Agatti has one of the most beautiful lagoons in Lakshadweep. This is where the airport is built. A virtual gateway to Lakshadweep, a 20 bed tourist complex has been set up here.
Tear-drop shaped, this island is encircled by a continuous halo of creamy sand. Like all the other islands of Lakshadweep, luxuriant plantations of coconut provide coolness even during the hottest time of the day.
The administrative capital, Kavaratti is the most developed of the islands with the highest percentage of non-islanders as residents. Fifty two mosques are spread out over the island, the most beautiful being the Ujra mosque. A well, within its precincts, is believed to contain water of curative powers. The island also has an aquarium with several colourful species of fish. There is a glass bottom boat for viewing marine life and an array of remarkable coral formations that provides a background to the lagoons and the islands within them. Some Water Sports like kayaking canoeing and snorkelling are available for tourists.
Kalpeni has three uninhabited satellite islands, all surrounded by an immense lagoon of spectacular beauty. Koomel, the gently curving bay where the tourist facilities are located, directly overlooks Pitti and Thilakkm, two of the islands. Here, tourists can swim, reef walk, snorkel or use water sports equipment like kayaks, and sail boats.
The even depth and an endless shoreline make Kadmath a heaven of solitude. This is the only island with lagoons on both eastern and western sides. A Water Sports Institute providing water sports facilities has been set up in Kadmath.
Farthest from Kavaratti island, 200 km away to the south and also nearest to the Maldives, Minicoy has a culture very different from any other island. It has a cluster of 10 villages, which are called Athiris each presided over by a Moopan. Minicoy is renowned for its dance tradition: the lava dance is performed on festive occasions. The tuna fishing and boat building activity is interesting. Minicoy has a lighthouse built by the British in 1885. Visitors are allowed up, right to the very top.
People and Language
The population is only 60595 as per 2001 census, of which 95% are Muslims. Ethnically, the people of the islands are very similar to the people of the state of Kerala and mostly they speak Malayalam except in Minicoy where Mahli is spoken. The advent of Islam dates back to the 7th century. St. Ubaidulla of Mecca dreamt that prophet Mohammed wanted him to go to Jeddah, take a ship from there and go to distant places. While he was sailing near these small islands, a storm wrecked his ship. Floating on a plank he was swept ashore on the island of Amini. Ubaidulla started propagating Islam in the islands. Still 93% of the inhabitants of Lakshadweep are Muslims. Coconut cultivation and fishing, are the chief occupations of the people, whose folklore and customs are, not surprisingly, largely derived from the sea. The people of Lakshadweep are often commended for their honesty. The islands are virtually crime-free.
Lakshadweep has a tropical climate, with summer temperatures ranging from 35 degrees centigrade to 22 degrees centigrade and winter temperature between 32 degrees centigrade to 20 degrees centigrade. During monsoons, ship-based tourism is closed but helicopter services are available. Some effect of the northeast monsoon is felt in October-November in the form of light transitory showers which cool the place. Tropical clothes throughout the year are sufficient. A waterproof coat during October-November will be useful. October - May for the ship based tour packages. Agatti and Bangaram may be visited throughout the year.
How to reach
NEPC Airlines operates flights from Cochin to Agatti Island. Tourists are ferried from Agatti to other places, by fast boats. Also, a helicopter service links Agatti to the other islands.
Vessels ply between Cochin in Kerala and Lakshadweep. Rates vary according to the type of accomodation.
F-306, Kasturba Gandhi Marg Hostel,
New Delhi - 110001
Tel : 011-3386807
Fax : 3782246