The Maldives, one of the world’s greatest remote island clusters, has become India’s dream vacation spot, and for all the obvious reasons. But why venture so far when Lakshadweep – a distant world of tropical beaches, velvety shores, and emerald lagoons, is so close? Lakshadweep is located 400 kilometers west of mainland India, just north of the Maldives. The archipelago is made up of 36 beautiful islands, a promising cluster surrounded by shallow sandbanks and pristine coral reefs. Agatti, Bangaram, and Kadmat are the core paradises of Lakshadweep, located in the central part of the archipelago. Despite Lakshadweep being part of the same underwater mountain range that stretches all the way to the Maldives, the former is still less affected and altered by modernity.
With its fine lagoon of even depth, a long stretch of shoreline, and well-secluded tourist huts, Kadmat Island is a sanctuary of solitude, hustle, and bustle of city life. It also has one of the finest diving spots in India, a beautiful shallow lagoon on the west side that is suitable for water-based activities. Kadmat is also teeming with coral reefs – ideal for snorkeling and marine reserve tours.
Kavaratti Island, the archipelago’s capital city is a natural marvel. Apart from being Lakshadweep’s commercial capital, Kavaratti also has the most mosques in Lakshadweep, including one of the oldest and most striking, the Ujra mosque designed by Sheikh Mohammad Kasim. Though the city is surrounded by lagoons, there are a lot of water-based events such as scuba diving and aquarium tours that will make your day.
In contrast to the busy islands, Banagaram and Minicoy Islands are more tranquil, with turquoise green sparkling water, milky white sand beach, and lovely dotted coconut palms that enrich the spirit. In fact, the water is known to be so clear, that tourists have reported spotting fishes and other aquatic animals. Minicoy Island is also surrounded by lagoons in huge numbers and is a must-see if you are a beach lover.
The Maldives has 300 small and large islands on its territory, so a full tour takes at least 7-10 days. The Lakshadweep islands, on the other hand, consist of 36 islands in total and take a minimum of 5-6 days to complete the entire island trip, including water sports and activities.