Duane Silverstein: March 2010 Archives
The palm covered islands of Lakshadweep make up what is arguably the least known part of India. These 36 islands, totaling a mere 18 square miles, lie 180 miles off of India's western coast. Ninety-three percent of the 60,000 residents are Muslim giving these islands their own distinct culture. Nonetheless, mention the Lakshadweeps to experienced travel agents in the U.S. and you are likely to be greeted by vacant stares. Very few visitors come here from the U.S. and in fact special permits are needed to visit all but a few of the Lakshadweep Islands.
After a 90 minute flight from the subcontinent, our small group was met on the island of Agatti by Seacology's newest field representative, Vineeta Hoon. We were escorted to our boat by several locals performing a traditional knife dance (pictured right). We then boarded a boat for a two hour ride to Bangaram Island, our home for the next few days.