Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island!

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Photo of Agatti Island, Agatti, Lakshadweep, India by Champak Sharma

Had been to this heaven back in 2009 with my parents… was not at all a blogger then nor had any proper photography equipment. But this place has left an everlasting impression on my mind and has always been on the top of my list of favorite beaches.

So, here am finally penning down whatever I can recollect the fab recollections from this trip from 8 years back. Our itinerary for the tour was Mumbai-Goa-Allepy-Backwaters-Cochin-Lakshwadeep-Cochin.

The pic I clicked from flight wasn't that good..so a Google image of island

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

Agatti is a 7.6 km long island, situated on a coral atoll called Agatti atoll in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, India. Lakshadweep comes from the word ‘Lakshadwipa’, which means "one hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit. The Agatti Airport is located at the southern end of Agatti Island and is the lone airstrip in the Lakshadweep islands – a small but well maintained airport.

You would need a permit to visit the Island. We had the permits and resort reservation done through a travel agency.

For permit application (e-permit available nowadays), one can visit - http://lakshadweep.nic.in/permit/login.htm.

We boarded a morning Air India flight from Cochin Airport. The flight was like any other plane journey –not much eventful! (I love travelling by trains- not only you have more leg space, but you can also go on an eating and shopping spree!). So, as I said it was an humdrum 1 hour ride initially…but post that the next 15-20 minutes were filled with excitement, gasps, speechlessness which finally ended with shrieks from a few female passengers and prayers from many! I assume the first three reactions are quite understood…but why the shrieks and prayers??? – because the Agatti airport runway is on a 500 mtrs strip of land which is not visible for the passengers while the flight lands and gives you the impression that you are about to crash land into the blue waters below.

from the flight

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

To give a feel of the same from another angle – ICICI Lombard Insurance has listed this airport among the seven riskiest airports in the world.

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

Once safe on ground and calmed, we proceeded to board the car waiting for us and headed for Agatti Island Beach Resort. Apparently, this was the only resort upon the island then. At the place we were welcomed with fresh coconut water in an open sitting area.

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

The Island being only about 500 meters in breadth, most of the points would give you a view of both sides of the island…lined with a thick growth of coconut trees and the turquoise waters beyond shining bright in the sunlight.

The resort package was INR 11000.00/day for 3, which included breakfast, lunch and dinner. All we had to do was enjoy the sumptuous meals and the serene locale. Individual cottages had been set up along the shore. Once there, our first few hours were spent being high on the beauty of the place.

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

Finally, reality settled in and we started exploring the beach line. The resort had an option of Kayaking (free), glass boat ride, snorkeling and scuba diving (with and without guide). Not allowed for the Scuba by Mom and Dad, I opted for the next best thing – snorkeling. We met another family of four in the resort and had a good time together – all of us were completely inexperienced 'Kayakers' who needed to be pushed from behind to start off the ride! The sea water was so clear that you could see the bed below even at depths. It was a calm and pristine setting for the ones who would just love to relax.

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

Tired after hours of play, we had a quick shower, had lunch and took a quick nap. Resort’s manager had earlier suggested that sunset from the other side of the island should not be missed. And Mom ensured that we do not do so by forcing us to be there hours before the sunset! The water on this side of the island was shallow (below knee) and crystal clear, the white smooth sand making you throw away your slippers. The beach was lined with rocks formed by dead corals over the ages. Green foliage and miniature fishes and other sea creatures could be seen under water. A local woman told us that by night the area would be completely under water as the tide rose.

The other side of the beach with clear water and foliage below

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

The water was of the same depth

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

As the sun slowly glided below the horizon, the play of colors in the sky hypnotized us beyond words. We sat upon the rocks for long, not realizing how time passed. The sky was of a purple shade before it turned dark into the shadow of night.

Sunset

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

The fiery sky post sunset

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

As the dusk descended there was not much to do or see around but to lie on the open shacks, stare at the stars and tune in to the sound of waves as the high tide set in.

Next morning we were provided with a car for exploring the island (a car for the 7 km long island…Yes!). It seemed we were the only tourists around that day; in fact even locals were a rare sight at this thinly populated place. To be honest, there wasn’t much to see from a tourist point of view, but a museum. The museum housed items of archaeological, archival, traditional essence.

The Wharf

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

We were back to the resort by lunch time. Post lunch we were too lethargic to venture into the waters and the hammocks came to our rescue…three of us hopping on to one each!

In fact, I completed a whole novel post lunch upon that hammock!

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

Dad was always on the alert for falling coconuts!

Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma
Photo of Hungry for white sands and turquoise clear water ? – Try Agatti Island! by Champak Sharma

Next day, still in awe of the amazing island, we boarded our flight back to Cochin. And we could help gushing almost every time we spoke of Agatti…that it is a place to lose yourself in pure beauty and serenity.

PS: Had not seen any retail shop/restaurant out there and were completely dependent on the resort.

So if you like snacks every now and then, make sure you carry some. (Please check if alcohol is allowed to be carried in flight to the island).

In case you want to know more about the trip, please feel free to reach out to me at champographie@gmail.com

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