Turquoise blue water and endless lagoons make Lakshadweep serene and peaceful. The word Lakshadweep means “one hundred thousand islands” in Sanskrit and all these islands are a result of coral activities that took place millions of years ago. It has an archipelago of 36 coral islands, with 3 reefs which makes the aquatic life more unique than the 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 km away from Kerala, you can travel by cruise, flight and helicopter arrangements by Lakshadweep tourism board. The islands are fringed by snow-white coral and diverging stretch of hues of blue water. Being surrounded by the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep sports authorities organize various water activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, parasailing and water skiing etc.
1. Canoeing, Minicoy Island:
As water is abundant and is of a turquoise colour around this island, also being close to the Maldives, various activities are performed here. Canoeing is one activity, which I would like to suggest as you can see various turtles, corals and various colourful fishes trailing 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 islands. Scuba diving is the best way to explore the wealth of marine life. Being considered as one of the best-unexplored locations in the world, you can see unique species of corals, fishes, turtles, etc., which you might only have seen only in books or the National Geographic channel. The PADI scuba divers provide a 20-minute session to teach you about the basics of Scuba diving – like breathing underwater 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, of different sizes and colour while you take jetty and head from Tinnakara Island. The crabs play a hide and seek, some also scurry about realizing a different species coming along. I’m sure, just as I behaved like a 15-year-old, you too would wait till they come out from their burrow 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 this despicable world and living the life of a nomad, people of Lakshadweep are very introvert. Men and women possess a different role in daily life to play. Here, women play an important role in the family, where after marriage men take up the women’s last names and also shifts in with the wife.
- 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 be for you. You need to practise as you keep falling in water every time you try to be steady on the board. This island also is a 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 by it as well. Being close to the water, there is a lip-smacking variety of seafood with a touch of coconut. Certain dishes which you must try are octopus fry – a variety of fried fish which are freshly caught; for vegans beans, curry and coconut rice are a must try. Predominately being close to the sea, it is delightful for non-vegans to get a taste of the sumptuous variety of seafood.
- 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:
Lava Dance: A popular dance of Minicoy Island that is performed on festive occasions, wearing multi-coloured costumes 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 the dance progresses.
Parichakali Dance: It is also known as 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 the creamy sand and is one of the most beautiful islands of Lakshadweep. From shipwreck snorkelling site to hidden beaches with hermit crabs, from 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 roam around the islands with old settlements 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 forward to indulging 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 friendly experience of observing several unusual, known as well as 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 during tourist season so it’s a good idea to pre-book your hotel and packages.
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