Love to get lost in a far away paradise? Welcome to Lakshadweep! Set in a serene atmosphere in the Indian Ocean, this place will surely bring you back to life!
Overpopulation, excessive commercialization and ever-increasing pollution; these are three killer factors which are ruining the beauty of almost all popular hill stations and natural resorts in India. The very intention of experiencing a peaceful and rejuvenating holiday takes a beating with hordes of people thronging the same popular tourist destination, travelling along dirty roads, beggars irritating you for alms at every corner and what not! If you are looking for that exquisite destination brimming with Nature’s beauty, untouched by human activities and isolated from the maddening grip of commercial development, the answer is Lakshadweep.
Lakshadweep comprises of 36 islands with the prominent ones being Agatti, Amini, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlet, Kalpeni, Kavaratti and Minicoy. Situated in the middle of the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory of India with a total area of 32 sq km and one of the least populated regions of India. The capital of Lakshadweep is Kavaratti. The most spectacular aspects of Lakshadweep are the abundant marine wealth, the beautiful sandy beaches, the precious coral reefs and the pristine colorful lagoons. The tradition and culture of Lakshadweep is centered on the conservation and protection of its extremely fragile ecosystem. Due to these reasons, Lakshadweep has emerged as a pioneering destination of eco-tourism and coral reef conservation.
Lakshadweep can be accessed by air and through sea. The islands are about 220 to 440 km away from Kerala’s Malabar Coast. There are primarily four all-weather ships which shuttle between Kochi Port and the different islands namely, M.V.Tipusultan, M.V.Bharatseema, M.V.Minicoy and M.V.Aminidivi. Indian Airlines flights fly non-stop from Agatti and Kochi except on Sundays. Another airport is based in Kavaratti for high-value tourists.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit these tiny islands are between the months of October and May as tourists can avail attractive ship-based holiday packages. Also the temperature during these months is well below 30°C, making it an ideal tropical getaway. Some islands notably Agatti and Bangaram can be visited at any time of the year as they are exclusively maintained as holiday destinations.
A striking aspect about tourism in Lakshadweep is that only a limited number of tourists are allowed to visit the different islands at a time. This is a clever measure implemented by the Tourism Administration of Lakshadweep to prevent over-crowding and consequently upset the delicate ecological balance of the islands. So, make sure you book your travel tickets and lodging reservations well before scheduling the holiday. All information about tour packages, boarding & lodging can be availed from the tourism wing of Lakshadweep Administration called ‘Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports’ (SPORTS).
Tourist huts and island resorts are the form of accommodation available in Lakshadweep. Dishes whipped up from coconut and fish dominate the cuisine of Lakshadweep with rice being the staple food of the islanders.
Lakshadweep is the ultimate paradise for water-lovers and adventure buffs. Almost all the main islands offer water-sports facilities for kayaking, canoeing, scuba-diving, snorkeling, free-diving and wind-surfing. You can spend 2-3 days trying out all the water sports. Tourists wishing to spend a quiet holiday can engage themselves in sight-seeing and recreational fishing using pole and line method. You can spend the rest of the days travelling in and around Lakshadweep there are several picturesque mosques in Kavaratti, of which Ujra Mosque is the most beautiful. The island of Minicoy is culturally distinct from the rest of the islands and lies 200km away from other islands, but its definitely worth a visit. Bangaram is totally uninhabited and offers all sorts of luxuries for tourists to unwind and soak themselves in the pristine beauty of the sand and sea.
Since Lakshadweep is not open to commercialization, it does not have too many shopping avenues. Rather, one can take scuba-diving and snorkeling lessons here which serve as souvenirs for a life-time. However, there are some activities which are taboo in Lakshadweep such as consuming alcoholic beverages, picking up corals and polluting the surroundings which are punishable offences.
Planning Your Trip
There are different types of package tours like ‘Taratashi’, ‘Marine Wealth Awareness Program’, ‘Swaying Palm’ etc. which cater to different audiences. The tour can be completed in about 3 to 4 days and the total cost can range from 5000 INR to 50,000 INR for an individual depending on the accommodation class. So do keep these tips in mind and get ready to sail towards Lakshadweep- the lagoon paradise.
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