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'''Lakshadweep''' is a group of islands situated off [[India]]'s west coast, in the Arabian sea. They are India's only Coral Islands.
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'''Lakshadweep''', formerly the '''Laccadives''', is a group of islands situated some 400 km off [[India]]'s west coast in the Arabian sea. They are India's only coral atolls and geologically a part of the same chain as the [[Maldives]].
 
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==Cities==
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* [[Kavaratti]]
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* [[Minicoy]]
+
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
 
[[Image: Lakshadweep map.jpg|thumb|240px|Map of Lakshadweep]]
 
[[Image: Lakshadweep map.jpg|thumb|240px|Map of Lakshadweep]]
Lakshadweep (Formerly called LACADIVES) is India's smallest union territory. The name literally means "a hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit (''laksha'' = lakh, hundred thousand. ''dweep'' = island) It has ten inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands attached islets, four newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs [http://lakshadweep.nic.in/location.htm]. The inhabited islands are  
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* Kavaratti
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Lakshadweep is India's smallest union territory. The name literally means "a hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit (''laksha'' = lakh [100,000], ''dweep'' = island). It has ten inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands attached islets, four newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs.
* Agatti
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* Amini
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Lakshadweep is one of the most beautiful destinations that you could visit during your holidays. This union territory of India is in the Arabian Sea and consists of twelve atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks. The beautiful marine life, the villages, the tourist resorts and the mosques are great attractions for the tourists.
* Kadmat
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* Kiltan
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===Climate===
* Chetlat
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Peak season is December to May, when it is cooler and drier. May to September is the main (southwest) monsoon season, but the October-November northeast monsoon can also be rainy.
* Bitra
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* Andrott
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* Kalpeni
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* Minicoy
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==Talk==
 
==Talk==
The people of the islands are ethnically similar to the people of the Kerala coast of India and are of mixed Indian and Arab descent. They speak a dialect of Malayalam except in Minicoy where “Mahl” a form of Divehi is spoken.
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The people of the islands are ethnically similar to the people of the Kerala coast of India and are of mixed Indian and Arab descent. They speak a dialect of [[Malayalam phrasebook|Malayalam]], except in Minicoy where '''Mahl''', a form of [[Dhivehi phrasebook|Dhivehi]] (the language of the Maldives) is spoken.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
Getting to Lakshadweep , requires special permit and its worth referring to the official website for information from time to time,  http://lakshadweep.nic.in/
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[[Image:A beach side resort at Kadmat Island, Lakshadweep.jpg|thumb|right]]
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'''Everybody''', Indian or otherwise, '''requires a special permit''' to visit Lakshadweep.  By far the easiest way to obtain it is to book a package tour through the government's tour operator SPORTS [http://www.lakshadweeptourism.com] or arrange a hotel to sort it out for you; in fact, for foreigners, accommodation booked in advance is a precondition for being allowed to visit.
  
By Ship:
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Foreigners are restricted to the islands of '''Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat''', plus transit only (max. 12 hours) in Kavaratti.  Indians may visit the other islands as well, but accommodation is very limited (see [[#Sleep|Sleep]]).
*Take a ship from Kochi (Cochin). Takes approx. 24 hours
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*Take a Cruise from Mumbai for visiting some of the islands in Lakshadweep
+
  
By Air:
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Nearly everybody going to Lakshadweep has to pass through [[Kochi]], from where you can continue by plane or ship:
Indian Airlines flies from Kochi and Goa. Kochi flights are daily (except Sunday) and Goa flights are twice a week. Flights land at Agatti island which is the only airport in the Lakshadweep.
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Kingfisher airlines also flies from Kochi to Agatti on Mon / Tue / Thu / Sat / Sun. The same flight continues to Bangalore which provides international connectivity.
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===By plane===
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Indian Airlines has 6 flights (all days except Sunday) from [[Kochi]] to the airstrip at Agatti, the only one on the islands. Flights to [[Goa]] have been terminated.
 +
 
