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Minicoy Island

Minicoy Island or Maliku is the second largest and the southern-most among the islands of Lakshadweep. It is isolated from the main group of islands and lies about 200 kms south of the northern group. It is about 10.6 Km long. The locals, the Malikun, call their island "Maliku," as do the Maldivians, while it is called "Minikkoy" in Malayalam. Cultural traits of Minicoy differ from those of any other island in Lakshadweep. Manners, customs and food are similar to those of the Maldives to the south of Minicoy and Mahl, a dialect of Dhivehi, is the language spoken on the island. Each village of Maliku has a Bodukaaka (male mayor) and Bodudhatha (female mayor) who conduct village business at a gathering known as Baemedu. The village houses are beautifully decorated and maintained. Minicoy is renowned for its traditional dance known as Lava, performed on festive occasions. Minicoy is a long island, almost completely covered with coconut trees. One of the few landmarks on the island is a tall lighthouse built in 1885. 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.