A trip to Lakshadweep is one of its kind, thanks to all the planning and several things to have in mind before the final countdown to the trip. Plan well in advance and ensure you have a good 45 days before you take your flight or ship onward from Kochi. It needs a lot of papertrail and effort in order to clear the entry formalities. Lakshadweep is one of the few places in India that requires a visitor’s entry permit. To enter the Union Territory of Lakshadweep as a traveller, you require an entry manifest issued by the Administrator’s Office in Kochi, Willingdon Island. Do keep in mind that the permit is the most important document to visit Lakshadweep Islands. This is one such trip where I thought that the precursor to the trip is as exciting as the trip itself, a lot of planning and prepping isn’t always good, but as I said, the trip to Lakshadweep is one of a kind! To obtain the permit, you either need to have contact access with a local travel agent in Kochi, or go to Kochi personally and get the permit issued. Permits require certain documents, which may be quite a task to obtain, but believe me, it is definitely worth the effort! You require a police clearance certificate issued by the local police station, whose jurisdiction you live in. Mumbai police aren’t very helpful in this regard, for they did not know the procedure at all. This certificate has to be submitted to the office in Willingdon Island who will issue the permits. Married couples can be accomodated on a single permit whereas all others travellers would require a seperate permit. There is also an option to skip this entire procedure and book your trip with the government authorised tourism department named SPORTS, Lakshadweep Tourism which is a part of Lakshadweep Government. They will issue a permit which is in total accordance with your itinerary, and guess what, you don’t require to submit any document whatsoever if you book through them. We chose to go with SPORTS, and it was very breezy to obtain the entry manifest/permit. Going ahead with a travel agent will seem easy, but with the experience we had, going through SPORTS, was the best decision of our trip. They have access and internal contacts everywhere(Boats,any special requirements,etc.). The food, service, and their will to always welcome people is simply brilliant. So please be well informed that visiting Lakshadweep and experiencing it through SPORTS, is the best way possible. Booking through SPORTS is costly, but worth because of the beautiful properties they own in each of the islands. Alliance Air, the regional wing of AirIndia, operates the only flight to Agatti Island. This is a morning flight from Kochi. Landing on the Agatti airstrip is an experience in itself, because the tiny ATR which is loaded with only about 80% of its entire capacity lands on a 1200 metre runway, making it the one of the most difficult places to land in the world!!! Get yourself booked on window seats for the best experience preferably in the first half of the aircraft. Please keep in mind, that the connectivity is limited to Airtel and BSNL in Agatti, Kavaratti and Bangaram, and only BSNL in all other islands. Do not expect anything over 2G internet. Some of the SPORTS resorts have WiFi connectivity, subject to network availability.