Lakshadweep Islands

The most charming part of the Lakshadweep Islands is the enchanting flavor brought about by the combination of the green coconut palm trees and the wet sand lining the shore. To add to the beauty there is the aqua blue sea surrounding them.

The union territory of Lakshadweep consists of a group of such beautiful islands, treasured for their biodiversity. Another attractive aspect of the islands of Lakshadweep is their remoteness. Some of these islands are even uninhabited. Very recently there is a rise in the tourist activities in this region. Tourism involves the main economic activity in this region. While about thirteen islands of the union territory of Lakshdweep are inhabited, there are about eight islands that are not inhabited.

The islands of Amindivi, Laccadive, Amini, Kavaratti, Minicoy, Agatti and Androth are among the inhabited ones. Among the uninhabited ones are Kodithala, Pitti, Parali, Suheli Valiya Kara, etc. There is a beach resort in the Bangaram Island. This place is only visited by the tourists and there are not many residents here. The Bangaram Island Resort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lakshadweep.

The islands of Minicoy, Kavaratti and Kalpeni also receive many tourist footfalls every season. These islands are famous for the scope of playing adventurous water sports that are there for the visitors. There are two scuba diving training schools here. While one is situated in the Bangaram Island the other one is located in Agatti Island.

Fishing, copra and coir are the most important industries in the spectacular Lakshadweep group of islands.
Lakshadweep Islands can be categorized into Inhabited and Uninhabited Islands.

Inhabited Islands

The Lakshadweep inhabited islands comprises of fourteen picturesque pieces of land amongst the aqua blue sea. Among the inhabited ones the Kadamat and the Bangaram islands are the most popular tourist destinations. These islands are mainly inhabited by a community of people whose major economic activities are agriculture and fishing.

The inhabited islands of Lakshadweep are Amindivi, Minicoy, Laccadive, Cannanore, Bitra, Kiltan, Bangaram, Chetlat, Kadmat, Amini, Kavaratti, Agatti, Androth and Kalpeni. Among these only a few islands are accessible to the tourists. The Kavaratti, Minicoy, Bangaram, Kadamat and Kalpeni are included in the list of the tourist attractions of Lakshdweep group of islands.

Visitors appreciated the people of these islands for their wonderful hospitality. They are peace loving and have a community based lifestyle. Coconut cultivation is also a major economic activity of the people here. Many of them are also involved in making various useful items from coir.

Very recently the tourism industry has also developed well in some of the inhabited islands in Lakshadweep and many young people are thus taking up jobs related to this industry. Service industry is gradually growing here with the rise in the tourist footfalls every year.

Each of these islands is very beautiful. There are spectacular beaches and all of them are surrounded by coral reefs. You need an official permission to visit the Lakshdweep inhabited islands. Tourist offices in Cichin and Kerala can be approached for permission.
Islands that are inhabited are :
  • Kavaratti Island

  • Kavaratti is the capital of the Lakshwadeep Island situated 360 km off the coast of the Kerala state in India. It lies on 10.57 degree North 72.62 degree east. Lakshwadeep is a cluster of thirty six widely scattered coral islands, together known as Lakshwadeep. They are a part of the Union of India and a very booming place for tourism in the recent times. Ten of the islands are inhabited by local folk and five of them are open for tourists.

    The island is located between Agatti and Andrott islands and the area is 6 kilometers in length and the breadth is 1 kilometer. The island is 50 kilometers from the island of Agatti. Kavaratti is well connected to mainland India by boat and helicopter services. It is also the headquarters of the Lakswadeep Island. The other islands surrounding Kavaratti are Suheli, Amini, Bangaram, Kadmath, Kalpeni.

    Kavaratti does not have airport, but agatti has an airport that is connected to major cities in India. There are regular flights from Kochi to Agatti. Helicopter services too can be availed if necessary. Travelling by ship is most preferred by tourists in India as the ships are luxury cruises and also recreational means of voyage. It is more fun to travel in ship.

    The town of Kavaratti has a population of a little over 10,000 and is famous for its water sports and tourism. There are various historical monuments to be seen in Kavaratti along with museums and mosques. The majority of the population is Muslim. October is known for its many festive activities. The Ujra mosque comes out full with live. Onam is also celebrated with much enthusiasm. The language spoken widely is Malayalam. Everybody who wants to visit Kavaratti needs to go through Kochi in Kerala, India. It requires a permit to visit the island. It is best obtained by booking a package tour via the government's tour operator. Foreigners have to book in advance and are a precondition for being allowed to visit the place. They also have restrictions and cannot visit all the islands.

