Right now we are exploring the most unexplored place in all of India. It’s the capital of Lakshadweep, Kavaratti. Lakshadweep, it’s about 36 small islands about 400 kilometers off the coast of India and Kavaratti is the most developed island and this union territories capital city. This place is closer to the Maldives than it is to India. So it’s this collection of incredibly tropical, an incredibly beautiful islands, where people mainly come for scuba diving, for snorkeling and chilling out on the beach. Tourism has only just been opened up actually. That’s why this place is so unexplored because foreigners weren’t allowed to come here, once upon a time. That’s changed now. You can’t get here on a tourist visa and I’ll tell you why foreigners who weren’t allowed to come here soon. This region is very, very important India. So let’s go and explore this unexplored tropical capital. So the first thing you need to know about Kavaratti it is about 96.5% Muslims. So I’m walking through the street down here. I’m seeing a lot of green and seeing a lot of animals being kept, so they’re keeping ducks here, they’re keeping goats here. They keeping cows here for, for eating. They are quite self-sufficient here on this island. And you have to be when you’re so far away from the mainland, right? They only have ships coming out here. There is an airport but that’s expensive right to ship things through air. This is the reason that most people come to Lakshadweep and to Kavaratti for scuba diving for this incredible water. I’ve done it and there’s blogs about you know, all the all the water sports and everything you can do here. It’s, it’s just paradise. It is a tropical island paradise. Anyway, enough of that you’ve seen all that. Let’s hit into the town and We’ll explore Kavaratti will the local. Am I the only one who gets excited to see a new number plate like when I’m on a road trip, right? I’m always looking for real number plates. And this has got to be one of the rarest number plates in all of India. LD We’re exploring by bike today. And we’ve got a Royal Enfield all the way out here. It’s awesome. I am happy. Behind us in white here, we have the administrator’s residence. The person who kind of governs Lakshadweep here this, this union territory and then out here He is right on the beach check out how beautiful that beaches and you’ve got some kids. They literally just playing on a makeshift boat outlet. So in Dubai for example, there people come from the sand, the sand is their playground. Here the people are from the water. The water is is totally their playground and I can relate to it coming from New Zealand where we’re surrounded by water and There’s hundreds of beaches around the place. So, yeah, I feel right at home here at Lakshadweep. I’m riding around here with Nishant and he tells me that most of the island is actually leave the island and go to the mainland for work afterwards, but there are jobs here in tourism and that’s exactly what he studied. So in all of Lakshadweep, there is just one Hindu temple and here it is let’s go and have a quick look. Shree Mahadev This temple is huge. There are about five different peoples here or or rooms for worship at the center temple it is. Yeah, it’s a beautiful tropical island temple. It’s very- very unique. I haven’t seen quite seen a temple like this one before. You’ve got a lot of this brass and it’s all open ear and you’ve got the the wind coming in and calling you. That’s a very peaceful place. And you guys won’t believe there but their temple is made by the Muslims of Lakshadweep. They’ve designed and, and painted as well. There was a Muslim guy busy, busy painting it there. So That’s a really, really, a really sweet thing to see they’re kind of inclusivity you’ll find here in Lakshadweep. Even though it is a Muslim majority India, about 56 mosques here. And right now we’re just riding past ‘The dweep raksha’, the island protectors. That’s the name of the quite big naval base here on Lakshadweep. I’ll talk about this in a second because this is one of the reasons, why foreigners weren’t allowed here in the past. Now this part of the island it is very- very narrow. You can see both waters from either side and it’s called by the locals, chicken neck. Because it is is so thin look at that right there. And right over there. Wow. It’s paradise. This is Lakshadweep jail. There’s no one guiding it even. I don’t know how many people are in there. You gotta any bad boys in there?
