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Read about travel/tourism in Lakshadweep Islands (India) in this Lakshadweep travel guide.

Lakshadweep Islands

Islands, Lakshadweep
The tiniest Union Territory of India with only one district, Lakshadweep is spread across just 32 sq km and is an archipelago that consists of 12 atolls and three reefs along with 10 inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands attached islets, 4 newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs in the Arabian Sea. The islands that are inhabited are Kavaratti, Agatti, Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat, Bitra, Andrott, Kalpeni and Minicoy, out of which Bitra is the smallest of all with a population of just 225 persons. It has a lagoon area of 4,200 sq km and 20,000 sq km of territorial waters. More than 93% of the population of the islands are indigenous and belong to the Shafi School of the Sunni Sect of Islam and have been described as Scheduled Tribes because of their social and economic backwardness.

The main occupation of the people here is fishing, coconut cultivation and coir twisting though tourism is a rapidly emerging industry here. Women enjoy a unique position in the islands of Lakshadweep and are the head of their families. The Marumakkathayam system of inheritance is followed here in which ancestral or Tharwad property is inherited through the female line. Unlike other parts of India, it is not a social taboo here for a divorcee or a widowed woman to opt for remarriage. According to the early history, Hameedath Beebi of Pantamveli at Amini was the first lady to accept Islam and marry Saint Ubaidullah(r) inspite of humiliation and threats and settle down with him in Andrott later. Since most males serve in international ships as seamen, the responsibility to run the house falls upon the shoulders of women folk. Marco Polo in his travelogue has made a reference to Minicoy as 'the island of females'.

State Capital: Kavaratti
Location: Stretches from 8o N to 12o13" N and 71o E and 74o E longitude.
Area: 32 sq. km.
Population: 60,595 (according to the 2001 census)
Regional Language: Malayalam is spoken in all islands except Minicoy where people speak Mahl, the language of Maldives that uses Divehi script.
Climate: Tropical warm and humid climate with equatorial climate. No distinct, well-marked seasons with light to moderate winters and heavy rains during monsoons. Cool sea breeze in the nights. Strong Northerly or Northeasterly winds prevail during the months of December to February. Islands are open to storms and cyclones.
Seasons: Summer - April and May,
Winter - October to March, and
Monsoon - (South-West) Late May to Early October.
Relative Humidity: 70% to 75%.
Altitude: Sea level.
Topography: The islands are surrounded by coral reefs, a unique feature.

Coir, handloom and fishery products along with mushrooms and vanilla are some of the popular products here apart from the indigenous tribal handicrafts to be bought from here as souvenirs.

How To Reach:
By Air: Agatti is connected by regular flights from Cochin. One can opt for fast boat service or helicopters to reach other islands such as Bangaram.
By Ship: The islands are connected to and from Chennai by regular passenger ship services.

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