District of Lakshadweep

The district of Lakshadweep stretches from 80 ° to 12°30' North Latitude and from 71° to 74° East longitude. The distance of Union territory of Lakshadweep from the Malabar Coast in the south - west of India varies from 200 to 400 km. An archipelago of 12 atolls, it is comprised of 36 beautiful islands out of which 10 are inhabited and 17 uninhabited islands, islets and immersed reefs. Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory of India and its total surface area is just around 32 sq km. It has about 4 lakh sq. km of economic zone, about 4,200 sq.kms of lagoon area, and 20,000 sq. km of territorial waters. The emerald waters are dotted with silvery beaches and swaying coconut trees.

Lakshadweep is a uni-district territory, which means it has just one district. With its administrative headquarters in Kavaratti, the district of Lakshadweep is home to 64,429 people as per the census of 2011. The sex ratio is 946 females 1000 males. The major Lakshadweep islands are Minicoy, Kalpeni, Androth, Agatti, Kavaratti, Amini, Chetlat, Bitra Island, Bangaram and Kadmat. Mostly, Malayalam is the language spoken though Mahl is spoken in Minicoy. More than 93% inhabitants of Lakshadweep are Muslims.

The economy of Lakshadweep is shared mainly by coconut cultivation, fishing, cattle rearing, coir twisting and tourism. It is nearly a no - industrial zone but immense potentialities for the development of industries have been recently recognized in Lakshadweep. The islands are rich in flora and fauna and with its precious coral reefs the district of Lakshadweep is fast gaining popularity as a famous tourist spot. Especially for the adventure lovers, Lakshadweep is the destination for water sports. The Union territory of Lakshadweep is a coral island, located in the south west of India. The distance of Lakshadweep from the Malabar Coast varies from 200-400 km. Comprised of 36 beautiful islands; it is connected with the mainland of Kochi or the city of Cochin by both ship and air. Lakshadweep is believed to be made of immersed volcanic island.

Tourists are given limited access to Lakshadweep to maintain a balance between the booming tourism sector and preserving the nature and beauty. The inhabited islands of Lakshadweep are Minicoy, Kiltan, Kalpeni, Androth, Agatti, Kavaratti, Amini, Chetlat, Bitra, Bangaram and Kadmat.

The beautiful coral reefs dot the islands with swaying palms and coconut groves. A rich variety of flora and fauna make it an important store house for wide range of bio diversity. Of special mention is the marine life that sustains itself in and around this tropical island.

Sooty tern, locally known as 'Karifettu' is considered as the state bird and Bread-fruit, locally known as 'Chakka' is considered as the state tree of Lakshadweep. The small and delightful Butterfly fish with all their colors, locally known as 'Fakkikadia' is considered as the state animal in the Union territory of Lakshadweep. The women of Lakshadweep enjoy a unique position in the society of Lakshadweep. The men are usually the bread earners but the inheritance laws are very different from the rest of the country in Lakshadweep. The man has to pay a fixed amount annually to his wife and it is the man who has to take the family name of his woman after marriage. Some inmportant facts about the district of Lakshadweep heve been sumarized below :

State Animal of Lakshadweep

Butterfly fish (Chaetodon Auriga) is the state animal of Lakshadweep. Locally popular as "Fakkikadia", they are a sight to behold. The open reefs embracing the coast of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep are rich in marine life. The fascinating colors of these Butterfly fishes are the first thing that comes to notice. There are 114 families of Butterfly fish worldwide and a few inhabit the emerald waters of Lakshadweep. Contrasts and combinations in black, yellow and white are most common for the Lakshadweep Butterfly fish. Classified as the most delightful group of fish that interest the divers of Lakshadweep, they are inevitable subjects of discussion when it comes to talking about Lakshadweep.

Reminiscent of their butterfly nomenclature, these small but colorful fishes make their way fluttering in the coral reefs and exposed coral polyps of Lakshadweep. They are thin, disk-shaped fish and have pointed noses. The warm, shallow and clear azure waters of Arabian Sea provide the perfect tropical dwelling place for these beautiful butterfly fishes. The coral reefs provide food as well as shelter to the fishes. With sundown they delve deep into the crevasses of these reefs and their colors pale.

Butterflies mate for life and so generally travel singly or in pairs within a limited range. However, three to six butterfly fishes are also common in a group. The couples stays together forever, raise their young ones together and the other usually die with the death of one in a pair. They feed on small invertebrates of the Arabian Sea found in Lakshadweep.

State Bird of Lakshadweep

The Sooty tern, scientifically known as Anus solidus Piletus is the state bird of Lakshadweep. Locally known as 'Karifettu', these birds are common in Tropical oceans. Lakshadweep provides just the ideal condition for the Sooty terns that are very commonly found in the island. The incessant high pitched, screeching calls is characteristic of the bird that makes the Lakshadweep Sooty tern immediately recognizable. They can be noticed frequently gliding over the azure blue waters of Lakshadweep, though they rarely touch the waters. They feed on the fishes that swim at the upper level of water.

The Sooty tern has shiny black bills, upper parts and leg. The lower parts and forehead are white making a sharp contrast. These beautiful birds have long wings narrowing towards the outer side and distinctly forked tail. The outer feathers are in silvery white. A black stripe - like mark runs through eye to base of the bill of the Sooty tern. They measure around 41 to 45 cm which comes to around 16 to 18 inches and their narrow wings span from 86 to 94 cm. The average life span of a Sooty tern is approximately 32 years.

The Sooty terns breed on the rocky islands of Lakshadweep because of its equatorial climate. Coral reefs are favorite dwelling spaces and come to land only for the purpose of breeding. So if you are an avid bird watcher, a good idea would be to cruise down the sea to see this state bird of Lakshadweep in abundance.

State Tree of Lakshadweep

Last Updated on : August 25, 2014