City India

Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep comes from Lakshadweepa, which means "one hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit. Lakshadweep Religion depicts a rather mystique historic tale.

About Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep formerly known as the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands, is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 km off the coast of the South West Indian state of Kerala. They were also known as Laccadive Islands, although geographically this is only the name of the central subgroup of the group.

The islands form the smallest Union Territory of India. The total land area is 11 sq mi or 32 kmĀ². Ten of the islands are inhabited. Lakshadweep is the northern part of the erstwhile Lakshadweepa. The islands are the northernmost among the Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos group of islands, which are actually the tops of a vast undersea mountain range, in the Indian Ocean, the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge.

The land area is 32 square kilometres (12 sq mi); the lagoon area is about 4,200 square kilometres (1,600 sq mi), the territorial waters area is 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi) and the economic zone area is 400,000 square kilometres (150,000 sq mi).

History
The earliest references to the islands is made in Puranuru as part of the ancient (Dravidian) country. There are references to the control of the islands by the Cheras in the Sangam literature Pathitruppaththu. A Pallava inscription of 7th century AD refers to the islands as Dveepa Laksham and lists them as part of the Pallava domain. Local traditions and legends attribute the first settlement on these islands to the period of Cheraman Perumal, the last Chera king of Kerala.[5] The oldest inhabited islands in the group are Amini, Kalpeni Andrott, Kavaratti and Agatti. Lakshadweep islanders were originally Hindus who later converted to Islam in the 14th century. However, recent archaeological evidence has established that Buddhist settlements also had existed in the islands as early as the 6th or 7th century. According to popular tradition, Islam was brought to Lakshadweep by an Arab named Ubaidulla in 41 (661 AD). His grave is located in the island of Andrott. Muslim grave stones dated to 139 (756 AD) have also been discovered here. During the 11th century, the islands came under the rule of the Late Cholas.

In the 17th century, the islands came under the rule of Ali Rajahs/Arakkal Bheevi of Kannur, who received them as a gift from the Kolathiris. The Portuguese took control to exploit coir production until the islanders expelled the Portuguese. The islands are also mentioned in great detail in the stories of the Arab traveller Ibn Batuta.

The Amindivi group of islands (Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra) came under the rule of Tipu Sultan in 1787. They passed to British control after the Third Anglo-Mysore War and were attached to South Canara. The rest of the islands came under the suzerainty of the Arakkal family of Cannanore in return for a payment of annual tribute. The British took over the administration of those islands for non-payment of arrears. These islands were attached to the Malabar district of the Madras Presidency during the British Raj.

Geography
Lakshadweep is an archipelago of twelve atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks, with a total of about thirty-nine islands and islets. The reefs are in fact also atolls, although mostly submerged, with only small unvegetated sand cays above the high water mark. The submerged banks are sunken atolls. Almost all the atolls have a northeast-southwest orientation with the islands lying on the eastern rim, and a mostly submerged reef on the western rim, enclosing a lagoon. It has 10 inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands, attached islets, 4 newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs.

The main islands are Kavaratti (where the capital city, Kavaratti, is located), Agatti, Minicoy, and Amini. The total population of the territory was 60,595 according to the 2001 census. Agatti has an airport where there are direct flights from Kochi, Kerala or Ernakulam (Cochin). Tourists need a permit to visit the islands; foreign nationals are not permitted to visit certain islands. According to the current Alcohol laws of India, consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted in the Lakshadweep Archipelago except on Bangaram Island.

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