Lakshadweep Island

Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep Islands

Location and Geography of Lakshadweep

Situated in the stunning turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Lakshadweep is one of India’s union territories. Comprising of 12 coral islands and 36 small uninhabited islands, Lakshadweep is located around 400 km off India’s South Western coast of Kerala. This smallest Indian union territory floats in 600 sq km of lagoons rich in coral reefs and marine life. The very name Lakshadweep means “a hundred thousand islands” in Sanskrit. The unspoilt exotic beaches, azure waters and abundant natural beauty make Lakshadweep a treasured jewel waiting to be discovered.

Q. Where is  lakshadweep situated?

A. Nestled in the lap of the Arabian Sea, some 200 to 400 kilometers off the southwestern coast of India, lies a string of emerald islands known as Lakshadweep. This archipelago of 36 picturesque islands serves as a natural maritime boundary between the cobalt blue waters of the Arabian Sea and the lush Laccadive Sea.

Lakshadweep’s islands span just 32 square kilometers of land, but their coral reefs encompass some 4,200 breathtaking square kilometers of lagoons rich in marine life. Whether diving with sea turtles or sailing by dhow boat between islands bathed in perpetual sunshine, Lakshadweep offers visitors a tropical paradise where time moves just a little bit slower. The pace of island life here feels as tranquil as swaying palm trees that line the white sand shores.

So if you seek an escape from the bustle of urban living, set your sights some 220 to 440 kilometers off the southwestern shores of India. There lies the emerald necklace known as Lakshadweep, nestled quietly between sea and sky waiting to be explored.

Part of India

Lakshadweep is part of India’s union territories and lies 230 miles west of Kerala. It is governed directly from Center and has an administrator instead of a governor. The territory elects one member to Lok Sabha. Lakshadweep is India’s smallest union territory but also one of its most scenic and breathtakingly beautiful ones.

In the Arabian Sea

Lakshadweep dotting sparkling azure Arabian Sea are only 30 cms above sea level. This makes it the world’s lowest lying islands. These islands stretch around 480 kms from North to South in the Laccadive Sea, a subset of the Arabian Sea. The Laccadive islands, Amindivi Islands, Cannanore Islands and Maliku Atoll all together form what is Lakshadweep today.

What is the Capital of Lakshadweep?

Nestled in the stunning turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea is the serene capital of Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Island. As your ferry approaches its pristine shores, you can already get a glimpse of swaying coconut palms and colorful local boats dotting the lagoon. With barely a few thousand residents, Kavaratti moves at an unhurried pace that immediately transports you to island time.

Stroll along its immaculate beaches as gentle waves lap at your feet. Gaze at spectacular sunsets from the western beach before diving into scrumptious local cuisine like tuna curry and rice. Drop by the neat and orderly town center to browse handicrafts or observe locals playing evening cricket matches.

While Kavaratti may seem world’s away, modern conveniences like banks, hospitals, schools, and well-connected transport ensure smooth functioning. Ongoing smart city projects strive to upgrade infrastructure while retaining its old-world island charm.

Lakshadweep Islands and Atolls

The islands of Lakshadweep are coral atolls, which means these islands form islets encircling lagoons on submerged banks of reefs or atolls. Only 10 out of 36 islands are inhabited with a population of around 65,000 living close to nature here. The islands are grouped into three sectors – Amini, Laccadive and Amindivi, with Minicoy being the southernmost island. The territory has an exotic, contrasting topography ranging from low lying coral atolls to steeply rising islands like Andrott.

History and Culture of Lakshadweep

People and Lifestyle of Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep translates into “hundred thousand islands” which also points to the scattered islands’ rich and multi-layered history. Archaeological evidence points towards early settlement here even during the Chera Dynasty in around 1st century AD. Jainism flourished in Lakshadweep between 5th to 13th centuries AD which is evident from various ruins with Jain tendencies. Local people here, referred as Melacheries, have had cultural influences from Arabia and Maldives due to trade routes through the islands. The territory came under British control in 18th century and post independence became a union territory of India in 1956.

The local population here is predominantly Muslim with mata-patriarchal system still continuing. The human development indicators like literacy (91%), life expectancy and gender equality is positive while still holding on to the traditional values and customs. Fishing is the major occupation here alongwith coconut cultivation and tourism related activities. Due to its remoteness and ecological vulnerability, tourism in Lakshadweep is low impact high end tourism with permits and license regulations.


