How to Plan A Trip To Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands
Snapshots Of LakshadweepClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tourism in Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands
There is a well known secret in India. Some of the most beautiful beaches and waters are to be found at Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands - A union territory of India. Why is it a secret? Most Indians know about these Islands but don't "know" how beautiful they are. The reason is complex but nevertheless, that's the reality today. For more information on Lakshadweep, read this Wikipedia page .
Ok, planning a trip to these islands can be simple or very tough depending on what you want in a holiday. For starters, there are no private hotels on most Islands, and the one Island (Bangaram), that had a five star resort, is now shuttered due to some legal complexities. So much for Local employment and industry!! However, some limited accommodation is available in the other Islands.
There are two ways to get Lakshadweep -
- By air from Kochi to Agatti
- Ship from Kochi to any of the Islands that suit your budget.
Travel within Islands is through Pawan Hans choppers or by Inter Island Ferry. The Frequency is about once a day.
A permit is required to get there. All bookings have to be done through the official government site at Kochi - Lakshadweep Tourism. The personnel are very helpful and friendly.
Travel by ship is cheap and includes food. There is no entertainment on board i.e. Other than the meal timings, you are pretty much left to your devices to pass your time. I personally like to concept as it is very relaxing to do nothing for a change. Just lounge around, read a book or watch the sea (and if you are lucky you shall see some dolphins and whales !).
Travel Packages by Ship take you to three Islands - Minicoy, Kalpeni, and Kavaratti - spend the day and get back to the ship in the evening. Or you can take the Suba Diving packages to Agatti/Minicoy or Kadmatt for 3-5 days. The various packages are given in the lakshadweep tourism site.
The advantage of the ship stay package is that you don't spend the night on any island. disadvantage- Can get hectic spending the entire day at the beach.
The only airport is at Agatti and flights are only once a day. So if you want to go to other islands (Kavarratti, Kalpeni, Bangaram and Minicoy), you have to be dependent on the inter-island ferry or Pawan Hans.
Once you reach there, there are a few hotels (nothing fancy) at Agatti. However, Kavaratti, Kalpeni and Minicoy have resorts costing up to Rs 5000/- per day (food included). Bookings during the peak season (especially Dec-Jan) have to be done in advance to get some space.
Some Photos of Kavaratti and MinicoyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Things/Activities to Do at Lakshadweep
A small note - Minicoy inhabitants consider themselves closer to Maldivians than Indians and their language and customs are quite similar to Maldivians. However, Minicoy is a beautiful island with I think the most beautiful beach and Scuba Diving Dive site.
1. Scuba Diving - Rs 1000/- for one hour. The entire Scuba diving course is also available.
2. Snorkeling - Some lovely Corals close to the beach
4. Surfing. The opposite end of the Island (away from the beach and resort) is a little known Surfing Beach. Believed to be amazing and Isolated.
1. Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Kayaking etc
Rocky Beach good only for snorkeling, but beautiful Corals. Sadly, the locals seem to be damaging the reef by using pole driven boats that break the reef. Do wear shoes as the dead corals on the beach can cut your legs.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving Course - All levels by Laccadives.
Consumption of Alcohol is prohibited in the Islands except at Bangaram.