  • Amindivi Island

  • The Amindivi Islands of Lakshadweep consists of a group of islands. This group is made of five islands. Amini, Kiltan, Chetlat, Kadmat and Bitra together make the Amindivi group of islands. Among these Kadmat is a very popular tourist destination.

    Each of these islands is exquisitely beautiful. The clear blue water surrounding them make them appear picturesque. The islands here are surrounded by coral reef as well.The Bitra Island is situated at a longitude of 72.10 E and latitude of 11.36 N. This is one of the smallest Lakshadweep inhabited islands. It was as late as 1945 that people started settling down in this island. The island is very thinly populated. There is a shrine dedicated to the Arab saint Malik Mullah and is a pilgrimage spot for the inhabitants here.

    The Chetlat Island is located at a longitude of 72.43 E and latitude of 11.41 N. It is situated very close to Mangalore. The nearest island to Chetlat is Kiltan. It is the northern most of the Lakshadweep group of islands. The most important economic activity of the people here is fishing. Some of them also practice coir twisting. This island is also famous for the caps made of coconut leaves. Cap making is a part time activity of many people of this place.

    The Amni and Kadmat islands are among the thickly populated places of the Amindivi Islands of Lakshadweep. Kadmat is a popular tourist destination as well. This island is 200 meters wide and nine kilometers in length. The exotic beach and the aqua blue water kissing the sand here have made this place very favorite among the tourists. This is the ideal place for swimming and diving.

    Kiltan, the other among the Amindivi Islands also has a very beautiful beach.

  • Minicoy Island

  • Located to the south of Lakshadweep, the Minicoy island encompasses a total population of 9495. Popularly referred to as the female island, the Minicoy island boasts of rich historical legacies and cultural traditions that has percolated from the bygone golden era to the modern times.Believed to be the descendants of the deep blue sea, the local population of the Minicoy island comprise mostly of the Muslimcommunity who speak the Mahl language. The traditional occupation of fishing in the Arabian Sea forms the backbone of the economy of the region.

    The Minicoy island comprise of ten exotic villages which represent the rich biodiversity of the region. Endowed with natural scenic beauty, the villages are governed by the strict administrative structure which are led by a Bodukaka (big brother) who represents the menfolk and a Bodudatha (big sister) who rerpresent the womenfolk of the region.

    The villages of the Minicoy island are noted for the ordered social and political structure that reflects the administrative skills of the local people of the island. The villages has a separate place for public bath of men and women respectively, religious monuments, graveyards and a place for punishment.

    The semilunar shaped island of Minicoy has a vast reserve of the unique flora and fauna of the region. The nothern extension of the Minicoy island is called Viringili or the Small Pox island. This part of the island derived its name from the fact that the patients affected with the deadly disease of small pox were kept in Viringili for proper medical care.

    Reflecting the rich indigenous traditions, the local people of the Minicoy Island, celebrate their festivals with much pomp and show. The colorful and attractive folk dances of Dandi, Lava, Fuli, Bandiya and Thaara reflects the culture of the Minicoy island.

  • Laccadive Island

  • Popularly known as the Lakshadweep islands, the Laccadive Islands are a conglomerate of thirty six exotic coral islands on the shores of Arabian Sea. Golden sandy beaches, crystal clear water of Arabian Sea, and picturesque landscape represents the beautiful island of Lakshadweep or Laccadive.

    The ancient land of Laccadive derived its altered name in the year 1973. An important toruist hub, Lakshadweep presents the tourist with a wonderful opportunity to explore their latent potentialities and sporting zeal through the various water sports of the region.

    The Laccadive Island is one of the inhabited islands that represents the rich biodiversity of the region. The Laccadive or the Lakshadweep islands support many lighthouses that helps in the navigation of ships of the region. Under the supervision of the Department of Lighthouses and Lightships of the Ministry of Shipping, the tall towers with huge search lights enables the captains of the ship to locate the island from far off distances.

    The majority of the local people of Laccadive island speak Malaylam, while a few speak the Mahl language. An important tourist hub of India, the Lacacdive islandsor Lakshadweep islands present a harmonious blend of natural scenic beauty coupled with modern infrastructural facilities that imparts a unique character to the sole coral reef island of the country.

  • Cannanore Island

  • One of the most beautiful islands of Lakshadweep, the Cannanore islands comprise of a group of many islands that reflect the rich cultural heritage and traditional legacies of the region. Endowed with the bounty of nature, the beautiful islands of Cannanore boasts of a rich historical past that has percolated to the modern era through the oral traditions of the region.