The cuisine here shows Arab, Kerala and Maldives influences since centuries of seafaring and trading through the waters here. Food cooked in coconut oil with ingredients like tuna fish, coconut, rice with touches of Garam masala is very common. Some popular dishes are K remo kodi curry with rice, Masroshi (Tuna fish fry), Paaya korma (Tuna stew) and more. Octopus or squids curries called koonthal is also relished here. Herbal infused local brew called Raajvee with palm or date nectar is a popular drink.

Festivals in Lakshadweep

Major festivals celebrated by the local people are influenced by the religions seeped across the centuries by traders. Ramzan, Muharram and other Muslim festivals see pious celebrations. Boating regattas or traditional boat race called Veyyal mulaku nercha, celebrate the seafaring traditions of the Melacheries. Dance, music and cultural programs mark the annual Lakshadweep Day on 1st November every year. The Ujjor festival in June pays homage to the revered martyrs or Orissis.

Exploring  the Lakshadweep Islands

Popular Tourist Attractions

Lakshadweep islands remain one of India’s best kept secrets with still off the beaten track remote islands opening their arms only for high-end, conscious travellers. Still Lakshadweep sees its fair share of tourists every year who come allured by its emerald lagoons, silvery sands and swaying palms. Its exotic coral islands allow you to enjoy nature’s treasures whether you seek romance or adventure.

Bangaram Island

Located in the northern part of Lakshadweep islands, Bangaram offers one of the most scenic landscapes dotted with coconut groves against turquoise waters. With white silvery beaches kissing the calm shallow waters, Bangaram charms you with its serene pace. Adventure watersports, luxurious resorts and quaint villages make Bangaram the ultimate tropical paradise.

Kadmat Island

Half an hour ferry ride from Kavaratti lies, Kadmat island brimming with coral reefs and rare species of colourful fishes. Its lighthouse on one side gives sweeping panaromic views while the white sand beaches lined by lush green coconut groves paint a pretty picture. Kadmat allures tourists with its rich marine life and water activities while also offering budget stays with its eco friendly huts.

Minicoy Island

Minicoy island most closely showcases Maldivian influence with its music, dance, cuisine reflecting the proximity to Maldives. Located at the southernmost part of Lakshadweep, Minicoy’s Tunbebe Mosque, ancient lighthouse and uninhabited islets showcase its unique culture. With isolated beaches, spectacular diving and local handicrafts, Minicoy gives you a taste of traditional island life.

Best Time to Visit in Lakshadweep Island

Weather Variations

The weather in Lakshadweep remains pleasantly warm throughout the year with temperatures ranging from mid 20s to mid 30s. Monsoons from May to September are accompanied by strong winds and occasional cyclones which also lower visibility underwater affecting water activities. Hence best time is between October to mid April with pleasant weather, less rains and storms.

Peak Seasons

Peak tourist season lasts from October to March. This is when the weather is nice and visibility underwater is optimum making it perfect for watersports, snorkelling and scuba diving. December and January is the peak time with places getting completely packed around New Years. Budget your trip during shoulder seasons like August-September or April-May for cheaper stays.

Experiences in Lakshadweep Island

Water Sports

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving through the thriving coral reefs teeming with marine life remains Lakshadweep’s highlight. Crystal clear waters with visibility even upto 30 meters makes way for an unmissable diving experience. Some well known diving sites are around Bangaram, Kadmat, Minicoy and Suheli islands through various PADI certified dive centers.

Locations: There are over two dozen identified diving locations all over the islands from shallow lagoons to wall dives to ship wreck sites. Some popular spots are around Kadmat, Bangaram, Minicoy, Kiltan and others islands.

Operators: Reputed dive operators like SPORTS facilitate diving at most locations. Other operators are Laccadives Sea Sports, Lakshadweep Water Sports and more.

Costs: Rates differ based on number of dives, equipment etc but on average for foreigners, costs come to ₹5000 onwards per person for 1 dive, ₹9000 for 2 Tank dives etc.


For those who wish to discover the vivid underwater world from surface, Lakshadweep offers world class snorkeling experience. Colorful shoals of fishes swimming closeby amidst swaying corals and turtles gliding can be seen while snorkeling.

Best Spots: Some popular snorkeling sites are the western reef on Bangaram island, Dolphin Park in Kadmat island, Pitti Bird Island in Agatti where you’ll spot beautiful marine creatures in clear shallow waters.

