Lakshadweep is a tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, India. Not all of the islands are inhabited, and only a few are open to visitors (permits required). Kavaratti, one of the more developed islands and others are Agatti, Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat, Bangaram, Bitra, Kalpeni, Minicoy and Androtti Island the largest one. Covering a mere 32 sq km of total surface area but spread over 20,000 sq km of territorial waters. Crystal clear and surrounded by transparent blue waters, these islands, with just around 64,000 people, are far prettier and more unspoiled than even Mauritius, the Maldives or the other Indian Ocean islands. Even a slight increase in population will cause ecological difficulty. Each island is surrounded by a reef, creating dazzling natural lagoons around each island keeping the rough salty ocean waters out.
Tradition attributes the first settlement on these islands to Cheraman Perumal, the last king of Kerala. After his voluntary conversion to Islam, he slipped out of his capital Cranganore, the present day Kodungallor an old harbour town of Kochi (Cochin) to Mecca. One of the search boats was wrecked at the island now known as Bangaram Island, starting the first small settlements here. The original inhabitants were Hindus and Buddhists, in the 7th century AD, Hazrat Sheikh Ubaidullah arrived from Mecca to preach Islam in pursuit of a vision and got shipwrecked on the islands. Successful in his vision, he managed to convert the entire population to Islam. Currently around 96% of total population is adherents of Islam in Lakshadweep.