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Lakshadweep Islands Tourism Guide

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by Debapriya Deb, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    The Lakshadweep archipelago comprises of a string of 36 islands that stretch their wings in the turquoise Arabian sea, 300 KM off the coast of Kerala. The stunning yet isolated palm-covered white-sandy islands of Lakshadweep are sure to surpass all the heights of your expectations. The mysterious sun-kissed beaches of Lakshadweep Islands are surrounded by 4200 square kilometers of lagoon rich in marine wealth. It is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular marine ecosystems in the entire world.

    The word Lakshadweep can literally be translated to 'a hundred thousand islands'. Out of the 36 islands that constitute the smallest union territory in India, only 10 are inhibited by humans. Besides, there are 12 atolls, 3 coral reefs and 5 submerged marine banks. Not all of them are accessible to the tourists though. Some of the island ecosystems of Lakshadweep are deliberately kept detached from the tourism map to preserve the rich natural habitat for the endemic marine life.

    Lakshadweep has a subtle lazy elegance attached to its lifestyle. The romantic atmosphere has served well to popularize the destination as a possible honeymoon retreat. Surrounded by colorful corals, the place has also made a name for itself as an ideal scuba diving and snorkeling retreat. Moreover, the availability of water-based adventure sports facility has made it a prominent adventure tourism destination among the adrenaline junkies. Irrespective of whether you are looking for romance, fun or adventure, Lakshadweep has the ability to seamlessly adapt to your requirements. At Lakshadweep, you can be assured of a truly memorable vacation that would leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul.

    For all the tourists who are interested to visit this amazing beach destination, this Lakshadweep Islands Travel Guide can prove to be a useful resource. It has been carefully crafted to answer all the queries that you might have on Lakshadweep tourism. Go though this Lakshadweep Tourism Guide to discover the tourist attractions and activities that the Lakshadweep Islands is famous for.

    Lakshadweep Islands Climate

    Lakshadweep has a tropical climate characterized by hot and humid summer, a short-lived monsoon and pleasant winter. March to June is typically the summer season when the temperature soars in the range of 35-40 degree celsius. Humidity ranges between 70% to 85% during those days. The hot and dry summer season is followed by a brief spell of monsoon in July. The region gets heavy rainfall in the months of July and August. The rain gets subdued from the mid of September and the temperature starts to reduce from October. November to February usually marks the winter season when the mercury level drops to 15-25 degree celsius.

    Best Time for Planning Your Lakshadweep Trip

    While the Lakshadweep islands are open to tourists throughout the year, the winter season sees the most number of footfalls. Bright and sunny days, clear sky and pleasant weather are the favorable conditions to view the corals. So if you are interested to explore the riches of marine life out there in the Lakshadweep region, then October to April is the best time to plan your Lakshadweep trip.

    Lakshadweep Islands Entry Formalities

    An entry permit is required for visiting the Lakshadweep region, both for the foreign tourists as well as the Indian nationals. Only the Government officials and Armed Force Members are exempted from this requirement.

    The permit can be obtained from the Lakshadweep Tourism Office at Kochi, Kerala. It may require upto 2 days for getting the approval, so plan your trip accordingly. An application form has to be collected from the tourism office first. Then you need fill it up with the required details and submit it alongside a Government issued ID proof with a passport size photograph. Foreign tourists would need to produce their Passport, Visa and accommodation booking receipt. So you need to book your accommodation at Lakshadweep first, before proceeding to obtain the permit.

    How to Reach Lakshadweep Islands?

    Lakshadweep islands are accessible either by airways or waterways, with Kochi as the preferred gateway. Air service to Lakshadweep is available from Kochi, Kerala. Air India connects Kochi to Agatti islands for 6 days a week, except Sundays. There are plans to introduce another flight from Goa to Agatti islands, but at the moment, Kochi is the only option for the air travellers.

    A cheaper alternative to flying is the ferry service.

    Most of the tourists visiting Lakshadweep islands prefer to avail the package tours offered by SPORTS - which is a society formed by the Lakshadweep Administration for the promotion of tourism in Lakshadweep. Lakshadweep tour packages offered by SPORTS take care of all the tourist requirements. It's a single-window operator for booking your entire Lakshadweep tour, right from transportation to accommodation, site-seeing, activities and food arrangements - all at one go. Lakshadweep package tours by SPORTS are inclusive of all the costs involved during your stay at Lakshadweep, so by opting for the SPORTS packages, you can be assured of a hassle-free and comfortable experience - although at a slightly higher cost compared to individual tours. For more details on Lakshadweep Tour Packages, you can visit the official website of SPORTS here - Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports - Lakshadweep Tourism.