What to Expect: Schools of Parrot Fish, Lion Fish, Trumpet Fish, variety of colourful corals and turtles are spotted regularly while snorkeling in Lakshadweep. With guidance and equipment from local experts, even beginners can try their hand at this activity.


Surfing is fast catching on in Lakshadweep although Bangaram with its experts and lessons remains the surfing hub. Both beginners and intermediate surfers have ample open sea spots and reef breaks to test their prowess riding the Lakshadweep waves. Best conditions are around March to November with peak in May to August.

For Beginners and Experts: Bangaram offers surf spots for all levels like beginner friendly Sandy Beach to expert level surf breaks at the Northern Reef section. Companies like Laccadives Water Sports with certified instructors provide equipment and guidance. Those confident of their skills can surf at Kadmat, Kavaratti and Andrott islands too.


Paddling through the mangrove lined lagoons or deep into the emerald seas kayaking proves both scenic as well as great exercise. Whether on clear bottomed kayaks or inflatable kayaks, Lakshadweep serves all levels of kayakers.

Mangrove Tours: Glide through the shaded water channels amidst lush green mangroves at Kadmat, Kavaratti and Bangaram island for a soothing experience. Spot beautiful birds like kingfishers, brahminy kites along these kayak trails.

Rentals: Reputed water sports companies like SPORTS and Laccadives Water Sports offer professional kayaks on rents across Agatti, Kadmat, Minicoy and other islands. Rates range from ₹1500-2000 per hour for single and double kayaks.

Q. What is the Swimming Contest in Coral Island?

A. The Coral Island Swimming Contest is an annual event held in Lakshadweep’s gorgeous Kadmat Island, known for its pristine lagoons and coral reefs. Local fishermen and tourists alike look forward to this lighthearted competition each year.

Participants of all ages swim from one picturesque beach to another, a distance of about half a mile across crystal clear waters. Some wear goggles to peek at the stunning underwater world below, catching glimpses of clownfish, angelfish, and green sea turtles as they make their way to the finish line.

Onshore, the atmosphere is festive. The tropical breeze carries wafts of local Lakshadweep cuisine being prepared for the post-race celebration. Families lined along the beaches cheer swimmers on as music plays. Applause and shouts of encouragement fill the island air when participants touch the shore at the end.

Win or lose, swimmers are greeted by smiling faces offering tender coconut water. The real prize is a perfect day enjoying sun, sand, sea, community, and friendly competition in this Indian coral paradise. This unique swimming contest captures the spirit and beauty of Lakshadweep’s Coral Island.

Island Hopping

Common Routes: Island hopping through Lakshadweep’s many gorgeous islands can be done by opting ferry rides like

Tranportation Option

Between Kadmat – Kavaratti -Agatti route

Amindivi islands route Or on romantic cruise tours on luxury vessels like MV Sea Shell, MV Minicoy etc.
Transportation Options: Local ferries, small boats, helicopters and amphibious planes help travelers hop between islands. Helicopter joy rides also give spectacular bird’s eye views of the islands and reefs.

Relaxing on Beaches

Best Beaches

Lakshadweep is all about taking it slow whether lounging under the palms on Bangaram’s silver sands, watching magical sunsets at Agatti beach or walking hand in hand on Minicoy’s secluded beach, bliss comes easy.

Bangaram Beach: Wide curving beach facing turquoise shallow waters perfect for swimming. Also popular water sport activities happen along this beach.

Kadmat Beach: White silvery beach bordering the western side of Kadmat island perfect for snorkelling during high tides when corals come closer. During low tides long walks can be enjoyed over the exposed corals with boots.

Agatti Beach: Spectacular sunsets can be seen from this long clean stretch of beach in Agatti island alongwith views of nearby islets like Parali. Swimming here is safe with proper facilities.

Beach Shacks

Small delightful shacks serving fresh seafood barbecue like pomfrets, tuna, kingfish alongwith coconut water makes afternoons flyby. Some nice shacks are Eco-huts at Kadmat, Sindbad cafe at Bangaram and Sea Shells at Agatti beach.

Top island destinations in Lakshadweep

Agatti Island

Beaches – Agatti island has stunning beaches like the Agatti beach famous for its sunsets, Kodithala beach with sandy stretch and Surf Beach for watersports. Their silvery sands, swaying palms and coral reefs on sides make them picture perfect.

Water sports – From kayaking, snorkelling, sailing, wind surfing to banana boat rides, parasailing and more, Agatti offers plenty of watersport options through SPORTS Lakshadweep centre.

