Though the Lakshadweep archipelago may appear as a few insignificant dots on the map of India, it is, in fact, a sparkling diamond- and emerald-studded jewel adorning India's southwestern frontier. It is one of the few marvels left untouched by the encroaching hands of industrialization and progress.
The white beaches, the lagoons that wash its shores with the coral reefs which enclose it, and finally the deep blue sea-all these are symbiotically linked with each other. And, when all these are added up, Lakshadweep is no longer the tiniest of India's territories but the largest!
While the total area of the 35 islands is a mere 32 sq km and the area of the lagoons enclosed by the coral reef about 700 sq km, the extended sea zone is more than 7,00,000 sq km! This almost makes it the size of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh put together!
Out of the 12 atolls with 35 islands, only one island in each of them is inhabited. All the islands are shaped like a boat with their backs resting on the reef in the east and lagoons washing their shores on the west side. The lagoons are shallow, never more than a couple of meters deep. Just as the sands on the beaches are pure white and sugary, the waters of the lagoons are crystal clear and clean.