Home Travel Lakshadweep: A Myriad of Charms Across its ‘Hundred Thousand Isles’

Lakshadweep: A Myriad of Charms Across its ‘Hundred Thousand Isles’

Lounging on a Sun Lounger in Lakshadweep: A Glimpse into the Enchanting Isles

by Soofiya

As I recline on a sun lounger, a book propped up on my midsection, I open my eyes to behold the glistening sea. Shades of aqua, jade, cerulean, teal, cornflower, shamrock, turquoise, or emerald? I find it challenging to pinpoint the exact hues of the waters caressing the coastline, but one thing is certain—it’s been a long time since I’ve witnessed such a crystal-clear ocean.

I find myself in Lakshadweep, India’s smallest union territory, spanning a mere 32 square kilometers off the coast of Kochi, Kerala’s capital. Despite its small size, these islands boast immense beauty, adorned with lush green coconut palms, sun-drenched beaches, and breathtaking lagoons, all embraced by the stunning blue sea.

Named after the Malayalam and Sanskrit words for “hundred thousand islands,” the archipelago comprises only 36 isles, with a mere 10 inhabited, including Agatti, Bangaram, Kadmath, Kavaratti (the capital), Kalpeni, and Minicoy.

A Surge in Tourism: Unveiling Lakshadweep’s Hidden Gem

Although the archipelago spans 400,000 square kilometers of waters teeming with marine life, poor connectivity and cumbersome entry procedures have kept Lakshadweep off many travel bucket lists. However, a recent social media post by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi showcasing the islands has sparked a surge in interest.

Despite environmental concerns about coral reef degradation and the impact of climate change, Modi’s endorsement has led to a significant increase in searches for Lakshadweep as a travel destination. The islands have witnessed a remarkable 3,400% increase in on-platform searches since the prime minister’s visit.

Exploring Lakshadweep: From Pristine Beaches to Cultural Marvels

Access to Lakshadweep is primarily through Kochi, with mandatory entry permits obtained through the government’s ePermit portal. While logistical efforts are greater than for other destinations, the bureaucratic hurdles are forgotten upon reaching the islands.

Each inhabited island offers unique attractions. Agatti, with its airport, presents a languorous pace and abundant opportunities for water activities. Andrott, the largest island, boasts a lighthouse, Buddhist ruins, and the tomb of Saint Ubaidullah. Minicoy, with its silver-sand beaches, is a scuba diving paradise. Kavaratti, the most developed island, features pristine white beaches and 52 mosques.

From soft white sands on Bangaram to the water sports haven of Kadmat Island, each island in Lakshadweep offers a distinct experience. The Pitti Bird Sanctuary, a nesting place for various pelagic birds, provides a unique day trip opportunity.

Preserving Paradise: Responsible Tourism in Lakshadweep

As Lakshadweep gains popularity, concerns about the impact of mass tourism on its delicate ecosystem arise. The recent controversy with the Maldives has prompted increased investment in infrastructure development, including airport upgrades and new resorts.

Local administration actively promotes cruise tourism, resulting in a surge in booking enquiries. However, marine biologists emphasize the need for responsible tourism practices to protect the fragile ecosystem, as reefs are gradually bleaching.

While savoring the delights of Lakshadweep, it becomes apparent that not all island escapes are equal, emphasizing the imperative to preserve this unique paradise.

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