Accommodation – Some stay options are Agatti island beach resort by KTDC, budget friendly CORAL ISLE hotel, stilt cottages at Coconut Grove, homestays like Athancheeni.

Bangaram Island

Honeymoon destination – Bangaram’s turquoise lagoon, canopy beds, candle-lit dinners make it Lakshadweep’s honeymoon capital. Newlyweds love the privacy and romantic setting amid nature here.

Water activities – Rated as one of the world’s top kite surfing destinations, Bangaram offers parasailing, surfing, sailing, kayaking, glass bottom boat rides etc.

Resorts – Some luxury resorts here are Bangaram Island Resort, Finolhu which provide world-class amenities along with access to watersports.

Kadmat Island

Scuba diving – Kadmat island offers rich marine biodiversity and exotic coral reefs which make it a haven for scuba divers who get to swim alongside turtles, reef sharks and schools of fish here.

Snorkeling – The clear protected lagoons also make way for great snorkelling. You can easily spot colourful parrot fish and beautiful corals through the surface without any prior experience.

Budget stays – For those looking to save money, Kadmat has Eco friendly beach huts made of coconut wood like the popular Pitti Eco-Huts with basic amenities and nice location.

Minicoy Island

Maldivian culture – Minicoy island showcases strong Maldivian influence through its language, cuisine, music and lifestyle due to its proximity to the Maldives chain of islands. This sets it uniquely apart from other islands of Lakshadweep.

Water sports – Minicoy is great for diving, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, wind surfing with spots like the Lighthouse Reef and the picturesque lagoon.

Resorts – Some accommodation options are Minicoy Island Resort, SPORTS complex, guest houses by local fishermen with traditional hospitality reflecting the island way of life.

Kavaratti Island

Capital city – Kavaratti island is Lakshadweep’s capital city and houses important administrative buildings and officials residences even with its remoteness and seabound location.

Sightseeing attractions – Some interesting places to see here are the several mosques especially huge Ujra mosque, old lighthouse, marine aquarium, handicrafts centre and more.

Hotels – For stay tourists can check out Hotel Seagull, Kavaratti tourist lodge by Lakshadweep tourism besides limited homestays and guest houses.

Q. What is the Population of Kadmat Island?

A. As of 2024, the population of Kadmat Island, located off the northwestern coast of India in the Arabian Sea, is estimated to be around 7,800. This small, secluded island is part of the Lakshadweep archipelago and has seen steady population growth over the past decade.

Kadmat Island spans just 3 square kilometers of land area, making it one of the more densely populated of the Lakshadweep Islands. Being remote and only accessible by boat or plane, development and housing construction is very limited on Kadmat. The population is centered around the villages of Kadmat, Kiltan, Rangalpura, and Adesra on the island.

How to Plan Your Lakshadweep Trip


Lakshadweep is a high-end luxury destination with limited properties and reliance on imports which reflects in its tourism costs. Ideally budget for atleast ₹15,000 per person per day for a comfortable trip including transfers, quality stays, meals and activities. You can cut down costs by choosing homestays over resorts, avoiding peak seasons and combining destinations smartly. Shopping is limited so allocate accordingly for souvenirs. Also miscellaneous costs for experiencing marine life, water activities, permits etc can be added.


Island Combinations: Instead of trying to cover all 36 islands, mix 2-4 islands in 7 to 10 days for a wholesome holiday. Some popular and logical combinations by accessibility are –

Kadmat + Bangaram + Agatti : Paradise for watersports lovers
Minicoy + Kavaratti + Kalpeni : Cultural immersion into old world charm
Amini + Kiltan + Chetlat : Diving adventures with relics of history

Duration: With speedboat transfers Lakshadweep islands are well connected to each other now allowing travelers to even complete island hopping in 5 to 6 days. But a duration of 7 to 15 days is preferable to relax and experience each island at a good pace.

Getting Around

Inter island transport happens mainly through motorized dhonis, copter or sea plane services of Pawan Hans besides government ferries. Helicopter/Sea plane transfers are expensive, so plan transport wisely if on a budget. Island cruises by luxury vessels also available for those seeking utmost comfort while hopping between islands.

Packing Tips

Essentials: Sunscreen, hat, shades, swimwear, towels, bug spray, first aid kit, torch, electronics + chargers, documents. Carry some cash and essential medicines too as options limited across islands.

