India’s smallest Union Territory, Lakshadweep is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands in the Arabian Sea. It is a uni-district Union Territory and is comprised of 12 atolls, three coral reefs, five submerged banks and 10 inhabited islands.
Having an area of 32 sq km, it is located 440 km away from the coastal city of Kochi in Kerala.
- Capital – Kavaratti
- Population -64,473
- Population Density – 2015
- Sex Ratio – 945
- Literacy Rate -9%
Lakshadweep became a Union Territory on 1 November 1956. It was known as the Laccadives, Minicoy and Amandivi group of islands before 1973, when it got its current name.
The first Administrator was U.R. Panicker. The current Administrator of Lakshadweep is Farooq Khan.
Local traditions attribute the first, small settlements on these islands to the period of the last king of Kerala. This started on the islands of Amini, Kavaratti, Andrott and Kalpeni. These people later moved to the other islands of Agatti, Kiltan, Chetlat and Kadmat.
The arrival of the Portuguese in India made Laccadives an important place for seafarers.
The island was also ruled by Tipu Sultan till the Battle of Seringapattom in 1799, when it was annexed to the British East India Company.
Historically, the inhabitants of Lakshadweep were known to practice different religious customs. Islam was propounded by Sheikh Ubaidullah which has contributed to the religious identity of Lakshadweep although Hinduism and Christianity are also practiced.
The main languages spoken here are Malayalam, Mahi (Divehi Script), English
Tourism And Economic Activities
Lakshadweep has been a well-known tourist destination since the 1970s, thanks to its isolation and scenic appeal. The government is now actively promoting tourism in Bangaram and Kadmat islands.
Agatti Aerodrome is the only airport in Lakshadweep although there are helicopter and boat services between the main islands.
Fisheries is a thriving activity in Lakshadweep, which has a low poverty index. It is known for its tuna and tuna-like fishes.