Love the island life? Dreaming of a tropical island holiday with crystal clear blue waters, colourful coral reefs and white sands? You don’t have to travel far, and the Maldives is not the only option near you. The magnificent Lakshadweep islands with untouched nature is a perfect destination for your next holiday. Here’s a comprehensive guide with a list of exciting places to visit in Lakshadweep.
Yes, Lakshadweep is your perfect island destination in India. Lakshadweep is a group of islands found on the southwestern coast of India. With mesmerizing atolls, coral reefs, and lagoons, the Island is famous for its teaming marine life. There are 36 islands in the archipelago of Lakshadweep and only ten among them are inhabited by people. Twelve islands of Lakshadweep are open to tourists. There are a lot of things to do in Lakshadweep, and the islands have the right infrastructure to host your unique tropical vacation. You will be disappointed if you look for party vibes and luxury spaces. Instead, expect a retreat into the undisturbed marine ecosystem and Lakshadweep will leave you delighted.
Though the smallest union territory with 32 sq.km areas, the Island has lagoons and seascape of around 7,00,000 sq.km. So there are so many incredible places to visit in Lakshadweep. You can indulge in a plethora of water sports or enjoy your leisure time in hammocks shaded by coconut trees, Lakshadweep will never disappoint you.
How to reach Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep is primarily connected from Kochi through airways and waterways.
- Air: Kochi international airport has flights to Agatti island six days a week. The flights are operated by Indian airlines and take one and a half hours to reach. Kochi airport is a well connected International Airport and acts as a gateway to Lakshadweep. There are helicopter services from Agatti island to Kavaratti island all around the year.
- Water: There are 7 passenger ships operating from Kochi to Lakshadweep. The journey takes around 14 to 18 hours and varies based on your choice of Island. The ships have various classes of accommodation and a plethora of entertainment to enjoy the journey. There’s video decks, open-air lounges, cafes and onboard medical facilities for the comfort of passengers. Highly recommend taking ships as it is a unique experience cruising through the sapphire blue waters.
Best time to visit Lakshadweep
October to Mid May is the best time to visit Lakshadweep. To enjoy the abundant scenic charm and pleasant climate, avoid travelling during monsoons. Mid May to September is the monsoon time and rains are heavy. During this period, the ship services are stopped for tourists.
Places to visit in Lakshadweep
Agatti Island is the gateway to Lakshadweep archipelago, with an airstrip. The airstrip is constructed in a narrow surface area, surrounded by breathtaking blue waters. The scenery while landing will be the best start for your trip to Lakshadweep. The Island is around 8 km long, with taxis and rental bikes available near the airport. Agatti Island is known for its coral reefs and endless natural beauty in all directions.
The Island is the perfect place to bask in the Sun, as the beaches are beautiful with white sugary sands and pristine waters. This is one of the few islands with a private resort and falls among the best places to visit in Lakshadweep. Tourists can explore the vibrant coral reefs formed as a part of Agatti atoll by snorkelling or scuba diving. Don’t miss the Government-run museum, a famous Lakshadweep attraction on the Island; it has a rich collection of marine life remnants.
- Highlight: Airport, Coral reefs, Private resort, Agatti Museum
- How to reach: Agatti Airport, Ferry boats
Bangaram is a small uninhabited island with a resort catering tourists. You can laze around the natural beauty or explore marine life, Bangaram island is one of the best places to visit in Lakshadweep. As there are no other people other than the ones staying in the resort, the stay in Bangaram is unique and secluded from the busy world.
The Island boasts beautiful beaches dotted by tall coconut trees and colourful coral reefs, a must-see Lakshadweep attraction. No wonder it is an ideal escape for couples and honeymooners. Water sports like scuba diving and deep water fishing are famous on this Island. You will have to book in advance as there are only limited cottages in the resort. Also, don’t forget to carry cash, snacks, and other essentials, as there’s only a restaurant present as part of the resort.