 +
===By ship===
 +
The MV Tipu Sultan, MV Bharat Seema, MV Amindivi and MV Minicoy operate between [[Kochi]] and various islands in Lakshadweep. The trip takes 14-18 hours one day depending on the destination island.  All four are basic 1960s-era ferries but fairly well maintained and tolerably comfortable.  The Tipu Sultan is generally held to be the best of the bunch, with three classes of accommodation (A/C cabin, A/C reclining seats and deck) plus a cafeteria, snack bar, and upper deck promenade.  Return fares are around Rs.3800 in A/C seats, which is the cheapest class available for packages.
 +
 +
Beware that all published sailing schedules are subject to sudden changes; not only can they be delayed, but it's not unheard of for a boat to arrive and leave a day early!
 +
 
 +
There are also occasional cruises directly from [[Mumbai]].
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
 +
Both boat and helicopter transfers are available from Agatti to Bangaram and Kadmat.  The helicopter (US$150 return) may be the only option in monsoon season from May to September.
 +
 
By boats/ferries: These can be used for getting around from one island to the other
 
By boats/ferries: These can be used for getting around from one island to the other
  
Once on an island, there arent' too many options. You can travel by foot or hire a bicycle.
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Once on an island, there aren't too many options. You can travel by foot or hire a bicycle.
 
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===Travel Agencies ===
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*'''The Incredible India Travel''',B 104 – 105, Ganpati Plaza, M.I Road, Jaipur 302001, Rajasthan (India), Office Phone: 091 141 4037555, Mobile: 091 9829257777, Email: [info@leisureindiatours.com], Website: [http://www.theincredibleindiatravel.com]
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==See==
 
==See==
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'''Kadmat:''' Kadmat Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations.  There is a huge lagoon on the west side of the island, around 10km from the Amini. 
 +
 +
'''Kavaratti Island:'''
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 +
Kavaratti Island is the most developed Island in Lakshadweep. Kavaratti is the administrative capital of Lakshdweep and the population is dominated by non-islanders.  There are many Mosques on this island (around 52) and the most beautiful one is Ujra mosque.
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'''Kalpeni:''' Kalpeni is located at the distance of around 76km south of Androth. This place lies in an extensive and shallow lagoon. The lagoon is world famous for its rich coral and marine life.
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 +
'''Bangaram:'''  This Island is one of the best tourist destinations in the world due to its smooth sands and amazing palm grove backdrop.  Here smooth sand is caressed by the waves of the multi coloured sea. This beautiful Island lies at a distance of around 8km from the north side of Agatti Island. 
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'''Agatti Island:'''
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Agatti Island the gateway for the Lakshadweep, it is located at a distance of around 459 km from the Cochin. Agatti Island is around 6 km long.  Surplus fishes are  easily found on Agatti island. Fishing is the main occupation for the people living here.
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 +
This island has some of the best beaches for swimming in the world.  Here tourists can enjoy the adventure of swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Tourists can also find huge lagoons over here, which increases the beauty of this island. Visitors can also enjoy different water sports activities like Scuba Diving, Deep Sea Fishing, sailing, boat rides, water skiing and kayaking at Agatti Island.
  
 
===Itineraries===
 
===Itineraries===
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
There are basic leisure tours and Sea/Lagoon based tours. There are plenty of opportunities for Scuba diving, Yachting, Pedal boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Snorkeling and sunbathing. One may also visit local houses, Marine museum, Lighthouse and a few local industries.
+
There are basic leisure tours and Sea/Lagoon based tours. There are plenty of opportunities for Scuba diving, Yachting, Pedal boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Snorkeling and sunbathing. One may also visit local houses, the Marine museum, Lighthouse and a few local industries.
 +
 
