Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Lakshadweep

Land

Land   ❯   Climate   ❯    Islands   ❯   Flora and Fauna

Islands
▪ Introduction  ▪ Androth   ▪ Agatti   ▪ Bitra   ▪ Kadmat    ▪ Kalpeni  ▪ Suheli    ▪ Kavaratti   ▪ Amini   ▪ Bangaram  ▪ Chetlat  ▪ Kiltan  ▪ Minicoy  ▪ Pitti or Pakshi Pitti

Bitra

Bitra is situated at 11o36' north latitude and 72o10' east longitude. Bitra and Bangaram are the smallest inhabited islands in the territory. Bitra lies 48km west of Chetlat and has a land area of 10.52 hectares. Situated on the north eastern tip of a large coral ring reef it encloses a magnificent lagoon. Along the eastern reef there are deposits of sand is patches which dries during low tide. The lagoon is the largest in the Union Territory.

In the past, Bitra was covered by thick brushwood and shrubs and the island was the breeding ground for flocks of sea birds. In the early 19th century, disturbed by human intruders, the birds gradually deserted the place. Sir Robinson who visited the islands in 1848 heard the people say that the birds had left Bitra till about 1835. The birds belonged to the Tern group which is found on the Pitti sand. People from the neighbouring islands regularly visited this island to collect the eggs of these birds.

The island was frequently visited by fishermen from Kiltan and Chetlat but it was only in 1909 that an attempt was made to settle some families on this islet. It was mainly because of the difficulty of drinking water which turns blackish during the monsoon. By 1935 the floating population had increased considerably and people had accustomed to longer stays in the island. The first permanent settler was a woman from Chetlat who with her son set up a permanent homestead around 1945.
A small shrine in Bitra is dedicated to one Malik Mulla an old Arab saint who is said to have been buried there. The shrine is a place of pilgrimage for other islanders.

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