Saturday, December 18, 2021





An excellent example of environmentally protected islands is that of Laksha Dweep!

A trip to the South Western Indian islands, Laksha Dweep, a union territory, was a long awaited dream, which got fulfilled suddenly. Boarding a small plane, while going to Laksha Dweep islands from Cochin and while coming back, from Laksha Dweep to Cochin by the gulf war hero ship Tipu Sultan, to and fro, it was totally a dream come true!
Lakshadweep is a group of 36 islands; known for its luscious natural coral reefs, beautiful silty beaches and scenic landscapes. India’s smallest Union Territory; it has an area of 32 sq km. The only airstrip is at the capital Kavaratti about 400 km away from Kochi in Kerala, in the Arabian Sea. Lakshadweep boasts of clean and pure environment with sandy beaches, natural landscapes and greatly diverse flora and fauna. Solar lights cover the whole of Kavaratti, an excellent example of harnessing of natural resources. Agatti, Bangaram are popular beaches; Bangaram being the only island on which foreign tourists and liquor are allowed.

The priceless coral reefs surrounding the whole of Lakshadweep spread into blue green lagoons, reaching out to one and half to two kilometers. Lazing around in the lagoons, snorkelling and scuba diving was our important agenda for those mystical days. Away from the city hustle bustle, it was an out of the world experience, to be a part of and to enjoy that oceanic world, its magical beauty, underwater flora and fauna and god gifted natural products! We had the privilege of snorkelling, whenever we could, in the lagoons which spread to quite some distance all around the Kavaratti Island.

Laksha Dweep boasts of one of the world’s most significant coral reefs; which is its precious treasure and from what I have experienced, this treasure is being dearly protected by the government. No one is allowed to touch any of the precious corals of various shapes, sizes and colours, lying luxuriously on the sun – kissed beaches. Environmentally, the islands have been well protected from human attacks and preserved; as collecting of shells and corals, disturbing of natural habitats is totally prohibited. Scanning of tourist baggage in the customs, for smuggled natural products is a routine. No one is allowed to take away anything from the islands and all baggage is scanned at the exit point.

Our stay was on this island, in beautiful cottages, equipped with all amenities; though, we would be on the beach, the whole day!

Coconuts and fish are the main natural products, which are the economical backbone of the region. Population is sparse but hard working. While taking a walk on the beautiful islands, residents would offer us coconut water and fresh coconut flesh. Eating on the islands was a pleasure because of the ample coconut recipe varieties, tasty curries, beans and fish! Food resources, items would be brought by ships from Cochin coast; hence they are precious and preserved and not wasted.

Cleanliness is given prime importance and no stray animals are visible. One end of Kavaratti has the airstrip; at the other is an elegant lighthouse. Photographers amongst us, had a great time clicking away.

Coming back by Tipu Sultan, the giant Gulf war fame ship was another out of the world experience, which needs greater elaboration!

What impressed me most and what is rare nowadays was that, anywhere we went; the beaches were spotless, sparkling clean! No plastic, plastic bottles, debris was visible anywhere. We visited Bangaram, Agatti, two to three other un-inhabited islands but had the same sense of cleanliness, freshness and purity, thanx to the management and authorities!

Can we truly compare our other tourists’ places with this? I am not so sure!

 Prof. Dr. Jaya Kurhekar

Green Blogger