Island-Friendly Clothes : Pack light breathable cotton and linen clothes in light colours alongwith sarongs, cotton pants, shirts, dresses. Pack shoes accordingly for adventure activities and walking on different terrains. Carry reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste.

Underwater Accessories: Don’t forget underwater essentials like goggles/masks, diving shoes, sun protective diving shirts and eco-friendly sunscreen to guard corals. Tripods, dome masks and underwater cameras open up photography opportunities too.

Lakshadweep Vs Maldives

So you are daydreaming about turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and water bungalows. Should you choose the up and coming Indian island destination – Lakshadweep, or the picture perfect Maldives? Let’s compare the two tropical paradises!

At first glance, Lakshadweep and Maldives may seem similar with their enticing photos of overwater villas. But they differ in history, culture and tourist facilities.

Culture and People

Lakshadweep locals lead simple lives. They generously welcome tourists into their villages for a lively cultural exchange. The predominantly Muslim islands emanate an old-world charm. Whereas the modern Maldives presents luxury resorts that isolate you from local communities.


The inexperienced Lakshadweep is still developing its water sports. Maldives offers an exhaustive range, from world-class diving to flyboarding and seaplane tours for adventure junkies. However, Lakshadweep charms with its raw beauty and has great potential for water activities. Don’t underestimate the lovely coral reefs!


Maldives wins with its pampering five-star resorts that feature high-end amenities. Lakshadweep has a limited number of resorts, mostly budget or mid-range options. But one loves the small guesthouses and camps run by locals for an authentic island stay.


Maldives burns your wallet with fancy cocktail bars and lavish stays starting from 300 USD and beyond. Luckily, Lakshadweep is far more easygoing. You will enjoyed decent resorts for less than 150 USD. And transportation between islands is more reasonable than speedboat transfers in Maldives!


It’s a tie! Both will stun you with their picture postcard scenes – swaying palms, lapping waves, colorful marine life and magical sunsets. Lakshadweep’s Kavaratti and Maldives’ Vaadhoo also offer enchanting bioluminescent nights!

Maldives may exceed in glamorous amenities for honeymooners or luxury travelers. But the untouched beauty and heartwarming hospitality of Lakshadweep did not fail to impress this world traveler. Its old-fashioned simplicity was a welcome change from commercial tourism. If you seek responsible travel, Lakshadweep eagerly awaits conscious visitors. I’m already dreaming about returning to cherish more sun-kissed memories in this Indian island paradise!

What is the Famous Handicrafts of Lakshadweep?

The remote islands of Lakshadweep are home to a thriving local handicrafts tradition that reflects the islanders’ connection to the land and sea. Coconut palm leaves, shells, fibers, and woods are ingeniously transformed by skilled artisans into objects of utility and beauty.

Intricate mats handwoven from natural fibers like coconut and palm are a specialty – no two are quite alike. Local women spend months creating each mat, carefully dyeing and weaving to produce complex geometric designs. These mats called ‘thara’ serve as floor coverings, wall hangings, even ritual gifts at weddings.

Another iconic Lakshadweep handicraft is the palm leaf basket or ‘kindi.’ Lightweight and durable, kinds are created by hand-stitching dried palm fronds together. Their versatile shape allows islanders to use them for storing everything from fish to sewing materials. Expressly crafted kinds are given to brides during weddings.

Even discarded materials find new life here – ornamental flowers fashioned from brightly colored fish lures, driftwood carvings etched with island scenes, dainty jewelry made from shells. Each handicraft manages to capture the essence of these islands – natural, creative, resilient. For visitors, they serve as the perfect memento to take back.


Q.What is the meaning of the name Lakshadweep?

A. The name ‘Lakshadweep’ in the native Malayalam language literally means ‘one lakh islands’ with ‘Laksha’ meaning 100,000 and ‘dweep’ translating to islands. This name signifies the large archipelago geography of this island group consisting of corals, sand banks and atolls.

Q. What language(s) are spoken in Lakshadweep?

A. The main language spoken in Lakshadweep is Jeseri along with Mahl which are variants of Malayalam – the state language of Kerala reflecting close ethnic ties. Residents are also well-versed in Hindi and English as common languages for communication with tourists and trade purposes.

Q. What is special about Lakshadweep?

A. Lakshadweep is special because of its exotic beauty as a tropical island paradise with unspoiled virgin beaches, lush greenery and rich marine ecology. The rare flora-fauna, unique lagoons, vibrant coral reefs along with warm culture make it a serene holiday escape. Lakshadweep’s isolation from tourism preserves indigenous lifestyle on these scattered isles with just a few thousand residents.

