Ethnically, the people of the islands are very similar to the people of Kerala, even their language is the same except in Minicoy where Mahl is spoken. As Muslims, they have conservative customs and traditions and yet they are liberal in approach.
Each island, has several mosques. Ladies are not permitted to enter. Non-availability of drinking water accounts for a number of islands being uninhabited
Cities of Lakshadweep
Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is a bustling 400-year-old metropolis with several prominent places in and around it. The city is cosmopolitan, and is richly endowed with a variety of cultures. Kurnool was the capital of Andhra Pradesh from 1953 until 1956. As the heart of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada is 275-km from Hyderabad, and is a business cum pilgrim cum tourist centre. Warangal was the ancient capital of the Kakatiya rulers. Lapped by the Bay of Bengal, on the eastern part of Andhrapradesh lies the beach city, Vishakapatnam. Tirupati is one of the important pilgrim centres in India. Anantapur lies in the westernmost part of the state, representing true blend of history and modernity on one side and pilgrimage and forts on the other. Eluru the head quarters of East Godavari district is famous for its thriving woollen pile carpet industry.
Located in the northeastern part of the Andhra Pradesh State, in the Krishna River delta, Guntur lies on the Vijayawada-Madras trunk road, about 9-km to the east of the picturesque Kondaveedu range of hills. It is the headquarters of the district of its name, Revenue division and Taluk. It is one of the oldest municipalities having been constituted in AD 1866. The French founded the city in the mid-eighth century, but in 1788 it was ceded permanently to the British. The village of ‘Ramachandrapuram Agraharam’, which is now part of Guntur city, is considered much older than Guntur as it is testified by an inscription dated AD 1296 .
Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is a bustling 400-year-old metropolis with an urban population of 4.2 million people approximately. Hyderabad is located on the Deccan Plateau and the Musi River, 650m above sea level. The physiography of Hyderabad is dominated by hills, tanks, forests, and rock formations. The city of Hyderabad is famous for its minarets and its pearl bazaar. Pearls from all over the world are said to come to Hyderabad because the artisans here are skilled in piercing and stringing pearls without damaging them. The city’s gypsy tribes called ‘Lambadas’ and ‘Banjaras’ are known throughout the country.
Kurnool lies in the west-central part of Andhra Pradesh State, southern banks of the Tungabhadra and Handri rivers. It was the capital of Andhra Pradesh from 1953 until 1956. It is the headquarters of the district . In 12th century AD, the Odders, who carted stones for the construction of the temple Alampur, used the site on which the town now stands as a halting place before crossing the Tungabhadra and greased their cart wheels with oil locally supplied by some of the oil mongers, and called the place ‘Kandanavolu’ which in course of time came to be known as Kurnool.
Nellore City is picturesquely situated on the north bank of Pennar River. It lies in the southern part of the Andhra Pradesh State. It is believed that it derived its name, as paddy is extensively cultivated in and around the other neighbouring areas of Nellore, where ‘Nellu’ means paddy and ‘Ur’ means a town. Nellore was also known as Vikramasimhapuri. Historically, the place is very important. Culturally, Nellore town stands unique among the other towns of Andhra Pradesh as it is supposed to be the place where the greatest of the Telugu poets, Tikkana Somayaji, who translated the Mahabharata into Telugu, lived.
Tirupati City is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh State. It lies about 152-km northwest of Chennai in the Palkonda Hills. Tirupati is known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshvara (also spelt as ‘Venkatesvara’), “Lord of Seven Hills”. About 10-km northwest of Tirupati, at an elevation of 750m, is the sacred hill of Tirumala, which was considered so holy that before 1870 non-Hindus were not permitted to ascend it.
Vijayawada, also called as “Bezawada”, is 257-km from Hyderabad and is located on the banks of the Krishna River, and is bounded by the Indrakiladri hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North. Situated along the Chennai- Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail route, this is the largest railway junction of the South Central Railway. The city forms a part of the Krishna district, spread over an area of 58-sq- kms (urban area). Vijayawada or the “City of Victory” if literally translated gets its name from the legend, which says it was here on the Indrakiladri Hill, that Arjuna, the Pandava Prince, won the blessings of Lord Shiva for his penance.
According to the history, the city was named after the god of ‘Valor-Vishakha’. It was a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, under Ashoka’s rule in 260 B.C. It passed on later to the Andhra Kings of ‘Vengi’. After this Pallava, Chola and Ganga dynasties ruled the city. In the 15th century, Vishakhapatnam became a part of the Vijayanagar Empire. The Europeans, the Dutch, the French and the English established themselves from the 17th century onwards and used this as a major trading center to export textiles, ivory, tobacco, indigo etc. This port is well documented in the histories of these colonial powers as well as in Indian historical records. This coast played a major role during the reign of the Asaf Jahis and the Golcondas.
Warangal is located on northern Andhra Pradesh State lies along the Chennai-Kazipet-Delhi rail route. Warangal was the ancient capital of the Kakatiyas, an Andhra dynasty that flourished in the 12th century AD. The city stands out for its beautiful lakes, temples and wildlife. It is very rich in antiques and relics. Warangal’s fort, lying southeast of the present-day city, was once surrounded by two walls, traces of the outer wall remain, as do the four stone gateways (‘sanchar’) of the inner wall. A thousand-pillared temple, built in 1162, is located within the city itself. Warangal is now a commercial and industrial center
Water Sports at Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep offers some of the best swimming beaches in the world. Both Bangaram and Agatti Island resorts has well arranged aquatic sports like Kayaking, Snorkeling, scuba diving, Glass bottomed boat, canoeing, skiing, excursion to nearby islands and much more. The bewitching beauty of tropical coral island at its best. And the excitement of life as never before.
