This is an archipelago of islands around 400 km off the Malabar Coast of mainland India. Lakshadweep, also known as Laccadives is a Union Territory with Malayalam as its official language. Today, around 35 islands remain in this archipelago. Despite being an Indian Union Territory, the Indian tourists who wish to visit Lakshadweep need a permit. This is done as the government has an interest in keeping a check on the number of people visiting this beautiful place laden with natural beauty. Many consider this permit to be a hassle and hence Lakshadweep remains to be a non-mainstream cluster of islands waiting to be explored. Here is a list of places you should cover if you are planning on visiting India's smallest Union Territory.
5 Must-Visit Lakshadweep Islands
1. Agatti Beach
This 7 and a half km long island is an unexplored gem. Being a remote island, this place remains to be untampered and free from the crowd thus adding to its beauty. It is home to the bluest water and the beach resort here is open throughout the year. One can do all the water sports activities like scuba diving, deep-sea diving, kayaking, and snorkeling.
2. Minicoy islands
These are located at the southernmost part of the Laccadives cluster of Islands. Being around 10 km long, Minicoy Islands have one of the largest lagoons in all of Lakshadweep. Locally known as Maliku, this place is known for its rich culture and history. A 300-foot Lighthouse built by the British in the 1850s stands tall here even today and is now a prominent historical landmark. It is also interesting to know that these Islands are so far down south that they were closer to the Maldives. During the maritime treaty of 1956, Minicoy islands officially belonged to the Indian side of the boundary.
3. Kavaratti Lagoon
Considered a must-visit in Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Lagoon has the clearest blue waters. This place is ideal for all kinds of water sports and even for chilling by the beach. Kavaratti has the maximum number of mosques in the whole of Lakshadweep. PADI or the Professional Institution of Diving Instruction is also located here. It is the world's largest leisure diving Organization. There are many museums that one can visit in Kavaratti.
4. Pitti Bird Sanctuary
The Pitti Islands in Lakshadweep are famous for their bird sanctuary. These islands are located around 24 km north of Kavaratti lagoons and around 42 km east of Agatti. There are almost 75 species of different birds to be seen here. This place is sure to woo all the nature lovers!
5. Thinnakara Islands
Located just by the Pitti Islands, Thinnakara is famous for its white-sand beaches and teardrop shaped palm trees! With the pristine beaches and a warm, sunny coastline, this place is a perfect fit for a romantic getaway or even a family trip! The nights here are all about the navy-blue skies perfect for stargazing!
The cuisine here is highly influenced by the Malabar Coast with dosas, idlis and biryanis as its signature dishes. However, if you are interested in the local cuisine, every island mentioned will present a different specialty to satisfy your taste buds! The best time to visit Lakshadweep is from September to February! So start planning your vacation soon.