Q. When did Lakshadweep become a Union Territory of India?

A. Lakshadweep became a Union Territory on 1 November 1956 when States Reorganisation Act 1956 designated these islands under direct administration of India’s central government. Earlier they were known as Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands under Madras Presidency during British Rule.

Q. What is the currency used in Lakshadweep?

A. The official currency used in Lakshadweep is Indian Rupee (INR) at par with mainland India as Lakshadweep is a Union Territory of India. INR notes and coins are accepted statewide as legal tender for all transactions.

Q. Where are the Lakshadweep islands located geographically?

A. The Lakshadweep archipelago is situated 200-400 km off India’s southwestern coast in the Arabian Sea. It consists of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks covering a 32 sq km area. The closest Indian state mainland is Kerala around 300 km to the east. These isolated islands have a maximum land area of just 11 sq km collectively that makes travel challenging yet rewarding.

Q. Are foreigners allowed in Lakshadweep?

A. Yes, foreigners are allowed to visit Lakshadweep with a valid permit that needs to be obtained in advance. Limited number of tourists are allowed every year to maintain the ecological balance. Foreigners require a No Objection Certificate from the local sponsor to get the permit.

Q. Are Lakshadweep islands coral islands?

A. Yes, the Lakshadweep islands are coral islands that are made of coral reefs and sand. These are some of the most spectacular coral islands in the world situated on the Laccadive-Chagos Ridge in the Arabian Sea.

Q. Is it really worth going to Maldives?

A. The Maldives is known for its natural beauty consisting of palm-fringed islands, white sandy beaches, turquoise blue lagoons and rich marine life. It offers a relaxing tropical vacation with high-end resorts and amenities. However, it is more expensive compared to some other beach destinations. For some, the premium experience is worth the money spent.

Q. Are there Muslims in Lakshadweep?

A. Yes, over 96% of the population of Lakshadweep islands follow Islam. The society and culture reflect the Muslim heritage and influence. However, people of other religions also harmoniously inhabit the islands.

Q. Can Indian citizens visit Lakshadweep?

A. Yes, Indian citizens can visit Lakshadweep freely without requiring any special permit. They need to carry a valid government issued identity card for travel purposes. Limited accommodations need to be booked well in advance for a comfortable travel experience.

Q. What transportation options are available to reach Lakshadweep – ship, train, Flight?

A. The only means of transportation to reach Lakshadweep islands is by ship/cruise or flight. There is no train connectivity.

Ship: Passenger ships connect Kochi and Lakshadweep once a week taking 15-18 hours. Cargo ships also offer passenger services. Cruise ships take around 30 hours.

Flight: There are flights operated from Kochi and Goa to Agatti island airport taking about 1.5 – 2 hours. From there, smaller aircrafts or helicopters take people to other islands.

Q. What months are suitable for visiting Lakshadweep?

A. The best time to visit Lakshadweep is from October to May as the weather remains pleasantly cool and ideal for water sports. December to February is peak tourist season. Monsoons from May to September with heavy rain should be avoided.

Q. What type of attire is allowed in Lakshadweep – can tourists wear shorts?

A. To respect the cultural sensitivities, visitors are recommended avoiding very short dresses like shorts or skirts in inhabited islands. However, bikinis and beach wear can be comfortably worn at resorts or uninhabited Bangaram island. Traditional swimwear is permitted. Casual cotton clothes are ideal.

Q. Is alcohol consumption allowed in Lakshadweep?

A. Alcohol consumption and transportation is prohibited in Lakshadweep islands as per cultural norms being Muslim majority areas. Tourists also need to respect this restriction. However, some select high-end resorts at specific sites may allow alcohol consumption privately within tourist accommodation but not allow it publicly or transport to inhabited islands.

Q. Do Indian citizens need permission to visit Lakshadweep?

A. No, Indian citizens do not need any special permission or passport to visit Lakshadweep islands. They are part of India and anyone with a valid government issued identity proof like Aadhaar card can travel freely. However, foreigners do require prior permissions and permits.

Q. Is there flight connectivity to Lakshadweep?

A. Yes, Agatti island in Lakshadweep has an airport that offers flight connectivity with major cities like Kochi and Goa. Airlines operating flights include Alliance Air, Air India and IndiGo. The flight duration is around 1.5 hours from Kochi and 2 hours from Goa.

