Exotic Indian Islands
India is mainly a peninsular landscape surrounded from three sides with water. Apart from the mainland, India has two islands group namely, Andaman & Nicobar Islands group in Bay of Bengal in the east, And Lakshadweep Islands group in Arabian Sea in the west.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands: Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a slice of heavenly paradise brimmed with the picturesque shimming beaches and astonishing lagoons with turquoise blue waters. It is situated at a distance around 1400 km from the eastern coastlines of mainland India, with only 37 islands inhabited out of 572 islands.
Port Blair is the capital city and is connected to various archipelago of Islands through daily ferries. Havelock and Neil Island are the foremost famous islands among tourists mainly known for pearly white sands with palm-lined shores.
Havelock, also known as “An Oasis of Pearl White Shores” is one of the largest and most popular Islands in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Situated at 57 km north-east of the capital city Port Blair, Havelock Island is a paradise of silky white sand beaches, crystal blue water, rich corals and verdant forests. The pristine shores and the aquamarine waters of the island stretch right across its expanses, is the best place to experience the exotic nature of the Island. Elephant beach and Kalapather beach are two other destinations where one can experience the unparalleled the sunrise and sunsets.
Neil Island is mostly famous for being the Vegetable Bowl for Andaman & Nicobar Islands as major farming practices occurs here. Situated in Ritchie’s Archipelago, it is mostly visited by the tourist to experience the beauty of its sandy beaches like Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and the Lakshmanpur Beach.
Ross Island is an inhabited island in Andaman & Nicobar Islands group. Once being the administrative headquarter of British in Andaman till 1941, still has the traces of their existence in the form of rubbles of the church, swimming pool and the chief commissioner’s home with its extensive gardens and magnificent ballrooms. There is also a cemetery and a museum managed by the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy has managed to rebuild some old buildings, such as the local stores and the bakery, to provide the visitors with a feel of the Bygone Era. One can buy souvenirs from these shops.
Delicacy: Like the landscape, the cuisine of Andaman & Nicobar Islands has the essence of tropical, exotic and refreshing foods. The influence of the Hindu, Christian, Muslim and also Sikh religions in the traditional food is extremely strong and one can observe this deep impact on the truly tasty and spicy food of Andaman. Some of the local famous dishes are Fish Curry, Chilli Curry, Coconut Prawn Curry, Tandoori Fish, Grilled Lobster, Squid Fry etc. One can also find popular dishes from other Indian and International cuisines in various restaurants.
How to reach: One can fly from various cities from India to Port Blair. Other means to reach Andaman & Nicobar Islands are various cruises operating from Kolkata and Chennai.
Lakshadweep Islands: Literally meaning “A Hundred Thousand Islands”, Lakshadweep is a group of 36 Islands known for its exotic and sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscapes. Being the smallest and a single-district Union Territory Lakshadweep comprises of 12 atolls, 03 reefs, 05 submerged banks and 10 inhabited islands. Some of the most popular islands in perspective to tourism are Kavaratti, Bangaram, Agatti, Kadmath, Minicoy and Kalpeni.
Special permit required to visit Lakshadweep Island for all the tourists, whether Foreign or Indian Tourists which can be obtained at Kochi itself. But even after permit, foreign tourist are only allowed to visit Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat Islands.
Kavaratti is the capital and administration headquarter of the Island. This beautiful island is the home for 52 beautiful mosques spread throughout the area, with the most beautiful is the Ujra Mosque. The beautiful and calm lagoon made it a tranquilizing destination for the water sports, swimming and snorkeling. The multicoloured underwater life in the lagoons can be viewed through glass-bottomed boats. Kayaks, wind surfers and sailing boats are easily available on hire. The Dolphin Dive Centre is an attraction for those who love scuba dive.
Bangaram is a tiny teardrop shaped island, lies very close to Agatti and Kavaratti. Bangaram is famous among the tourists from all round the world for its pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs. The enchanting view of phosphorescent plankton washed ashore on the coral sands impart a bluish glow to the beach during night is really and treat for the tourists. An ideal destination for shrewdly exclusive tourists, Bangaram has carved its presence within the international tourist map.
Agatti is another gem to the beauty of Lakshadweep, renowned for its blissful beauty of coral reefs. Sttled on one of the coral isles of Lakshadweep, Agatti also serves the region as Airport city welcoming tourists of various countries. Stretched over 8 km, it attracts tourists with its picturesquely beautiful white sand beaches with crystal clear water under clear blue skies.
Minicoy also known as Maliku in local language, has one of the largest lagoons with a small uninhabited islet Viringili on its southern side. Best known for its luxurious resorts, Minicoy Island is an ideal romantic gateway for couples coming to spend some quality time and seeking tranquillity in the lapse of nature at its purest form.
Delicacy: Highly influenced by Keralan Malabar cuisine and abundance of seafood, Lakshadweep cuisine is another example of exotic tropical cuisine. Coconut, fish and rice are the major staple food. Being surrounded by the sea, seafood is widely available and a diverse variety of seafood delicacies are cooked here. Some of the popular dishes are Mus Kavaab, Octopus Fry, Maasu Podichath, Rayereha, Sannath, Coconut Bondas, Moah Appam, Kadalakka, and Sea Fish Cooked in Coconut Sauce.
How to reach: Agatti is the only airport, which has the Air India flights operating from Kochi. Other the flight, one can experience the cruises from Kochi to reach Lakshadweep.