From diving into tranquil waters and exploring vibrant reefs to immersing yourself in the Rich Culture of Lakshadweep and more! There is a lot you will know about Lakshadweep in this travel guide.
An Archipelago of 36 Islands in the Arabian Sea, off the southwestern coast of India, Lakshadweep is known for its coral reefs and underwater beauty. This “Lagoon Paradise” has breathtaking beaches and rich marine biodiversity. The Kerala-influenced traditional culture adds a distinctive flavor to its natural beauty.
This island has an interesting history since the colonial period when various Europeans showed significant interest in it due to its strategic location. Lakshadweep has always been a crucial region for maritime trade routes contributing to its fascinating culture. Their preserved folk music, art, and dance forms are the most enchanting ones to witness.
Popular Destinations in Lakshadweep
Though Lakshadweep captivates the heart of every adventurer with its thrilling water sports and iconic beaches it has a list of popular destinations which are a must-visit.
1. Kavaratti Island
Being the capital it has a perfect blend of rich culture, picturesque beach views, and water sports. Kavaratti Island has major attractions such as Urja Mosque – the richest in architectural beauty, Kavaratti Aquarium for observing diverse marine species and rejuvenating white sand beaches for perfect pictures at sunrise and sunset. One can also enjoy local food and refreshing beverages there.
2. Agatti Island
Renowned for its stunning lagoon, vibrant coral reefs, and crystal clear water Agatti Island has a mesmerising aerial view offering opportunities for Kayaking, Windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Moreover, it has pristine beaches where sand meets the turquoise water. Other than this local markets have a great collection of traditional crafts to buy as souvenirs.
3. Bangaram Island
Apart from its incredible white sand beaches and natural beauty, it is the least crowded place for visitors who love to explore the hidden gems. Bangaram island’s untouched exquisite marine life teemed with colorful fishes and diverse coral formations is its unavoidable charm. It exudes a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere for peace lovers – totally a tropical paradise!
4. Kalpeni Island
With the picturesque tip beach and iconic lighthouse, Kalpeni Island has a unique culture and lifestyle infused with traditional clothing, food, and a serene environment. This island is less commercialised hence it has got authentic island experience and comparatively better views with a distinctive lifestyle. Again, it offers amazing water sports such as Snorkeling and Diving.
5. Minicoy Island
It is the southernmost island with inhabitants known as Mahi, having a comparatively unique language, clothing, and dance forms like “Lava Dance” than the other destinations of Lakshadweep. The most enchanting part of Minicoy Island is its Tuna fishing industry and seafood dishes like “Mas Hun” and “Bis Keemiya”. There is also a 500-year-old Giant Banyan Tree which is quite an attraction for tourists.
6. Kadmat Island
Away from the hustle, Kadmat Island is a perfect destination offering leisure walks and relaxation. One can explore local villages, beach resorts, and a mouth-watering fusion of cuisines here. It is an excellent spot for divers and snorkelers who want to explore marine life.
7. Thinnakara Island
This island offers a unique camping experience on its pristine beaches surrounded by pleasant sounds of the ocean, sea breeze, and enchanting starry nights. Thinnakara has minimal pollution hence it is an ideal location for stargazing and campfire. The magical atmosphere enhances the charm herein. Boating around Thinnakara Island is quite a delightful experience.
8. Pitti Bird Sanctuary
Situated on Pitti Island, this sanctuary is a designated area for the conservation of bird species. Moreover, it’s a home to migratory birds for nesting and breeding. One of the best places for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts where one can photograph different species like brown Noddy, Crested Tern, etc. Perfect here is to take a boat tour to explore this island’s natural beauty along with an abundance of birdlife.
9. Suheli Par
Due to being underwater and not visible on the surface this place is known for being a submerged reef. Its unique underwater topography attracts magnificent marine life, fish species, coral formations, and others. It is a popular destination among divers.
Things to Do in Water Sports
Lakshadweep offers a variety of things to do for the tourists. These are primarily centered around natural beauty and marine life.
