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Minicoy Island is the most southern island of the Lakshadweep archipelago, in India. It is about 200 km from the coast of Kerala and is the second largest island in the archipelago. The island boasts of serene beaches, turquoise lagoons, and a rich cultural heritage. The island is known for its traditional culture, which is quite different from the rest of India.


In the local language, Minicoy Island is called Maliku.

Minicoy Island has a total area of around 5 km² and is shaped like an elongated crescent. It is surrounded by a coral reef, which forms a natural barrier and protects the island from the rough sea.


People have lived on Minicoy Island for thousands of years, and there is evidence of this from the Neolithic period. The island has been ruled by various powers over the centuries, including the Cholas, the Arakkal kingdom, and the British. Minicoy Island became a part of India after the country's independence in 1947.


The islanders are ethnically Maldivians and their culture is heavily influenced by their seafaring heritage. The islanders follow a matrilineal system of inheritance, where property and other assets are passed down from mother to daughter. They are known for their traditional boat-making industry and also for their traditional dances like Lava dance, and Boduberu. The islanders also follow a unique form of Islam called Tharikithara Islam, which is quite different from the mainstream Islam practised in the rest of India.


The island has a tropical climate and the temperature usually ranges between 22 to 33 °C. The island experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season from June to September.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

  • The nearest airport to Minicoy Island is at Agatti, which is located about 375 km from the island. From Agatti, one can take a helicopter or a ship to reach Minicoy Island.
  • Indian Airlines operates regular flights from Kochi (Cochin) to Agatti.

By sea[edit]

The only way to reach Minicoy Island by sea is through the ship services from Kochi (Cochin) in Kerala.

  • The ship service is operated by the Lakshadweep Administration and takes around 18 hours to reach Minicoy Island.
  • Visitors can book their tickets online on the Lakshadweep Administration website.

Entry requirements[edit]

  • Indian citizens do not require a visa to visit Minicoy Island.
  • Foreign nationals require a special permit to visit Minicoy Island, which can be obtained from the Lakshadweep Administration office in Kochi.
  • The permit is valid for 30 days and can be extended for an additional 30 days.
  • Visitors are also required to register with the local authorities upon arrival.

Get around[edit]

  • The best way to explore Minicoy Island is by foot or bicycle. This allows visitors to experience the island's natural beauty and unique culture at a leisurely pace. Visitors also rent a bicycle or a motorbike to explore the island.
  • Auto-rickshaws and taxis can also be used to explore the island, but they are limited in number and might be expensive. There are also a few auto-rickshaws and motorbikes available for rent.
  • There is no public bus service on the island.
  • Taxis can also be hired, but they are limited in number.
  • Hiring a boat to explore the island's beaches, lagoons, and coral reefs is also a great way to explore the island.


Minicoy Island boasts a number of beautiful beaches, including Kalpeni beach and Minicoy Beach. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and other water sports.

  • The island also has a traditional lighthouse, which was built by the British in 1885. The lighthouse offers a panoramic view of the island and the sea.
  • Minicoy Island also has a Marine National Park which is an ideal place for snorkeling, scuba diving and other water sports.
  • The island is also home to a number of temples, including the Udayagiri Temple and the Juma Masjid.


The island's crystal clear waters and coral reefs make it an ideal destination for snorkelling and diving. Visitors can explore the island's rich marine life and coral reefs.

  • The island's beaches are also perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and other water sports.
  • The island also offers opportunities for hiking and trekking, visitors can explore the island's beautiful landscapes and natural beauty.

Festivals and events[edit]

Minicoy Island celebrates a number of festivals and events throughout the year.

  • The island's most famous festival is the Onam festival, which is celebrated in August or September. The festival is celebrated with traditional dances, music, and other cultural activities.
  • The island also celebrates the annual Minicoy Festival, which is a celebration of the island's unique culture and heritage. The festival includes traditional dances, music, and other cultural activities.
  • Visitors can also attend the annual Minicoy Beach Festival, which is a celebration of the island's beaches and marine life. The festival includes beach games, water sports, and other activities.


Local markets and shops[edit]

  • Minicoy Island has a few local markets and shops where visitors can buy souvenirs, handicrafts, and other items.
  • The island is famous for its traditional boat-making industry and visitors can buy small wooden boats as souvenirs.
  • Visitors can also buy traditional handicrafts such as lacework, coir products, and shell crafts.
  • The island also has a few shops selling locally produced food items such as coconut oil, honey, and dried fish.

Currency exchange[edit]

The Indian rupee (INR) is the local currency on Minicoy Island.

  • Visitors can exchange their currency at the local banks or at money changers in the island.
  • It is best to carry Indian rupees in cash, as the island has limited ATM facilities and credit card acceptance.


Minicoy Island's local cuisine is heavily influenced by its seafaring heritage.

  • The islanders are known for their traditional fish dishes such as Tuna curry, and Mas huni which is a traditional Maldivian dish made with grated coconut, onions, chili, and tuna.
  • Visitors can also try the local delicacies such as fried fish, dried fish, and fish curry.
  • The island also has a few restaurants and cafes that serve Indian, Chinese, and continental cuisine.


There are a few popular restaurants on the island that serve traditional Maldivian and Indian cuisine.

  • Island Restaurant
  • Minicoy Island Restaurant

Vegetarian and specialty foods[edit]

  • Minicoy Island has a few options for vegetarians, with most restaurants serving a variety of vegetarian dishes.
  • Visitors can try traditional vegetarian dishes such as dal curry, and vegetable curries.
  • Visitors can also find specialty food items such as locally produced coconut oil, honey, and dried fish.


Minicoy Island offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors, including hotels, resorts, guesthouses and homestays.

  • Minicoy Island Beach Resort
  • Visitors can also stay in guesthouses and homestays, which offer a more authentic experience and a chance to interact with the local community.

Camping and budget-friendly accommodation options:[edit]

  • Camping is not allowed on Minicoy Island, as the island is a protected area.
  • However, visitors can find budget-friendly accommodation options such as guesthouses and homestays, and dormitory-style accommodation in some of the guesthouses and homestays.

Stay safe[edit]

Local laws and customs[edit]

  • Minicoy Island is a protected area and visitors are expected to respect the local laws and customs.
  • Visitors should dress modestly, especially when visiting places of worship or other cultural sites.
  • Alcohol and drugs are prohibited on the island.
  • Visitors are also expected to respect the local environment and not litter or damage coral reefs.

Safety tips for travellers[edit]

Visitors should be aware of the potential dangers associated:

  • swimming and snorkelling in the sea, such as strong currents, sharks and jellyfish.
  • sun exposure: take necessary precautions to protect themselves from sunburn and heat stroke.
  • water sports, such as diving and jet skiing.

Go next[edit]

In the Lakshadweep archipelago there are several other islands and mainland locations that visitors can explore:

  • Kavaratti is the administrative capital of Lakshadweep and is known for its beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Visitors can also see the famous Ujra Mosque and the Kavaratti Marine Aquarium.
  • Kalpeni is known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and the famous Thinnakara island.
  • Bangaram is a small uninhabited island that offers great opportunities for diving and snorkeling, and visitors can also enjoy the beaches and lagoons.
  • Kadmat Island is known for its beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Visitors can also see the Kadmat Island lighthouse and the Kadhmath island beach.

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