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Lakshadweep Information

Lakshadweep Information

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Published by: CHAITANYA SIVA on Dec 29, 2010
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Lakshadweep InformationIntroduction to Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep appears as a few insignificant dots on themap of India, it is, in fact, a sparkling diamond adorning India’s southwestern frontier. It is one of the few marvels left untouched bythe encroaching hands of industrialization and progress. The white beaches, the lagoons thatwash its shores with the coral reefs, which enclose it, and finally the deep blue sea-all, these aresymbiotically linked with each other. And, when all these are added up, Lakshadweep is nolonger the tiniest of India’s territories but the largest!
Geography of Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep is the tiniest Union Territory of India, an archipelago consisting of 12 atolls, threereefs and five submerged banks. It is a uni-district Union Territory with an area of 32 Sq. Kmsand is comprised of ten inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands attached islets, four newlyformed islets and 5 submerged reefs. The inhabited islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Amini,Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat, Bitra, Andrott, Kalpeni and Minicoy. It is located between 8º- 12º 13"North latitude and 71º -74º East longitude, 220 to 440 Kms. away from the coastal city of Kochiin Kerala, in the emerald Arabian Sea. Considering its lagoon area of about 4,200 Sq. kms,20,000 Sq. kms of territorial waters and about 4 lakhs Sq. kms. of economic zone,Lakshadweep is a large territory.
Brief History of Lakshadweep
The first westerner on the islands was Vasco da Gama, but the English were the first to explorethe islands. They are also mentioned in great detail in the stories of the Arab traveler, IbnBatuta. The Portuguese established a fort on the islands in May 1498, but the inhabitants roseup against them and chased them away. The Amindivi group of islands (Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan,Chetlat and Bitra) came under the rule of Tipu Sultan in 1787. They passed on to British controlafter the third Anglo-Mysore War and were attached to the South Canara district. The rest of theislands became a suzerainty of the Chirakkal family of Cannanore in return for a payment of annual tribute. After a while, the British took over the administration of those islands for non-payment of arrears. These islands were attached to the Malabar district of the MadrasPresidency. In 1956, the States Reorganisation Act separated these islands from the mainlandadministrative units, forming a new union territory by combining all the islands.
Government of Lakshadweep
An administrator appointed by India’s central government administers the union territory.Lakshadweep is under the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court at Ernakulam. It also elects onemember to the Lok Sabha.
Economy of Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $60 million at currentprices. Because of its isolation and scenic beauty, Lakshadweep is emerging as a great touristattraction for Indians. This brings in a good amount of revenue, which is likely to increase. Sincesuch a small region cannot support industries, the government is actively promoting tourism asa means of income.
LakshadweepTravel Information 
The development of domestic as well as internationaltourismhas immense potential. However,much could not be achieved till recently owing to inadequate transport arrangements. Nowinternational as well as domestic tourism has received a remarkable boost. Numerousinfrastructure facilities have been created including the opening of Vayudoot service betweenMainland and Agatti in April,1988. However, limits have been placed on the number of  tourists  to be admitted in order to prevent overcrowding and consequent environmental damage. Sincethe literacy rate in the Union Territory is one of the highest in the country, the level of educatedunemployed can be kept under control by developing this sector. Tourist huts and cottage areprovided at Kavaratti, Kadmat, Bangaram, Kalpeni and Minicoy. Tourist huts ( 3 in Minicoy andfour in Kalpeni) have been set up under Govt. assistance. Government of India has agreed inprinciple to open three inhabited islands, Suheli Cheriyakara, Cheriyam and Tinnakara for foreign tourists. A full fledged water sport Institute established at Kadmat during 1992-93provides facilities for different disciplines of water Sports like wind surfing, Kayaking, Canoeing,water skiing, Yatchting para sailing and Scubadiving etc. Tourist Cafeteria, Floating restaurantetc. are other attractions for tourists .
Education in Lakshadweep
Though various steps were taken immediately after the independence to improve the standardof education, not much progress could be achieved till 1956. Students studying at Calicut wereprovided free hostel accommodation at the Harijan Hostel. After the reorganization of states in1956, this was made an exclusive hostel for island students and functioned at Elathur near Calicut till 1963. Today there are three hostels attached to senior secondary schools one eachin Andrott, Kadmat and Kavaratti. All these measures led to the rapid increase in the number of graduates and technical personnel in the islands. The islands have been by leaps and boundssince independence. In 1951 the literacy percentage was 15.23 and now it is 87.52 %occupying the third position in the country. Up to 1956 there was only one graduate. Now thereare about 5200 matriculates, more than 350 graduates, 70 postgraduates, 120 Engineers, 95doctors and scores of students studying in other disciplines. Now all children of school goingage have access to schools and out of the total student population, 47% are girls.
Food of Lakshadweep
Rice, coconut, fish and jaggery made from toddy tapped from coconut - that about sums up theraw materials. However, despite this apparent lack of variety, the list of dishes runs into

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