A paradise of 36 exotic islands, 17 uninhabited, 10 inhabited beautiful islands, 5 coral reefs and 4 newly formed islets together is the divine and beauteous Islands of Lakshadweep. This union territory of India covers an area of 32 sq km and are just 422kms from Kochi, Kerala. These islands themselves are the places to visit in Lakshadweep.
With only a few islands open for Indian tourists (and only 3 islands – Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat – are open for foreign tourists) these islands are a beauty to the eyes and peace to the soul. Warm sandy isolated beaches to lagoons and coconut trees as backdrops and of course the reefs all add to the serenity of the places to visit in Lakshadweep’s many islands.
The 10 inhabitated islands are the Kalpeni, Kadmat, Kavaratti, Andrott, Bitra, Amini, Agatti, Minicoy, Chetlat and Kiltan.
HOW TO REACH LAKSHADWEEP
To enter the islands of Lakshadweep, tourists are required to have a permit issued by the Lakshadweep UT Administrator in Kochi. You can download a copy of the permit here.
After downloading the permit you need to do the following:
- Complete the form and submit it to the Admin, Lakshadweep office in Kochi
- A minor application fee will also be charged
- After arrival in Lakshadweep islands submit this permit to any station house or registration officer within 24 hrs
- You might also need to carry a police clearance certificate
- Please carry 1 or 2 ID proofs as well as self-attested copies of these ID proofs and 2-3 passport size photographs
- Keep your permit on you at all times as a precaution
You can reach Lakshadweep islands by flights to Agatti from Kochi. Or even catch a flight from Bangalore which connects to Agatti via Kochi. One can also reach the islands on ships on 12 to 14 hours sail. As noticed, Kochi acts as the gateway to reach Lakshadweep islands.
On the islands of Lakshadweep, boats are available to go island hopping and cover the various places to see in Lakshadweep. If you have the luxury, you can also island-hop via helicopters! 🙂
Explore The Islands: Places to visit in Lakshadweep
This coconut covered 10kms long island is the southernmost part of the Lakshadweep islands. Minicoy is the second largest island of Lakshadweep and its customs and cultural traits are different from the rest of the islands of Lakshadweep as it is influenced by the Maldives.
The tall lighthouse on the Minicoy island is one of the oldest built by the British in 1885, the island is also known to have ancient remains of stupas and structures almost 800 years old belonging to Buddha. There are also several mosques that are considered worth a visit. Juma Masjid is mentioned as a worthwhile visit more so than others. This is one of the good places to visit in Lakshadweep.
There are also 3 shipwrecks off the coast of Minicoy Island which serve as underwater museums, and you can go diving or snorkelling to see them.
Traditional Lava and Dandi dances of the Lakshadweep islands also take place here.
This large tropical lagoon is filled with the green of the coconut trees and clear water lakes in a corner of the island, just a walk through the narrowing lanes of the island will give you a glimpse of the culture here.
How to get to Minicoy Island: Minicoy Island is the farthest away from the rest and hence takes about half a day by boat.
The Agatti islands is an untouched tropical beauty that captures the visitors with silvery beaches and blue lagoons with a backdrop of coconut palms that adds to its divinity. This island of Lakshadweep is just 10kms long and makes for a spectacular destination for deep sea diving and swimming activities.
Visit Agatti Island for the splendid clear water lagoons that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling
Coral growth and multicoloured fishes abound the lagoons on this island that is a must see in Lakshadweep. If you are lucky you might also witness bioluminescent plankton at night on the beaches of Agatti Island.
How to get to Agatti Island: Fly to Agatti from or via Kochi. Flying to Agatti Island is supposed to be an amazing experience. Since the airstrip is on the island, taking off and landing at the Agatti Island Airport offers scenic views of the beautiful blue ocean.
The glass bottom boat ride offered on most of Lakshadweep islands add for a beautiful experience to look into the colorful marine life and the exotic corals.
Kadmat Island is a beautiful coral island covering a 9.3kms in length with an ecosystem of coral reefs and seagrass with warm silvery beaches. This Lakshadweep island is open for Non-Indians and many water sports activities are also available.
Kadmat Island is widely known for scuba diving and is one of the few islands on Lakshadweep with a certified PADI centre
Kadmat island is also home for marine turtles that nest on the islands comprising conservation and protection of marine life.
The cruise from Agatti to Kadmat is highly recommended for the beauteous views over the colours and life of the ocean. Kadmat is highly recommended amongst places to visit in Lakshadweep.
How to get to Kadmat island: Just 2-3 hours by speedboat from Agatti
The Kavaratti Island of Lakshadweep is the place to explore exotic aquatic creatures crowding the lagoons of this island. Kavaratti is also best known for adventure water sports like kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, snorkelling and scuba diving at the Chicken point at the south if this island.
The Island of Kavaratti has a certified PADI centre for Scuba Diving
Kavaratti is the capital of Lakshadweep and can be deemed as its headquarters with the best places to visit in Lakshadweep and many things to do on its warm sandy beaches that offer beautiful views. Kavaratti also has a marine museum you can visit. You can also check out the Urja Mosque.
How to get to Kavaratti Island: It takes about 2-3 hours by boat from Kadmat Island
The only inhabitants of this little haven are the staff working on the island. This teardrop-shaped island has exquisite types of coral formations like the black corals and many varieties of coral fishes. The deep waters of the Indian Ocean with its exotic flora and fauna makes for an irresistible scuba diving experience.
Another perk of the Bangaram island is that its the only island of Lakshadweep allowed to serve alcohol.
This island also bags the name of ‘the world’s best 10 beaches’ (Sunday Times travel magazine 2008) making it a jewel of Lakshadweep.
Few of the exotic fauna found here are the coral fish such as The clownfish, the butterfly fish, the surgeonfish, the angelfish and so on. Also, look out for sharks, manta rays, sting rays, moray eels and turtles all making an appearance on the Bangaram islands.
Bangaram also makes it to our list of pristine beaches in India with crystal clear waters.
The whole island of Kalpeni in Lakshadweep is surrounded by intense lagoons each of spectacular beauty. The clear turquoise waters of the Kalpeni islands of Lakshadweep are a sight not to miss.
One of the best experiences is the reef walk.
Other activities to try are sailing, snorkelling and kayaking. The tourist facility has also improved over the years on this island with privately owned huts and tourist packages being available. Among the places to visit in Lakshadweep, you must check out the bird sanctuary in Kalpeni Island.
How to get to Kalpeni Island: It is a short boat ride away from Agatti
A view of the Bioluminescent Plankton is something not to be missed on your vacation to Lakshadweep. These glowing aquatic creatures light up the shores of the ocean in the night with a radient blue over the clear waters.
The virgin Reef Islands of Lakshadweep islands are ranked the best by experienced divers. And the golden haze of light over the warm sandy beaches while soaking in the light of the sun is the kind of vacation everyone needs to plan. You will have no dearth of beautiful places to visit in Lakshadweep. These islands are specifically designed to give you a complete relaxing tropical experience.
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