    It is also possible to book the ferry service and accommodation separately on your own. The Lakshadweep Tourism Board operates ships with all modern facilities from Kochi to the Lakshadweep group of islands. There are 5 ships in total - MV Kavaratti, MV Arabian Sea, MV Lakshadweep Sea, MV Amindivi and MV Minicoy - that connect Kochi to Lakshadweep on a regular basis. The ships offer different classes of accommodation including AC first class cabins, AC second class seating and bunk class accommodation. It takes around 14 to 20 hours to arrive at Lakshadweep islands from the Kochi coast.

    The ship fares are different for islanders and tourists. For the tourists from mainland India, first class cabin costs around INR 3500 for one way trip from Kochi to Kavaratti islands. Bunk class seating ticket, which is the cheapest one, costs INR 550 for the tourists. For more details on the ship fares from Kochi to different islands of Lakshadweep, visit the Government website - Fare Chart 2.

    Lakshadweep Islands Tourism

    Tourism in Lakshadweep Islands is still developing and it is yet to attain its full potential. Tourist footfalls to Lakshadweep is on a steady incline over the last few years and the Lakshadweep Tourism Board is making all possible efforts to establish it as an eco-friendly tourism circuit. Let's find out what are the major tourist attractions and activities at the Lakshadweep islands.

    Important Tourist Attractions at Lakshadweep Islands

    1. Kavaratti:

    Kavaratti is not only the administrative capital of the Lakshadweep Union Territory, but it is also the most developed island among all the islands of Lakshadweep. Kavaratti is the focal point of Lakshadweep tourism. Kavaratti's beautiful landscape is decorated with virgin white sandy beaches and soothing lagoons. The swaying coconut palms enhance its scenic appeal. The beautiful Kavaratti islands can be an ideal spot for swimming, sun-bathing and lazing around on the secluded beaches. It's the perfect tourist spot for those who love to stay closer with the tranquil nature.

    The Kavaratti Lighthouse is one of the famous tourist attractions here. The place is ideal for spending some relaxing time and it offers amazing views of the sun setting under the Arabian sea. The historical Ujire Mosque, constructed by Sheikh Mohammad Kasim in the 17th century, is a famous heritage site at Kavaratti. Another must visit tourist spot here is the Kavaratti Island Marine Aquarium, which has a rich collection of aquatic specimens. The aquarium houses several endemic species of marine life which are sure to leave you amazed.

    Water sports enthusiasts are going to fall in love with Kavaratti. Among the most popular water sports activities the banana boat ride, speed boat ride, water scooter ride, snorkelling and scuba diving deserve special mention. Lagoon fishing is a unique adventure that you can experience here at Kavaratti.

    2. Agatti:

    Colorful coral reefs are the attractions that lure tourists into visiting Agatti islands. The snow-white beaches of Agatti can mesmerize the tourists, while the underwater landscapes decorated with beautiful corals can leave you awestruck. The vast expanses of shallow lagoons surrounding Agatti provide an ideal setting for water sports enthusiasts. It is regarded among the most popular places in India for snorkeling and scuba diving. Besides snorkelling and scuba diving, there are other water sports activities like kayaking and speed boat rides that can keep the tourists engaged. If you are interested in surfing and boarding, then Agatti is the place to experience the thrills.

    Sea excursions on glass-bottomed boats can be another thrilling prospect at the Agatti Islands. You can spot a wide variety of rich marine life through the crystal-clear waters of the Arabian sea during your boat ride.

    3. Kalpeni:

    Cheriyam islands, alongwith two small islets of Tilakkam and Pitti, is a group of three islands that form the Kalpeni islands. Also popular by the name of Koefaini islands, it is arguably the most scenic and picturesque region of all Lakshadweep islands. Although the tourist facility is not well-developed here, the Kalpeni islands is just the right spot to laze around cherishing the untouched bounty of nature. Coral debris scattered along the Eastern shore-line of Kalpeni attracts tourists in large numbers. Recently it has also emerged as a popular snorkeling destination. If you are interested in reef-walk along the Kalpeni lagoon, then the Coral Reef Snorkeling package trips offered by SPORTS can be your best choice.

    4. Bangaram:

    A tiny narrow strip of oval shaped island, Bangaram has made its present felt among the tourists from around the globe. Easy accessibility from Agatti and Kavaratti makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations of Lakshadweep. It is the only uninhibited island in Lakshadweep that offers accommodation facility for the tourists. The sprawling resort at the Bangaram islands is arguably the best staying option for the tourists visiting the Lakshadweep region.

    It is also the solitary island among the Lakshadweep group of Islands where the consumption of alcohol is permitted. Open to both Indian citizens and foreign nationals, Bangaram Islands is a buzzing tourist spot that offers world-class water sports facilities. It also attracts the honeymooning couples in large numbers.

