The word Lakshadweep translates to a ‘hundred thousand islands’. And the name itself gives away the fact that you’re in for a paradise-like island vacation. The turquoise waters, ocean air, rustling palm trees are a type of serenity that all of us crave and Lakshadweep delivers just that.
There’s so much more to this spellbinding archipelago but many visitors don’t make it here as they get stuck on the planning part. But don’t you worry as we’ve covered it all in our Lakshadweep travel guide. Read our Lakshadweep travel guide and you’ll know how to plan the perfect itinerary for your island vacation.
Lakshadweep is an Indian union territory that lies in isolation in the middle of the Arabian sea, right off the coast of Kerala. Being very close to Kerala, you can reach these islands by sea from Kochi.
A few things you should know about Lakshadweep is that its capital is Kavaratti. Also, although the destination means ‘hundred thousand islands’, the irony is that the archipelago consists of a total of 36 islands. Do note that not all of them are open to visitors.
You should also know that the population of Lakshadweep is sparse and roughly 66,153 people live here. The majority of the locals here are Muslims and Malayalam is the language spoken by most locals. But the dialect changes from island to island. Each island has something unique in terms of dialect that makes it stand out from the others. Jazari and Mahl are the other most spoken languages.
Islam is the religion practiced by most locals and at the capital, which is Kavaratti, you would notice a great number of mosques. As many follow Islam as a religion, festivals like Muharram and Eid are big here.
Many islanders of Lakshadweep are also descendants of those from the Malabar coast of India because of their close proximity. Lakshadweep also has both cuisine and cultural influences because of the number of migrants from the southwestern coast of India that live here.
However, the early settlement of people in Lakshadweep goes back to a legend about the last Chera ruler of Kerala. The narrative tells us that the Chera ruler had a dream to convert to Islam. The dream influenced him to set out to the Arabian sea. Boats were then sent out in search of the ruler but unfortunately got caught up in a crazy storm. The storm forced the seafarers to change course and that’s how the search boats discovered the many islands of Lakshadweep. Oral traditions inform us about this legendary tale of Lakshadweep but the story of the original settlers still remains a mystery.
Today, the Lakshadweep economy depends largely on tourism, the fishing industry, and fiber production. The lives of locals here are simple and very much dependent on tourists and the sea. The islands are great for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and scuba diving. You can engage in these water sports and support the locals that organize these water sports for you. In terms of cuisine, you’ve got to make sure to try the fresh catch of the day. The Mus Kavaab (a boneless local fish) and Maasu Podichath (a tuna fish dish) are popular fish dishes you can try once you’re here.
Also read: Top 7 Things To Do In Lakshadweep
There are two ways in which you can get to Lakshadweep islands, one of them is by air and the other by cruise. We’ll explain more about both these options so you can decide which one is the more viable option for you -
If you plan on reaching Lakshadweep by air, you would need to book your air ticket to Agatti Aerodrome (AGX), which is the only airport in Lakshadweep. Flights to Agatti Aerodrome don’t fly out very often, so make sure you book at least a month in advance. Also, keep in mind that Kochi is a compulsory en-route stopover. This is why most people taking a flight to the islands, plan a night in Kochi. You can consider doing so if it makes the journey more convenient.
Once you reach the airport, you would need to book a boat to get to the island where your accommodation is. It’s best to book a package with an agency that gets you a boat ticket in advance. Agatti, Bangaram, and Kavaratti are the islands that are in close proximity to the airport that can be explored.
Now the second way to get to Lakshadweep is by taking a fun cruise. There are 7 passenger ships to choose from namely - MV Kavaratti, MV Arabian Sea, MV Lakshadweep Sea, MV Lagoon, MV Corals, MV Amindivi, and MV Minicoy. You would have to board any of these cruises from Kochi and then reach the respective island you wish to explore. There are different categories on these cruises such as first-class, second-class, bunk bed, and air-conditioned seating. Book the category that fits your budget.
The cruise can be a lot cheaper than flights, costing you anywhere from INR 20,000 to INR 30,000 per person. But do note that tickets for the cruise can get sold out very quickly. Make sure you have a good travel agent that can book your tickets in advance. There is also a special cruise by the name Lakshadweep Samudram that takes passengers to 3 islands over a course of 5 days. Many tourists find this is a solid deal and you can consider it too.
The only downside to a cruise is that you travel with a bunch of passengers and your plans are tied to the schedule of the cruise. On the positive side, the cruise allows you to cover some of the islands that are far off from the airport. Plus all meals are covered in the cost so you’re not worrying too much about planning your day. But if you want a more private vacation where you have the freedom to explore and have more control over your itinerary, then the cruise might not be the best option for you.
