Located in the Arabian Sea off the south-eastern coast of India, the charm of Lakshadweep Islands (known as Lacadive Islands) lies in their remoteness. Far from the chaos of civilization, as we know it, they represent a rather magical realm of existence. Each island is densely covered with coconut palms, and serenely set in a sea, the waters of which range from palest aquamarine and turquoise, to deepest sapphire and lapis lazuli.
The Lakshadweep islands are India's only coral islands. The Lakshadweep chain of islands are coral atolls. An atoll is a coral organism lying exactly at the surface of the ocean where air and water meet; this being the only condition under which coral can live. The coral here is shaped like a ring and encircles a staggeringly beautiful emerald-blue lagoon. Each atoll is the topmost point of a submarine pillar of limestone extending several thousand feet from an extinct volcano. Tempting as it is to pick up a coral as a souvenir, it is strictly illegal, being punishable with heavy fines. Non-availability of drinking water accounts for a number of islands being uninhabited.
Of the 36 islands covering a land area of 32 sq. km, only 10 are inhabited.
Ethnically, the people of the islands are very similar to the people of the state of Kerala. Majority of them are Muslims, and speak Malayalam except in Minicoy where Mahli is spoken.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.
Lakshadweep is spreading its wings in the way of tourism, by providing various facilities for the tourists. Tourist facilities in Lakshadweep have been developed by way of luxury cruises around the islands. All tourists need permission to visit Lakshadweep, except those booked on a cruise, in which case permission is automatic. Four of the inhabited islands (Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy and Kadmath) are open to Indian tourists and Bangaram, an uninhabited island, is open to both domestic and foreign tourists. Bangaram has facilities for water sports.Swimming, fishing, sailing in glass - bottomed boats which give enchanting views of the coral below, and yachting are the main attractions. Wood - carving in the Ujra Mosque at Kavaratti, the tomb of Hazrat Ubaidullah at Andrott, the Buddhist archaeological remains at Andrott, and the famous light house at Minicoy, are some of the places worth visiting.  Lakshadweep has a tropical climate, with summer temperatures ranging from 35 degrees centigrade to 22 degrees centigrade, and winter temperature between 32 degres to 20 degrees centigrade.
Though the resort is open round the year, May to September is the ideal time to be on the islands. Not only is the weather pleasant, you can also have the islands almost to yourself. The rush of tourists is mainly concentrated from November to March, and August. (All visitors to the Lakshwadeep Islands will require an entry permit.)
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.
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 haven of solitude. This is the only island with lagoons on both eastern and western sides. A Water Sports Institute providing  has been set up in Kadmath.
Furthest 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.
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