100,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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An archipelago of 26 exquisitely coral islands, Lakshadweep islands are scattered off the Kerala coast in the Arabian Sea. Covering an area of 32 sq. km. Out of 26 small islands, only ten are inhabited and they are Andrott, Amini, Agatti, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmath, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. The marine wealth of these islands is quite vivid and varied. Each island is densely covered with coconut palms, and serenely set in a sea, the waters of which range from palest aquamarine and turquoise, to deepest sapphire and lapis lazuli. There are about 120 coral species distributed in 40 types. In the case of fish there are about 110 types of which ‘Tuna’ constitutes the major share.

The islands together have a shore length of 132 kms. The coral reef, like a boundary wall protects the lagoon from rough sea. As a result the water of the lagoon is calm and serene within the periphery beyond which the pale blue turns into deep blue due to the depth. Lakshadweep Islands have a total lagoon area of 4200 sq. kms., 20,000 sq. kms. of territorial waters and over 400.000 sq. kms. of economic zone. In this respect, Lakshadweep is very much important from the economic point of view. The near by port are Calicut (346 Km), Cochin (404 km) and Mangalore (352 km). Airport of Lakshadweep is located in Agatti.

About 93 percent of the people in Lakshadweep are Shafi School Muslims of the Sunni sect, and they speak Malayalam, except in Minicoy where they speak Mahal. Water sports facilities like swimming, Rafting, snorkeling, windsurfing, parasailing, water skiing, yachting, catamaran sailing, deep sea fishing and scuba diving are available in the islands. The tourism attractions in the islands are essentially restricted to their magnificent lagoons, sylvan sea shores, miles of sun drenched sand and the enchantment of swaying palms....



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