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Diving in Lakshadweep

The clear waters and beautiful coral atolls of Lakshadweep are a refreshing and surprising change from the hustle and bustle of India.

Diving in Lakshadweep

Quick facts

The best time to book a trip to Lakshadweep is during October to May as the weather is favorable and waters are calm. Water temperature is warm at 80-82°F (27-28°C) and you can expect excellent visibility which can stretch up to 150ft (45m).

There are only a few dive operators to choose from and these can be found on the islands of Bangaram, Kadmat, Kavaratti and Minicoy. The islands have limited accommodation so be sure to book in advance to secure a spot. As waters are quite calm and current is moderate, this is an ideal destination for new divers while more experience divers will not be disappointed with the rich marine biodiversity and unspoilt reefs.

The dive sites at Lakshadweep consists of sloping reefs, caves, coral gardens, overhangs, shipwrecks and some drift diving. Bangaram and Kavaratti tend to see more visitors while Kadmat and Minicoy are quiet and remote. Both Bangaram and Minicoy offer wreck dives while there are caves to explore off Kavaratti.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

The remote location of Lakshadweep and controlled tourism activities has helped preserve its great marine biodiversity. Expect to find a whole range of colorful reef fish during your dives along with small critters like crab, shrimp and also lobsters. Around the reefs, schools of fusilier, bigeye trevally and sweetlips are common as well large groupers and humphead wrasse.

Pelagic marine life often hang around the atolls especially sea turtles which have nesting grounds at some of the uninhibited islands. Divers can also expect to see manta rays during October to November as they come to visit cleaning stations. Eagle rays also pass by the islands and reef sharks like whitetip sharks and blacktip sharks patrol the reefs. Larger pelagic fish like barracuda and tuna are often seen at Minicoy.

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

The archipelago of Lakshadweep consists of about thirty-nine islands and islets that lie 120-170 miles (200-440km) off the south western coast of India in the Laccadive Sea. Meaning “one hundred thousand islands” in Sanskrit, Lakshadweep has a total surface area of 12 square miles (32 square km) and is a Union Territory of India with a population of 65,473 people.

Lakshadweep was ruled by the Portuguese in the 15th century until they were expelled by islanders in the 16th century. Over the 17th to 19th century, various island groupings of the archipelago came under different rule which included the British, Tipu Sultan and the Arakkal family of Cannanore. In the 20th century, Lakshadweep was grouped with the Maldives but eventually became a Union Territory of India. Today, Lakshadweep is mostly Muslim, a legacy of Arab traders which visited the islands prior to the Portuguese occupation.

Lakshadweep has three groupings of islands which are Aminidivi, Laccadive and Minicoy. Aminidivi and Laccadive are joined by a submerged reef while Minicoy lies separately further to the south. All the islands in this archipelago were formed by a buildup of coral. They are largely uninhibited and only 10 islands are populated. The main draw for tourists to these islands are for snorkeling and scuba diving. Tourism is controlled by the government at Lakshadweep and a permit is required for a visit.

Other attractions

Relax on beaches or head out for snorkel trips or glass-bottom boat rides. Bird watching is also recommended as there are several pelagic bird species which nest on the uninhibited islands.

Getting there

Fly to Agatti Aerodome, the only airport in Lakshadweep which is on Agatti Island on Air India Regional which departs from Kochi or Bangalore. Alternatively, there are several passenger ships and helicopter services to reach the islands.

UTC+05:30

Time zone

INR

Currency

+91

Calling code

230 V

Electric volt

C, 

D, 

M

Plug type

AGX

Main airport
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