You can visit Lakshadweep anytime between October to May. It’s best to avoid visiting Lakshadweep during the monsoon season (June to mid-September) as most boat services remain closed.
If you plan to visit in March, April or May be sure to wear a good amount of sunscreen, hydrate enough, and carry sunblock glares. The rays of the sun can get pretty harsh during the summers. Overall, Lakshadweep is an island vacation destination so make sure to pack your bathing suits and favorite summer outfits.
Also Read: Experience The Poovar Island in Kerala
Lakshadweep is a tropical paradise best explored by foot. You can easily explore the island you’re staying at by just strolling and don’t really require a vehicle. You can also ask your accommodation to book you a car or a motorcycle to rent depending on the location you wish to explore.
Keep in mind that as you explore, you should have your permit with you at all times. You don’t want to be caught wandering on the island without a permit. The islands that tourists are allowed to explore include Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan, Thinnakara, and Minicoy.
Minicoy, Bangaram, Kavaratti, Agatti and Kadmat are the most popular ones. Kavaratti is the most developed from the other islands since it is also the capital. When you’re exploring Kavaratti you’ll feel the hustle and bustle, while with other islands it's much quieter.
Also read: Kerala Travel Guide
'There’s hardly any adventure in Lakshadweep'
Don’t be too quick to fall for this stereotype that portrays Lakshadweep as a low-adventure holiday, as it’s far from the truth. Lakshadweep has so many adventure water activities to offer its visitors and is one of the best spots to go scuba diving. The islands have rich marine biodiversity and when you go snorkeling or scuba diving you would feel like you’re a character in ‘Finding Nemo’. The water is also crystal clear which makes this adventure ten times better. Besides that, you can always go kayaking and swimming. If you’re a water baby, you’re definitely in for the adventure of a lifetime.
Minicoy is the second largest island in Lakshadweep and you’ve got to come here to go kayaking and take a swim as well. Minicoy is the closest to the Maldives and is also called the lost Maldive island.
Tip from us - Definitely go check out the lighthouse at Minicoy for an eagle-eye view of the island.
Lakshadweep has a rich marine life and to get a peek into what’s underwater, you’ve got to go snorkeling here. Kalpeni is a great island for snorkeling and it's especially great fun if you haven’t tried it before. The water in Lakshadweep is far from murky so you get a polished view of the living corals underwater.
If snorkeling seems fun but you want to immerse deeper into the water to explore more of the marine life, then scuba diving will offer you just that. Kavaratti is the go-to island for scuba diving but you can practically go scuba diving at any of the islands of your choice.
How Much Does A Lakshadweep Trip Cost?
A trip to Lakshadweep can cost you anywhere from INR 28,000 to INR 35,000 (for a single person). If you wish to stay in more luxurious accommodations, costs can go over INR 50,000.
How Many Days Are Enough For Lakshadweep?
Ideally, you should plan your holiday in Lakshadweep for at least 5 days to fully enjoy the destination at a relaxing pace. Many tourists visit for 3 days as well and still have a relaxing time at one island. If you want to cover more islands, it's best to stay longer. If you want to relax for longer, you can plan your trip for up to 7 days.
Do You Need A Passport To Enter Lakshadweep?
For an Indian traveler, a passport is not compulsory to enter Lakshadweep but you need to carry some identity like your Aadhar card. You also need to apply for an entry permit which you can do with the help of a Lakshadweep travel agent.
Is Liquor Allowed In Lakshadweep?
Drinking liquor was prohibited in Lakshadweep, but in 2021 the union territory lifted the ban on the consumption of alcohol.
Which Is The Best Season To Visit Lakshadweep?
Anytime from October to March is a great time to visit Lakshadweep. But keep in mind that the weather does get super hot in March, April, and May, so you want to wear sunscreen at all times to avoid getting a sunburn.
How many days are enough for Lakshadweep?
Lakshadweep can be covered easily in 3-4 days, but the best way to enjoy this scenic island is to spend atleast a week here. You can explore the white sandy beaches and turquoise oceans in-depth in a week's time.
What is the climate of Lakshadweep?
Lakshadweep enjoys a tropical climate with hot and humid summers and humidity all around the year. The summer temperatures rise up to 33ºC while the lowest winter temperature is as low as 20ºC. The island sees heavy rainfall and tropical thunderstorms during the monsoons.
How many airports are there in Lakshadweep?
The Lakshadweep Islands have only one airport located on Agatti Island - the Agatti Aerodome (AGX).