Lakshadweep is known as the smallest Union Territory of India and also its only coral island chain. Lakshadweep is basically an archipelago which comprises 36 islands, 12 islets, 5 submerged banks, and 3 reefs. Astonishingly, only 10 out of these islands are inhabited – Bitra, Agatti, Kiltan, Andrott, Chetlat, Amini, Kadmat, Minicoy, Kavaratti, and Kalpeni. The administrative HQ of the islands is at Kavaratti. The islands are restricted which is why most tourists need a permit to visit the islands however if you have s bonafide record then SPORTS (Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports) takes care of your permits.
Out of the 10 inhabited islands of Lakshadweep, only 6 are highly popular amongst tourists. The most famous of them are the Kavaratti islands. As mentioned before, it is the administrative HQ of Lakshadweep, however what makes it a hit amongst tourists is its movie-like setting with 52 mosques scattered around the island, plethora of water sports, a marine aquarium for marine life enthusiasts, glass-bottomed boats, and much more. Agatti islands are the doorway to Lakshadweep with its breath-taking airstrip and a 20-bed tourist complex. Bangaram is a comparatively smaller island which is in close proximity to Agatti and Kavaratti. At night, thousands of phosphorus planktons wash ashore making it look exactly like the night sky full of stars and the view is enchanting. Minicoy is, in a way, different than the rest of the islands and has one of the largest lagoons. The island has 11 villages which are self-managed and is famous for its folk dance ‘Lava’. Look out for the bright and colorful race boats known as “Jahadhoni”. One of the most significant landmarks of the island is a 300-foot-tall Lighthouse which was constructed by the British in 1885. Kalpeni island is known for its distinctive and strangely enormous bank of coral debris which can be found on its eastern and southeastern shorelines. The second most notable thing about the island is that it was here where women first went to school to study when female education was considered a taboo. Last but not the least, Kadmat island is best known for its long sandy beaches in the south and water sports in the east.You can hire kayaks, glass-bottomed boats, pedal boats, skiing boats, and sailing boats here. M/S Lacadives, a Mumbai-based adventure sports company organizes a full-fledged scuba diving center on the island.
Of all the adventure sports available at the island you must try:
Because of being isolated from the mainland and still aloof from intense commercialization, the rates are normally higher than other tourist places, however, with all the fun and beauty that the islands have to offer, it is all worth every penny. You can find accommodation in huts which are cheaper than the tourist resorts which cost between INR4000 to INR20000.
Agatti is the only airstrip in Lakshadweep which is well-connected to Kochi only. Kochi further is well-connected to all the major airports in India. You can either take a boat transfer from Agatti for destinations such as Kavaratti and Kadmat during October to May, or opt for helicopter transfer from Agatti to Bangaram during monsoon and to Kavaratti throught the year. Alternatively, you can take one of the six passenger vessels - MV Arabian Sea, MV Minicoy, MV Amindivi, MV Lakshadweep Sea, MV Bharat Seema, and MV Kavaratti , which operate between Cochin and Lakshadweep.