Agatti Island beach Resort in lakshadweep

View of the beach – Agatti Island beach Resort in Lakshadweep

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Kayaking in the Agatti lagoon – Agatti Island Beach Resort

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The Lakshadweep Islands (the closest sensible firang translation for Lakshadweep is ‘million islands’) is about an hour’s flight into the Indian Ocean from the Kerala coast. Lakshadweep is part of a long chain of islands; the northern part of this chain is known as Lakshadweep and is part of Indian territory. The southern part of this chain is called Maldives and is an independent country.

Agatti island has the only airport for Lakshadweep. Flying into Agatti airport is an experience that I would unhesitatingly recommend for everyone. Imagine dropping down from the blue sky to a little bar of white sand surrounded by the turquoise of a lagoon, this being set off against the deep blue of the mighty Indian ocean. Good for the soul.

Agatti island is a long strip of land; you can see both sides of the island and the sea beyond from practically every point on the island. I wonder what your world view will be if you are born & brought up in a a place like this.

Agatti Beach Resort is the only real option to stay in Lakshadweep. Here is a very good review on this resort given by ‘Sald‘, a member on HolidayIQ. For many more reviews on HolidayIQ for this resort, click here.

Hotel Review of Agatti Island Beach Resort

When booking a room at the reosrt, we did it more out of a lack of options. Agatti is the only affordable resort in Lakshadweep – the other at Bangarm is way too expensive. Even at

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Comments: When booking a room at the reosrt, we did it more out of a lack of options. Agatti is the only affordable resort in Lakshadweep – the other at Bangarm is way too expensive. Even at Agatti, the rooms are not the best I’ve seen for the kind of tariff they have. The rooms are clean. Bathrooms are decent, but they could do with better fittings. Given the island’s remote location, we can forgive the lack of A/Cs., geysers or running fresh water in the bathrooms (yes, you need to brush your teeth with salt water too). But all this is really secondary. Located just ON THE BEACH, you need to hardly spend time in the room. We even had our afternoon siestas in the hammocks tied under the shade of the palm trees. Bilss!!

What makes this resort click is the awesome location. Continue reading

Tarkarli beach on the Konkan coast

Sindhudurg is the southernmost district of Maharashtra, just north of Goa. Sindhudurg is supposed to have some of the best beaches in India and Tarkarli beach in particular is mentioned by many as a particularly lovely beach to go to. Tarkarli’s reputation is one of clear waters that allow one to snorkel and scuba dive, which is interesting because to the best of my knowledge there is no other mainland beach in India that is good for watching the world underwater.

Goa does offer Scuba, but even the operators themselves agree that Goa’s murky waters are not the place for it. The best snorkelling & diving in India is in Lakshadweep, where Mitali & Prahlad Kakkar run Lacadives (the other option is to dive with Goa diving in Agatti Island; I have come across some vague rumours of safety here, so do check well before you go) . After that is the Andaman Islands, particularly Havelock Island. I haven’t been there and so do not have first hand experience – but many members of HolidayIQ swear by Havelock which is very reassuring.

Anyway, to come back to Tarkarli beach. I do know that a few years ago, a couple of well known boutique cruise operators (Seabourn, I am almost certain was one of them) had an interesting halt offshore at Tarkarli beach from where they brought guests by boat to the beach and then took them on a cycle tour of the local Konkan region. My impression is that this is not done anymore – certainly not at Tarkarli beach. Not sure why.

MTDC has a resort at Tarkarli beach, which has been reviewed and rated by many members of HolidayIQ. Everyone is unanimous in their opinion of Tarkarli beach. Tarkarli is an awesome beach and Continue reading

‘Meme’orabilia

Madhuri taggged me with a meme. Since I had no clue what a meme was, I Googled it up and found as follows on wikipedia:

Internet meme – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hampster Dance [sic] is one of the first widely distributed Internet memes and illustrates the characteristic silliness of much of the genre. …”

Sounded very promising (I kinda like things that are characteristically silly) and so I gave up my objections to displaying my travel photos – in general it is a physical impossibility since I rarely take any – to show you two that got took.

The meme is to display a particularly favourite photo and write something about it. Here are 2.

The first picture is of my elder son intently taking archery lessons from a tribal man deep in the plantation hinterland of Wayanad in northern Kerala.

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The second photo below is of my younger ‘un floating away among the coral reefs in the lagoon in Agatti Island, Lakshadweep. Easily the most magical place I have been to so far.

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Travelling is undoubtedly the best education you can get. And the cool part is you can start very early and need never stop.

While I am generally loath to send chain stuff to others, here is an exception. The meme says I should send it to 5 people which is waaay beyond me. So I am sending it on to Shantanu.

Shantanu, the meme says:

All you have to do is select and upload one photo that you have clicked this year that is special to you. Could be anything…aesthetic, technical or personal. Also, put in a short note why it is special.

Top 5 holidays for winter 2007

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(Hogmanay in Edinburgh – photo from stuckonscotland)

So you have done well this year. The bonus has been good, your spouse is making good money & the stocks you invested in have zoomed up with the index. It is time to reward yourselves. How about a Mont Blanc Pen? Or maybe a set of fancy wheels? Or maybe a ballooning trip over the African veldt? or book yourself for one of the first sub-orbital flights with Virgin Galactic?

In my regular conversations with users & members of HolidayIQ, many of whom have the classic ‘successful’ profile I outlined in the first para, I now find that unique experiences are taking over from fancy products as the real self-indulgences. And it is clear that in the early 21st century India, unique travel has become THE way of self expression of the successful. Move aside, Mont Blanc & Maserati. Welcome to Masai Mara & the Moon (soon, hopefully).

Over the last few years, I have given up on business travel and got into some serious holidaying. So I get asked this question quite a lot – what are your suggestions for a holiday this season? So, in answer to the key existential angst of our time, here is my personal list of 5 great travel escapes for Winter 2007.

  • Watch the whales migrate at Byron Bay, Australia. One of the world’s most scenic spots, home to a great ‘littoral rainforest’ is also the setting for one of nature’s amazing events.
  • Soak in the atmosphere of true ‘ancient India’ on the banks of the Betwa and Maheshwar, ancient rivers of Madhya Pradesh. Stay in classily refurbished palaces & forts right on the waters edge.
  • Bring in the New Year at one of the classiest cities on earth. Be a part of Edinburgh’s Hogamanay, from 29th Dec 2007 to 1st jan 2008
  • Do a ‘Cantonese crawl’ – explore haute chinese cuisine starting in Hong Kong, Shenzen & Guangzhou and taking in various parts of the chinese coast around the south china sea
  • Scuba dive in the pristine coral island of Agatti, Lakshadweep. Discover the million shades that lie between Blue & Green.