We all want a perfect island getaway once in our lives. Have you dreamt of sipping mocktails by the beach while listening to the crystalline blue waves hitting the shores? Or cycling around in an uninhabited island engulfed in complete serenity? Well, there’s Maldives but for a completely affordable alternative, the Indian islands of Lakshadweep will still take your breath away ?
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Lakshadweep is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 km off the south western coast of India. Majority of the habitants of the islands are Muslims, accounting up to 96% ? so without further ado, let’s get started on why YOU should start packing your bags for a trip to these Islands soon!
1. The thin airstrip of Agatti will have your adrenalines rushing!
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The first question that one might ask is, “so how do I get there?” Kochin International Airport located in Kerala, India is one the few airports that has the best connectivity to Agatti Airport, also known as the gateway to Lakshadweep. The flights from Kochin to Agatti take approximately one hour thirty minutes. Flights operate six days a week. Agatti Airport is not just another ordinary airport filled with duty frees and coffee houses. The thin airstrip of the Agatti Airport is surrounded with teal waters that are enough to get your adrenalines rushing. It is also one of the best view points for sunsets J
#HHWT Tip: Some islands are not accessible by foreign tourists and might require permission from the Indian government. Do check out which islands are open for foreign tourists here.
2. Explore the rich marine life
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The best way to get a closer look at the island’s diverse marine life is via snorkelling and scuba diving. Plunge into a PADI diving course at the Laccadives Diving School and swim alongside stately turtles, curious schools of colourful fish and the occasional manta ray in the lagoons. You can also take your passion for photography to the next level by learning underwater photography too!
Credit: Lakshadweep Diving Academy
3. Be enveloped by total serenity in The Bangaram island
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The tear-drop shaped island of Bangaram is a beautiful, serene island among the many islands of Lakshadweep. The island is also known to have more sea turtles than humans. In fact, a resort has also been developed in the island to cater to more tourists. Do check out Bangaram Island Resort! This island has all the beauty you need and visiting the virgin beaches should be in your list too! You can also find beautiful lagoons enclosed by corals. The activities to do in Bangaram Island are fine dining and soaking the in beauty of nature. You can spend hours with your significant other at unspoiled beaches and chasing sunsets. This island is 176 kilometers away from city centre.
4. Immerse yourself in the beauty of old mosques
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Credit: Hzt Tipu Sultan Shaheed on Facebook
The beauty of travelling to a Muslim populated destination is the ability to discover beautiful mosques while you’re on the go! J The Ujra mosque is Kavaratti Island is one of the most popular mosques located in the islands of Lakshadweep. The Ujra Mosque lies to the North- West of Kavaratti. The Ujra Mosque, built by Sheikh Mohammad Kasim is one of the most oldest and striking mosques in India. The 17th century structure has an ornate ceiling, said to have been carved out of a single of driftwood. Once you’re done performing your prayers in this beautiful mosque, do head down to the beaches to unwind yourself.
5. Enjoy fishing at Minicoy Island
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This beautiful Island is famous for its Juma Masjid, fishing and 300ft tall Light House. Besides that, you can enjoy its pristine white sand beaches. It is also the biggest island in Lakshadweep. Fishing is one of the more popular activities in Minicoy Island.
Credit: Rohit Saluja on Facebook
This Island is also known as a cultural hub of Lakshadweep, visitors flock here to enjoy and contribute in several cultural events. You can witness the Lava and Dandi dance varieties, which are performed here! J The 300ft lighthouse in Minicoy has also served as a subject of photography for many photography enthusiasts.
#HHWT Tip: It will take you about 120 steps to climb up to the peak of the light house. So do climb at your own discretion.
6. Soak up the sun at Kadmat Island
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Kadmat Island is a well-loved island by tourists! Once you land from your speed boat, you will fall in love with this coral Island. The best part is – this island is small enough to cover in a day :O The island is just 8 km long and only 550 meters wide at its broadest point.
Silver sand beaches are main attraction of this Island. You can also enjoy colourful fishes, wading turtles and dancing dolphins from the sparkling clear water. You can also buy coconut oil and coconut powder from the factory outlets of Kadmat Island.
Credit: Ujjayini Das Sarma on Facebook
7. Delectable Halal cuisine influenced by the local life
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The islands of Lakshadweep are a dominantly Muslim community. The cuisine itself reflects the Muslims. Due to its close proximity to the sea, there is lip-smacking sea food with a touch of coconut. Some must try dishes are octopus fry - a variety of fish fry freshly caught from the water; for vegetarians, beans curry and coconut rice is must. Primarily being close to sea, it is quite a feast for non-vegetarians to devour great sumptuous sea food! Evening desserts are also a mix of savoury and sweet taste. The coconut bondas and moah appams are a must try in the islands of Lakshadweep! The local dishes have the culinary influence of Kerala, because of the proximity of the state.
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8. Watch hermit crabs waddle over the sands in Parelli Island
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This sight could quite intimidating or interesting. You would be walking across millions of hermit crabs, from different sizes to colour while you take jetty and go from Tinnakara Island. The crabs play hide and seek with you as well. Some also scurry about realizing a different specie coming along. I’m sure, just as I behaved like a 15-year-old, you too would wait till they come out from burying themselves in the sand and chase them till they reached the water. When the water is low, you can actually walk over to this uninhabited island. After being accompanied by sea creatures in this island, you might actually drop the whole idea of socializing with friends after work again.
Credit: Tiwari Brijesh on Facebook
Currently there are not much tourism developments in the Lakshadweep islands. Accesses to some islands are also controlled by the Indian government. When there is more push and demand for tourism developments and infrastructure to facilitate the ease of coming to these islands, the Lakshadweep islands might end up being the next Maldives in the next 10 years. But, in the meantime, you can start planning your itinerary for a once in a lifetime trip among teal waters. ?