Q. Is a passport required to travel to Lakshadweep from India?

A. No, a passport is not needed for Indian citizens to travel from mainland India to Lakshadweep islands by flight or ship as it is part of India. A valid photo identity proof issued by the government of India like Aadhaar card, PAN Card or Driving License is sufficient.

Q. Is a visa required to visit Lakshadweep as an Indian citizen?

A. Indian citizens do not require a visa to visit Lakshadweep. As Lakshadweep is a Union Territory of India, it can be freely travelled to by all citizens of India without any visa formalities with a government issued identity proof.

Q. How were the Lakshadweep islands formed?

A. The Lakshadweep coral islands were formed from coral reefs in stages over thousands of years as corals began growing on volcanic rock or remains of coastal sand dunes submerged under rising sea levels. The reefs developed into atolls as coral debris accumulated along circular or oval rims surrounding calm lagoons. These atolls emerged above the sea as habitable islands that people eventually settled on.

Q. What is the religious demography of Lakshadweep and how did it become Muslim majority?

A. Over 96% of Lakshadweep’s population follows Islam today. It became Muslim majority due to influences of Arab traders in history. In ancient times, these islands fell on Arabian trading routes. Muslim dynasties also ruled the region at various points. Migration of Muslims to Lakshadweep also added to numbers. The native inhabitants converted from Hinduism due to these influences over centuries, making it predominantly Muslim.

Q. How and when did Lakshadweep become part of India?

A. Lakshadweep became a part of India in 1956 when States Reorganisation Act designated these islands as a Union Territory of India. Before that, during British rule it was known as Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands that formed part of the Madras Presidency. It was only after independence that it was officially integrated into India under its present name ‘Lakshadweep’.

Q. What is the electricity supply situation in Lakshadweep?

A. Most of the inhabited Lakshadweep islands now have access to electricity supplied from the mainland through submarine cables. Smaller islands use solar panels or generators. Supply can be irregular during monsoons or technical issues with sea cables. Recent initiatives have strengthened transmission infrastructure and households now get 18-20 hours reliable supply compared to only a few hours previously.

Q. How many days are ideal for a Lakshadweep trip?

A. An ideal Lakshadweep trip should span 4-7 days allowing visitors to properly explore several islands at a relaxed pace. Visitors can divide time between water sports, activities like scuba diving, enjoying island beauty and learning about culture without rush. Commuting between islands also requires half a day. Less than 4 days is too short and more than a week may seem an overdose of island life for some.

Q. What is the estimated cost of a Lakshadweep trip from Kerala?

A. A Lakshadweep trip for two people for 5 days and 4 nights including travel from Kerala may cost around ₹25,000-₹40,000 depending on choice of accommodation and activities. Flight/cruise tickets cost ₹5,000-₹10,000 per person. Stay options range from cheaper tent cottages to premium resorts. Local conveyance, food and water activities like scuba diving will be extra expenses.

Q. Is beef banned in Lakshadweep?

A. Yes, beef is banned and unavailable for consumption throughout the islands due to the predominantly Muslim population and cultural reasons. Tourists need to respect local traditions and only consume pork or chicken which are available in limited approved outlets. Seafood forms staple non-vegetarian diet.

Q. Is Lakshadweep safe for tourists including females and couples?

A. Yes, Lakshadweep is considered very safe for tourists including solo female travelers or couples. The crime rate is extremely low and locals are peace-loving with a reputation for hospitality. However, it is culturally conservative regarding clothing and public behavior. Tourists just need to be mindful and respectful towards local sensibilities.

Q. How tourist-friendly is Lakshadweep?

A. Lakshadweep is moderately tourist-friendly yet offers a scenic getaway for those willing to adjust without high-end amenities amid natural beauty and isolation. Language can be a barrier but signages and guides bridge gaps. Limited accommodation and connectivity can be challenging for short vacations. Still, it has adapted well to cater to international tourists over the years.

Q. Which Lakshadweep island is most beautiful?

A. Kavaratti island is considered the most beautiful and developed with white sand beaches, iconic lighthouse, well-connected to other islands and rich marine life ideal for activities like scuba diving and snorkeling in emerald lagoons. Bangaram and Thinnakara are also stunning uninhabited islands for beach tourism.

