In News: In Lakshadweep, pomp and gaiety marked the Republic Day celebrations in the ten inhabited islands in the archipelago, where people participated in large numbers.
- India’s smallest Union Territory Lakshadweep is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands with an area of 32 sq km
- It is known for its exotic and sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscape.
- The name Lakshadweep in Malayalam and Sanskrit means ‘a hundred thousand islands’.
- It is a uni-district Union Territory and the islands were constituted a union territory in 1956.
- It comprises of 12 atolls, three reefs, five submerged banks and ten inhabited islands.
- The principal islands in the territory are Minicoy and those in the Amindivi group.
- The easternmost island lies about 185 miles (300 km) from the coast of the state of Kerala. Ten of the islands are inhabited.
- Capital – Kavaratti
- Aside from an abundance of coconut palms, common trees include banyans, casuarinas, pandani (screw pines), breadfruits, tamarinds, and tropical almonds (genus Terminalia). Betel nut and betel leaf also grow in the islands.
- Among the most notable marine fauna are sharks, bonitos, tunas, snappers, and flying fish. Manta rays, octopuses, crabs, turtles, and assorted gastropods are plentiful. The islands also are home to an array of water birds, such as herons, teals, and gulls.
- Lakshadweep has a tropical climate and it has an average temperature of 27° C – 32° C.
- April and May are the hottest. Generally the climate is humid warm and pleasant.
- October to March is the ideal time to be on the islands.
- From June to October the South West Monsoon is active with an average rainfall of 10-40 mm.
- Winds are light to moderate from October to March.
Fauna & Flora
- Includes Banana, Vazha,(Musaparadisiaca), Colocassia, Chambu (Colocassia antiquarum) Drumstic moringakkai, wild almond
- Shrubs – Kanni, Punna, Chavok, Cheerani
- Coconut, Thenga – only crop of economic importance in Lakshadweep.
- Sea grass – Thalassia hemprichin and Cymodocea isoetifolia. They prevent sea erosion and movement of the beach sediments.
- The commonly seen vertebrates are cattle and poultry.
- Oceanic birds – Tharathasi and Karifetu (Anous solidus).
- Molluscan forms are also important from the economic point of the islands.
Culture & Heritage
- Kolkali and Parichakali are the two popular folk art forms in the Territory.
- They are an integral part of the cultural milieu except in Minicoy where “LAVA” is the most popular dance form.
- Some of the folk dances have a resemblance with those in North Eastern India.
- For marriages “OPPANA” is a common feature, a song sung by a lead singer and followed by a group of women.
- As per details from Census 2011, Lakshadweep has population of 64 Thousands of which male and female are 33,123 and 31,350 respectively
- The total population growth in this decade was 6.30 percent while in previous decade it was 17.19 percent.
Previous Year Question
Q1) Consider the following statements: (2018)
- The Barren Island volcano is an active volcano located in the Indian territory.
- Barren Island lies about 140 km east of Great Nicobar.
- The last time the Barren Island volcano erupted was in 1991 and it has remained inactive since then.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 and 3
- 3 only
- 1 and 3
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