India is a land of culture. The land of heritage. What makeup this heritage is not only the people and their histories but also the extensive geography of this beautiful nation. The rivers and the plains, the mountains, and the beaches. But has India ever been known as the country of islands?
Unknown to many people, India is home to a collection of beautiful islands that can easily make you shun every other holiday destination you’ve ever considered. If you’re among those that can only think of Andaman and Nicobar when Indian islands are mentioned, spare a few minutes and edify yourselves about the lesser known beauties of the country.
1. Lakshadweep Islands
Classified as a UT (Union Territory) Lakshadweep islands is a group of 36 islands located in the southern part of India. These islands look like something right out of National Geographic, such is their beauty. They are home to a very fragile ecosystem, mesmerizing nonetheless. This is an ideal location if enjoying coral reefs is on your bucket list. Well connected to the Indian mainland by both air and sea, Lakshadweep is also suitable for water sports such as scuba diving.
2. The Little Andaman Islands
Little Andaman is one of the numerous locations open to tourism in the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is a slightly offbeat tourist spot, nevertheless, heavenly as any other. Although it takes a day’s voyage from the island of Port Blair, the journey is worth it. This also happens to be one of the very, very few places in India where surfing on impossibly high waves is possible for the tourists, as well as viewing coral reefs. Little Andaman is perfect for the budget traveller as well as the unconventional one. Nature can be seen in its truest format this little beauty.
3. Majuli Island
Majuli Island holds a reputation for being one of the biggest river islands in the world, and by extension, in India. Formed in the delta of the Brahmaputra River, this island is located in Assam and can be reached through a pleasant boat ride from Johrat which is connected to Guwahati. This highly unconventional island is home to a wide array of Assamese culture and one can experience local crafts such as mesh and mask making. The north-eastern cuisine is a highlight of this place as opposed to other islands that stock up on seafood mainly. Like Goa, Majuli is best explored through rented two-wheelers.
4. Diu Island
Diu Island is located on the banks of the Daman Ganga River. The unique feature of this island is that you can a mix of Gujarati as well as Portuguese culture here, owing to the rule of the latter here for almost three centuries. Apart from the wondrous beaches that exude serenity for all to behold, Diu also amasses architectural beauty in its folds. There are numerous local spots to visit; including a seashell museum (isn’t that unique?) However, what people say the best part of Diu is that despite being a part of Gujarat, travellers do not need to worry about the alcohol ban herein!
5. Barren Island
Another tourist destination in Andaman, Barren Island is one that cannot be landed in; one can only circle around it in a sea vessel. This is because the island is inhabitable and is also, behold, the only active volcanic island in all of South Asia. This is also the reason why you should definitely visit Barren Island because it is one of the few places in Asia where you can find lava rocks in all their glory. This island can be reached by ship, or best of all, a seaplane which charters only 15 passengers! Water sports such as diving and barefoot scuba are the other attractions on this island.
6. The Great Nicobar Islands
The Great Nicobar Islands is the biggest island in India. Known as the perfect family holiday destination, the island is home to pristine, unlittered beaches and crystal blue waters (one of the best in India) that will make your heart jump with joy, and make you jump in the water. The island is scattered with diverse flora and fauna and plenty of patches of rainforests that have a calming quality over your mind and will undoubtedly relax you from the monotony and pressure of the everyday hustle.
7. Munroe Island
Formed by the backwaters of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada River, Munroe Island is located in Kerala and is named after Colonel Munroe, a former British resident of the Travancore state. The backwater regions which are a speciality of Kerala were created by digging canals which is credited to the Colonel. The main attraction of this island is the canoe tour, which gives them the true taste of Kerala, snaking along the palm-tree lined banks within. It can be reached via flights or even trains to Munroe station.
So next time you plan a holiday or hear someone scoffing at the idea of Indian islands, this article will be your go-to. Go on, explore!
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