    The exotic island of Cannanore speaks at length about the rich ancestry of Lakshadweep. Once the imperial seat of the royal blue blood of the Muslim rulers of the region, the Cannanore islands has been a cradle of civilization of the bygone golden era.

    Cannanore islands comprise of many inhabited as well as uninhabited islands of Suheli Par, Pitti, Kalpeni, Andrott, Agatti, and Kavaratti. Representing the mixed cultural tradition of Lakshadweep, the Cannanore islands remind the tourists and the local people of the indigenous folk culture of the region that has triggered down to the modern era from the ancient past.Blessed with picturesque landscape, the Cannanore islands presents a harmonious blend of traditional culture coupled with modern infrastructural amenities that draws several tourists from far and near. Golden sandy beaches, sryatal clear water and the wide variety of biological species of aquatic and terrestrial life represents the beautiful Cannanore islands of Lakshadweep.

    Supported by a well organized group of efficient and experienced administrators, the various islands of the Cannanore Islands reflect the ordered social, economic and political life of the local people of the region.Comprising mostly of the Muslim population, the majority of the local people speak Malayalam. The traditional industries of fishing, coir making and cultivation of coconut forms the backbone of the economy of the Cannanore islands.

  • Bitra Island

  • The Bitra Island is the one of the smallest inhabited islands of the family of islands of Lakshadweep. The island has the population of 264 people according to the census of the year 2001. The island is surrounded by blue waters of the Arabian Sea and coral reefs and enwraps a lagoon within it.

    The parallel of longitude and latitude between which the island of Bitra is located is 11.36 degrees north and the 72.10 degrees east. The closest island to Bitra is the Chetlet, which lies at the distance of 48 kilometers in the sea. The island encompasses an area of 10.52 hectares and once it was rich in forest most of which is destroyed by the presence of the inhabitants who arrived to settle in the island by 1945. The island is said to have been the breeding grounds of the tern group of sea birds that hail from the Pitti sand.

  • Kiltan Island

  • The Kiltan Islandis one of the inhabited islands of the archipelago that forms the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. The island covers an area of 2.20 square kilometers and is inhabited by 3664 people. The island is rich in culture and is one of the most frequented islands of Lakshadweep.

    The latitude of the Kiltan Island is 11.29 degrees north parallel and the longitude is 73.04 degrees east parallel. The island is located at a distance of 394 kilometers from the inland city of Cochin. On the sea, the closest island of Amini lies at a distance of 51 kilometers. The island forms a part of the international trade route between the gulf countries and the country of Sri Lanka that is situated at the southern tip of India. Apart from the rich aqua flora and fauna, the island is also replete with fertile lands that are rich in its produce. The island is also rich in coral reef cover and comprises of coral colonies of the species of Porites, Pocillopora, Platygyra, Diploastrea and Goniastrea. The reef slope of the island contains 15 percent of live corals. The coral rubbles on the western end are often visited by the local people who stroll along the long stretches of the rubbles at low tides.

    The Kiltan Island is enclosed on the north and south end of the beach by the high storm beach. The climate of the region is influenced by the sea winds. The temperature of the island sometimes rises to high extremes during the summer months. The people of the island prefer to sleep on the beach during the warm season. The island has also inherited a rich tradition of dance forms. The natural beauty of the island entices tourists to visit the island.
  • Bangaram Island

  • The only residents of the island are the staffs of Bangaram Island Beach Resort.Bangaram Island Beach Resort is a located on the Bangaram Island equipped with all kinds of modern facilities. The Beach Resort offers an opportunity to involve in a wide array of outdoor hobbies namely deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking etc.

    Bangaram Island is in the shape of a teardrop enclosed by light yellow colored sand. Veteran divers have ranked the Bangaram's virgin reefs among the best anywhere. The virgin island portrays a spectacular sight of deep blue waters, shiny beaches, gleaming coral reefs and vast stretch of coconut palm trees. The sight of the wonderful coral formation especially the black corals is an enthralling experience. It is an excellent destination for all kinds of water adventures. The scuba divers of the world do not miss the opportunity to witness the myriad flora and fauna of the deep, blue waters of Indian Ocean. You will explore a breathtaking underwater world on your visit to Bangaram Island, which has been gifted with unparallel scenic beauty.

