The popularity of Lakshadweep, the smallest Union Territory in India, appears to have skyrocketed among people nationwide following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit there. Given that ‘Lakshadweep’ was one of the most googled terms this week, it won’t be shocking if someone decides to visit Lakshadweep as their next travel destination.
“Lakshadweep” trended on Google Trends on January 6 and January 3, respectively, for two days this week. This came after the first week of January saw PM Modi visit the collection of islands. PM Modi spent two and three Januarys in the Union Territory. On January 4, he posted a few shots of the stunning archipelago. Since then, Lakshadweep has continued to be the most popular Google search term, generating more than “100K” queries per day.
Lakshadweep, a collection of 36 islands off the coast of Kerala, is named from the Sanskrit and Malayalam words for “thousand islands.” The first islands to be inhabited are said to have been Androth, Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Ameni, and Agathi. Local mythology has it that the first people to live in Lakshadweep were on a mission to find Cheraman Perumal, a Chera King, who had one day sneaked out of his capital (modern-day Kodungallor) and headed for Mecca. These days, adventure seekers and travelers looking for a unique vacation destination go to Lakshadweep.
Fun Places to Visit in Lakshadweep
- Bangaram: Adjacent to Agatti and Kavaratti, this little island resembles a teardrop. Lakshadweep’s sole deserted island resort is well-known for its phosphorescent plankton, which gives the beach a blue hue at night as it washes up on the coral sands.
- Agatti: Agatti is the only lagoon in Lakshadweep with an airfield and has one of the most stunning lagoons.
- Kadmat: At its widest point, Kadmat is just 550 meters wide and 8 km long. On the west side of it is a lovely shallow lagoon that’s perfect for water sports.
- Minicoy: Located around 200 km south of the northern group, it is cut off from the main group of islands. has one of the biggest lagoons and a group of eleven communities known as “Ava’h,” each headed by an elected village elder called Bodukak.
- Kalpeni: On the deserted island of Cheriyam in the north, two small islets called Tilakkam and Pitti, and Kalpeni together make up a single atoll. Kalpeni is unique in that it has a massive coral debris storm bank along its eastern and southeast shorelines.
- Kavaratti: This is the most developed island and the administrative center. There are fifty-two mosques on the island, with the Ujra mosque being the most exquisite.
Fun Things to do
- Shipwrecks: Three sizable shipwrecks, on the island reef at a depth of eight meters, are thought to be those of the S.S. Hoechst and other ships. Minicoy is the only island in Lakshadweep with these wrecks. The underwater wrecks serve as virtual museums, and the larger-than-average fish species found here may be attributed to their intake of the iron from the wrecks.
- Water Sports: Kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, sailboats, windsurfers, snorkel sets, glass-bottom boats, and other amenities are included in the majority of travel packages. Big game fishing is however available to those who enjoy deep-sea fishing. You may hire local boats with knowledgeable crew members.
- Diving: The first Laccadives Dive Centre and School is indeed located in Kadmat, one of the most stunning dive spots in India. From October 1 to May 1, the Laccadives Kadmat Dive School provides lessons for all skill levels, from beginner to expert. Excellent diving sites include also Minicoy Diving Centre and Dolphin Dive Centre (Kavaratti).
How to Get There
From Kochi, Lakshadweep is accessible by ship and aircraft. Kochi serves as the entry point to Lakshadweep for tourists. From Kochi, Agatti and Bangaram islands are 90 minutes away by air. There is an airstrip just on Agatti Island. Boats to Kavaratti and Kadmat are accessible from Agatti during the fair season (October to May). Agatti offers helicopter transfers to Kavaratti all year round and to Bangaram Island Resort during the monsoon.
Kochi and Lakshadweep are connected by six passenger ships. MV Kavaratti, MV Arabian Sea, MV Lakshadweep Sea, MV Amindivi, and MV Minicoy. It takes fourteen to eighteen hours, depending on whatever island you wind up on. There are many cabin classifications on every ship. On board, a physician is on call. Additionally, MV Amindivi and MV Minicoy have cosy A/C seats that are perfect for a nighttime cruise.