 +
* <do name="Diveline Agatti" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.divelineagatti.com/" hours="" price="Rs.3000 per dive">Operates the scuba diving shop at the Agatti Resort.</do>
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* <do name="Lacadives" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.lacadives.com/" hours="" price="">Operates the scuba diving shops at both Bangaram and Kadmat Resorts.</do>
 +
*<do name="Lakshadweep Cruise" alt="" address="Alleppey Co.Bldg, 1565 Subramanian Road, Willingdon Island, Kochi-682003 Kerala" directions="" phone="9447015565" url="http://www.lakshadweepcruise.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Lakshadweep Cruise offers Tour Packages conducted by (SPORTS) Lakshadweep Administration. Explore Lakshadweep Islands, Experience Scuba Diving, Up-To-Date Ship Schedule and much more. Start planning your Lakshadweep Cruise Vacation now.</do>
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 +
 
 +
==Buy==
 +
Lakshadweep is not a budget destination: in addition to the permit issue, there is no tourist infrastructure (hostels, restaurants, public transport etc) for backpackers.  The cheapest sports tours start from around Rs.10000 for four days, but this price is all-inclusive.
 +
One can purchase pure coconut powder and coconut oil from the factory situated at Kadmat island. Fish pickles and small souvenirs are available in Kavaratti Island.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
Spiced coconut-rich Vegetarian & Halal Non vegetarian food. The Non vegetarian food mainly consists of curried, fried and barbecued fish.
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There are few if any uniquely Lakshadweep dishes. Local cuisine is similar to Kerala.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
Tap water here is through bore wells and a bit hard. Rainwater harvested during the rainy season is the major source of drinking water. Non availability of drinking water accounts for a number of islands being uninhabited.
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Drink large amounts of coconut water, the most abundant aerated drink on the island. Tap water here is through bore wells and a bit hard. Rainwater harvested during the rainy season is the major source of drinking water. Unavailability of drinking water accounts for a number of islands being uninhabited.
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==Sleep==
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There are three full-service resorts in Lakshadweep, which are also (in practice) the only places where foreigners can stay.  All prices listed below are for double rooms and include all meals.
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* <sleep name="Agatti Island Beach Resort" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.agattiislandresorts.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Privately owned, but quite run down; apparently new cottages are in the works.  The main draw is the diving, which is better here than at Bangaram.  20 beds.</sleep>
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* <sleep name="Bangaram Island Resort" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.cghearth.com/bangaram_island/index.htm" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$400" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The first island opened to tourists, Bangaram Island was uninhabited before the resort was developed and it holds the distinction of being the only place in the entire Lakshadweep archipelago that can serve alcohol. Privately owned and managed to a high standard, but the huts are very basic (no aircon, hot water, TV) and, by Indian standards, quite expensive. (UPDATE: CGH Earth, the company that runs the resort has informed that the government has stopped issuing permits to travel to Bangaram island (to both foreign visitors as well as Indian nationals) and although the resort is still fully operational, they can't operate due to the government restrictions. They are still awaiting the verdict of the Supreme court. They expect to have an update by the end of June 2011.)</sleep>
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* <sleep name="Kadmat Island Resort" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Rs. 3000/4000 fan/AC" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The choice of scuba divers, this is home to Lakshadweep's first scuba facility.  22 executive huts, 26 family huts.Government-run and basic.</sleep>
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In addition, basic government resorts open to Indian citizens only are available at Minicoy, Kavaratti and Kalpeni.  Some packages offered by SPORTS include accommodation on board the ship, with only day visits to the islands.
 +
*<sleep name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""></sleep>
 +
 
  
 
==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all islands except Bangaram. Picking up Corals is a punishable crime.
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Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all islands except Bangaram. Picking up corals is a punishable crime. Be safe.
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
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The only way out is back to [[Kochi]].
  
 
{{isIn|Southern_India}}
 
{{isIn|Southern_India}}
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{{usable}}
  
 
[[WikiPedia:Lakshadweep]]
 
[[WikiPedia:Lakshadweep]]
{{outline}}
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''''''NOTE: Even thought there are flight that are being operated to and from Agatti. NO PERMITS ARE BEING ISSUED.
 +
Kindly be informed that Lakshadweep Administration have suspended issue of entry permits to Bangaram/Agatti Island, due to an unexpectable legal tussles between the resorts and "Lakshadweep Administration". Hence travel to Lakshadeep islands is NOT possible, unless there is a positive court verdict.'''

