Tuesday, July 16, 2024


Land   ❯   Climate   ❯    Islands   ❯   Flora and Fauna

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


Chetlat is situated at 11o41 north latitude and 72o43 east longitude.Chetlat the northern most island is important for its location. It belongs to Aminidivi group of islands. The nearest inhabited island from Chetlat is Kiltan which is at a distance of about 13kms south-east. The nearest important place in the main land from this island is Mangalore which is situated at a distance of 90kms. Mangalore is the main marketing centre for the islanders. Other centres in the mainland with which the islanders have close contacts are Cannanore and Kozhikode, situated at distances of 100kms and 110kms respectively.

Chetlat suffered cruelty at the hands of the Portuguese Pirates in the 16th century. Sheikh Zeinuddin in his book Tuhafat-Al-Mujahidin records that before their descent on Amini, the Portuguese visited Shatelakum or Chetlat. A major part of the inhabitants were put to death and many were taken prisoners.

Inhabitants of this island generally served in Arab vessels as sarangs. Their main occupation is fishing and coir twisting . The coconut yield is poor and the income from copra is meagre. Boat building was a flourishing industry. The Lakshadweep Gazetteer (1977) records curious customs of the women folk. They gather on the beach during nights and light bonfires to help the returning vessels to locate the island. They sing songs invocating the winds to favour the home bound vessels.

A flourishing handicraft, a spare time industry of the island is the manufacture of caps from tender coconut leaves. The caps are in great demand.

The island is about 1200 metres in length and 400 metres in breadth. It covers an area of 255 acres and looks like an upturned boat. It lies lengthwise north and south. Along the eastern side of the island is a wide belt of coral debris. On the western side, there is a lagoon. The north-west is broader and sailing vessels with cargo can enter it during high tide. The lagoon protects the island on the most exposed side from the fury of south-west monsoon . The approaches to this island are free of any outlying danger.

The island looks like a garden of coconut. The other trees found in the island are cheerani Paruthi ( A species of cotton tree), jack fruit tree, Murunga (Drumstick). 

The world famous fish Tuna particularly the skip jack variety is found in large shoals in the deep seas around Chetlat. Whales and tortoises are also found in the vicinity of the island.

In the island a few species of birds and animals are found. Rats are found here in very large numbers and constitute menace to the coconut plants. Cats and waterhen is also found in this island. There is no snake in Chetlat.