Lakshadweep islands activation of tourism in isolation
As one travel fanatic recalled the oceanic memories, “I was happy anywhere I could see the ocean”. Same feeling dawns when one comes to Lakshdweep Islands’ Serene blue sea, lagoons, sandy beaches, coconut trees and warmth of sun. What else one can long for in winter seasons’ hideout. These islands are situated in South Western India, about 200 to 440 km off the coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea. Lakshadweep means hundred thousand islands, is also called Laccadive Islands. Lakshadweep islands are being developed by government of India as a perfect tourist destination for all seasons, especially for winters which is the best time to visit these islands.
Lakshadweep islands fall in line with shipping route to India from western part of the world. The islands were in control of Kerala’s rulers in olden times, then in 16thcentury Portuguese controlled whole Arabian Sea and these islands too. Then Tipu Sultan king of Mysore had these islands under him which later fell to English Raj, who attached it to Malabar region. It came under Maldives who handed over these islands to free Indian republic in 1956.
Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 12 atolls forming lagoon, three reefs and 39 islands and islets. The land area is only 32 sq km of land and 4200 sq km of lagoon. Only ten islands out of the cluster are truly inhabited. As per 2010 census, the population of the islands is around 64,500 people.
The weather is tropical monsoon and very hot from March to May, then rains start which go on till first half of September. Winters are good, temperature remains around 30c and humidity around 70%.
Habited main islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Kalpeni Andrott, Androth island, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat, Bitra, Minicoy and Amini.
How to reach the islands
Main mode of transport from mainland is ship which starts from Kochi and reaches Kavaratti by overnight journey. Many passenger ships ply between these two places. Agatti Island has its only domestic airport, boats and helicopters are also available from there for other islands.
Kochi International airport is on mainland, which is the closest airport. Commercial flights are available from there to Agatti.
Hotels, resorts, rooms, sea facing resorts, tree houses, beach tents and beach resorts all are available for both luxury seekers as well as budget travelers.
In Lakshdweep Islands religion of the 97% people is Islam, rest all are of mixed religions.
Spoken languages are Malyalam, Mahi, Jeseri and English.
Traditional dances Lava Dance, Kolkali and Parichakli dance
Food has base of sea food, coconut and Malabari masalas- Seafood with rice is a staple diet of the people here. Diverse food varieties are also available, as tourists and traders come from everywhere.
The scenario of tourism bright and it is making big contribution to islands’ economy. Lakshadweep is a perfect winter getaway for all reasons be it hospitality, friendly locals, serene ocean, blue lagoons, many adventure activities and walk in the wilderness. Tourists love the winters here as they laze around the beach overlooking the blue ocean. The coconut plantation along the coast gives the reasons to smile. There are many aqua activities one can do like scuba diving, wind surfing, snorkeling, surfing, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing and sport fishing.
Flora and Fauna
Lakshadweep has great collection of aqua life to display. 600 varieties of amazing fishes, 52 species of crabs, 2 species of lobsters, 48 species of gastropods, 12 species of bivalves. Also 101 species of colorful birds are birdwatchers’ delight in Pitti Island which is a declared bird sanctuary, a breeding ground for sea turtles. Corals and seaweeds are unique attractions.
As regards to Flora, the forest is almost absent, but 400 plants species are identified and documented. Only coconut plantation is spread out to all the islands.
Visiting Lakshadweep Islands in winters is a great experience, which should not be missed at all. As someone said “you have to travel to see new light, find new hope, renew the mind and revitalize the soul”