Nishant: One or two max
Karl: One or two a max. This chickens guiding the jail, actually. There’s a lot of chicken and a couple of gardeners We’re at the very southern tip of the island now and the Coast Guard is literally their basis right here. And that brings me to why foreigners weren’t allowed her in the past. This is a very- very important and strategic place. India’s 400 kilometers from mainland India. So it extends India’s economic reach out into this ocean. And so they have a naval base here. And that extends India’s reach of their Navy and the army. So they can have refueling stations on this island. Their planes don’t have to fly back so far the mainland to refuel. So it’s a very strategic place Lakshadweep. It is the gateway to India and it is on the largest shipping route or trade route in the world in the Indian Ocean in the Arabian Sea. So it is so important and that’s why I’m guessing they’ve kept foreigners away from here in the past. Simply to guard the interest here. They might have thought it was high risk, but you know, they’ve realized is not so high risk. So they’ve allowed foreigners back. Partly, it’s because they want to protect the locals as well. You know when tourism comes here when other people come here and buy land, yeah, it definitely changes things here. So let’s hope Lakshadweep can stay the way it is. You guys can see these fishermen out here too. Fishing is the number one job here, a source of income in all of Lakshadweep. Tourism is gonna start increasing but their fishing and their fish, I mean you are served fresh fish here. I’ve had more fresh fish here than I did have on the Andaman Islands when I went there and there’s an entire Andaman Island playlist as well and I’ll talk more about both Andamans and Lakshadweep in in another video. The locals have been planting all these coconut trees that you can see behind me. It’s kind of like Chhattisgarh. People here really, really care about their environment. It’s such a small environment they have, right? It’s something like 3.5 kilometer squared this area. So, they know to look after it. We’re walking through the jungle. Because there’s a massive ship that got out here. The ship came from Mumbai with carrying cement and other kinds of goods and got into some trouble. That’s a bit sad. Such a, it’s a beautiful ocean and a damn ship stuck in there with all that cement dumping into it and actually this ship is the biggest risk to this area because of all the stuff that is on it. There’s parts of the ship all over the beach and littered over the beach and people even playing on the shipping and fishing off that ship, climbing it. Oh my god, so dangerous. They’ve got a beautiful Botanical Garden and it’s right opposite the Lakshadweep administration Secretariat. This is where Lakshadweep is managed from basically inside all these, these beautiful white buildings. And I’ve seen a lot of fancy buildings here. There are some, some very- very beautiful homes here and I was just talking to my guide and There is 0.2 percent crime rate here. There’s basically no crime here, but he said that’s changing because people are going outside of the islands and they’re learning bad ways from a mainland India when they go there for studying or whatever and you know that honestly does not surprise me. We all know the crooks and we all have to deal for stuff in in our everyday lives on mainland, India. That’s a shame that things are changing here. I’m sure there’s things they can do to slow it down and to keep the crime rate so low here and tourism is not a big thing here yet. Still, still not a big thing here. But I guess as these videos come out more and more people who want to come here and It’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing. Right? It’ll bring money here, but plastic is already growing here. My guide was saying so. It’ll bring negatives as well. So, I really, really hope that tourism is managed here because it will definitely start to boom. I guarantee it. We’ve arrived at a traditional Lakshadweep hotel and my hotel they mean restaurant. It’s a common, common phrase that they used here in India, or I guess, you call it a ‘dhaba’ like a roadside store where you can get like you’ve got like samosas here. You’ve got laddu, vada. Some kind of deep-fried bread maybe and of course tea and this place is called Dubai Chayakada. Come let’s go and drink some tea because there’s no alcohol on Lakshadweep. I guess, I guess people might have brought from home for themselves. But generally it is a completely dry union territory just like Gujarat but Gujarat is a state though. But you can still find alcohol in Gujarat. It is definitely not a alcohol-free place unlike Lakshadweep is. And that’s perfect for me because I don’t drink and I smoke but I do drink tea. Greetings in urdu.
How are you? Everything alright? Yum So this is a donut or vada? It’s a local donut, look at that, let’s try. Yeah it’s a donut. Donut and tea, it’s like America donut and coffee. Really good The donut is a very sweet urge doesn’t have much sugar. It’s good And so for the tea and the donut it is just 15 rupees. 5 rupees for tea, 10 rupees for the donut. Incredibly cheap at these local roads high toppers across India actually. Now if you’re wondering about internet on the island, BSNL and Airtel are here. They say it’s 4G but it’s not, it’s 2g speed. I guess its because its coming off the satellite. And then also the petrol price 110 rupees per litre and they have a limit of only 20 liters per person, per month for a motorcycles. Yes severely limited here. And one thing I love to see is how they are supporting the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign. Our lagoon, our sea shore, keep it neat and keep it clean. Up over here, we have their sports ground. Check it out. Where they play cricket, soccer. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world right? Sports is the most important thing or one of the most important things. Greetings in urdu.
How are you?
