March 11, 2009

Lakshadweep Yathra

This is about Lakshadweep trip we did last weekend with my friends at Infopark. After that I got a couple of queries about the journey, so decided to find somespace here to write about the same.



Lakshadweep (hundred thousand Islands) is a collection of islands called Andrott, Minicoi, Agatti, Kavarathi(Capital of LDweep), Bangaram, Kalpeni etc.
And our tour package was to Kalpeni Island in MV Minicoi ship[MV stands for Motor Vessel]

The "Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports"(SPORTS) is the society promoting L-Dweep tourism and you could get the tickets for travel from their office situated at Kochi Port. Other agencies are also there from where you can get the service, but ultimately SPORTS is organising the tourism packages. Not much formalities required, no need of a Passport, hope you're that
Lakshadweep is a part of our state, Kerala.

Our package was for one day(Rs.4500 per head including all expenses with food) at Kalpeni Island, and we started journey in MV Minicoi ship from Kochi Port around 4PM. Minicoi is a small ship(120 travellers capacity) compared to other LDweep ships like MV Kavarathi and Bharat Seema.
Before journey SPORTS provided us Tourists ID card, T-Shirts and caps.
Ship crews welcomed us inside the ship; luggages kept atin separate locker rooms. Interior of ship looked like A/C chair car in train :)
It was my first experince in Ship and in deep sea. Each second in sea and Island gave me moments of wonder and amusement. The color of navy blue sea and waves; itz hard to put into words, its beauty.
[If I were an artist I could have drawn a picture in the sky with that blue color :) ]

After couple of hours, we could see only water all around us , and the ship is moving towards the setting sun.

Refreshments and dinner, you'll get it from the ship itself, which is included in the package. Crews provided us night jackets, but we spent the whole night above the deck, with uncountable stars in the sky, guiding us to the
island like a fairy tale.


Itz about 158 Miles of journey from Kochi to Kalpeni Island, ie. around 285 Kms(1 Nautical Mile = 1.8 Kms). If lucky enuf, you could enter into the Ship Cockpit, there we could see Compass, Rradar equipments, Sea scanners etc.
The ship was running in auto piloting mode that time, and took 13-14 Hrs of journey to reach there. Sea was so calm, so that none of us had any kind of sea sicknesses.

By 5:30 AM next morning we reached at Kalpeni. Ship got anchored about 100mts from the shore and small boats taken us to the Island. Tourism guys received with tender coconut and guided us to SPORTS resort for refreshment and breakfast. That resort is not upto the mark, when the facilities are concerned. Families will find it difficult to adjust.

After breakfast we went to small Islands called Tilakkam & Pitti, which is 200 mts away from resort via boat. Our wonder world starts there. There we did snorkeling.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snorkeling)
We could see corals and fishes like we did in Animal Planet and NGC.
(Picture below is not my snap, taken from net)

I dont get words to describe the feel we got after snorkeling
and boating. Those who go with shoes, pls remember to take chappal while going that place. Never try with bare foot[like I did :)], Corals are very beautiful to see but itz very sharp. Collecting corals unscientifically is strictly prohibited.
It was worth spending 2-3 hours there.

After lunch and cultural programs at Resort we moved to Light House and a Banyan factory. The entire Kalpeni is only about 2.5 Kms long and around 200 mts width, "A small big-Big ship floating in the Coral reefs" :)

The north part of Kalpeni is Tip Beach. The shore is so beautiful with white sand and full of corals accumulated. The color of water is a mix of pale green and blue. Most of the viewable areas are tranparent like crystal glass. You could take a sea bath there, but it'll be very hot.

The smallest Island in Lakshadweep called Cheriyam Island is also very close from Tip Beach. Cheriyam is still uninhabited and didnt get chance to visit. After enjoying the Tip Beach the trip comes to an end with tea and snacks from Resort.

The island is full of Coconut trees, and the sunlight could hardly enter even at noon. 99% of Island is Muslim people. Commonly they speak Malayalam language, but from local people there, we came to know about a language called "Jasari" which is scriptless. "Mahl" is another language which is commonly used in Minicoi Island, which is a standard language used in Maldives, very similar to Arabic. The Island inmates have to depend on Kochi for most of their needs, have to wait for the arrival of Ship for everything. Otherwise itz a good place for a peaceful life, without much wants and greeds of a common man.

At eve, around 6PM the ship came to take us back(Pls dont make fun with pic above :) it wasn't our ship). The schedule and timings of ship is subjected to change at any time. Luckily, we were able to finish the trip in time as planned,and we reached back Kochi next day morning by 8:30 AM.

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May to September is monsoon season, so better avoid the trip that time.
According to my knowledge SPORTS will not allow tourists via Ship,
during monsoon. Air India recently have started services to L-Dweep
from Nedumbassery in alternate days.

For more info Contact: 0484-2668387, 2666789
http://www.lakshadweeptourism.com/contact.html
E-mail : -
laksports.reservation@gmail.com
sportslak@gmail.com
Folks, if you are planning for a trip, I'm always ready to share what I know.
You could reach me at sujithes@gmail.com

3 comments:

sreedevi said...

Sujith, this is highly informative.

Ratish Naroor said...

Cool ...I travelled there once to three islands in MV tipu sultan and was a greta trip but 10 years back :) .Anyways this article gave me memories of the same beautiful islands :)

BINU JOSE said...

Hey , I was really informative...