In the south west of India and in the waters of the Arabian Sea, the island of Agatti forms a part of the Lakshadweep archipelago. The length of the island is about 6 km and the width is 1000 m approximately with a sparse population of around 7000.
This island is the gateway to the Lakshadweep Union Territory through sea and air, as the only airport in Lakshadweep is located in Agatti. Agatti lies to the west of the Kavaratti Island which is the headquarters of the Union Territory with the administrative section located here.
The island is connected by air and water. The ship route is connected to Kochi as well as Mumbai. The journey by ship is about 24 hours while the flight takes 1 hour from Kochi. The airport landing strip is small, capable of accommodating few small airplanes such as the Droniers and ATR flights.
This land, which is surrounded on all sides by coral reefs and blue waters, has a few legends but its history has marks of rulers who controlled it from the western coasts of India, especially Kochi.
The last king of Kerala, Cheraman Perumal, while traveling in the boats got shipwrecked in one of the islands near Agatti, but returned back safely. The people during this period travelled to Lakshadweep and settled there and gradually spread themselves across different islands.
The presence of Islam and its followers in the island have been attributed to the preaching by St Ubaidullah in the 7th century, who by directions from the prophet in him, went to the islands and tried preaching Islam with partial success. Later on his wife carried on the preaching after the saint died where his mukbara or tomb in the nearby island of Androtte is still prayed by the muslim devotees.
Briefly, the Portuguese tried to rule over the area for the coir products but were evaded by the local population. During the rule of Tipu Sultan, the previous influences of Chirakkal raja and Cannanore muslim houses were stopped and people were happy. Then the British East India Company took over the island and Lakshadweep was declared a Union Territory in 1956 and named so in 1973.
The small lagoon near the Agatti Island is the only place where fishing is allowed, and in monsoon, boats are not allowed into the sea. The coral reefs and the water surrounding it gives opportunity for scuba diving, snorkelling, boating, para sailing, gliding, etc. The nearby islands of Kavaratti, Bangaram, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Minicoy, etc. are popular for sightseeing visits by boats and water activities.
The climatic conditions are typical of that of Kerala with hot summers from March to May and high humidity. Monsoon rains come from May to September and is heavy. Entry into Lakshadweep is allowed with permits only which needs to be applied in Kochi.