Monday, 18 January 2016

Kavaratti Islands, Lakshadweep



Today we will go to the capital of Lakshadweep Island – Kavaratti Islands. But it was not a smooth journey to Kavaratti Islands. Normally the sea had been calm and quite. But today, it was wild as if it wanted us to witness its fury. The sea was indeed rough with strong winds and high waves.

Kavaratti Island, Lakshadweep
Kavaratti Island, Lakshadweep
One big boat was called to take us to the island. As usual we were one of the last one to reach the disembarkment point of the ship. The first boat was already full and we, with few other ten to fifteen odd people were asked to wait for the second boat. The first boat was ready to move towards the island but was not able to, thanks to the turbulent waves. This made the boat bobble up and down by 5 to 7 feet, making it precarious for people to disembark as well as board the second boat. Plus the waves were strong and also against the direction of the path the boat intended to take, making it tougher for the boat to sail through. It was a blessing that we were not in the first boat. On top of all this, it had started raining as well.

After a struggle of an hour or so, the first boat was finally able to move towards the island. With the boat gone, the disembarkment doors were closed and all the exits to the open of the ship were closed as the sea was very wild and there was danger of someone falling over board. Since there were still around twenty people who had to go to the island, it was decided by the ship team that the ship will move more close to the island expecting that the sea waves will not be so strong closer to the island.

Once the ship came closest it could be to the island another boat came to fetch us. The sea was still rough and this boat too was moving up and down because of the waves. Pramod & Preeti decided to skip Kavaratti Islands considering the unfavorable conditions of disembarking. Also they had taashi with them and since it was raining, they didn’t want to take a chance of Taashi falling ill.

Disembarkation was a mess. We got on the boat, crossing my fingers for smooth sailing and some great weather as we all were looking forward to a good beach time on the last island visit of Lakshadweep.

As expected this island was much bigger than the other two islands. There were more people in this island as compared to the other two we had visitied – Minicoy and Kalpeni Islands.

Once of the land, we could say that the weather improved a bit and we could see clouds flying away a little. It was drizzling when we came to the island. The resort is right next to the jetty and therefore we walked down to the resort. As usual, coconut water was waiting for us. After the refreshing coconut water, we met with our co passengers who had come from the boat one and listened to their adventurous ride. The weather was becoming better and therefore they opened the scuba diving and glass boat rides.

The Beach at Kavaratti, Lakshadweep
The Beach
Nikhil and Parth again went for scuba diving and I headed for glass boat ride. In the glass boat, slowly the marine life comes alive… you can see the life under the sea up close, with the help of the ‘magnifying’ glass… so many colourful fishes.. so many corals… such beauty!!

The boat took us to the boundary where the shallow water ends and the deep sea starts. At this point it was blue water everywhere…

Colour of the sea
Colour of the sea
While heading back to the island our boat stopped working and suddenly we were in the middle of the sea with no way to go back. Finally after waiting for a while another boat came and tugged us to the island. By this time it had started raining heavily again.

We rushed to our palm tree leaves cottages to take refuge from the rain and the chilly wind. Nikhil and Parth returned shortly afterward and narrated their experience. The marine life here was apparently much richer than what they had seen in Mini Coy. But this could also be due to the right spot being picked up the scuba divers.

Lunch was followed with an hour waiting for the rain to subside. To pass time we strolled through the narrow roads, close to the resort and saw the only first traffic signal of Lakshwadeep. Once the rain subsided we were taken to a Marine aquarium and a Museum, with a 10 min drive through the island in a small bus.

Marine Museum
Marine Museum
There were varieties of fishes, crabs and all kind of marine life kept in glass jars like zoology specimen. Here for the first time we saw the skeleton of a whale. It was HUGE, extending some 25 to 30 feet, almost 70% length of the hall. After this we returned back to the resort for some tea and biscuits. SPORTS authorities had arranged for a folk music presentation.

Sperm Whale
Sperm Whale
After the folk music we did had some fun time at the beach and then were asked to head towards the jetty. Realization struck that these were our last moments on Lakshwadeep and we let the shutterbug within us go loose J Once on the boat and just when we crossed the imaginary boundary of the laggons and entered the deep sea we realized that the sea was still wild and angry. Our boat could not reach the ship and thus again our ship came to us.

Kavaratti Island, Lakshadweep
Kavaratti Island, Lakshadweep
Once again it was quite an adventure to embark our ship from the boat. Once in we realized that this was our last sighting of the islands of Lakshadweep. Time to say good bye and head back to Kochi. As the ship started, we were leaving these beautiful islands far behind. The only thing now remaining in this cruise was return journey back home.

Points to remember:

  • We went to Lakshadweep Island through Lakshadweep Samundram Package which is a five day cruise to visit the islands of Minicoy, Kalpeni and Kavaretti by ship M.V. Kavaretti. The package is arranged by The Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports (SPORTS), a Government undertaking. The island tour is organized during the day with lunch and refreshments ashore. Nights are spent on board the ship. M.V Kavaratti has 150 Diamond class accommodations. Swimming, snorkeling and other water sports are arranged during the day tour. Children from 1 year and above up to 10 years will be treated as child.

Package include:
1. First class cabin accommodation
2. All 3 time meals [breakfast Lunch and Dinner] morning and evening tea or coffee
3. Welcome drink at the island.
4. All 3 island sightseeing.
5. Water sports Kayaking Snorkeling and glass boat 1 time 
6. Entry permit and Entry Ticket
7. Compliment T Shirts and Caps
8.  All the Government taxes.
9. Our personal assistance on the ship and Island

Please note scuba diving is not included in the package. You can avail scuba diving by paying at the scuba diving center.

  • There is no mobile network on the ship and on the islands except of BSNL. So, say goodbye to facebook, watsapp, twitter or whatever else that you are hooked to. You might find network on Kavaretti Island.
  • If you get sea sick, kindly take your medication along.
  • Foreigners are not allowed in Lakshadweep, except on Bangaram Island.
  • Lakshadweep is a no plastic zone. Please don’t litter.
  • You are not allowed to carry corrals. It’s a punishable act.
  • Expense Details of the day:

Expense Particulars
Amount for 4 people
Amount per head
Scuba Diving

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