The name Lakshadweep came from the Sanskrit word “Lakshadwipa” meaning one lakh islands is also known as the Laccadive Islands. Formed by the Union Government of India on 1 November 1956, this is the only Indian district with 10 sub- divisions. The serving capital city of this Union Territory is Kavaratti and this Union territory has 13 districts. This region comes under the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court. The official language is Malayalam and English whereas the other languages spoken here Dhivehi and Hindi. The main islands located here are Kavaratti, Agatti, Amini and Minicoy.
|Established||1 November,, 1956|
|High Court||Kerala High Court|
|National Parks||Pitti Bird Sanctuary|
|Languages||Divehi, Malayalam, Jeseri, Tamil, Mahi, English|
|State Animal||Butterfly fish|
|State Bird||Noddy Tern|
|State Tree||Bread fruit|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||92.28%|
|Females per 1000 males||946|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||1|
Archaeological evidence supports the existence of human settlement in the islands of Lakshadweep around 1500 BC. These islands were also mentioned in the Buddhist Jataka stories of the sixth century BC. During the 7th century the Muslim missionaries arrived at this region and this marks the arrival of Islam. The medieval age Lakshadweep flourished under the rule of Chola dynasty and the Kingdom of Cannanore. The region was also ruled by the Portuguese, Muslim house of Arakkal and finally Tipu Sultan. After Tipu Sultan’s death Lakshadweep came under the British rule and after Indian independence in 1947, the Union Territory of Lakshadweep was thus formed.
The total surface area is just 32 km2 and this Union territory is a combination of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks with a total number of 29 islands and islets. Almost all islands have a Northeast-southwest orientation located on the eastern rim. Mostly the submerged reef is located on the western rim including a lagoon. The main islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Minicoy, and Amini. The region is located on the Arabian Sea.
According to the 2011 census of India Lakshadweep has a population of 64,429 and has a population density of 2,013 inhabitants per square kilometer (5,210/sq mi).Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 6.23%. Lakshadweep has a sex ratio of 946 females for every 1000 males and a literacy rate of approximately 91.85%.
The Gross territorial domestic product for 2004 is $60 million at current prices. Economic inequality and poverty index is lower than other Indian States and Union territories. The economic income mainly comes from the production of coconut fiber extraction and production of fiber products by the leading industries of Lakshadweep. These factories mainly consists of five coir fiber factories, five production demonstration centers and seven fiber curling units which are managed by the Government of India. These units produce coir fiber, coir yarn, curled fiber and door and floor mats. Other occupation of the island people are fishing and tourism. The fishery business of Lakshadweep is one lakh tones which consist of fresh tuna, quality sharks and other various kinds of sea fish.
Lakshadweep is one of the tourist attractions of India since 1974 due to its isolation and scenic beauty. The Government is vigorously making tourism a great economic contribution to the GDP of this region since there are fewer industries. Bangaram and Kadmat Islands are the main destinations which are well-suited to match with the international tourism. Tourists assemble to these islands throughout the year, except during the South-west monsoon months when seas are extremely forceful. Other worth-visiting places are Kavaratti, Kalpeni and Minicoy Lighthouse.
Water sports activities such as scuba diving, wind surfing, snorkeling, surfing & kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, sport fishing, yachting and night sea voyages are popular activities among the local people and the tourists.
Road transport at Lakshadweep is quite nil due to lack of roads, Airways and waterways are the best medium to reach this Union territory and roam around here. Agatti Aerodrome is the only airport in Lakshadweep located on Agatti Island. Alliance Air also serves Agatti Airport which connects mainland places like Kochi and Bengaluru. Earlier Kingfisher Airlines too served at Agatti before getting close. The connection to other Islands of Lakshadweep is done by Pawan hans helicopter or via boat services. Moreover, 6 ships connect Kochi, Calicut (Beypore) and other parts of Lakshadweep.
This region has combination of various peoples speaking Malyalam, Mahi, Hindi, Tamil and English. The main festivals celebrated here are Sufi festivals and Eid. The festival of Ratheeb is another rare occasion which originated in the Kavaratti region of Lakshadweep. The grave of Sheikh Kasim, one of the respected saints is praised during Ratheeb by the people of the island to gather his holy blessings.
Lakshadweep also has considerable good colleges and educational institutes which shapes the future of the young residents of this beautiful Island. Some of the best educational institutes are Government Jawaharlal Nehru College which is affiliated to the University of Calicut, situated at Kadmat. Other well-known college is the Mahatma Gandhi College. All these colleges offer degree and diploma courses in Arts, Science and Technology. This region has worked a lot in ringing up the literacy rate. They adopted the total literacy campaign in 1992 for the same. They also adopted the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which was an initiative by the Government of India, to provide elementary education to all children from the age group of 6 years to 14 years. Some of the best education provided is from schools like Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kendriya Vidyalaya and Minicoy Senior Secondary School.
Hospital and Healthcare
Lakshadweep has some of the best hospitals to take care of its resident’s health. These are Indira Gandhi Hospital which is located at Kavaratti, Government Hospital at Minicoy and other hospitals on the list.