Lying on the southwestern tip of India, Lakshadweep is truly a paradise on Earth! This union territory might appear as indistinguishable dots on the map of India, but Lakshadweep tourism offers an unspoiled kaleidoscope of coral reefs teeming with marine life and palm perched, beautiful white beaches. Etymologically speaking Lakshadweep (in Malayalam) means “100,000 islands” but in truth there are only 35 islands that comprise its land mass. Situated in close vicinity to the Maldives, Lakshadweep islands have a similar feel to them as the neighboring island nation. Out of the 35 islands, which together form the Lakshadweep archipelago, only 10 are inhabited. And the Lakshadweep tourism authorities want to keep its charm intact, as a result tourism here is completely regulated. As a tourist you can only visit a few islands within the chain of islands. Some such tourism hotspots of Lakshadweep include Kavaratti, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara and Agatti.
How to reach Lakshadweep?
- Nearest railway station: Ernakulam
- NOTE: Lakshadweep islands can be visited only through the packages by the government organizations, namely SPORTS (Society for Promotion of Nature, Tourism and Sports).
- Trivia: Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory of India.
Places to visit in Lakshadweep
#1: Agatti Island
Agatti Island is the ‘Gateway to Lakshadweep’, as it is the only island with airport and many other transit means. This would be your first look at the beauty and tranquility of Lakshadweep islands. The island is filled with all types of water sports opportunities. If you like something quiet then there are plenty of beautiful beaches with their inviting white sands and turquoise water. Agatti Island also houses the only museum in Lakshadweep, and the museum gives the tourists a great insight into the history of this remote speck of land. If you want to venture into the sea then you can go on Kayaking or Sailing expeditions.
#2: Kalpeni Island
Kalpeni Island is a huge lagoon which is surrounded by 3 other inhabited islets. Kalpeni Island is known for its spectacular corals. The white sand beaches on the island are as scenic as it gets. The turquoise water in the surrounding Bays are so clear that you can view the fishes swim around in the transparent water. The beauty of this island would make a photography enthusiast tire out of clicking! If you want a sun tan or want to enjoy the beaches, there are beautiful beaches all around. If you want to enjoy the corals and marine life, book a tour in glass bottom boat. There are many other marine sports options available on this island such as swimming, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
#3: Minicoy Island
Minicoy Island, situated only 100 KM from Maldives, is a crescent shaped island which abounds one of the largest lagoons in the country. Being so close to Maldives, the islanders have a closer affinity to the Madivian way of life and speak in Mahl (the official language of Maldives). But what draws tourists to Minicoy Island are its beautiful resorts. Coming with scenic vantage points, the island is a haven for various water based sports (snorkeling and deep sea diving just to name a couple). Minicoy Island is also known for its diverse marine life, which can be easily explored with a boat cruise. If you are after some solitude, then the palm decorated beaches would be the ideal place to spend some time gazing the beauty of nature.
#4: Kavaratti Island
Kavaratti Island is the administrative capital of Lakshadweep and is hence far more commercialized than any other Lakshadweep islands. But there are plenty of beautiful beaches strewn across the island that offer a relaxing as well as fun filled experience to the tourists. While in Kavaratti Island one must definitely venture into the sea and witness some of the best corals. Or you can spend some idle time fishing for Tuna! But when the sun is about to set, occupy a prominent vantage point on the beach and enjoy the tangy sun go down behind the blue sea!
#5: Kadmat Island
A journey from Agatti Island to Kadmat Island would definitely remain etched in your memory. The vast expanses of blue sea offer you a chance to see the Dolphins peeking through the water and racing against your ship. You could also catch a glimpse of flying fishes from the ship’s deck! When you reach the Kadmat you will be transported into a different realm altogether. The beauty and serenity of this island is simply unmatched. The island is best known for its beautiful corals and sea turtles. If you arrive in Kadmat Islands during the winter months, you would find the white sand beaches being further beautified with a teeming population of sea turtles. While in Kadmat, do soak in the village-like environment of the place. You may also take a trip into the deep sea in a glass bottom boat and spend some time fishing in the deep sea!
#6: Bangaram and Thinnakara Islands
These couple of islands are situated opposite to one another. They one of the recent inclusions in the list of places to visit in Lakshadweep. And as expected they have pristine natural beauty. Both Bangram and Thinnakara islands have regular ferry services from Agatti Island, and the journey takes about an hour. Bangaram Island is surrounded by a shallow lagoon and offers incredible sea views. Various deep sea tours are conducted at Bangram Island which allow the tourists to explore the shipwreck and marine life hotspots in the Bay. A short boat ride from Bangaram reaches the tourists to Thinnakara Island. This is a tiny island and quite secluded from other Lakshadweep islands. It gives the tourists a feel of owning an island. The island has only a handful of cottages and great beaches.
Travel Tips for Lakshadweep trip
- October to May are the prime seasons to plan a Lakshadweep trip. Prices of Lakshadweep tour packages are generally hiked by 10% in the month of December. So, plan accordingly.
- Alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited in all the Lakshadweep islands, barring Bangaram Island.
- Carrying corals back home from any of the islands is a punishable offence and thus strictly prohibited.
- ATMs are available only in few islands and that too only a few of them are available. Moreover, there are no ATMs on Bangaram and Thinnakara Island.
- Try to bargain with the operators of adventure or water sports activities to get the best prices.
Lakshadweep could be your next dream destination. When are you planning this trip?