The kayak is an excellent way to have fun on the water. It not only gives you the exercise but is also fun in racing your friends or family. Traditionally Kayaks are used for short distance transportation. The kayak is propelled by a double bladed paddle. The kayak and its paddle are made of fiber.
The best way to explore under water life without the hassle’s of Scuba Diving. Discover the diversity of marine life of these beautiful islands. Explore the underwater world, enjoy the sublime seascapes. The lagoons here are huge and shallow, leaving a lot of space for a good swim. Snorkel trips are organized to nearby island reefs. Snorkeling is a common form of diving on the surface or just below on the surface of the water. A snorkel is a tube that allows the diver to breathe while floating at the water’s surface. One end fits in the divers mouth and the other end extends above the water to get the air for breathing.
A gentle and relaxing activity where the only noise is the wind, the sails and the water lapping against the hull. It can also be a fast active sport where a gust of wind will catch the sail driving you forward with an acceleration which you would not have expected.
Scuba Diving is for those who want to explore the world beneath the sea, hidden to naked eyes. The islands offer a wealth of relatively new, untouched dive site in the world. There are opportunities for divers of all levels of experience, and most dive locations are within an easy boat trip from the shore. Diving is very enjoyable and is the only sport where you feel that you are in a zero gravity environment. A must do activity.
The thrilling sport of fishing. Now closer to you at the Agatti Island Beach Resort. The waters off these islands are abounding with sport fish like Tuna, Kingfish, Barracuda, Shark, Snappers, and Stonefish to name a few. We have a unique method of fishing called the Poll and Line system available at Lakshadweep Only. Guests are offered options according to their interests: Hardcore fishing fans can take the boats for deep sea fishing, where as those looking for leisure fishing will enjoy Lagoon fishing. And the best part is you can barbeque what you catch
Islands in Lakshadweep
Kalpeni has three uninhabited satellite islands, all surrounded by an immense lagoon of spectacular beauty. Sunlight on the water causes it to sparkle and flash like a million aquamarines. Koomel, the gently curving bay where the tourist facilities are located, directly over- looks Pitti and Thilakkm, two of the islands. Here you can swim, reef walk, snorkel or use water sports equipment like kayaks, and sail boats. Now the tourist facilities have been augmented and tourists can stay on the island in privately managed huts, depending on the package. This lagoon is specially rich in coral life.
A particularly fine lagoon, of even depth and an endless shoreline, perfect for swimming, makes Kadmath a haven of solitude. The tourist huts are situated some distance away from habitation, with only the splash of the waves to break the silence. During the day, when the heat of the overhead sun becomes too strong, the feathery network of coconut palms provides a canopy throughout the island, through which light dimly filters, green and cool. It is the only island with lagoons on both eastern and western sides. A Water Sports Institute providing water sports facilities has been set up in Kadmath
The administrative capital, Kavaratti is the most developed of the islands with the highest percentage of non-islanders as residents. Fifty two mosques are spread out over the island, the most beautiful being the Ujra mosque. A well, within its precincts, is believed to contain water of curative powers. The Ujra mosque has an ornately carved ceiling, said to have been carved from a piece of driftwood. Kavaratti also has an aquarium with several colourful species of fish. There is a glass bottom boat for viewing marine life and an array of remarkable coral formations that pro- vides a background to the lagoons and the islands: within them.
There is something indescribably romantic about the very notion of an uninhabited island and Bangaram justifies that feeling. Tear-drop shaped, it is encircled by a continuous halo of creamy sand. Like all the other islands of Lakshadweep, luxuriant plantations of coconut provide coolness even during the hottest part of the day. There are three uninhabited islands in the same atoll consisting of Tinnakara, Parali-l, Parali-ll, perfect for a day’s outing. All the islands share the same lagoon, an enormous bowl of turquoise blue. At twilight, the setting sun, a ball of crimson in a flaming sky, casts its reflection on the water.
Furthest from Kavaratti island, 200 km away to the south and also nearest to the Maldives, Minicoy has a lighthouse built by the British in 1885. Visitors are allowed up, right to the very top. Words cannot do justice to the incredible size of the lagoon, one of the largest in Lakshwadeep, the green of coconut trees, and the mirror-like surface of an inland lake as it nestles in one corner of the island. Minicoy has a culture very different from any other island – dress, language, food, all differ. Minicoy has a cluster of 10 villages, which are called Athiris, each presided over by a Moopan.
Resorts in Lakshadweep
BANGARAM ISLAND RESORT
The Jewel of the Lakshadweep, Bangaram Island is an uninhabited haven. Barring the occasional visitor from nearby Agatti (where the airport is situated), the only residents are the resort staff. Bangaram presents a breathtaking spectacle of sparkling coral reefs, turquoise blue lagoons, silvery beaches and lush green coconut palms. All preserved in the state little different from the days of Charam Perumal’s reign.Leaving the visitor with a difficult choice. Activity or inactivity? The more unhurried can simply laze on the silver beaches, soak in the sun, listen to the sound of the waves and watch the swaying of the palms.
AGATTI ISLAND BEACH RESORT
Agatti Island Beach Resort presents a breath taking spectacle of sparkling coral reefs, turquoise blue lagoons, silvery beaches and lush green coconut palms. The resort is located in the most serene spot of the Island. Agatti Island Beach Resorts offers some of the best swimming beaches in the world. The resort has a good beach and lagoon on to its front. The lagoon is huge, shallow, leaving a lot of space for a good swim. Additional beauty is added by the numerous coconut trees surrounding the resort. The hosts of the resort are very friendly and well mannered and will attend to the guests needs instantly.