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Map of Lakshadweep (Source: India-WRIS)



Early history of this region is not much known. The islands supposed to have been inhabited first are Amini, Kalpeni, Andrott, Kavaratti and Agatti. It was believed that original inhabitants of this region were Hindu and they were converted to Islam in the thirteenth century by an Arab Saint called Ubaidulla. But recently unearthed archaeological evidence suggests that this region was occupied by the Buddhist community around sixth or seventh century and they are converted to Islam by the Muslim converters in eighth century. In the 16th century the independent islanders took the assistance of Raja of Chirakkal in fear of Portuguese invaders. Later it was transferred to Jaigir Ali Raja and ruled this region upto 1787. From 1787-1791 Tipu Sultan ruled this region. After that this region passed to the hands of British. However, 'Bibi' of Cannanore was allowed to retain her hold on the district by paying an annual tribute. This arrangement is continued till 1875 ad thereafter British took over the administration of this region completely. British ruled this state till the independence. In 1956, the islands are constituted into a single territory, and since then it has been directly administered by the Union Government.


Lakshadweep is scattered in the Arabian Sea 200 to 400 km away from Malabar coast and 10 to 400 km from each other. The islands are generally aligned from north to south with one exception namely, Andrott, which lies east to west. It is said that the islands and reefs were formed as a result of the coral growths over the continuation of the Aravalli system of rock of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The islands are scattered in the Arabian Sea. There exist no kinds of forest except thick coconut tree.


  • Agriculture
  • Industry


Coconut is the only major crop in Lakshadweep. Fishing is another major occupation of Lakshadweep. The sea around the island is highly productive. The islands stand first in the country in per capita availability of fish.


Coconut fibre extraction and fibre production is the major industry of this territory. There are few small industrial units like boat building, tuna canning, backeries, hosiery factory, venegar and jagerry making, flour and oil mills and furniture making etc. There are seven coir fibre production cum demonstration unit and four coir curling units under government sector. Apart from these factories small coir units are also functioning under private ownership in different islands.


  • Transport

In Lakshadweep there were no regular transport facilities between mainland and islands of the union territory till the late fifties. The traditional system of transport Odams and Bandodies were used for transportation. Now MV Tipu Sultan, MV Bharath Seema and MV Dweep Setu carry passengers to and from the islands to Cochin and Beypore ports. For cargo handling from mainland there are MV Udaidulla, MV Thinnakara, MV Laccadives and MV Cheriyam. Kadeeja Beevi and Humeedath Bi ply between all islands except Minicoy. There are island to island and island to mainland helicopter service in Lakshadweep. Indian Airlines connects Agatti and Kochi daily and Agatti and Goa twice weekly.


Lakshadweep is a group of coral islands entirely covered by coconut trees and with lake and lagoons. The scenic beauty of the whole islands is charming. Tourism industry is one of the major industry of this islands. To develop the tourism industry Indian government takes several initiatives like water sports complex, arrangement of fishing in the deep sea, viewing the underwater coral world in a glass bottom boat etc. Some of the important tourist centres are Minicoy island, Bangaram island etc.

(Data Source: IndiaStat Website)

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