Lakshadweep is a sort of navigators compass, the word meaning destination. The name “laksha” is only symbolic since the total number of Islands doesn’t even add up to a 1000. The word “laksha:” means 1,00,000 in Malayalam and Sanskrit. But it has other meanings too! For example, “Lakshya” means “Purpose” and Lakshadweep lies in the hub of the Arabian –African-Asian trade route
There are many theories as to how the huge archipelago, the Lakshadeep group of Islands emerged. The most widely accepted one is attributed to Sir Charles Darwin, the renowned English Evolutionist (1842).
He opined that the base of the islands below the reef is a volcanic formation over which corals settled and formed into fringing reefs. These turned into barrier reefs and later to atolls due to the geological submergence of the volcanic base.
One of the world’s most spectacular tropical island systems, Lakshadweep is tucked away at 220-240 kms. Off the Malabar Coast. The islands comprise of 4200 sq.km. of lagoon rich in marine wealth ad 36 islands in an area of 32 sq.km.
Each island here is fringed by snow white coral sands. The crystal clear water and the rich marine flora and fauna enhance the mystique of these islands.
Against the vast blue sea the islands look like emeralds. The huge wall like reef bordering the outer side of the shallow lagoons blocks the incoming swells of the sea.
The Lakshadeep islands are linked to the mainland by ships & passenger planes. Agatti island and Bangaram island can be reached by Air and the others by ship from Kochi (Cochin). The temperature increases from South to North; April and May are the hottest with temperatures averaging at 32° C.
The relative humidity is 70 – 75 %. Generally the climate is humid, warm and pleasant. The climate is equable and no well marked, distinct seasons are experienced.
From June to October the south-west monsoon is active. The average rainfall is 10-40 mm. Annual rainfall decreases from south to north. On an average 80-90 days a year are rainy.
Winds are light to moderate from October to March.
The Lakshadweep Archipelago has 12 atoils, 3 reefs and 6 submerged banks. The name Lakshadeep or its anglicized form Laccadives is of recent origin. The early geography and Arab travelers have alluded to the islands as “Divis” or “Dibarat”covering both Maldives and Lakshadweep.