Kids: fine We’re just passing through the school now, it’s Friday, so it’s a day off for the kids here. And one thing I’ve noticed is all the girls cycling around, all the girls having fun together. All the girls riding scooters and everything. Girls are treated exactly the same as boys here, have the same freedoms on Lakshadweep. And they educated the same, if not more because maybe boys will drop out and go to a job or something. So yeah, it’s very equal here on Lakshadweep. We’re just riding along beach road now and you can see this beautiful blue lagoon here, turquoise. Wow. I’m just climbing up to the most famous mosque here in all of Lakshadweep, Ujra mosque, but foreigners aren’t allowed in. Okay, and I’ve noticed this happened a little bit in the south. There’s a lot of temples as well, which I’m not allowed in as a foreigner. I mean, sometimes they say it affects the purity of the place if a non-believer comes in which is the rubbish, but I’ll respect that now we can get in there but we have to go and it’s a long process. We have to apply for permissions to go in there and it will take a committee of people to decide on that. So yeah, you need time you’re gonna have to do it in advance if you want to go and visit Ujra mosque, okay. So we can get in it’s just a pain to do it and actually inside it’s all wood carvings. Beautiful, beautiful wood carvings and from the outside I can see it’s kind of like a Kashmiri mosque. That’s what it looks like in Kashmir. They use a lot of wood in their mosques as well and they have a mosque entirely made out of wood. I think Jamia Masjid and that is a must visit place when you’re in Srinagar and anybody can go there, it’s fine. Most of the shopping and the business area around the Agatti. But you do find little small shops around the place like this and like a friend’s shop here. Hello ji. (Greetings in urdu) How are you?
Shopkeeper: I’m good. Karl: This is your shop.
Karl: What do you sell? Shopkeeper: Gent’s store Karl: Do you sell tights? Do you have tights?
Shopkeeper: No tights. Karl: Oh no tights. This is not Karl’s tights store. This is this is normal clothes. Hey, they do have tights, look. So you might be wondering how do these people get water when they’re surrounded by the ocean? How do they get drinking water? Well, they have a desalination plant right here and it’s amazing. 100 litres and they get one liter of drinking water. That’s not good maths. Wonder how much of it gets wasted. Anyway, they need it and they had the plant right here and a number of the islands around here have these desalination plants And now if you’re greeting the locals here do not use ‘ram-ram’, Okay, you need to use ‘asalam walekum’ because of the muslim population and every single person will greet you back beautifully with that saying as well. Karl: So friends, asalam walekum.
Children: walekum assalam. Karl: It’s very beautiful. What is this? What’s happening? Oh a visit here, you’re going to the, is it the gardens or Okay, so the kids in here they come in to learn about medical plants in a government garden where they’re growing I guess like ingredients for medical purposes, ayurvedic purposes and to make drugs. So, you’ve got a lot of beautiful kind of plants in here that they’re using for that purpose. One thing you always notice about people who live on the islands here whether it’s Andamans, whether it’s Lakshadweep, they are so soft and sweet. What you’re seeing right there there’s a marriage dance. You’ve got the bride sitting in the middle there, while her friends dance around her. That reminds me about marriages here. So the guy goes to the girls house after marriage. it’s the opposite of a Hindu wedding and this is called ‘Ghar Jamai’ and that exactly what I am. I’m a ghar jamai. I went to my wife’s house after I got married. And also the guy doesn’t take dowry here. Actually the guy pays dowry to the girls side. So a couple of big differences between hindu marriage and islamic marriage. I don’t know how I got married. I got married for the Special Marriages Act which allows two different religions to get married here in India actually. Even though I don’t follow any religion. My idea of religion is just just be a good person in, when I die if there’s a god up there He’ll be happy with my efforts of being a good person. That’s our the most important thing to me in life. What a day, I am so, so happy you can probably tell how much fun I had exploring Kavaratti, with local and going all these local places. And you know the local that I went with he didn’t ask me for any money. I told him I give him some money. He is like no, no, no, I can’t take it. You know it’s a pleasure to have you here and to take you around, you know. At least I wanted to pay for his fuel for his bike ride but he wouldn’t let me and that is a kind of hospitality you are gonna find here at Lakshadweep. At Lakshadweep, I mean the government run resorts and the people here are just fantastic. Hope you guys enjoy it and check out the rest of my Lakshadweep videos. This place is incredible India.
Long live India.