Minicoy Island - India

Minicoy is isolated from the main group of the Lakshadweep Islands and lies about 200 kms south of the northern group. It's 10.6 kms long & is the second largest island after Andrott. Minicoy has one of the largest lagoons with a small uninhabited islet Viringili on its southern side. Minicoy is distinct from the northern group of islands in its culture. It has a cluster of 11 villages, which are called "Avah" each presided over by an elected village elder called Bodukaka. Traditionally all powers to manage village affairs are vested in him. Each village has a village house beautifully maintained and decorated. Minicoy is renowned for its traditional dance - the Lava performed on festive occasions. Colourful race boats called "Jahadhoni" are a feast to the eye of any tourist. A large number of men from this island are employed as seamen in ships all over the world. Mahi is the spoken language. Minicoy is an important centre for tuna fishing and a tuna-canning factory on the island processes the catch. A 300-foot tall lighthouse built in 1885 by the British is a majestic landmark.