Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lakshadweep - cool, calm and good times!

A travelogue on Lakshadweep

The calmness of the sea calls me, for I shall go there again in the time to come!

Well, that’s what I can tell about our trip to Lakshadweep or one hundred thousand islands, the name derived from Sanskrit.

Our journey started off from Cochin on a ship INS Minicoy. I must tell you that it’s not a Cruiser, but nevertheless, our journey was comfortable and enjoyable. Our journey lasted for about 14 hours and we spent most of our time on the deck watching the ever reaching blue waters and an occasional group of dolphins, and not to forget the clear sky at night with lotsa twinkling stars, which would otherwise get blurred due to pollution in namma bengalooru!

Our co-passengers included tourists like us and the islanders (residents of Lakshadweep). Once you are in the ship, you are at your liberty! But no smoking and boozing! The crew was very professional and friendly too; they allowed us to have a sneak at their control room and explained few things on navigation. The ships are equipped with the state of the art navigation system, so you can be sure that you land at Lakshadweep and not anywhere else!

You can select various packages and the one we selected took us to an island called Kadmat, it’s a long narrow island with beaches on both the sides, hardly few hundred meters apart at farthest point. Once the ship reaches close-by to the island, you will be offloaded to few small motor boats that will take you to the shore. The shallowness does not permit the ships to navigate further.

Once we landed at the island, we were treated with some sweetest tasting tender coconuts ever! And off we went to our rooms. The rooms are clean and cozy, even though I booked the package almost three months in advance, all the AC rooms were booked before!, but the real pleasure was in the breeze carried from the sea. So don’t fret if you do not get AC accommodation. Once we relaxed for a while, the enthusiasm to jump into the water was like never before.

We were all set to get wet! Our first day adventure involved water sports activity. We were provided with the Snorkeling gear. The surprise part was when the instructor told us to spit on the goggles to prevent moisture getting deposited. We had to oblige our instructor even if we did not like that, but that’s the standard practice all across for using eye-gears under water….and you thought this blog was all about travel ah? See I taught you the first lessons of Snorkerling J

We had to overcome our fears to swim through the water but it all vanished as we moved further in the calm waters. To encourage you, the waters are not at all rough. I was wondering if this was a sea or a lake! Round one was with the instructor holding my hand and taking us under water to show a colorful marine life.

But the best part was me and my wife going for a big round of snorkeling holding our hands! It was an unforgettable experience. Ah…Don’t blame me now if your spouse insists that next holiday should be in Lakshadweep!

One of the other good points about this tour was delicious food. Right from breakfast to the dinner it’s neat, tasty and sumptuous.

We had some freshly caught fishes during dinner….I got to taste the Flying Fish too. Well, it pales in comparison to the pomphret, I get to eat in Karwar! At the canteen you the pictorial display of the fauna of the Lakshadweep. You also get vegetarian food too, but don’t expect great vegetarian food at a non-vegetarian hotel! Hey am not scaring you off, it’s still decent.

Our sight seeing on the other part of Kadmat island allowed us to have a closer look at the life of the people here. Since this being an island, there are not much activity in terms of big industries, but you can find Tourism and Coir industry prevalent. You get some really cool products here: coconut seeds, threads, desiccated coconut powder, baskets,bags foot mats, pure coconut oil (do not forget to buy one)…remember coconut tree is called Kalpavruksha..

I was talking to one gentleman whom I had met in the ship, while on a visit to the local community. Yes, there is a school and college here. He is a teacher and is an islander. Believe it or not, the moment I told him I am from Bangalore he started off in chaste Kannada, which is becoming a rarity nowadays in Bangalore amidst all the IT and BT.

Amongst other things you can do at Kadmat Island is Scuba diving. There is a scuba diving training center, it was officially inaugurated the day we landed here and the instructor told me that its one of the best and the cheapest in this part of the world.

You will also get your quota of free time to explore the island on your own…we made some good use of it to ramp! Aha just kidding…

We even got time to leave our footprints on the sand….reminds me of old an ad-song featuring master blaster that goesl like this-tum samay ki reth par…..I think it was from action shoes ad.

Finally, we also found Hrithik Roshan on the island, yes our own Hrithik on the motor boat that took us to the INS Minicoy for the journey back home. Here he is : ) )

At the end, I would like to thank the SPORTS authority, the cabin and the crew at the INS Minicoy and the people of Lakshadweep for a fabulous time we had there.

We had booked our package through the SPORTS or Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports (

Some info that you could make use of:

Tour Organizer: SPORTS or Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports (, A Govt of India undertaking, but do not expect any bureaucracy here. They are very professional.

Food: Great

Hospitality: Amazing, pretty cool! You will have good times!

Ship Journey: A bit tiring but you can enjoy the dolphins, flying fishes and stars

Package Cost: Approx around 25k for two people for 5 days, but this varies on islands and the package itself.

Travel time: Approx 18 hrs one-way on the ship, but now there are daily Kingfisher flights originating from Bangalore to Agatti island via cochin (

Best time to visit: October -January

Digg my article

---Please click on the View Album on top to check out the pictures ----