmis, Aminidvis, Melacheris and Koyas. Aminidivis are the local inhabitants and were first to arrive. The Koyas are known as landownersand Malmis are the working class. The Melacheris is the labour community whose occupation is to collect coconuts. They all live in harmony and work for the development of the islands. More Detail...
Lakshadweep has a single district which is managed by an administrator who is appointed by the President of India. The current administrator of Lakshadweep is H. Rajesh Prasad. As Inspector General of Lakshadweep Police the administrator also has command and control over the Lakshadweep Police. The entire territory is divided into ten Sub Divisions. In Minicoy and Agatti Islands the Sub Division is under a Deputy Collector. The remaining eight islands are coordinated by Sub Divisional Officers. The Collector/Development Commissioner/District Magistrate manages all matters under the District Administration. He is assisted by one Additional District Magistrate and Ten Executive Magistrates. The Administration Secretariat of the union territory is in Kavaratti, while its jurisdiction comes under the Kerala High Court at Kochi with a system of lower courts. Only one member is elected to the Lok Sabha from Lakshadweep. More Detail...
Agatti airport is the only public domestic airport operational from the Lakshadweep islands. While approaching the Agatti Island the viewer gets an amazing aerial view of the only airstrip from the top. It is linked to the mainland by the Cochin International Airport. There are regular flights that fly from Kochi to Agatti and the approximate time taken is about one hour thirty minutes. The flights from Agatti are operational only six days a week except Sundays. Air India Regional flights operate from Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai. More Detail...
How to reach
Reaching Lakshadweep is no problem. The Kochi International Airport is one of the means of transport that you will have to reach Lakshadweep. Flights from Cochin to Agatti are regular and fly most of the day of the week. Ships from Kerala and from Goa regularly sail to Lakshadweep and you can enjoy the cruise while you sail to these beautiful islands. More Detail...
Society and Culture
The islands of Lakshadweep have a deep tradition and culture that has existed since the old days. There are diverse traditions and customs. This predominantly Muslim area comprises of folk festivals, dance and various traditions that are deeply rooted here. Due to its proximity to the state of Kerala, many religious customs and traditions have been influenced from Kerala. The festivals celebrated here are muharram, bakrid and the mild-un-nabi and id-ul-fitr. All the festivals are vibrant with a strong sense of integrity and belonging with the place.
The food here reflects the taste of the people here and their preferences. The local cuisine comprises of sea fish and coconut. Coconut water is the most consumed drink here. People here prepare their food with maximum use of coconut, which is very delicious. With lip-smacking seafood to the spicy meat dishes, you are going to taste some of the most exotic dishes that you will find in India. Besides, you can taste the mouth watering idlis, dosa, rice, etc. More Detail...
Cruise to Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep cruise is becoming quite popular these days. The cruises have luxurious amenities which makes the journey a wonderful and pleasurable trip. Before 1962, there wasn't any ship connecting to the islands and the mainland. The first ship to be introduced in 1962 was MV Sea Fox. Soon three more ships were introduced; the MV Amindivi (1974), MV Bharatseema and MV Tipu Sultan (1988).Soon after the MV Minicoy also joined in. Tourism is one of the main sources of income for these beautiful islands and cruises provided the people here with different opportunities. More Detail...
The literacy rate is quite high and is observed to be 93%. The curriculum followed here is that of the state of Kerala. One of the important fact is that creating awareness regarding biodiversity, eco-friendly goods and climate change are taught by an informal community. Children here get education from their parents about fishing, wildlife, sea life, etc. You can find plenty of schools in Minicoy and Kavaratti. Junior college is also found after 10th class. Education provided is only up to 12th standard and for higher studies one has to go to the mainland. More Detail...
Population of Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep is the smallest union territory of India. It is an archipelago, formed of the coral islands. There are thirty six islands in this archipelago, out of which the number of inhabited islands is only ten. The total area of these islands is 32 sq km. Its total population is 64,429 according to the census of 2011. Out of the total population, the total number of males is 33,106 and the number of females is 31,323. The population density per sq km is 2,013. The capital of the Lakshadweep islands is Kavaratti. The Population Growth of Lakshadweep is 6.23%. More Detail...
Languages spoken in Lakshadweep
Malayalam is widely used as the local language here. However, Minicoy uses the Mahi language. But today people also speak a little English and Hindi as well. Grandha is the modern script of Malayalam. The Mahi script is written from right to left. More Detail...
The islands provide for tremendous economic potentialities due to its incredible economic zone. Although agriculture is the main economy here, fishing too is significant. The people here also cultivate coconut, which is a major crop which goes up to 27.7 million nets every year. Coconut cultivation has been regarded as the major economic means of the population here. There are many industries related to coconut cultivation. The industries here are based on the extraction of coconut fibre and its products. There are many coir fibre factories here as well. Most of the people are engaged in these factories.
Fishery makes the island to rank first in the per capita availability of fish. Besides, there are various factories here. The important industry is the tourism industry, which can help them earn big revenue. More Detail...
Lakshadweep is an island that is a bit away from the main land. It is considered as a very eco-sensitive place, which is why you see very little transport in this island. As the islands are very small, the people here prefer to walk. Bicycles are also a favourite mode of transport. If you want to move to other islands, you can use boats, helicopters and ferries. The only airport that you find here is at Agatti. There are flights which you can take to reach the mainland. Ships can also take you to Lakshadweep from Kochi and Goa.
Hotels in Lakshadweep
Visitors do not have a wide range of options to stay. However, there are some popular resorts and hotels in the island of Bangaram. You can find many beautiful cottages made out of natural materials and are eco-friendly. You can also stay in hotels that you will find in Kavaratti and other places. Government-run huts and hotels too are a good option if you want to stay here. More Detail...
Finding accommodation in the islands is not a problem at all. Due to the rise in the tourist footfalls every year, many new hotels and lodges are coming up. These hotels are being designed to cater to tourists with varied tastes and budgets.
The locations of most of the hotels in the union territory are very beautiful. The view of the greenery amidst the blue water of the ocean that you get from the hotel window explains the reason for the islands being considered a tourist's paradise. The hotel rooms are designed with style. The facilities provided vary according to the category of accommodation you are opting for. But the basic services are appreciable enough. There are different categories of accommodation available in the islands. You may choose that suits your taste and budget. There are many deluxe hotels for those who want to spend the holiday luxuriously. But various budget hotels and lodges are also there to cater to the need of those who want to want to with a fixed budget. More Detail...
The Union Territory in collaboration with numerous non governmental organizations and self help groups provide cohesive, coherent and systematic information on the various civic amenities of the region. The citizens as well as the tourists can avail the services of any vital installations and infrastructures of the Islands by dialing the required number. More Detail...
Lakshadweep Real Estate summons up of long stretches of beaches. The Lakshadweep Real Estate scene depends completely on the booming local tourism industry. The Real Estate on the small island consists of beachfront property and adjoining areas. The reach is limited as the total land area is just 32 square kilometers. More Detail...
A trip to the islands requires you to get special permission from the government. You can arrange it from the Lakshadweep tourist office which is located in Cochin or Kochi. You can do this by booking a package tour with the company. You can find your favourite tourist operator and book your trip for a certain number of days. The best time to visit is from October to May. Rainy seasons are to be avoided as the weather here is rough.A trip to the islands requires you to get special permission from the government. You can arrange it from the Lakshadweep tourist office which is located in Cochin or Kochi. You can do this by booking a package tour with the company. You can find your favourite tourist operator and book your trip for a certain number of days. The best time to visit is from October to May. Rainy seasons are to be avoided as the weather here is rough.
Last Updated on : September 24, 2014