    5. Minicoy:

    Minicoy is an isolated island which is far off from the other tourist destinations in the Lakshadweep region. If you are looking for a quiet retreat without the hustle-&-bustles of tourists, then Minicoy is the perfect choice for you. Minicoy islands is blessed with some of the finest white sandy beaches. Devoid of any tourist activities, the beaches at Minicoy are ideal for taking a dip in the inviting waters and spending quality time basking in the glorious sunshine. A lighthouse constructed in 1885 by the British soldiers is one of the prime tourist attractions here. The views of the blue ocean from top of the lighthouse, with an elevation of 300 feet, are simply marvelous.

    6. Kadmat:

    Popularly known as the 'Adventure Captital of Lakshadweep', Kadmat island is a narrow strip of land that runs for a length of around 8 KM with a width of just 550 meters. The island is blessed with pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear blue waters, lively marine life and verdant greenery. The dazzling ambience of Kadmat is suitable for tourists of all kinds. So irrespective of whether you are looking for a romantic honeymoon retreat or adventure-filled holiday, Kadmat has the elements to satisfy your diversified needs.

    The beautiful shallow lagoon surrounding the Kadmat island is considered to be the ideal spot to indulge in water sports. Kadmat island has a well developed water sports facility where you can keep yourself engaged with speed boat rides, kayaking and yacht sailing.

    Scuba diving and snorkeling are the most popular tourist activities at Kadmat. With an underwater visibility of 30-50 meters and the riches of marine wealth in abundance, Kadmat has emerged as a popular diving center in the Lakshadweep region. It has a full-fledged scuba diving center with all modern amenities, so you can be assured of an unparalleled sea diving experience at this lovely coral island.

    Top 10 Must Do Activities at Lakshadweep Islands

    1. Water sports activities like banana boat ride, speed boat ride, water scooter rides at the Kavaratti islands.

    2. Lagoon fishing with the local fishermen in the lagoons surrounding the Kavaratti islands.

    3. Catching the spectacular 360 degree wide-angle views of the Arabian sea from the lighthouse at the Minicoy islands.

    4. Coral reef walking at the Kalpeni islands.

    5. Kayak riding at the Agatti islands.

    6. Cherishing the beautiful sunset from the sea-shore of Kavaratti and Minicoy islands.

    7. Scuba diving and snorkeling at Kadmat islands.

    8. Marine excursion on glass-bottomed boats on the lagoon surrounding the Agatti islands.

    9. Lazing around, swimming and sun-bathing on the isolated beaches of Minicoy islands.

    10. Paying a visit to the Marine Aquarium in Kavaratti islands.

    Lakshadweep Tourism - Important Points to Note Down

    • Only a certain number of tourists are allowed to visit Lakshadweep over a period of time, so ensure that you have booked your stay well in advance.

    • A special tourist permit is needed for all visitors, Indians and foreign nationals, to visit the Lakshadweep Islands. The entry permit has to be obtained from the Lakshadweep Tourism Office at Kochi, Kerala.

    • Not all the islands at Lakshadweep are accessible to the tourists. Indian travellers are allowed to visit six islands - Agatti, Kadmat, Bangaram, Kalpeni, Kavaratti and Minicoy.

    • Foreign tourists are permitted access to only three islands - Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat. Besides, foreigners may also use Kavaratti islands for a period of maximum 12 hours for transit purpose.

    • Consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in all Lakshadweep islands, except Bangaram islands.

    • Picking of corals or any other forms of marine life is a punishable offence.

    • Nude sunbathe is prohibited in all the islands of Lakshadweep.

    • Usage of plastic materials are banned at Lakshadweep Islands.

    • Carrying narcotics or intoxicating drugs to Lakshadweep islands is a punishable offence.

    Hope you have enjoyed going through this Lakshadweep Islands Tourism Guide. If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions with respect to Lakshadweep Tourism, then feel free to share your thoughts.

    Admin, Wanderlust and Chahal like this.
  2. Kritika

    Kritika New Member

    Lakshadweep Islands are the new travelling destination in India. The place gives new meaning to adventurous travelling. Everything is so beautiful and exotic that it tends to take your breath away the moment you witness this magnificent and effervescent Islands for Lakshadweep. Great post and very thanks for giving an insider's view about this fab destination. Great beaches and its like an amazing place to do all the water activities like Scuba diving, diving through the coral reefs and witnessing the ultimate beauty of nature under the water. Very thanks for such a great and informative post and while planning my next trip Lakshadweep is on my top list. ............... Thanks...........again........
  3. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    I remember when South Goa was the go to destination. I have heard great things about these islands. However, I do not know if the infrastructure is there yet. How are the resorts and hotels? You would have to plan a relaxing vacation, since I am not sure how much nightlife there would be outside your hotel.

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