Revision as of 09:22, 21 November 2012

Lakshadweep, formerly the Laccadives, is a group of islands situated some 400 km off India's west coast in the Arabian sea. They are India's only coral atolls and geologically a part of the same chain as the Maldives.

Contents

Understand

Map of Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep is India's smallest union territory. The name literally means "a hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit (laksha = lakh [100,000], dweep = island). It has ten inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands attached islets, four newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs.

Lakshadweep is one of the most beautiful destinations that you could visit during your holidays. This union territory of India is in the Arabian Sea and consists of twelve atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks. The beautiful marine life, the villages, the tourist resorts and the mosques are great attractions for the tourists.

Climate

Peak season is December to May, when it is cooler and drier. May to September is the main (southwest) monsoon season, but the October-November northeast monsoon can also be rainy.

Talk

The people of the islands are ethnically similar to the people of the Kerala coast of India and are of mixed Indian and Arab descent. They speak a dialect of Malayalam, except in Minicoy where Mahl, a form of Dhivehi (the language of the Maldives) is spoken.

Get in

A beach side resort at Kadmat Island, Lakshadweep.jpg

Everybody, Indian or otherwise, requires a special permit to visit Lakshadweep. By far the easiest way to obtain it is to book a package tour through the government's tour operator SPORTS [1] or arrange a hotel to sort it out for you; in fact, for foreigners, accommodation booked in advance is a precondition for being allowed to visit.

Foreigners are restricted to the islands of Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat, plus transit only (max. 12 hours) in Kavaratti. Indians may visit the other islands as well, but accommodation is very limited (see Sleep).

Nearly everybody going to Lakshadweep has to pass through Kochi, from where you can continue by plane or ship:

By plane

Indian Airlines has 6 flights (all days except Sunday) from Kochi to the airstrip at Agatti, the only one on the islands. Flights to Goa have been terminated.

By ship

The MV Tipu Sultan, MV Bharat Seema, MV Amindivi and MV Minicoy operate between Kochi and various islands in Lakshadweep. The trip takes 14-18 hours one day depending on the destination island. All four are basic 1960s-era ferries but fairly well maintained and tolerably comfortable. The Tipu Sultan is generally held to be the best of the bunch, with three classes of accommodation (A/C cabin, A/C reclining seats and deck) plus a cafeteria, snack bar, and upper deck promenade. Return fares are around Rs.3800 in A/C seats, which is the cheapest class available for packages.

Beware that all published sailing schedules are subject to sudden changes; not only can they be delayed, but it's not unheard of for a boat to arrive and leave a day early!

There are also occasional cruises directly from Mumbai.

Get around

Both boat and helicopter transfers are available from Agatti to Bangaram and Kadmat. The helicopter (US$150 return) may be the only option in monsoon season from May to September.

By boats/ferries: These can be used for getting around from one island to the other

Once on an island, there aren't too many options. You can travel by foot or hire a bicycle.

See

Kadmat: Kadmat Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations. There is a huge lagoon on the west side of the island, around 10km from the Amini.

Kavaratti Island:

Kavaratti Island is the most developed Island in Lakshadweep. Kavaratti is the administrative capital of Lakshdweep and the population is dominated by non-islanders. There are many Mosques on this island (around 52) and the most beautiful one is Ujra mosque.

Kalpeni: Kalpeni is located at the distance of around 76km south of Androth. This place lies in an extensive and shallow lagoon. The lagoon is world famous for its rich coral and marine life.

Bangaram: This Island is one of the best tourist destinations in the world due to its smooth sands and amazing palm grove backdrop. Here smooth sand is caressed by the waves of the multi coloured sea. This beautiful Island lies at a distance of around 8km from the north side of Agatti Island.

Agatti Island:

Agatti Island the gateway for the Lakshadweep, it is located at a distance of around 459 km from the Cochin. Agatti Island is around 6 km long. Surplus fishes are easily found on Agatti island. Fishing is the main occupation for the people living here.