- Highlight: Uninhabited Island with a resort, Coral reefs, Water sports
- How to reach: Helicopter ride or 20 minutes Ferry boat ride from Agatti
Kavaratti is a well-developed island and the headquarters of the Union territory. A mystical island beauty and one among the top places to visit in Lakshadweep, Kavaratti houses the best infrastructure for luxury stays and adventurous water sports. This Island is blessed with calm lagoons, beautiful beaches, and multi-hued coral reefs. Swimming, snorkelling, and glass-bottomed boat ride facilities let you explore the rich marine species in the crystal clear lagoons.
You can also enjoy water sports like Scuba diving, kayaking, and windsurfing in Kavaratti. The Island’s white-sand beaches are postcard-perfect, you can spend all day there experiencing great views of the ocean. Kavaratti has around 52 mosques in its land area, and a visit to the beautiful Ujra mosque is one of the must-see Lakshadweep sightseeing. Marine Aquarium is a colourful treat to eyes with lots of species on display.
- Highlight: Mosques, Marine aquarium, Water sports
- How to reach: 15 minutes in Helicopter from Agatti. Cruise ships from Kochi stop here or you can take water rides from the nearby islands.
Kadmat is a small Island sprawling over 9 km with an incredible lagoon on its west coast spread over 25 sq.km. The Island is filled with palm trees looking like an emerald in the turquoise waters and is one of the famous tourist places in Lakshadweep. Kadmat has a beautiful resort, with scenic waters on both sides, as the broadest width of the Island is just 550 meters. The resort offers the best views and picturesque sunrise and sunset from the comfort of your bed. The beaches are filled with trees and silvery sands, offering a leisure beach experience.
The lagoon is shallow, crystal clear and filled with abundant aquatic life, ideal for water sports. Kadmat houses specialized dive centres that offer you certified Scuba diving courses, and it a world-famous Lakshadweep attraction. In the scuba diving spots around, you can find a variety of marine fishes, sharks, and plants with clear visibility. Kadmat also has all kinds of boats on rent, like kayaks, speed boats, pedal boats and ferries, offering ride of a lifetime around the Island. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you cannot go wrong in picking the beautiful Kadmat for your vacation.
- Highlight: Large lagoons, Best scuba diving, Plethora of water sports, Scenic stay
- How to reach: It is accessible by speed boats, vessels or ferries from all major islands of Lakshadweep.
Minicoy Island is the farthest in the Lakshadweep archipelago and a very charming one. The Island is known for its cultural legacy, as the traditional dance and boat races are world-famous. Minicoy Island has 11 village settlements over its 4.8 sq.km land area. Minicoy is regarded as one of the most famous tourist places in Lakshadweep. The beaches are silvery with well-equipped bathing and dress changing huts, so have an ideal beach day with lots of fun in the water and sand. There are boat rides to the lagoon that give you a glimpse of the colourful marine life.
The Island has a small resort with 3 cottages and a 20 bedded home for the tourists to stay. Don’t miss visiting the Lighthouse built by the British, which stands tall at 300 ft and offers breathtaking views of the Island. Minicoy is very different from the northern group of Islands and the villages follow a matriarchal society setup. Minicoy is one of the best places to visit in Lakshadweep if you love learning about new cultures and people. And of course, you can enjoy the sun-kissed beaches and crystal clear lagoons in the safest Island for women.
- Highlight: Culture, Lighthouse, Large lagoon, Beaches
- How to reach: Take marine vessels or helicopters from Agatti to reach the Island hassle-free
Kalpeni is a set of three islands namely Thilakkam, Pitti and Cheriyam. The first two islands are inhabited and have a culturally rich society. The islands are part of an atoll, thus teaming in the coral ecosystem. Koomel beach and bay is the tourist destination in Kalpeni, with all kinds of amenities and one of the best Lakshadweep sightseeing places.