Q. Which place is better to visit – Lakshadweep or Andaman?

A. Both island groups have pristine appeal but Andaman offers more versatility with historical sites, mangrove forests and indigenous tribes along with water sports. Lakshadweep is more of relaxed beach destination with limited land activities but excellent for diving, marine wildlife and appreciating atoll scenery. So choice depends on travel preferences. However Lakshadweep remains more serene and unexplored.

Q. Is Lakshadweep bigger or smaller than Maldives in area?

A. Lakshadweep is much smaller in area compared to Maldives. Lakshadweep spans just 32 sq km of land area distributed over several islands and atolls. On the other hand, Maldives covers a vast archipelago of over 300 sq km area. However, both island groups offer similar tropical charm and natural beauty. Lakshadweep is less commercialized than Maldives and offers more privacy.

Q. Is Lakshadweep more or less costly than Andaman islands to visit?

A. Lakshadweep works out cheaper for budget travelers compared Andaman islands. Food, local transfers and accommodation cost less in Lakshadweep per day, although flight rates may be higher. Activities like scuba diving are priced lower as well. Lakshadweep has fewer amenities than Andaman but provides an affordable island holiday to offset that while avoiding over-tourism.

Q. Can Lakshadweep’s environment survive climate change?

A. Yes, Lakshadweep stands a good chance of surviving climate change if ecological practices continue. Its isolation has limited harmful impact so far. Steps taken by local administration for sustainable tourism, fishing, renewable energy adoption, coral reef preservation and planned vegetation can counter problems like rising sea levels, coastal erosion and bleaching to help Lakshadweep adapt better to climatic challenges compared to other global islands. But continued conservation efforts are vital for its survival.

Q. What is the best time to visit Lakshadweep?

A. The ideal time to visit Lakshadweep is during the cooler dry season between October to May. The winter months of December-February are peak tourism season owing to pleasant weather. Stormy monsoons from May-September with potential cancellations should be avoided.

Q. What are the cruise options from mainland India to Lakshadweep and how much do they cost?

A. There are passenger cruise ships and private yacht charters available for Lakshadweep islands from Kochi and Goa ports. Key operators are Casino Group and Lakshadweep Cruise. The journey time is 30-50 hours depending on route. Cost per person ranges ₹8,000-₹15,000 for 3N/4D trips on ships with dorm or shared cabins. Luxury private chartered yachts could cost over ₹20,000 per day.

Q. What does Lakshadweep island group consist of that makes it famous?

A. Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 coral islands that are known for scenic natural beauty – sun-kissed beaches, crystal clear lagoons with exotic marine life and lush coconut palm greenery. This tropical island paradise with rich eco-heritage is what makes Lakshadweep famous along with its unique indigenous culture, friendliness and isolation from commercialization.

Q. What are some alternatives to Maldives for Indian tourists?

A. Some good alternatives to Maldives for Indian tourists include Andaman and Nicobar Islands that also offer tropical island charm and water sports within India itself. Internationally, options like Mauritius, Bali, Langkawi (Malaysia), Krabi (Thailand) and Seychelles provide similar beach island experiences coupled with culture at cheaper rates.

Q. Can Lakshadweep compete with or replace Maldives as a tourist destination?

A. Lakshadweep has the potential to emerge as a popular tourist destination and compete with Maldives given its natural beauty, coral reefs, sandy beaches and rich marine life. However, Maldives is far more developed in terms of infrastructure, connectivity and high-end resorts. Significant investment is needed in Lakshadweep to upgrade facilities and enable tourism while preserving the fragile ecology. With restrictions also in place, Lakshadweep can complement Maldives but may not replace it.

Q. Why and when Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji visited Lakshadweep and what was the effect of this Visit?

A. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lakshadweep on 2nd January, 2024. This is the first ever visit by an incumbent Prime Minister reflecting commitment to Lakshadweep’s welfare.

Impact and Effects of PM’s Lakshadweep Visit:

Launched several projects worth over ₹3000 crores focused on port infrastructure, better sea connectivity through boats, eco-friendly public transport to cut carbon emissions. This will generate employment through tourism activities.

Emphasized on improving livelihood of islanders through skill development for participation in tourism related projects.

Ensured ecological balance and sustainability is maintained while upgrading infrastructure.

Direction to administrations for peoples-centric governance through cooperation.
Created awareness nationally about Lakshadweep tourism potential beyond just Maldives from India.

Historic visit and projects bring new hopes for progress in Lakshadweep along with its rising popularity among tourists exploring India’s best kept secrets.