1. Beach Relaxation
Lakshadweep offers a secluded and tranquil atmosphere for peaceful tourists seeking solitude. Beaches here are lined with swaying coconut palms providing a perfect tropical ambience with the most fascinating sunset views over the Indian Ocean. Hammocks are also available there where one can lounge amidst the gentle wave sound. Some resorts also offer ayurvedic massages and wellness services as per traditional Indian spa treatments.
2. Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
Explore the magnificent underwater world by snorkeling to witness colorful fish species and coral formations. Scuba diving in deep marine wonderlands provides an unforgettable experience in clear waters with proper visibility for encountering diverse marine life. The best-suited place for these two is Suheli Par.
Agatti Island offers the best Windsurfing experience due to constant winds and favorable environment. There are professional schools and centers to provide one with accurate instructions and equipment, catering to all from a beginner to an expert. One can witness the most amazing scenes while windsurfing.
Famous for its water sports, many of these islands offer canoeing in shallow and serene lagoons. A pleasant soul-enriching experience amidst a calm marine environment. Guided tours for canoeing are also available to enhance exploration while enjoying. Paddling through the breathtaking beauty of Lakshadweep’s white sand beaches, coconut palms, and coral reefs is a relaxing adventure.
Where canoeing is experiencing a boat with an open deck, Kayaking is rather where you get to sit inside the boat. These are quite similar other than the structure of the crafts offering magnificent views and a serene environment.
It is available on various islands like Agatti, Kavaratti, and Bangaram. Tourists can enjoy crystal-clear lagoons while gliding over calm water. It can, in some places, also be combined with Snorkelling for an unforgettable experience.
7. Banana Boat Rides
These are group rides in a banana-shaped inflated boat for fast and thrill rides. With sudden turns and twists, the boat skips over the waves making it quite an adventure to witness. Banana Boat Rides offer the excitement and fun of riding through the beautiful coastline of Lakshadweep.
8. Jet skiing
Jet skiing adds a thrilling dimension to one’s island adventure. A totally adrenaline rush sport across beautiful turquoise water allowing riders to reach high speed and fleet-footed moves. It’s an opportunity to experience Lakshadweep’s scenic beauty from a dynamic vantage point.
9. Glass-bottom boat tours
Explore underwater without getting into the water from these amazing Glass bottom boat tours. A great alternative for those who are not interested in scuba diving or snorkelling with breathtaking underwater views.
Waters around Lakshadweep have a wide range of fish species offering amazing fishing experiences. Either one can relax while fishing or take part in it competitively as a sport. Some excursions may take you near coral reefs for reef fishing while others offer deep water fishing. An opportunity to learn handline fishing is also available here.
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Exquisite Food to Taste
Tuna curry, Island Fish fry, Laksha Thenga, etc are some of the famous delicacies of Lakshadweep to try for tourists visiting.
2. Coconut Based Specials
A great combination of coconut and milk is quite a famous dish based in Lakshadweep known as “Kulhiyathu”.
3. Breadfruit Chips
Quite a popular local snack of Lakshadweep is “Kadachakka Varuthathu”. To get a hint of local taste it’s a must-try one.
4. Banana and Jackfruit preparations
Another great dish Lakshadweep locals prepare is “Kadala Puzhukku” made with chickpeas and raw banana.
A sweet Jackfruit Jam is also quite famous there.
“Kanji” and “Kappa” are the most famous rice dishes made up of coconut milk and served with Fish curry.
Aliyathu being the traditional sweet, is made up of rice, jaggery, flour, and coconut.
Lakshadweep has a unique flavor in teas to explore as well.
How to Reach
Starting from Kochi, this island can be reached using ships and flights.
Indian Airlines offers a direct flight from Kochi to Agatti island as there is only an airstrip in Agatti available. This flight takes almost 1.5 hours to reach.
From Agatti Island boats are available to connect you to other destinations in Lakshadweep.
There is one alternate as well, a helicopter subject to availability.
Seven passenger ships are available. Generally, they take 14 to 18 hours depending on the choice of Island.
These ships offer:
- A/C First Class with two berth cabins
- A/C Second Class with four berth cabins and
- Push back/Bunk Class with A/C seating.