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The Top 10 Things To Do In Lakshadweep, India
Lakshadweep or Laccadives is an archipelago north of Maldives just off the coast of Kerala. Its total area is just 32 sq.km and it comprises of 36 atolls. The capital Kavaratti is a famous urban center with bustling populous. Visitors from Maldives need special permits issued by the Indian government to visit Laccadives. Just as beautiful as Maldives, Laccadives or Lakshadweep are a must-visit, especially if you want to explore more in the Indian Ocean. Remind you, not all islands in Lakshadweep are open for foreign tourists though. Here are 10 things to do in Lakshadweep:
1. Landing on Agatti Island
Agatti Island is a 7.6 km long island located in the Agatti Atoll of Lakshadweep. It has Lakshadweep`s only airport. The capital Kavaratti is just 54 km away from Agatti. Air India offers regular flights from Kochi to Agatti. It takes about 90 minutes to reach the island from Kochi, Kerala. The 1400 meters aerodrome in Agatti is the sole airstrip in the entire archipelago. Its IATA code is AGX. While landing, you must check out the aerial views this island has got. It is one of the best flight landings you will ever have.
2. Coral gazing
Coral gazing is one of the must-do things in Lakshadweep. Similar to Maldives, the Laccadives are formed out of coral activity. The best island to see the corals is Agatti. One can get to see the blue waters rich in marine fauna and the coral reefs here. The Agatti atoll has a lot of unexplored places too.
3. Viewing the Lighthouse of Minicoy
Minicoy is the southernmost island of the Lakshadweep archipelago. Maldives claimed this island to be a part of it; however recognized it soon as an Indian island a few decades back. Minicoy looks like a crescent moon, and is one of the beautiful islands in the world. There is a giant lighthouse built on this island by the British government to watch ships going from Aden to Colombo. The lighthouse used to be powered by kerosene in the past, however, it currently works on electricity. There are some 120 steps for you to climb here.
4. Crab Watching On Parelli Island
Do you want to be on an island full of hermit crabs? Imagine millions of crabs moving around you! It could be either scary or beautiful! Parelli Island in Lakshadweep is famous for its rich hermit crab habitat. The island is infested with crabs and is often called as the 'Crab Island'. You can get there by taking a jetty from the Tinnakara Island.
5. Enjoying the beauty of Kadmat Island
Kadmat Island is a great refuge from busy traffic of India. The lagoons here are so pretty with shining corals. There is a large lagoon that dries up in low tide on the east end of the Kadmat island.
6. Learning about the local fish hatching industry
Have you ever thought where did the fish in your aquarium come from? Not all the fish come from the sea. Usually aquarium fish are reared in hatcheries around the world. Fish hatching industry is a very productive and high-yielding industry with more than 20 million fish entering aquariums of households. If you are in Agatti island, do not forget to pay a visit to the fish hatching industry located there. You can get to see how fish are reared. There are some 1000 varieties of fish for you to check out.
7. Scuba diving
Scuba diving in Lakshadweep is a very popular activity. The archipelago`s pristine blue waters, together with the corals, make it one of the cool places to dive in South Asia. There are a few PADI centers where you can learn basics before diving, if you are a beginner. The best thing about scuba diving in Lakshadweep is the low cost. When compared to Maldives, the cost of the equipment and support would be 50% lower in Laccadives. Anywhere, the total dive cost ranges around 1200 - 2000 INR i.e., 20 -30 USD. The best place to scuba dive is the Kadmat island.
8. Kite Surfing and Canoeing
Kite Surfing is one of the must-do activities in Lakshadweep as the region experiences strong winds all the time. If you are a beginner, you need a lot of time to learn surfing. Kayaking and Canoeing are other two popular water-sports to try in the archipelago. Lakshadweep is one of the lowest archipelagos in the world with an average elevation of 2 m. Minicoy is the best place to try all the recreational sports in the entire archipelago.
9. Trying coconut and tuna dishes
One of the best things to do in the archipelago is to try different local foods. Lakshadweep cuisine is slightly different from the mainland Indian cuisine. Coconut and fish are highly consumed in the archipelago. The best dishes to try here are the crab and octopus fry.
10. Spending time with the locals
Kalpeni Island is one of the best islands to meet the locals if you are interested in their culture. Every island has different rituals. Some of the dance forms are Attom, Parichakali and Ulakkamuttu. If you want to see a completely unique tradition that is alive till today, visit the Minicoy Island. Here, they even speak a different language called 'Mahal'. The natives of Lakshadweep are very introverted. Being cut off from the outside world for a long time in the past, the local inhabitants are very shy. They have unique traditions as well. Unlike the patriarchal society of mainland India, the locals have a matriarchal society in place. Women here are dominant than men. If a man marries a women, he has to take the last name of the woman and move in with her into her house.
Aren`t these things amazing? These are the 10 best things to do in Lakshadweep. Do not miss a chance to visit these islands!
© 2017 Yashwanth Kumar