Deciding between the Maldives and Lakshadweep? Well, here’s the deal. The Maldives is super popular with lots of tourists and big, fancy resorts. But if you’re into peace and quiet, Lakshadweep is where it’s at. It’s not crowded, and there aren’t as many big resorts. So, when you go there, it’s like your own private paradise. You can chill out and relax without tons of people around. So, if you want a calm and private trip, according to me, Lakshadweep is the way to go!
Comparing Lakshadweep and Maldives
Maldives is a sovereign island nation, consisting of about 1,200 coral islands, grouped into 26 atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers in the Arabian Sea. It is located southwest of India and Sri Lanka and has a population of about 540,000 people.
Lakshadweep is a union territory of India, comprising of 36 islands, of which only 10 are inhabited, covering an area of 32 square kilometers in the Laccadive Sea. It is situated off the coast of Kerala and has a population of about 65,000 people.
Maldives is famous for its white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and coral reefs, which are home to a variety of marine life, such as turtles, dolphins, sharks, rays, and colorful fish. Some of the most popular islands to visit in Maldives are Male, the capital city, Hulhumale, a reclaimed island with modern amenities, Maafushi, a budget-friendly island with local culture, and Kuredu, a resort island with a golf course and a spa.
Lakshadweep is known for its unspoiled natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and cultural heritage, which reflect its history of being ruled by different dynasties and colonizers. Some of the most popular islands to visit in Lakshadweep are Kavaratti, the administrative headquarters, Agatti, the gateway to the islands, Bangaram, a secluded island with luxury resorts, and Minicoy, a culturally distinct island with a lighthouse and a museum.
Maldives offers a range of activities for visitors, such as snorkeling, diving, surfing, fishing, sailing, kayaking, parasailing, and jet skiing. Some of the best places to enjoy these activities are Banana Reef, the first diving site in Maldives, Vaadhoo Island, where you can witness the bioluminescent plankton, Hanifaru Bay, where you can swim with manta rays and whale sharks, and Thulusdhoo Island, where you can catch some waves.
Lakshadweep also offers a variety of activities for visitors, such as snorkeling, diving, canoeing, yachting, windsurfing, and water skiing. Some of the best places to enjoy these activities are Kadmat Island, where you can explore the coral gardens, Kalpeni Island, where you can see the coral formations, Pitti Island, where you can spot the seabirds, and Suheli Island, where you can fish for tuna and barracuda.
Maldives has a wide range of accommodations, from budget guesthouses and hostels to mid-range hotels and resorts, to luxury villas and overwater bungalows. Some of the best places to stay in Maldives are Kurumba Maldives, the first resort in Maldives, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, a eco-friendly resort with a turtle rescue center, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, a resort with an underwater restaurant, and Soneva Fushi, a resort with a private sandbank and an observatory.
Lakshadweep has a limited number of accommodations, mostly run by the government or the locals, ranging from simple cottages and tents to deluxe resorts and beach huts. Some of the best places to stay in Lakshadweep are Agatti Island Beach Resort, a resort with a private beach and a helipad, Bangaram Island Resort, a resort with a bar and a library, Kadmat Island Beach Resort, a resort with a dive center and a swimming pool, and Minicoy Island Resort, a resort with a cultural center and a folk dance show.
Language and Culture
Maldives has a unique language and culture, influenced by its location, history, and religion. The official language of Maldives is Dhivehi, an Indo-Aryan language with its own script, derived from Arabic. The majority of Maldivians are Muslims and follow the Islamic laws and customs. The Maldivian cuisine is mainly based on fish, coconut, rice, and spices, and some of the dishes are mas huni, a salad of tuna and coconut, boshi mashuni, a salad of banana and coconut, and garudhiya, a fish soup.
Lakshadweep has a diverse language and culture, influenced by its geography, history, and ethnicity. The official languages of Lakshadweep are Malayalam, spoken by most of the islands, and Mahl, spoken by Minicoy Island. The majority of Lakshadweepis are Muslims, and follow the Sunni sect of Islam. The Lakshadweep cuisine is mainly based on fish, coconut, rice, and curry, and some of the dishes are thoran, a stir-fry of vegetables and coconut, katti parotta, a layered bread with meat or egg, and bonda, a fried snack of potato and coconut.
Factors to Consider when Choosing between Lakshadweep and Maldives
Maldives is generally more expensive than Lakshadweep, as it caters to high-end tourists and honeymooners, and has a higher cost of living and transportation. The average cost of a trip to Maldives for two people for one week is about INR 2,00,000, excluding flights.
Lakshadweep is relatively cheaper than Maldives, as it caters to budget travelers and backpackers, and has a lower cost of living and transportation. The average cost of a trip to Lakshadweep for two people for one week is about INR 50,000, excluding flights.
Time to Reach
Maldives is farther away from India than Lakshadweep and requires a flight or a cruise to reach. The flight time from Delhi to Male, the capital of Maldives, is about 4 hours and 30 minutes. The cruise time from Kochi to Male is about 36 hours.
Lakshadweep is closer to India than Maldives and can be reached by flight or ship. The flight time from Kochi to Agatti, the gateway to Lakshadweep, is about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The ship time from Kochi to Kavaratti, the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep, is about 18 hours.
Best Time to Visit
Maldives has a tropical climate, with two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season lasts from November to April and is the best time to visit the Maldives, as the weather is sunny, dry, and pleasant, and the water is clear and calm. The wet season lasts from May to October, and is the worst time to visit the Maldives, as the weather is rainy, humid, and windy, and the water is murky and rough.
Lakshadweep has a maritime climate, with three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter. The summer season lasts from March to May and is a good time to visit Lakshadweep, as the weather is warm, sunny, and breezy, and the water is warm and clear. The monsoon season lasts from June to September and is the worst time to visit Lakshadweep, as the weather is wet, cloudy, and stormy, and the water is cold and choppy. The winter season lasts from October to February and is the best time to visit Lakshadweep, as the weather is cool, dry, and pleasant, and the water is calm and blue.
Maldives has a visa-on-arrival policy for all nationalities, which means that you do not need to apply for a visa in advance, and can get a 30-day visa upon arrival at the airport, free of charge. However, you need to have a valid passport, a confirmed return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds or a hotel reservation.
Lakshadweep does not require a visa for Indian citizens, but it does require a special permit, which can be obtained from the Lakshadweep Tourism Office in Kochi, or from authorized travel agents. However, you need to have a valid photo identity proof, such as a voter ID card, a PAN card, or a driving license.
Convenience for Indian Tourists
Convenience for Indian tourists is another factor to consider when choosing between Maldives and Lakshadweep. Maldives is more convenient for Indian tourists, as it has more flight and cruise options, more facilities and amenities, and more flexibility and freedom. Lakshadweep is less convenient for Indian tourists, as it has fewer flight and ship options, fewer facilities and amenities, and more restrictions and regulations. For example, Maldives allows tourists to visit any island, drink alcohol, wear bikinis, and enjoy nightlife, while Lakshadweep only allows tourists to visit certain islands, prohibits alcohol, requires modest clothing, and has no nightlife. Therefore, depending on your preferences and expectations, you may find Maldives or Lakshadweep more suitable for your vacation.