  • Chetlat Island

  • One of the inhabited islands of Lakshadweep, the Chetlat island presents a harmonious blend of traditional values coupled with modern infrastructural amenities. As per the past accounts, many indigenous people of Chetlat were executed while others were put behind the bars by the robbers of Portugal who used to invade the island from the sea.

    The island of Chetlat boasts to be one of the leading producers of coconut. Apart from the cultivation of the important commercial crop of the region, Chetlat also produces a rare kind of cotton plant, popularly known as the Cheerani Paruthi, drumsticks and jack fruit that help the island to earn heavy revenues.

    Blessed with a varied ecology that supports many biological species of plants and animals, the Chetlat island is particularly famous for the rich variety of aquatic life. Whales, tortoise and many varieties of fishes are the common feature of the Chetlat island.

    The beautiful island of Chetlat is easily accessible by air or sea. The salubrious weather coupled with the picturesque landscape of the Chetlat island attracts many visitors who are overwhelmed at the captivating sight of the region.

  • Kadmat Island

  • One of the inhabited islands of the Lakshadweep group of islands is the Kadmat Island, which lies between the 11.13 degrees north latitude and the 72.47 degrees longitude. The present population of the island rises to 5319 persons who live and work in the island and communicate in the language of Malayalam.

    The Kadmat Beach Resort is situated in the island and offers a 6-day Marine Wealth Awareness Program tour of the island. The tourists may indulge in the water sports like kayaking, yachting, boating and skiing on the water surface. The island also has the Scuba Diving Center that arranges for water sports for the ardent fanciers.

    Agatti is the gateway to the Kadmat Island. It can be reached by the helicopter or the speed and mechanized boats both of which provide an interesting journey to the island of fun and excitement.

  • Amini Island

  • One of the inhabited islands of Lakshadweep, the Amini Island draws several tourists all through the year who are enthralled and enchanted at the bewitching beauty of the region. Endowed with the bounty of nature, the Amini island presents a harmonious balance between the natural scenic beauty coupled with modern infrasturctural facilities.

    The Amini island boasts of a rich cultural tradition and religious history which has percolated to the modern era. According to a historical legend, the revered Saint Ubaidullah had taken shelter in the Amini island. Later on Saint Ubaidullah started preaching Islam from the Amini island of Lakshadweep. With the spread of the Islam religion more and more people from far off places began to settle on the shores of the Amini island to gain spiritual knowledge.

    The golden sandy beaches, crystal clear water of the Arabian Sea and the salubrious weather of the Amini island makes it one of the most sought after tourist destination of the Lakshadweep. The Amini islands offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to find out their latent talents and explore their sporting zeal through the various adventurous water sports of the region.

  • Agatti Island

  • Spread over a total area of 3.84 sq. km, the picturesque landscape of the Agatti Island of Lakshadweep draws several tourists from all over the globe. Blessed with the bounty of nature, the Agatti island is the only island of Lakshadweep that boasts of a well maintained airport.

    Endowed with natural scenic beauty, the Agatti Island reflects a harmonious balance of rich traditional values and modern infrastructural amenities. Golden sandy beaches, crystal clear water of the Arabian Sea and rich flora and fauna represent the beautiful coral reef island of Agatti.

    For those tourists who want to explore their latent potentialities and sportsman spirit, the Agatti island offers them with a plethora of adventurous water sports like Snorkeling, fishing and Kayaking. Apart from adventurous sports, the island of Agatti provides the tourists with a unique opportunity to dive deep into the water with the help of special boats made up of glass and experience the exotic aquatic life of the region.

  • Kalpeni Island

  • One of the most beautiful islands of Lakshadweep, the Kalpeni island is situated at a distance of sixty three kilometers from Androth. An important place of tourist destination, Kalpeni offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to explore their sporting skills and sportsman spirit through the various water sports of the region.

    Representing the varied ecology of the region, the Kalpeni island is blessed with a wide variety of flora and fauna along with many rare biological species of plants, animals and aquatic life. The golden sandy beaches, crystal clear water of the Arabian Sea and the coral reefs of the Kalpeni island enthralls and enchants the tourists with its bewitching natural beauty. The splendid surrounding of the Kalpeni islands casts a magical spell on the tourists and captures the imagination of the poet.

    The indigenous population of the Kalpeni island strictly adheres to the social norms and codes of conduct. The Kalpeni island boasts of a place of peaceful human existence. Signifying the cultural heritage of the region, the womenfolk of the Kalpeni island beautifully dress in the traditional attire of wrap around skirts, which are locally known as the Sarongs. The colorful and attractive folk dances of Kolkali and Parichakkali of the Kalpeni island portrays the artistic skill of the indigenous population.

