Lakshadweep loosely translated means a hundred thousand islands in Malayam, which is the local language of the region. In actuality, there are around 36 islands within the smallest of all the union territories in all of India.
It’s one of the safest places to go to on vacation. The people primarily trade in fishing or coconut cultivation. There’s hardly any crime and it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit with coral reefs, long sandy beaches, clear unpolluted water, and hospitable settings. The kind of island where you want to seek refuge depends on your needs. Some of the islands cater particularly to tourists with water sports and diving. Other islands are still developing so some people prefer them to truly enjoy the beauty.
The best part about Lakshadweep is that the tourism motto is to admire beauty instead of exploit it. 400 Kms from the coast of Kerala, it’s a unique opportunity to experience the ecology and culture of this faraway land, that only a few get to experience in their lifetime.
- Currency: Indian Rupees
- Climate: Tropical
- Neighboring cities: It’s 428kms from Kochia and 332kms from Mangalore. You can get to Lakshadweep via plane, helicopters or ship cruises.
Climate conditions and the best time to plan your trip
Lakshadweep is open to tourists throughout the year, but most people prefer to visit from October through to mid May in order to avoid the monsoons. Both seasons have their glamor which the other can’t provide but at the end of the day, the decision is yours to make.
The main islands can be easily reached via helicopters, like Agatti and Bangaram but ships find it hard to navigate during the monsoon. The rainy season present a unique opportunity to see your surroundings looking greener and the rain adding a hue of blue to the lagoons and the sea.
Top Spots to Visit
Whether you’re Indian or a foreigner, you require a special permit to visit Lakshadweep. The easiest way to get a permit is through booking a package tour via the government or arranging for a hotel and having them sort it for you.. Most foreigners actually book their accommodation before on the precondition that they’ll be allowed to visit.
- Agatti Island – It’s home to the only airport in Lakshadweep and unlike the other islands, you can stay for as long as you wish. This is an advantage is only possible because Indian Airlines operate from Kochi. The islands of Bangaram, Thinnakara, Parali One and Parali Two are just a hop away and perfect for one day excursions. It’s also home to one of the most beautiful lagoons.
- Minicoy Island – This is the southern most island from the group and geographically, a little isolated. It’s also referred to as the Women’s Island because women enjoy the dominating position in society which is a cultural distinction from the other islands. The village on this island has been democratic from even before the world discovered democracy. It’s best known for it’s Lava Dance that the local perform during a time of celebration.
- Kalpeni Islands – Kalpeni has the largest lagoon in all the island that form Lakshadweep. It’s relatively shallow, making it ideal for many kinds of water sports. Something that’s unique to the island is a huge storm bank of coal debris along the east and southern parts of the shoreline. Aside from just one day excursions, Kalpeni can accommodate tourists in its 4 cottages that are privately managed by the locals.
There many different types of sea food that you can try. The unique part of Lakshadweep cuisine is that the food is mixed with coconut adding an extra flavor that makes it all the more delicious. Whether you’re a non vegetarian looking to try new dishes or a vegetarian enhancing your taste palette, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Aside from the local food, you can try inter continental dishes here as well. From Chines to Thai and Indian to Korean, Lakshadweep is a corner stone for world cuisines.
If you come during one their many festivals that you could have a chance to taste authentic local Lakshadweep food that the villagers prepare on their own in their homes for the celebrations.
Why Lakshadweep is Amazing!
The 36 coral islands will surpass all limits of your imagination. No matter how many invaders have come and gone, none have been able to take away from the charm of Lakshadweep. The islands are just as mysterious as the see and transform as each day goes by. Life is simple within the islands, and it’s beautiful too. A visit to Lakshadweep is well worth your time if you’re truly looking to relax and see what’s beyond the realms of urban society.
There’s a lot that you should keep in mind before going off into the islands 400kms from the Indian mainland. There are certain rules that have to be followed by Indians as well as foreign nationals when touring in Lakshadweep so be sure to find all the important information that you need to know to a comfortable and chaos free vacation in this magical land.
- Book your tour well in advance because only a certain number of tourists are allowed on the islands at a time.
- Since you’ll be away from the mainland, there aren’t going to be many shops. Carry all necessary items, especially things like medicines and basic amenities.
- It’s punishable by law to pick corals, and it’s not eco-friendly, so don’t do it.
- Don’t carry any drugs or narcotics into Lakshadweep.
- Alcohol isn’t allowed in Lakshadweep.
- Skinny dipping is a strict no-no.
- Don’t pick the coconuts. They’re privately owned and you could be heavily fined.
Planning your Budget
The majority of your expenditure while you’re in Lakshadweep will be on transport between the islands and water sports.
If you’re looking to save it’s best to avoid the Star cruises or sports trip and choose a hotel on one of the islands. Agatti is cheaper to stay at than Bangaram, so choose wisely. Once you reach Cochi, traveling by ship to Agatti is more economical and enjoyable as well. The Agatti Island Beach Resort has a number of different rooms that you can pick from depending on your needs.
Snorkeling is around $50 and diving is $200 for 30minutes each, including the equipment that you’ll need.