The islands look like emeralds in the vast expanse of blue sea. Varying hues of turquoise blue translucent water surround them. Coral atolls, the matchless marine environment with myriad colours resulting in complex interaction of animate and inanimate things. Built on ancient volcanic formations are the Lakshadweep (meaning a hundred thousand islands), the tiniest Union Territory of India.
It consists of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. The atolls poised on submarine banks, harbour 36 islands having an area of 32 Sq.Km. Of these, 10 islands are inhabited namely Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. The islands lie about 220-440 Kms from the Malabar coast between 8° and 12° 13' North Latitude and 71° & 74° East Longitude. Kavaratti is the Administrative Headquarter of the Union Territory.
Each island is fringed by snowwhite coral sands, are marked by a huge, shallow, calm lagoon on one side which separate it from incoming swells of the outer sea by the fort wall-reef made of massive coral boulders and live corals. The only coral islands of our country, are the result of gradual assimilation of calcium from the water by corals and their turning into reefs.