Population: 64429 (2011)

Language: Malayalam, English

Capital: Kavaratti


Lakshadweep is a Union Territory of India. It is a group of islands located in the Arabian Sea and they are called by various names as Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands. Kavaratti is the capital of Lakshadweep. This is the smallest Union Territory of India and the total land area is just 32 square kilometers. People live only in ten islands.


History of Lakshadweep


The Lakshadweep islands were mentioned in ancient Tamil literatures. The islands Amini, Kalpeni Andrott, Kavaratti and Agatti were inhabited even before 6th century A.D. In 11th century, they were under the control of Chola kings. Portuguese dominated over the islands but the local people expelled them. In 1787, Tipu Sultan ruled the Amindivi group of islands. However after the Third Anglo-Mysore War, they went into the hands of the British. Arakkal family of Cannanore possessed them for a long time.


After the independence of India in 1947, Indian national flag was hoisted to proclaim its integration into the Indian Union. In 1956, according to the States Reorganization Act, Lakshadweep was made a Union Territory.


Geography of Lakshadweep


There are twelve atolls and three reefs in the archipelago and totally there are thirty nine islands in Lakshadweep. Many of them are almost submerged and only ten of them are inhabited. Some of the main islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Minicoy and Amini. Many islands including Minicoy Island are built by coral reefs and so are called Coral Islands. The Laccadive group of islands and the Amindivi group of islands are joined together by a submarine connection of corals. Some of the islands in the group are Chetlat Island, Bitra Island, Kiltan Island, Kadmat Island, Agatti Island, Pitti Island, Androth Island, Bangaram Island, etc.


Lakshadweep State Map



People and Culture of Lakshadweep



As per the 2011 census, the population of Lakshadweep is 64,429 with a density of 2013 people per square kilometer. The rate of growth of population is 6.23%. The sex ratio is 946 females for every 1000 males. The literacy rate of people is 92.28%. 84.33% of people are Malayalis and 15.67% of people are Mahls. Malayalam is the official language of Lakshadweep and Mahl language is widely spoken in Minicoy Island. Other languages spoken here are Malayalam and Jeseri. The majority of people follow Islam.


Marine Life of Lakshadweep


Lakshadweep is rich in marine life. Many varieties of corals, seaweeds, sea cucumbers, starfish, sea urchins, cowry, octopus, butterfly fish and lagoon triggerfish are seen here. The Pitti Island, Byramgore and Perumal Par are uninhabited atolls and the sea turtles come there for breeding. The fish varieties such as tuna, wahoo, swordfish and dolphins are found in the waters near the islands.


Economy of Lakshadweep


The GSDP of Lakshadweep in 2004 was $60 million. The poverty index is low here. The main industries are coconut fibre extraction and manufacturing fibre products. There are many fibre factories located here and they produce coir fibre, coir yarn, curled fibre and corridor mats.


Tourism is one of the main sources of income of the islanders. There are many fisheries and tuna fish is available in plenty. They are caught and dried and exported to many parts of the world. Sharks, lobsters, crabs and shrimps are also available in abundance in these islands.


Coconut is the main agricultural product available here and Lakshadweep is the largest producer of coconut in India. More than 2598 hectares of land were under coconut cultivation. The byproduct of coconut trees such as coconut fibre and coconut oil are good sources of income of people.


Lakshadweep Transportation


The Lakshadweep has one aerodrome set up at Agatti. The Air India Regional and Kingfisher fly regular flights from Kochi to Agatti. Ships are also major means of transportation for Lakshadweep people. They are operated from Kochi, Mangalore and Calicut. For navigation between the islands, the Pawan Hans helicopters and boats are used. There is a naval base named INS Dweeprakshak situated at Kavaratti to safeguard the interests of the people and to protect them from foreign invasions.


Lakshadweep Tourism


Tourist activities are one among the main sources of economy of Lakshadweep. The tourists need special permits to visit the islands. The foreign tourists are restricted to particular islands. Consumption of alcohol is not allowed in Lakshadweep with an exception of Bangaram Island. Bangaram Island and Kadamath Island are good destinations of international tourism. The rich marine life and the water sports such as scuba diving, wind surfing, snorkeling, surfing, canoeing, water skiing, kayaking and yachting are some of the adventurous activities that attract the tourists. It is not advisable to visit the island in southwest monsoon seasons as the sea is very rough at that time. 


Travel Destinations in Lakshadweep


Districts in Lakshadweep