The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, but larger than the Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean). Four critically important access waterways are the Suez Canal (Egypt), Bab el Mandeb (Djibouti-Yemen), Strait of Hormuz (Iran-Oman), and Strait of Malacca (Indonesia-Malaysia). The decision by the International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to delimit a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, removed the portion of the Indian Ocean south of 60 degrees south.
Formerly Laccadive, renamed Lakshadweep (hundred thousand Islands) in 1973, is one of the most spectacular tropical Island systems. The archipelago consist of 36 coral islands in the Arabian Sea, about 185 miles (300 km) off the Kerala coast. It consists of 12 atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks.
The atolls poised on submarine banks, harbour these islands with a total area of 32 square km (12 square miles). The islands form the smallest of the Union Territories of India and the country's only coral islands.
Though the land area is extremely small, if considered its lagoon area of about 4,200 sq km, 20,000 sq km of territorial waters and about 7,00,000 sq km of economic zone, Lakshadweep is one of the largest territories of our nation.
This charming isolated destination has only 10 of its islands are inhabited. They are Minicoy, Andrott, Kavaratti, Kadmat, Agatti, Amini, Kalpeni, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra. Bitra is the smallest of all having only a population of 225 (1991) persons.
The spell bound expanse of emerald isles, Lakshadweep, studded in the blue water of the Arabian Sea unfolds another world in itself. The panorama encompasses magnificent lagoons, sylvan sea shores, miles of sun drenched sand and the enchantment of swaying palms, spectacular marine flora and fauna, All these harmonise to form a colourful kaleidoscope typical of an archipelago paradise.
Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat islands are open to both domestic and foreign tourists. Four of the inhabited islands (Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy and Kadmat) are open mostly to Indian tourists.
Sailing in glass-bottomed boats which give enchanting views of the coral below. The wealth of coral formation attracts a variety of tropical fish-angel, clown, butterfly, surgeon, sweet-lip, snappers and groupers. There are also manta and stingrays, harmless sharks and green and hawkbill turtles.
Water sports facilities like swimming, Rafting, snorkeling, windsurfing, parasailing, water skiing, catamaran sailing, deep sea fishing and scuba diving are available in the islands
An uninhabited island, Bangaram is one of the islands open to foreign tourists. It has been ranked among the best getaways of the world. The teardrop-shaped island has superb beaches and beautiful lagoons.
It offers utmost privacy unpolluted comfort with crystal clear water. Sparkling coral reef and blue lagoon perform magic on the soul searching traveler. There are numerous adventures like scuba diving, snorkelling and deep sea fishing.
Agatti is the gateway to Bangaram and is linked to Cochin for onward flights to metros.
Located 459 kms. from Cochin. It is 6 kms. long and 1000 meters wide at the broadest point.
The Gateway of Lakshadweep, Agatti Island is one of the most striking features in Lakshadweep.
Agatti and its satellite islands of Bangaram, Thinnakkara & Parali, presents a breathtaking spectacle of sparkling coral reefs, turquoise blue lagoons, silvery beaches and lush green coconut palms that sway to the rhythm of the sea.
Agatti is the only island with an airport. The sea around the island offers excellent scope for water sports and fishing. Coral growths and multi coloured coral fishes are abound in its lagoons.
There are facilities for Kayaking, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Excursions on Glass-bottomed Boats, Sail boats and Fishing trips, Site Seeing and day cruise to near by uninhabited islands Bangaram, Thinnakara, Paraly and Kalpitty.