Lakshadweep is a hidden gem of India which is an archipelago of around 36 islands, most of them boasts with sun kissed beaches lined up with the white sand, turquoise shaded transparent sea water with minimal human interference and activity. All these views and phenomena give you a feeling of paradise once you are here in Lakshadweep. The Lakshadweep has some similarity in terms of geographical part, however, it has big differences in terms of cleanliness, population, etc which makes this place far ahead from any competition. Lakshadweep is famous for their rich marine life just because of the stable temperature of water. It is one of the famous beach destinations in India with crystal clear sea waters and coral reefs. Lakshadweep is also one of the major suppliers of sea food, as it has opulent marine life that provides a variety of sea products consumed globally. Apart from all of that, it is also a very good place for taking up some amazing water sports such as scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, deep sea fishing, snorkeling and wind surfing. Adventure freaks from all over the world come here to enjoy these sports amidst turquoise blue water of the Lakshadweep. Lakshadweep is a place of 36 coral islands and these islands have recently been opened for travel. For visiting to these islands one requires permission or permit for both domestic as well as foreign tourists if they are travelling their own. So, let me tell you about my travel story of Lakshadweep and the experiences that I had during my journey and stay on three different islands on each different day. The starting point of my Lakshadweep tour was Kochi Cochin city in Kerala. This is the place from where I got the permit to visit the Lakshadweep islands and you will get too. I was on the 5 day tour of Lakshadweep. Day 1 After getting tickets and permit we were taken to the dock by bus as it was nearly 3 km away, but before that we went through the rigorous security checks by CISF personnel guarding all the entrances. This security was to ensure to restrict any illegal person or material to enter in Lakshadweep. As we reached to the dock we could see the white brand new cruise ship which was going to be our home for the next five days. It left the port of Kochi only after 4 pm. From inside it was a very beautiful ship and there were around 30 tourists in the ship for a tour to Lakshadweep. Local and tourists both use this ship for travelling to Lakshadweep, the only thing which is different is that canteens have different timing for both tourists and passengers. We had our lunch at around 1 pm on the cruise and after that we spent our time by watching the endless sea and playing some game on board as there was nothing more that we could do. Day 2 We were still a little far away from our first stop over Kadamat. I got up early in the morning at 5:30 pm to witness the sunrise in the middle of the ocean. It was still dark but we could spot the light house of the Kadamat which was seeming inviting us for our first stop on Lakshadweep Islands. After having our breakfast now we were ready to visit the island. The ship was still far away from the island when it stopped and we had to rely on the small fishing boats who transported us to the island. The view of changing water was something that I found most exciting thing while reaching closer to the shore. The water was transparent emerald green and it was up to that much extent that we could see the floor of the ocean. We were welcomed with the coconut water after reaching the island. Next, we moved to beach which was totally desolate and pristine. The view was that much satisfying that 2 eyes were not enough to grasp the beauty of this place. Before coming down in the water, we were given life jackets and enjoyed water volleyball and chasing each other. After a while we were taken to experience the snorkelling session by the instructors. Instructors gave us some essential training for snorkelling and after that we were enjoying the amazing experience. I got a session of only 15 minutes and I was not satisfied with the time I got, I had to enjoy more. After the snorkelling session we went for kayaking. It was fun and very relaxing both at the same time. Next, activity that we took and enjoyed was scuba diving, believe me it was an amazing experience to dive in the sea and witness the diverse marine life. Beginners were allowed for a lagoon dive for depth up to 2 m scheduled for 20 minutes only while the advanced and expert can enjoy more than that. After that we returned back and had our lunch. We took a little rest after lunch and next thing that we went on was the sightseeing of the various factories, coir factory, coconut packaging factories, and finally north tip of the island. After a very hectic day we returned back to resort to have our evening tea and then moved back on to our ship. Day 3 It was the day when we arrived on a new island Kalpeni. It was quite different from Kadmat as the views were totally different. It has so many small islands filled with coconut trees dotting our line of sight. As we reached we were welcomed with the compulsory welcome drink. The activities here on offer were snorkeling and kayaking. We went for the snorkelling where we spotted many different colour fish and we were swimming along these fishes. Apart from fishes I also came across with different aquatic animals such as eels, water snakes, etc. I was very happy with the experience that I had the whole day and later we were called back to the coast and taken to the resort in the main island. After returning to resort, we had our lunch which was followed by an amazing folk dance performed by the locals. The performers were from teens to late 70’s almost three generations of loacalites. This was quite interesting and opportunity to learn about the culture of the place. Later we were taken to the Kalpeni Light house from where we experienced some breath taking views of the islands from the top of it. From the top of the light house we were able to see the island properly covered by coconut grooves and sea with emerald transparent water on the other side. After this we went to the north most point. Dead corals were dotted in shores providing a different view altogether. Before getting the dusk started falling, we again head back to our mother ship waiting in the sea through small boats. Overall we enjoyed this beautiful island the most. We spent our night on the ship partially by playing cards and partially by taking naps. Day 4 The fourth day of our was schedule for our stopover at Kavaratti, the capital of Lakshadweep. This was not as much secluded as previous were. We were welcomed there among other tourists as well. We started our tour by relaxing at the beach side resort in Kavaratti. Later we played some football and from there organizers also took us for glass bottom boat rides in batches which lasted for nearly an hour or so for each batch. We were in the very first batch and as we stepped into it and it started taking us down in the sea, slowly marine life was getting alive from this boat, this activity actually gives you the same experience as snorkelling does, but the only advantage of it over snorkelling is that you can click the images of marine life and corals under the sea from the glass boat through normal cameras. After enjoying the glass boat ride we came to have our lunch and after which we went for the island’s sightseeing. Later we return to our beach resort and witnessed another folk dance presented by the local people and kids. We were enjoying some snacks with refreshing coconut water. After the dance and drink we were told to get back to our ship as this beautiful journey and Lakshadweep Tour was going to conclude. We were taken to the ship and it got dark when we finally reached to the ship. All the memories of the Lakshadweep Tour started floating altogether in our mind. Day 5 We spent the last night while sleeping comfortably on cruise and managed to wake up early in the morning for a spectacular sunrise. The sunrise was breath taking in the middle of the sea. This was the last day of our trip and hence everyone was feeling a little down for this. The ship finally reached the Kochi port before the afternoon. And we all started our onward journey for our respective destinations from there.
1. Tips for the tourists visiting Lakshadweep
Now you must be ready enough to enjoy your vacation in Lakshadweep as like me. Well, that is great and go ahead, but before doing that just consider some points and tips that are stated below which will help you to enjoy your tour fullest and in a better way.
- When you are travelling to Lakshadweep make sure to carry umbrella and sunscreen lotion with you for avoiding sunburn and any other such situation.
- Don’t pick corals in any form as it is illegal and punishable offense.
- You may face lots of connectivity issues, and there will be places where you will find zero connectivity. So, prepare your mind well before visiting this beautiful group of islands.
- Be careful with the crabs while sitting on the rock or roaming along the beaches.
- Do not try to harm any member of the marine life in Lakshadweep which is again a punishable act.
- Coconut water may become the lifesaver for you in most of the situations, as it is cheaper than water and higher in nutrients which also will keep you hydrated for a longer duration.
- Alcohol consumption is not allowed in almost all the islands of the Lakshadweep, but one can enjoy some at only Bangaram Islands.