This island has some of the best beaches for swimming in the world. Here tourists can enjoy the adventure of swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Tourists can also find huge lagoons over here, which increases the beauty of this island. Visitors can also enjoy different water sports activities like Scuba Diving, Deep Sea Fishing, sailing, boat rides, water skiing and kayaking at Agatti Island.

Itineraries

Do

There are basic leisure tours and Sea/Lagoon based tours. There are plenty of opportunities for Scuba diving, Yachting, Pedal boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Snorkeling and sunbathing. One may also visit local houses, the Marine museum, Lighthouse and a few local industries.

  • Diveline Agatti, [2]. Operates the scuba diving shop at the Agatti Resort. Rs.3000 per dive.
  • Lacadives, [3]. Operates the scuba diving shops at both Bangaram and Kadmat Resorts.
  • Lakshadweep Cruise, Alleppey Co.Bldg, 1565 Subramanian Road, Willingdon Island, Kochi-682003 Kerala, 9447015565, [4]. Lakshadweep Cruise offers Tour Packages conducted by (SPORTS) Lakshadweep Administration. Explore Lakshadweep Islands, Experience Scuba Diving, Up-To-Date Ship Schedule and much more. Start planning your Lakshadweep Cruise Vacation now.


Buy

Lakshadweep is not a budget destination: in addition to the permit issue, there is no tourist infrastructure (hostels, restaurants, public transport etc) for backpackers. The cheapest sports tours start from around Rs.10000 for four days, but this price is all-inclusive. One can purchase pure coconut powder and coconut oil from the factory situated at Kadmat island. Fish pickles and small souvenirs are available in Kavaratti Island.

Eat

There are few if any uniquely Lakshadweep dishes. Local cuisine is similar to Kerala.

Drink

Drink large amounts of coconut water, the most abundant aerated drink on the island. Tap water here is through bore wells and a bit hard. Rainwater harvested during the rainy season is the major source of drinking water. Unavailability of drinking water accounts for a number of islands being uninhabited.

Sleep

There are three full-service resorts in Lakshadweep, which are also (in practice) the only places where foreigners can stay. All prices listed below are for double rooms and include all meals.

  • Agatti Island Beach Resort, [5]. Privately owned, but quite run down; apparently new cottages are in the works. The main draw is the diving, which is better here than at Bangaram. 20 beds.
  • Bangaram Island Resort, [6]. The first island opened to tourists, Bangaram Island was uninhabited before the resort was developed and it holds the distinction of being the only place in the entire Lakshadweep archipelago that can serve alcohol. Privately owned and managed to a high standard, but the huts are very basic (no aircon, hot water, TV) and, by Indian standards, quite expensive. (UPDATE: CGH Earth, the company that runs the resort has informed that the government has stopped issuing permits to travel to Bangaram island (to both foreign visitors as well as Indian nationals) and although the resort is still fully operational, they can't operate due to the government restrictions. They are still awaiting the verdict of the Supreme court. They expect to have an update by the end of June 2011.) US$400.
  • Kadmat Island Resort. The choice of scuba divers, this is home to Lakshadweep's first scuba facility. 22 executive huts, 26 family huts.Government-run and basic. Rs. 3000/4000 fan/AC.

In addition, basic government resorts open to Indian citizens only are available at Minicoy, Kavaratti and Kalpeni. Some packages offered by SPORTS include accommodation on board the ship, with only day visits to the islands.


Stay safe

Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all islands except Bangaram. Picking up corals is a punishable crime. Be safe.

Get out

The only way out is back to Kochi.



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


'NOTE: Even thought there are flight that are being operated to and from Agatti. NO PERMITS ARE BEING ISSUED. Kindly be informed that Lakshadweep Administration have suspended issue of entry permits to Bangaram/Agatti Island, due to an unexpectable legal tussles between the resorts and "Lakshadweep Administration". Hence travel to Lakshadeep islands is NOT possible, unless there is a positive court verdict.

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