Planning a trip to Lakshadweep Islands?
Lakshadweep means ‘a hundred thousand islands’ in Sanskrit. However, there are only 36 islands having a total area of 32 SQ km. It is the tiniest Union Territory of India with 12 atolls, 3 reefs, and 5 submerged banks. Ten Islands are inhabited. They are Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy.
Tourists are allowed to visit only a few islands in Lakshadweep namely- Agatti, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Minicoy, Bangaram, and Thinnakara. A permit is required to visit each of the islands. The islands of Agatti, Kadmat, Kavaratti, and Minicoy are inhabited whereas Bangaram and Thinnakara are uninhabited.
Video – 1 – Capt. Vishwas , 2 – Asianet News
Stay and Accommodation for tourists on Islands:
- Resorts with AC and NonAC standard and Deluxe suites are available in islands of Kadmat and Kavaratti. Islands of Bangaram and Thinnakara have non-AC tents only.
- Agatti has a few privately run resorts. SPORTS does not have any options for stay here. Since a permit issued by Sports is required to stay on any island, booking with private resorts always includes some risk. There have been instances where the booking was made with private resorts and the permit was not provided. So, it is wise to choose to stay on islands where SPORTS has set up accommodation.
- Visitors can choose the cruise packages where the overnight stay is provided on the ships and the visitors are ferried to the islands during the daytime.
Cost of accommodation:
Below is the cost of accommodation on island resorts as on October 2015.
- Kadmat island has AC super deluxe rooms at Rs.11000, AC deluxe rooms at Rs.9000, AC standard rooms at Rs.7000 and non-AC rooms at 5000. The mentioned charges are for double occupancy including the 3 meals, tea/coffee and snacks per day.
- Kavaratti resort has air-conditioned suite rooms costing Rs.9000 per day for double occupancy , 3 meals,tea/coffee and snacks.
- Bangaram and Thinnakara islands only have non-AC tents. The stay for one night costs Rs.10,000 for double occupancy including 3 meals, tea/coffee and snacks per day.
- Agatti is the only airport in Lakshadweep. Air India operates a 42 seater ATR-42 plane from Monday to Saturday from Bangalore to Agatti with a stopover at Kochi. The journey takes about 3 hrs from Bangalore to Agatti .
- from Agatti, the other islands are connected by speed boat or helicopter.
- Visitors can choose to travel to Lakshadweep islands by ship. The availability of ship for travel depends on the weather and might cost approximately Rs.3500 from Kochi.
Reaching other islands from Agatti:
- Speedboats have fixed departure trips between Agatti and other islands.
- Speedboat operates from Agatti to Kadmat/Kavaratti and back only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. the visitors should choose the duration of stay based on the schedule of speed boats. A two-way journey from Agatti to Kadmat/Kavaratti costs Rs.8000 per head. The journey time may vary from 3 to 4 hours depending on the sea and weather condition.
- The speed boat is available on a daily basis to Thinnakara and Bangaram islands. The journey takes about 1 hr and costs Rs.5000 for a two-way trip.
- Helicopter transport is available from Agatti to Thinnakara/Bangaram on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The two-way charges for the helicopter from Agatti to Bangaram/Thinnakara will cost Rs.7300.
- All other islands like Minicoy and Kalpeni have to be reached directly by Ship from Kochi. No transportation is available to Minicoy or Kalpeni from Agatti.
Food: Very basic and tasty food is available at all the resorts. A typical meal for lunch /dinner will include roti/chapati + vegetable/pulses curry + rice + dal + one non- veg item (chicken/fish). You will be in great disappointment if you expect a lavish spread of buffet.
Language: Jeseri is the dialect spoken in the Archipelago of Lakshadweep. It has some resemblances with Malayala with a hint of Tamil. Few people in the resorts in Kadmat and Kavaratti know English and Hindi.
Climate and peak season: November to January is the best season to visit Lakshadweep. This season sees a huge tourist influx, mostly foreign tourists. The charges are also increased by 10-20 %.
- Tourists are advised to dress decently. Too much of skin show is not encouraged.
- Alcohol is strictly prohibited.
- Tourists are not allowed to carry corals – dead/alive or any shells back from the islands. Any attempt to carry corals might lead to punishment by law.