Lakshadweep to Mangaluru highspeed ferry service launched for tourists | Travel - Hindustan Times

Lakshadweep to Mangaluru highspeed ferry service launched for tourists

PTI | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz, Mangaluru (karnataka)
May 03, 2024 03:58 PM IST

Lakshadweep nearer by five hours as mainland connectivity gets better with new ferry service that shortens the journey for tourists

Travel by searoute from the mainland to Lakshadweep is now nearer by five hours. The highspeed vessel ‘Parali’ on Thursday ferried 160 passengers from Lakshadweep Islands to the Mangaluru old port in just seven hours compared to the earlier 13 hours on an experimental basis.

Lakshadweep to Mangaluru highspeed ferry service launched for tourists (Photo by Twitter/jayantshah)
Lakshadweep to Mangaluru highspeed ferry service launched for tourists (Photo by Twitter/jayantshah)

Speaking to PTI, the first batch of tourists on the ‘HSC Parali' said that it was a different experience. The new vessel has not only high-speed connectivity but is also smoother by far than the earlier vessels which are modified to ferry passengers from cargo carriers.

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The Lakshadeweep Islands Tourism Development Authority formed under the Central Tourism Ministry will start the Mangalore-Lakshadweep tourist liner service after few trial runs starting from today. But we do not know how rough will be the sea once the monsoon starts. The LITDA has already ramped up the facilities at the receiving point in Kadmatt, which is the nearest port of arrival from the mainland, the officials said.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Lakshadweep Island earlier this year, the island administration (union territory) moved in many ways to improve the connectivity between the mainland at Kochi and at Mangaluru.

According to the officials, this is the first step and things will be easier for people of Lakshadweep to arrive in Mangaluru for several types of tourism including the western ghats eco tourism, educational, health and recreation tourism in the mainland.

Karnataka, part of the mainland, and Lakshadweep share a common history since 1783 as it was Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan who protected the entry of mainland marauders into Lakshadweep Islands and prevented them from pillaging the island paradise.

But after 1799, when Tippu Sultan died in Srirangapatnam near Mysore, the people of Lakshadweep lost their freedom again as the British conquered the islands.

The beautiful cluster of small islands, Lakshadweep is one of the world’s most spectacular tropical island systems. Thirty two sq km of land spread over 36 islands surrounded by 4,200 sq km of lagoon is rich in marine wealth. The heritage of ecology and culture is supported by an extremely fragile ecosystem.

Committed to the cause of eco tourism, Union Territory of Lakshadweep has consciously followed a middle path between tourism promotion and environmental conservation. The administration is carefully monitoring the environmental impact of coastal tourism and has taken steps to promote tourism in a way that is consistent with ecological concerns.

The first passenger Vessel ‘M.V.Aminidevi’ had set sail for Kadmatt island in Lakshadweep Islands on 6 November with 150 tourists in 2010. "This had opened a new horizons in tourism for Karnataka. Earlier this circuit was very circuitous for the people in the interior parts of Karnataka, but the new initiative will help high value tourists from Bangalore, Mysore, Panaji, Mumbai to use Mangalore as a port of departure to Lakshadweep.

"We are now getting inquiries from Karnataka especially Bengaluru," according to Lakshadweep Island Tourism Development Authority co-ordinators in Karnataka.

The authorities had already prepared the ultra modern tourism facilities in three islands out of the nine which are closer to Mangalore in terms of navigation. The two islands of Minicoy and Kalpeni are closer to Kochi.

At Kadmatt water sports like snorkeling, kayaking, diving, cruising and a combination of tourist activities including the local and world culinary attraction has been arranged.

The authority are hoping that the tourists from Bengaluru will take advantage of this facility. Earlier they had to go to Kochi.

The IT and Business tourists can travel to Lakshadweep at a cost of 5,000 per head on this ship. The travel time is less than 14 hours and if they can squeeze in three days, we have devised a weekend package which is very rejuvenating, said an official from the Union Territory Authority of Lakshadweep Islands.

Earlier, only a cargo ship ‘Tipu Sultan’ was plying between the Islands and the mainland. This route is stated to be one of the oldest in the Indian maritime history.

Accommodations in Minicoy, Kalpeni, Kadmatt, Aminidevi are limited and the ship will take tourists only when there is accommodation available on the islands. However, the rush has already begun as tourists from Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Baroda, and other places are booking their seats. They will treat Mangaluru as a port of departure, according to officials.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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