Wednesday, October 17, 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

Minicoy

Minicoy is situated at 8o17' north latitude and 73o04 east longitude.Minicoy or Malik is the southern most island in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. Macro Polo referred to it as the female island.

Minicoy is crescent-shaped and more than 10kms in length. The lagoon is large and deep enough for small ships to enter. There is a small island at the northern tip of the main island known as Viringili which was used by the people for isolating small-pox patients in the past. Within the lagoon, the reef dries at low tide at the north-western entrance depositing marine collections. The islanders are known as children of the sea. In the past their ships went for into Arabia, the Maldives, Andaman's, Bengal and Burma. This has given them the tradition of a sea faring life. More than half of the inhabitants of working age are employed as seamen in ocean-going vessels all over the world. The islanders have their own seamen's Associations at Calcutta and Bombay which provide employment opportunities. The profession of the seamen which made the ordinary Minicoy a globe trotter has also helped him to enrich his household with articles of luxury from abroad. 

The main feature of the island is its carefully planned villages known as Athiris. Each Athiri has its own internal organisation headed by a Moopan around whom the life of the community rests. They have their own village house, their own street, bathing tanks, places of worship and burial. The public clubs for men and women which were the centres of a gay night life in olden days are extinct but the buildings are maintained intact. Another curious remnant of old life in the island is the sheds where vicious persons were exposed to punishment. The inhabitants love a profusion of colours, be it on the beautifully engraved table-tops to decorate their drawing rooms or on fishing boats or racing dhonis. The people are also adapt in boat modeling which is a piece of art painted in different colours. The houses situated in their own private enclosures are arranged in streets. They are kept neat and clean and reflect the people's urge for order and colour. All the houses have a swing cot made of wood which is beautifully furnished and painted in different colours.

Minicoy is an important tuna fishing centre and there is a tuna canning factory with an ice plant and cold storage. It has a number of scientific research stations like Radio Zone Ravine observatory and Tidal observatory. There is also a light house since 1885 in view of its strategic location.

Among the many foreign influences which the islanders have adopted may be listed the duodecimal system of numerical notation. For tourism options in Minicoy Click here

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