Taking inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous lines ‘Not all those who are wander are lost’, my next destination was to the beautiful islands of Lakshadweep, located on India’s west coast in the Arabian Sea.
Literally translating to ‘Hundred thousand island’, however only 5 of these islands grant access to the tourists. Tourists require special permits to get in, which can be obtained either through government operated travel agents or by the local hotel authorities. Limited flights are available to the island from Kochi or there are cruises from Mumbai .Malayalam is the dominant language. Consumption and sale of liquor is strictly prohibited on the island.
On my visit to the Agatti Island, Lakshadweep in 2011, I took a, then operating Kingfisher flight which took about
Agatti Islands: Spanning over just 6kms in length and about 3 kms in width this island can be explored by foot. Surrounded by pristine green blue waters and white sand , one could find themselves completely mesmerized by its natural beauty.
There are only 5 functional hotels on the island with a capacity of accommodating 35 guests overall., hence do make your reservation well in advance. Islam is the dominant religion on the island and hence the consumption and sale of liquor is strictly prohibited.
On a very interesting encounter with a local autorickshaw driver I found out that the locals and the government is in dispute. The government plans to promote Lakshadweep as the ‘Bangkok’ of India which would not only mean huge number of tourists flocking in and thus affecting the virginity of the beauty of the islands but also bringing in with them the , in their words ‘too much of western culture influence’. Clearly the local tribes are against this.
The island offers various water sports like Kayaking, scuba Diving , boat rides, snorkeling amongst many others. There is also a local museum which is quite an interesting visit to learn more about the history of this little paradise on earth. My favorite way to learn about the place was my interaction with the locals. They loved showing off their piece of heaven to the tourists there, happily serve coconut water ( which is there in abundance, obviously) and my favorite bit was them dishing out details of how the ‘Gandhi’s celebrate their new years on the neighboring ‘Bangaram Islands’.
My two day visit to the islands mainly comprised of bathing in the ocean, soaking up the sun and again going for a dip, soaking up…you get the idea. Evenings were for walking and exploring the island, interacting with the locals. All in all definitely my personal favorite for beach vacation in india.