- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Literally meaning a 'hundred thousand islands', Lakshadweep has few of the most beautiful and exotic islands and beaches of India.
The smallest Union Territory of India, 'Lakshadweep' is a group of beautiful islands, located some 400km off India's west coast into the Arabian Sea. However, there are only 36 islands having a total area of 32 sq. kilometers. It's made up of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. Ten Islands are inhabited. Perhaps the charm of Lakshadweep islands lies in their remoteness. Far off the beaten track, they attract no hordes of merry makers to their shores. Or perhaps it is the beauty of the islands densely covered with coconut palms, and threaded by an unbroken line of creamy sand; each island serenely set in a sea whose waters range from palest aquamarine and turquoise to deepest sapphire and lapis lazuli. Yet again, may be the unique charm of Lakshadweep lies in the fact that each island, a tiny principality in itself, has existed from time immemorial, with little influence from the outside world.
The islands, though all equally mystical and beautiful, each offers a unique blend of tourist spots. Some islands have been promoted for diving and water sports, still, others have been developed so that people enjoy the charm of relaxation and natural enjoyment. Lakshadweep is typically accessed from Kochi (Kerala) and a permit is required to visit Lakshadweep for all tourists (including Indians). After permit, Indians are permitted to visit all islands, however, even after permit, foreigners are permitted to just visit Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat Islands. Permits can be obtained from Kochi itself.