¤ Lakshadweep At A Glance
Lakshadweep is not as renowned a destination as Goa or Kerala, but
its lagoons and beaches are just as beautiful. The wealth of coral
formations attracts a variety of tropical fish angel, clown,
butterfly, sturgeon, sweetlip, snappers and groupers. Kavaratti, which
is the administrative capital of Lakshadweep, is located in the centre
of the archipelago.
two most significant mosques are the Ajjara and Jamath Mosques, which
are characterised by exquisite woodcarvings. The former in particular
has a beautiful ceiling carved out of driftwood, which is the
handiwork of local craftsmen.
The Aquarium at Kavaratti with tropical fish and corals, the
Kavaratti Lake, and the splendid tombs it houses, are the other
attractions of the place.
¤ Island Attractions
Kalpeni -- Famous For Its Water
Those keen on water sports will enjoy visiting Kalpeni along with its
three uninhabited satellite islands.
Surrounded by a lagoon rich in corals, Kalpeni offers excellent
facilities for water sports such as snorkelling and diving. The coral
remains on the eastern shores of the island are the remnants of a
violent storm that took place in 1847. The main monument at Kalpeni is
the Moidin Mosque that has walls made of coral.
The best part of the Kalpeni Islands is that it is crime-free
women dress in wrap-around lungis (sarongs) and wear heavy gold
jewellery without fear of being assaulted.
While in the area, do not miss the two traditional dances of Kalpeni
Kolkali and Parichakkali which illustrate themes drawn from
folklore and religious legends to the accompaniment of music and song.
One of the most interesting islands in Lakshadweep is the Minicoy
Island not only, because it is the largest, but also because it
is closer in language and culture to the Maldives.
While the rest of the archipelago speaks Malayalam, the lingua franca
in Minicoy is Mahl. Mahl is written from right to left and is very
similar to Dhivehi the language of the Maldivians. Many of
their customs are similar to those of the Maldives.
The people of Minicoy are a sea-faring community and have a
closely-knit matrilineal society. In fact, the dominance of women led
the famous explorer Marco Polo to dub Minicoy as a female
island. Minicoy is a picturesque island dotted with palm trees
and enclosed with coral reefs. One of the most spectacular
sights of Minicoy is a 50 metre tall Lighthouse, built by the British.
Amindivi Group of Island
The Amindivi group consists of the Islands of Chetlat, Bitra, Kiltan,
Kadmat and Amini.
Bitra, the smallest of the group is an ornithologists delight
it is heavily populated with birds and is a rich source of birds
eggs. Kiltan is located on an ancient trade route ships
travelling from Aden often made a stopover at the Island en route to
The densely populated Amini and Kadmat are rich in coconut palms and
were occupied by the Portugese for a short while.
Kadmat is an island, nine kilometres long and only 200 metres in
width. However it has a fine beach and a beautiful bay and is ideal
for swimming and diving.
Finally, Lakshadweep boasts of the barren and desolate Pitti Island,
comprising of a square-shaped reef with a sand bank at its southern
Pitti Island is a vitally important nesting place for terns (a kind
of sea swallow), and has been listed as a Wildlife Sanctuary. Terns
are an endangered species and conservation groups are pressing for a
ban on the planting of trees and the mining of coral which they
believe, threaten its habitat. However, the main threat to terns comes
from anglers who collect terns eggs for food and disturb the
birds natural habitat.
¤ A Tourist Destinatioin
However, tourism is still in its infancy because of infrastructural
bottlenecks. Foreigners are only allowed into Bangaram and Kadmat,
while Indian nationals are granted access to Minicoy, Kavaratti and
Kalpeni as well.