The lagoon is shallow and vast, allowing tourists to enjoy swimming, snorkelling or just reef walking through the crystal clear water. Kayaks and Sailboats are readily available for your adventures in the spectacular atoll. The sugary white sand beaches are ideal for spending a day with your family and the views of the ocean with sparkling waters under sunlight is heady. The tip beach present at the northern tip of the Island is also a prime spot for an excellent snorkelling experience. Kalpeni Island guarantees a tranquil day amidst nature.
- Highlight: Koomel beach, Tip beach, the Best Snorkeling experience
- How to reach: Water vessels operate from major islands and there are privately owned huts for stay overs in the Island
Things to do in Lakshadweep
1. Scuba diving
Lakshadweep is a popular scuba diving spot in India. You can earn PADI certifications from the best centres in India. Lakshadweep is the best place to experience adventurous scuba diving in India, and you can witness the colourful marine life in the clear waters.
With shallow lagoons and coral atolls, snorkelling is one of the best things to do in Lakshadweep. You can see the multi-hued corals and marine fishes just off the shore, and walking through the rainforests of the ocean, aka coral reefs is a unique experience.
Lakshadweep is the rare gem in the ocean, with a lot of lagoons and shallow seascapes letting you enjoy a swim by the shore.
4. Glass bottomed boats, Pedal boats, Kayaking, Canoeing
The touristy islands of Lakshadweep offer various water rides like Canoeing, Kayaking, and Pedal boats. Glass bottomed boats are a great way to observe the beautiful underwater world, while you ride the waters.
Kadmat, Kalpeni, and Agatti islands offer exciting water sports like Jet skiing, Parasailing, Windsurfing, and deep-sea fishing. These water sports are the best things to do in Lakshadweep if you love thrilling experiences.
6. Lighthouse, Minicoy
Minicoy Lighthouse is a legendary brick and masonry tower built by the British. It is one of the best tourist places in Lakshadweep and the views from the top of the lighthouse are breathtaking.
7. Marine Aquarium
Marine Aquarium in Kavaratti is the place to experience the incredible underwater world through the glass displays.
8. Pitti Bird sanctuary
Pitti is an uninhabited islet, with a rich coral ecosystem hosting over 75 exotic marine species. It is a revered bird sanctuary for seabirds and a famous bird-watching site in India. Pitti bird sanctuary is one of the top things to do in Lakshadweep.
9. Witness the glowing shore at Night
Lakshadweep shores is one of the rare places in India where bioluminescent plankton glow in the night. These are commonly known as glowing worms, and the dark waters appear like the starry sky.
10. Island hopping
You can go Island hopping to tiny islands surrounded by large lagoons and coral reefs by speed boats or ferries. The Island of Thinnakara, Amindivi, Andretti are best explored this way. Go enjoy the sea, sand, and Sun in these incredible emerald islands of the Arabian sea.
Lakshadweep sells beautiful handicrafts made from oysters and coconut shells. You can buy souvenirs like seashells, coir products, oysters, coral curios and various knick-knacks from roadside shops. You also get the finest tuna fishes from the islands.
FAQ about Lakshadweep
1. Do I need a passport for Lakshadweep?
If you are an Indian national, you do not need a passport. But a permit from the Island’s authorities is required to visit Lakshadweep.
2. What is the best time to visit Lakshadweep?
October to Mid May is the best time to visit Lakshadweep.
3. How can I go to Lakshadweep?
Lakshadweep has an airport at Agatti island. Indian Airlines operates flights six days a week from Kochi airport, Kerala. You can also take one of the seven-passenger ships from Kochi to reach Lakshadweep.
4. Best Island to visit in Lakshadweep?
The best Island to visit in Lakshadweep is Kadmat island. It has the largest coral garden in Lakshadweep and an incredibly large lagoon. It also has excellent amenities for stay and food, and a plethora of water sports.
5. How can I go to Lakshadweep by ship?
Government-run cruises are operated from Kochi port to different Islands of Lakshadweep. You can book one of those to go by ship to Lakshadweep.
6. Do we need a permit to go to Lakshadweep?
Yes, we need a permit from the Government authorities of Lakshadweep to visit the islands. You can get one easily through your travel agent.