The Turquoise Islands of Lakshadweep

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Photo of The Turquoise Islands of Lakshadweep by Vishal B

A place of a million islands. That’s is what Lakshadweep means. Tucked away from the hustling culture of India, disconnected from the noise, chaos and all the things that draws you away from your inner peace. Lakshadweep Islands are like visual meditation. The turquoise ocean and white sand beaches will calm your senses. Whether you are on a vacation, a honeymoon or need your own personal alone time. Lakshadweep islands will replenish your creativity, your passion and your relationship if you are traveling with your significant other, family or friends.

I have been planning to visit Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands for so many years. Finally thanks to my dear friend Vyshakh, who is a one man show running an adventure travel company put up a trip to Andaman Islands. While I was visiting Andaman Islands, I decided I am going to book my flights to Lakshadweep islands the day I reached back home. And yes, that is exactly what i did. I also found out that I will be needing permits to stay at the islands. And also found out that not all islands are accessible to tourist and even the one accessible are quite far from each other. So I had to make an amazing itinerary that can cover as much as possible.

You can either take a cruise package to Lakshadweep or fly down to the Agatti island aero dome airport, the only commercial airport in Lakshadweep. Also there are no direct flights to Agatti, so you have to take the connecting flight from Kochi to Agatti. It’s a small 50 seat plane that does a single round almost every day from kochi to Agatti and back. But make sure you to have your permits ready before you board your flight from Kochi. The permits specify the dates and islands you are planning to stay over night. You can visit Lakshadweep Tourism SPORTS website for more information on permits.

I would personally recommend flying to Agatti over taking a cruise. Simply because you get an extra day on the islands and that gorgeous breathtaking view from the flight window. I spent four nights in Lakshadweep. Two nights on Kavaratti island and two nights on Agatti. And did a day tour to Bangaram and Thinnakkara islands.

The day I landed on Agatti, I straight away first headed to Kavaratti, the capital island of Lakshadweep. It is surrounded by blue lagoons and is just as beautiful as the other islands. Kavaratti is also one of the largest island in Lakshadweep Which is about 2 hours of sailing from Agatti via speed boat. My accommodation on Kavaratti island was on the perfect location. Just five minutes from the port and right on the beach. Like, literally on the beach. I open my window and I see this gorgeous blue beach, palms and breeze. And then there where hammocks, in literally spent my entire afternoon just laying in the hammock under the shades of Palms.

And as it was time for the sunset I had to find the best spot to watch and capture the sunset. It’s my number one rule of watching sunrise and sunset from new spots whenever I travel to new places. So it was like 4:20pm, I immediately called Sameer, who is one of the founders of Red Corals Hotel on Agatti island. He was the one I got in touch for all the possibilities of how I could travel around Lakshadweep, Solo. So I call Sameer and he said I should go see the sunset from the top of the Kavartti island lighthouse. The idea of watching a sunset from a lighthouse is itself so awesome.

Just about a year back a ship washed away and landed itself on the shores of Kavaratti Island. By the condition, it looked abandoned for few years now. The few debris of shipwreck on the shoreline made for some really beautiful frames. I couldn’t thank sameer enough for bringing me up close to this magnificent spot. And since this shipwreck is on the east side of Kavaratti island it makes a perfect spot for sunrise photography. But if you just love to witness the sun rising from the blue oceans, this spot is perfect for you as well. I wish I could have spent another day just to wake up to this magnificent sunrise. Nothing sets the perfect mood for a perfect day then waking up super early and chasing a perfect spot to witness the perfect sunrise.

Since India is mostly surrounded by water, I always wondered that there should be places, beaches in india that had good waves and ideal conditions for surfing. And guess what, while I watching the sunrise, I also stumbled on some locals surfing on those massive waves. If only I didn’t have my lower back broken, I would loved to plunge into the waters and have my first ever surfing hands on here in India itself. Later that same day, when I went hunting for another great spot to watch sunset, I landed up on the east harbour of Kavaratti. Since there weren’t any cruise ships parked, local kids gathered upon the harbour and free dived from the bridge into the waters. Yet again the waves were perfect for surfing and so was the sunset.

After those blissful two days inn Kavaratti Island, it was time to go to Agatti Island. I boarded the 6am boat to Agatti, reached by 8am and yet again my Hotel was located at a beyond perfect spot. Imagine what if you could watch the sunrise from a white sand beach while you are in your bed. Yes. From the bed. And there’s more. Now imagine watching a sunset from the same bed too. Yeah I know, you must be thinking how is that possible, even geographically? So Hotel Red Corels is located at the most narrow part of the Island. Which means that there is just a road in the middle and then sand beach on each side and it also happens to be aligned perfectly with east and west. So you can see the sunrise from one window and sunset from another.

You can either just relax by the beach right next to your room. But if you are like me who is always curious , you can take a walk or an auto/tuktuk across the island to find interesting places. Agatti Island has its own little secret beaches and spots. The Lagoon cafe is one of the famous places here. But my favourite was the main shipyard area. It is really fascinating to watch how these ship being its bare bones to its completion.

The island hopping day, also the last day and the most busiest day during my stay in Lakshadweep. You will have to rent an entire boat for yourself if you plan to go island tour. Thankfully I shared the boat with another lovely couple who were staying at the same Hotel. Even they wanted to see nearby islands so it was best for all of us to do the island day trip together. The first stop was Thinnkara, a small white sand beach island. There is just one resort on the entire island and it’s no less then a paradise. The cottages, the view and the overall setting is just perfect. I wandered off into the island, found some beautiful frames and since by now I’ve mentioned million times, there wasn’t a single soul on some parts of island. Thinnakkara is just about 15 minutes Neighbourhood to Bangaram island.

So our next stop was Bangaram island. Though it’s a fairly big island, Bangaram also has a single resort, and it is also home to many locals. Since i started my day from Agatti to Thinnakkara and now Bangaram, it was about 12:30am, peak afternoon, and the sun was almost on the top and in this part of India, beating the heat can be quite a daunting task for some. Though Bangaram has lots palms afternoon isn’t a good time to wander around Lakshadweep. I’d recommend start as early as possible. There is only one restaurant on the entire island. Yes just one. But worry not, they serve the best and really high quality food to both vegetarians and non vegetarians. I was able to go visit a small lake in the middle of the island but then I was extremely exhausted by the heat and decided to pass on exploring the western part of the island. Also we had to start our return journey back to Agatti before sunset.

The journey from Agatti Island to Bangaram, Thinnakkara and Kavaratti island extremely scenic as well. The water is so clear that you can see the corals as deep as 30fts down, and if you have good observation skills, you will spot turtles and other colourful sea life from the boat itself. And then there are these million shades of turquoise water. There aren’t enough or right words to describe the beauty of Lakshadweep.

I am definitely visiting here again very soon, this time to newer islands, dive into the oceans and try my hands on surfing.

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