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How Many Islands Are There in Lakshadweep?

Lakshadweep, the smallest union territory of India, is an archipelago of 36 islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 km off the coast of Kerala. Known for its pristine beaches, lagoons, and rich marine life, the archipelago has fascinated me since childhood.

As someone who loves island getaways, I've always wondered - how many islands are there exactly in Lakshadweep?

How Many Islands Are There in Lakshadweep?

A Scenic Archipelago

The Lakshadweep islands are the northernmost part of the Chagos-Laccadive ridge, a vast underwater mountain range in the Indian Ocean. Formed by corals, the islands have a scenic appeal with swaying coconut palms, white sand beaches, and spectacular lagoons. The main islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan, Kalpeni, Kadamat, Minicoy, and Bangaram.

Spread over just 32 sq km, the islands offer a relaxing beach holiday amidst natural beauty. The underwater scenery is equally stunning with rich coral reefs and a vibrant marine ecosystem. No wonder Lakshadweep translates to 'a hundred thousand islands' in Malayalam.

Islands in Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep has 12 atolls, 3 reefs, and 5 submerged banks - the total count of islands is 36 as per official records.

The 12 atolls are:

  1. Agatti

  2. Amini

  3. Andrott

  4. Bitra

  5. Chetlat

  6. Kadmat

  7. Kalpeni

  8. Kavaratti

  9. Kiltan

  10. Minicoy

  11. Perumal Par

  12. Suheli Valiyakara

The 3 reefs are:

  1. Bangaram

  2. Cheriyam

  3. Tinnakara

The 5 submerged banks are:

  1. Byramgore Reef

  2. Cherecheal Reef

  3. Viringili

  4. Sesar

  5. Relict Great Chagos

So in total, we have 12 atolls + 3 reefs + 5 submerged banks = 36 islands and islets that comprise the archipelago of Lakshadweep today.

Unique Island Ecosystem

Despite their small land area, the diversity of marine life around Lakshadweep is astounding. The shallow lagoons and tropical climate create perfect breeding grounds for corals, fish, sea turtles, sharks, and seabirds.

Endangered species like the spinner dolphin, pilot whale, and seabirds find refuge in the island reserves. The eco-fragile islands also have over 2000 floral varieties, including some rare endemic plants.

Strict laws protect the flora, fauna, and pristine environment. Island development is restricted and only eco-friendly tourism is promoted here.

The Draw of Lakshadweep

For Indians, Lakshadweep is an unspoiled tropical getaway. The charm lies in the remoteness, scenic beauty, water activities, and locally-flavored seafood. Resorts offer comfortable eco-friendly stays.

Bangaram Island is particularly popular for watersports and diving. Kadmat island promises seclusion and serenity. Minicoy Island showcases the unique culture of the native Mahls. Kavaratti is the administrative capital.

No matter which island you visit, Lakshadweep guarantees a surreal holiday experience. Knowing the precise island tally gives a sense of the diversity packed into this compact tropical territory.

As an avid scuba diver and beach lover, I dream of visiting all 36 Lakshadweep islands someday. Though a permit is needed to visit the islands, the effort is worthwhile to experience nature's treasures first-hand. For now, I'm glad to have satisfied my curiosity on how many islands there are in Lakshadweep.

Hopefully, this handy trivia will inspire your future island adventures as well.


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