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The Lakshadweep or Laccadives, as they were formerly called, are a string of little-known islands, lying 250 or so miles off the Malabar coast of India.

There are 36 main islands in all, forming an archipelago of surpassing beauty. This is a world of silver sands and clear warm waters, of submerged banks and virgin reefs, enclosing a fascinating underwater world.

Legend has it that the islands were discovered by shipwrecked sailors during the reign of Cheraman Perumal, a legendary King of Kerala, around 435 AD. Frankly, things haven't really changed much since. Nature and culture have both remained preserved over the centuries, miles from the mainland and the trade routes.

And so the crabs scuttle. The reefs remain pristine.The people continue to fish, grow coconuts and smile a lot. And that's in the handful of islands that have any population at all. The vast majority still remain much as they were the day nature conjured them up.

Accommodation on the island is simple and unpretentious. Set in 128 acres, there are 30 tiled - roof beach huts, each with its own palm-thatched verandah, en-suite bathroom, ceiling fan and fridge.

In a bit to preserve Bangaram's unique environment, a hotel atmosphere is avoided intentionally, but frets not - there are enough creature comforts to ensure your stay is an enjoyable one.

There are also four bungalows, which are bigger and offer total privacy. At the heart of the resort is the restaurant hut. It's a little architectural marvel made by the islanders, crafted entirely out of bamboo and palm fronds, around a single tall central pole.
With such peace and natural beauty surrounding you, Bangaram Island is the ideal place to try an ayurvedic treatment, or even just a relaxing massage. The resort, like all CGH Earth properties, has fully-equipped ayurvedic facilities.

Ayurveda is the Indian system of traditional medicine, and it's a great way to treat niggling, chronic health problems. Not to mention the odd aches and pains resulting from a long days dive.

The resort offers you a variety of outdoor pursuits - Kayaking, Catamaran sailing, snorkelling, deep sea fishing, and scuba diving.

A well-equipped and professionally manned Scuba Diving facility is available at the resort. As a diving location, the virgin reefs of Bangaram have been ranked by many of the world's experienced divers as being among the best anywhere.

Ancient shipwrecks get discovered every now and then, since the reefs aren't even fully explored yet. That's one reason why they abound in undersea life. Manta rays, eagle rays, moray eels and Hawksbill turtles are common, as are game fish.

There are three uninhabited islands in the same atoll, Tinnakara, Parali and the not very imaginatively named Parali-II. Each can be reached by outboarding, sailing, rowing or for the incurably athletic, by kayaking or windsurfing from Bangaram. Perfect for a day's outing, if you're up to it...

Popular dive spots off Bangaram include Manta Point and the wreck of the Princess Royal, sunk 200 years ago.
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