Friday, July 18

History of Lakshadweep

The chronicles of the foreign travelers like Al Biruni, Abu Zayad and Marco Polo contain ample mention of the virgin green Lakshwadeep islands that lie along the coast of Kerala. The earliest testament to the history of Lakshwadeep is the Vaylur inscription that refer to Narasimha Varman II's conquest of these islands.

Rajarajendra Chola, one of the greatest Chola monarchs too took over the islands and added them to his burgeoning territory. Apart from the powerful ancient Indian monarchs, foreigners too arrived in the picturesque and isolated islands and tried to add the islands and thereby augment their territory. The islands were apparently thoroughly explored by the British. However the first foreigner to set foot on the shores of Lakshwadeep was none other than the legendary Vasco da Gama.

The Portuguese invasion gave way to two significant episodes in the history of Lakshwadeep. Firstly, the islands became a noted hub of maritime trade. Secondly, the years of plunder, pillage, oppression and tyranny that would be a hallmark of the island's history ensued.

The Amindivi archipelago of islands comprising of Kadmat, Kiltan, Amini, Chetlat and Bitra islets were a part of Tipu Sultan's kingdom until they passed on to the British hands after the third Anglo Mysore War. Decades later, in 1956, in accordance with the States Reorganization Act, the islands were estranged from the central administrative unit of Madras Presidency's Malabar District and coalesced to form an independent union territory.