Minicoy, the ‘Female Island’ as we know !

10 kms in Length and 6 kms in breath spectacular, very clean untouched and less popular, this was my second visit to this Island. I visited first time in year 2004 and now to show this paradise to my younger daughter we decided to visit again in 2018. Probably very few might know about this Island. Minicoy is known as Maliku in the local language. The ancient name of Maliku was Mahiladu meaning women’s island. Every young woman was impressively educated, and almost every man we met had spent his entire adult life travelling extensively all over the world in the service of one shipping line or another.

Minicoy has an average literacy rate of 95.2%, higher than the national average of 74.04% : Minicoy which still boasts of a superlative record of gender equity that sets a distinguished example for the rest of India. Quite frequently Minicoy is referred to as the ‘female island’ mentioned in the travelogue of Marco Polo.  He visited a ‘female island’ off the coast of India on his 13th century journey from China to Venice. The globetrotting Moroccan adventurer Ibn Battuta described splendid “Malook”, where women were especially daring and independent. Sitting or strolling by the side of the pristine blue lagoon you can experience the amazement of sighting an eagle-dotted rays and sometimes the occasional swimming turtles amuse you when the sea breezes touches you and you are gazing at the bright stars on a very clear sky in a dense night with sounds of waves (One thinks that if Jahangir would have been here he might have said that if there is a second paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here… ). One can spend the whole day sitting behind the very famous shack of Rasheed bhai’s cousin watching serene backwaters encompassed with lush green mangroves spreading themselves in the muddy sands. The climb up to the light house is an adventure in itself and watching the view of the whole Island from the top is breathtaking…This island is also popular among experienced foreigner divers who especially come here for diving courses.

During my stay I have noticed a very positive vibe among the local people here, they enjoy a lot. They fill up in open tempos visiting the white beaches which the tourists come for especially, doing picnics, enjoying dips in the water, collecting pebbles shells….and that’s what makes me think; its the attitude of these people make this place more beautiful. No luxury, no high lifestyle and yet they are so full of charm and love and the simplicity at its best. Its the complete aura of this place which makes you think to stay there forever. Even during our scuba dive I felt a beautiful connection with our underwater neighbours and the way local divers care for their corals and its life will make you ponder about the materialistic priorities that we have. All we need is to enjoy our stay on this earth so lets slow down little bit lets be more humble lets love each other after all we are partners of life. Don’t we ! The only way to book passage on a ship from Kochi to Minicoy, and a stay in the island’s hotel, is via Lakshadweep Tourism’s monopolistic Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports  which manages all tourism to the islands.

In fact, every bit of that experience is less than a day’s cruise away from Kochi in a comfortable passenger ship. The Island has a 20 bedded resort for accommodating divers and other tourists. Independent tourist cottages are also available in the island. The Government of India is planning to develop an airport at Minicoy Island to boost tourism and promote tuna fishing industry for improving livelihoods in Lakshadweep. The sea around Lakshadweep is rich in fishery resources and the main fishery resource in the islands are Tuna.

Lakshadweep is mostly frequented by adventurous souls from every corner of the world to enjoy various water sports like scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, deep sea fishing, snorkeling and wind surfing and they do have 5 day diving certificate course in which you will experience the night diving where you can watch sleeping turtle and giant sea cucumbers, gargantuan car-length stingrays, leopard-spotted moray eels, an eight-foot nurse shark, clown fish, red snappers and barracudas are commonly seen. At the shore the crab sighting in morning is amazing orange peels moving over white sands is beautiful sight. Alcohol is strictly banned here food is simple and tasty. Hospitality is of world class one can feel the warmth radiate from each local person you meet. All instructors are very caring and friendly well versed with their profession.

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