Turquoise blue water and endless lagoons make Lakshadweep serene and peaceful. Lakshadweep means “one hundred thousand islands” in Sanskrit and all these islands are results of various coral activities from millions of years. It has an archipelago of 36 coral islands, with 3 reefs which makes the aquatic life more unique than rest of India. There are only 10 inhabitant islands, namely, Andrott, Agatti, Amini, Bitra, Chetlat, Kavaratti, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kiltan and Minicoy, and other islands are used for fishing, coconut procuring, etc. Being unspoilt, and untouched, very few tourists know about this place. Being 400 kms away from Kerala, you can reach here through cruise, flight and helicopter arrangements by Lakshadweep tourism board. The islands are fringed by snow-white coral and diverging ranges of hues of blue water due to depth and shallowness of the water. Having water in abundance, Lakshadweep sport authorities run various activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, parasailing and water skiing etc.
1. Canoeing, Minicoy Island:
As water is abundant and clearly seen as turquoise water around this island, also being close to Maldives, various activities are performed here. Canoeing is one activity, which I would suggest as you can see various turtles, corals and various colourful fishes following you, while you row.
- Since the water depth is only 2 metres around the island, you are definitely not going to fall in the water. When silver sand and the sun heats the water beneath, water looks like emerald.
2. Scuba Diving in Kalpeni Island:
Lakshadweep Water Sports authority runs various water activities on all these island. Scuba diving is the best way to explore the wealth of marine life. Being considered as one of the best unexplored sites in world, you can see unique species of coral, school of fishes , turtles, etc., which you might have either seen only in books or the National Geographic channel. The PADI scuba divers take some 2o-minute sessions to teach the basics of Scuba diving – like breathing under water through a mouth pipe and various other important things to dive and see in the underwater world. You will come across more than 100 species of coral and more than 2,000 species of fishes.
- The price range for Scuba diving differs from island to another island and mostly ranges between Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,500 with equipments and underwater photography.
3. Parelli Island, Full of Hermit Crab:
This sight could be scary or even stimulating. 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 a great, raw hide and seek, 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. Sometimes, the water is so low, that you can actually stride to this uninhabited island.
- When you find yourself unaccompanied on this island and encircled by various mysterious birds, crabs, coconut trees, shells, etc., you might discover even a shell entailing pearl, and you automatically do not want to return back to the wearisome city life.
4. Smiling and Shy Trivals of Lakshadweep:
Being away from the despicable world, living a life of nomad till some years when technology came, people of Lakshadweep are very introvert. Men and women have very different role in the daily life to play. Here, women play an important role in the family, where after marriage men take women’s last names and also shifts into the wife’s house.
- Since the main occupation of the people is fishing and coconut cultivation, tuna exporting, you can spend your time with the tribals here learning these things.
5. Kite Surfing, Kadamat Island:
If you do not like water or strong wind, then this water activity might not for you. You definitely need to practise as you keep falling in water every time you try to be steady on the board. This island also serves great place for snorkelling and scuba diving.
- The PADI certificate for scuba diver is conducted at Kadamatisland only. While snorkelling, you might be lucky to see an olive ridely sea turtle swimming next to you.
6. Local Delicacies:
Lakshadweep being a dominantly Muslim community, the cuisine itself is influenced from it. Definitely being close to water, there is lip-smacking sea food with a touch of coconut. Certain dishes which you must try are octopus fry – a variety of fish fry freshly caught from the water; for vegetarians, beans curry and coconut rice is must. Predominately being close to sea, it is delightful for non-vegetarians to get such great sumptuous sea food. Even evening snacks are mixed of savoury and sweet.
- A must try is coconut bondas and moahappam. The local dishes have the culinary influence of Kerala, because of the proximity of the state.
7. Attending Folk Local Dance Event:
The Lava Dance: A popular dance of Minicoy Island that is performed on festive occasions, wearing multi-coloured costumes and to the tune of drums.
Kolkali Dance: A stick dance, which is performed only by men in pairs using sticks. The dancers move in circles following the rhythm produced by the tempo, which increases as it progresses.
ParichakaliDance : It is also called the Shield Dance, as it is performed using shields and swords. It is a kind of martial art form in which the dancers perform acts of bravery.
8. Rye Catching on Bangaram Island:
This teardrop shaped piece of land is encircled by creamy sand and is one of the most beautiful islands of Lakshadweep. From the shipwreck snorkelling site to hidden beaches with hermit crabs, bluest of the blue ocean to a lagoon full of sea turtles, it is a real getaway from the cacophony of crowded cities and offers a memorable escape into isolation.
9. Tour to Local Island Village:
Take out time to go on a walking tour of one of the islands with old settlement where locals live a much simpler life. Kavaratti and Kadmat islands or any of the other 8 inhabited islands would give you the glimpse of typical island life as you stroll around the area.
- If you get-up early enough you could see how fishermen go about their business.
10. Depp Fishing:
Lakshadweep is a perfect place for adventure seeking visitors. Whether you are looking to indulge in some adventurous activities or whether you want to be still and relax at a place, Lagoon fishing is the right activity for you. Lagoon fishing provides a fun-filled and loving experience of watching many colorful, known and unknown, species.
- Night lagoon fishing option is also available at some of the resorts and is actually an ideal time for fishing, given the peaceful environment without any distraction and disturbance.
Lakshadweep is quite packed in tourist season so it’s a good idea to pre-book your hotel and other places.
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