  • Androth Island

  • The beautiful Androth Island reflects the rich historical past and religious legacy of the bygone golden era. Blessed with an unparalleled natural and scenic beauty, the Androth island boasts to be the biggest island of Lakshadweep.Reflecting the rich ancestry of Lakshsadweep, the beautiful island of Androth has been the cradle of many civilizations of the ancient times. Originally the religious seat of Saint Ubaidullah, the indigenous people of the Androth island were so influenced with his preachings that they adopted Islam as the state religion of the region.

    the other Lakshadweep uninhabited islands, Bangaram has set up the beach resort that has become a favorite tourist spot especially for people who desire to relax and enjoy the quietude around. The scenic beauty of the uninhabited islands and the undisturbed atmosphere entices islanders and tourists alike.

    Islands that are inhabited are :
    • Pitti Island

    • Lakshadweep is located in the Arabian Sea and sprung over an area of 32 sq. km. The total population of Lakshadweep is approximately 50,000. It comprises of a group of 36 islands. Some of the famous islands in the group are Minicoy, Androth, Agatti, Amini, Bitra, Kalpeni, Kadmat, Kiltan, Kavaratti, Chetlat, Bangaram and Pitti.

      Lakshadweep constitutes of a number of inhabited and uninhabited islands.Pitti Island belongs to the group of uninhabited islands. Pitti is alternatively called Pakshi Pitti, meaning Island of birds. It is geographically located between 10° 47' North latitude and 72° 32' East longitude. It is a small rocky island sprung over an area of 1.21 hectares of land.

      Pitti Island is a breeding place of Tern birds from the month of January to March. From 1962 onwards it has been regarded as a bird sanctuary. The barren Island of Pitti constitutes of a reef of the shape of a square with a sandy bank at its southern end. It is situated 24kms on the northwest of the capital city of Kavaratti. The tern, group of birds lays eggs, which are similar in size to that of chicken eggs with brown or black streaks. People residing in the islands of Amini and Kavaratti used to come to Pitti Island of Lakshadweep to collect the eggs of the birds. After being declared as a sanctuary, the collecting of eggs is considered illegal. To save the habitat from encroachment, various conservation groups in the island are demanding for the ban on plantation of trees and the mining of coral.

    • Bangaram Island

    • The island of Bangaram is located between 10.56 degrees north latitude and 72.17 degrees east longitude parallels. The island stretches over 2.30 square kilometers. The Bangaram Island is bound by the coral reef that weaves around the natural lagoon that forms a part of the island. The island is home to the sea birds and various kinds of fishes. The hermit crabs adorn the beach of the island. The Bangaram Island Resort offers the tourists the opportunity to participate in the adventurous sports like deep-sea fishing and scuba diving to catch a glimpse of the underwater flora and fauna that are around the island. The resort also has provisions for beach games, swimming and snorkeling. The Bangaram Island Resort stretches over an area of 128 acres and is covered by palm groves. There are 30 beach huts designed with a perfect beach decor. The cuisine contains delicacies from all over the world but the specialty of the kitchen of the resort is the seafood.

      The warm sea climate of the island is favorable for the tourists who may visit it any time during the year. The Bangaram Island is connected to Cochin and the tourists would have to stop at Agatti to get to the island. The undisturbed island atmosphere entices the tourists to visit the island in Lakshadweep.

    • Parali Island

    • Parali is an uninhabited island of Lakshadweep. In Malayalam, Lakshadweep means 'a hundred thousand islands', though the archipelago comprises of only 36 islands covering a total area of 32 sq. km. This smallest Union Territory of India is made up of 5 submerged banks, 36 islands, 12 atolls and 3 reefs. Out of the 36 islands 10 islands are inhabited namely Agatti, Amini, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan, Andrott and Minicoy.

      The island of Parali is adorned by colorful corals and rich marine life. The lagoon enclosing the island sustains varied marine life. It is located close to Bangaram Island. When you visit the uninhabited Island of Bangaram, you can go for a trip to the three uninhabited islands, Tinnakara, Parali-I and Parali-II, belonging to the same atoll. You can come here to enjoy the spectacular and unexplored world of marine life. Visiting the Parali Island is an exotic experience where you can enjoy the blue lagoons, shining soft beaches and the swaying palms. It is an ideal destination for various water spots popular in the region like snorkeling, pedal boating, scuba diving, boating, sailing etc.

    Last Updated on 02 April 2013