Imagine clear blue waters as far as the eye can see, white sand beaches, coral reefs, aquatic adventures, and unspoiled nature. If this is your idea of an ideal vacation, then head to Lakshadweep, a hidden gem located to the southwest of the Indian mainland.
Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 islands, whose total area is 32 sq. km. It is also India’s smallest Union Territory, with Kavaratti as its capital and principal town. Out of the 36 islands, only 10 islands are inhabited. Since the Lakshadweep islands lie amidst the Arabian Sea, at a considerable distance from the Indian mainland, the only way to reach them is through air or water.
How to Travel to Lakshadweep - Air and Water Routes
If you are travelling as a tourist to Lakshadweep, then Kochi is your gateway to this enchanting archipelago.
All islands of Lakshadweep are at a distance of 220 to 440 km from Kochi, Kerala. Whether you are visiting Lakshadweep by air or water, the main departure point will be Kochi.
Travelling to Lakshadweep - By Air
Here’s what to expect when travelling to Lakshadweep by air:
- Agatti Island is the only island in the archipelago serving flights to and from Kochi.
- Flying from Kochi to Agatti will take approximately 1 hour and 30 mins.
- Agatti Airport is a small regional airport and can handle only a limited capacity of passengers at a time. Hence, flights to and from Agatti may be comparatively fewer.
- To travel to the other islands from Agatti, you will have to opt for boats or a helicopter. Boats are available from Agatti to Kavaratti, depending on the season. During the monsoon season, one can travel from Agatti to Kavaratti via helicopter, depending on availability.
Travelling to Lakshadweep - By Water
Even though travelling to Lakshadweep by water takes up more time, it can be worth the effort, due to the scenic views you will encounter on the way. Here are some important things to know about it:
- Presently, seven passenger ships are being run from Kochi to Lakshadweep - namely, the MV Kavaratti, MV Arabian Sea, MV Lakshadweep Sea, MV Lagoon, MV Corals, MV Amindivi, and MV Minicoy.
- Depending on your destination island, the journey can take anywhere between 14 to 18 hours.
- You can opt for different kinds of accommodation on the ships, as per your budget - AC first class cabins with two berths, AC second class cabins with four berths, and push back/bunk class with AC seating.
- For transit between islands, you can opt for high-speed vessels that run during the fair season.
- A doctor is available on board during the journey.
There are some private cruises which travel to Lakshadweep as well. If you prefer to cruise to Lakshadweep and back, you can consider these private cruise service providers.
Important Things to Know Before Visiting Lakshadweep
Before you plan a visit to the scenic islands of Lakshadweep, note down these important points:
- To visit the Lakshadweep islands, one needs an entry permit from the Lakshadweep Administration.
- To know more about the rules regarding the entry permit and how to apply for one, you can visit the official website of the Lakshadweep U.T. Administration.
- There are only two telecommunication service providers available in Lakshadweep - BSNL and Airtel. While BSNL provides connectivity in all 10 inhabited islands, Airtel provides connectivity in Kavaratti and Agatti.
- There are a limited number of hospitals in Lakshadweep. Ensure to research these hospitals and keep important contact details handy.
While travelling to Lakshadweep can be a safe and adventurous experience, it is nonetheless advisable to have a financial backup plan (such as domestic travel insurance
Why You Should Have Domestic Travel Insurance for Lakshadweep
Here are some reasons why a travel insurance plan for Lakshadweep can be helpful:
Covers accidental hospitalisation*
If a medical problem occurs right in the middle of your Lakshadweep trip, your finances will take quite a hit. This can be avoided with travel insurance
Covers emergency medical evacuation and repatriation*
If the medical problem is such that you have to be evacuated to another destination, the cost of the same can be covered with travel insurance.
Adventure sports cover*
With the right domestic travel insurance
plan, you can receive coverage for injuries sustained due to adventure sports in Lakshadweep.
Coverage for all members of the family*
You can opt for family travel insurance
plans that cover multiple members of the family. In case you are travelling with senior members of the family, you can also opt for senior citizen travel insurance
Other events covered by travel insurance include loss or delay of checked-in baggage, trip cancellation or delay, emergency hotel extension, trip curtailment, and so on.*
Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under travel insurance policy.
*Standard T&C apply.
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.