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Old 12th November 2010, 10:31   #16
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Fantastic Thread. I am just glued to this thread. Lovely teaser pics there.

Do keep em coming.
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Old 12th November 2010, 11:33   #17
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Default Day 2: Contd...

We were chatting in the room and checked the watch it was 1:30 PM and there were no signs of ship leaving Cochin. Meanwhile and announcement was made “Lunch ready for tourists in 1st class cafeteria”. We headed to cafeteria and I check with Tourist Manager for the delay, before ship leaves it has to be checked and certified by MMD and hence the delay.

Lunch had both Veg and Non Veg options (only one curry would differ them), it’s unlimited buffet and served at two separate counters sitting area is only one. Non Veg options would be either fish or chicken. Rotis made were fine and soft, people preferring spicy food would find it difficult as they are very low on salt and spices. But quality as such is pretty good; we never had any complaints what so ever. Hospitality of the crew is amazing; you ask for something, it would be placed right away. For drinking they serve both cold and warm water, my ratings on food

Lunch/Dinner Aboard Ship
  • Cuisine – 4/5 (they served us Biriyani, noodles and fried rice)
  • Quality – 4/5
  • Hospitality – 5/5

Break fast
  • Bread Butter jam is for sure on the list all the days – 4/5 (they don’t toast them, but one has option to eat them with omlet or scrambled egg)
  • South Indian – 4/5 (Dosa, Idly, Uppama, were served)
  • One fruit (no limit, one can take as many as he wants)
  • Quality – 4/5
  • Hospitality – 5/5

Overall Food rating: 4.5/5 (it may differ from person to person but, for us it was served on time, hot and with quality and options, I guess that matter’s a lot)

By the time we finished food and had some chat, heard an announcement that MMD inspection has been completed. It was only at 2:45 ship started disembarking, a disembarking boat was pulling the ship side ways first and then guided the ship for a complete U Turn facing the vast open sea, at 3:00 PM Ship started sailing slowly through the waters, it was then we observed few dolphins swimming aside.

At 3:45 PM we were called for a short visit to Captains deck for a visit, Lead Captain explained us all the equipment they use and how they work. It was informatory and kids were having ball of time seeing RADAR images, identifying the ships in the sea from RADAR. Ship was in auto pilot mode, cursing at 16 Nautical miles.

We were not allowed to take snaps in side and hence nothing to post. Inspite of having RADAR they have a person (WATCH PERSON) who constantly keeps seeing in Binoculars for obstruction in the path.

Some Random pics while disembark and sailing

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MMD Officers leaving ship after inspection

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Old 12th November 2010, 11:43   #18
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Default Day 2: Random Pics Continued...

Pics Continued...

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Later in the evening we had a nice lemon tea in shop, spent time chatting and playing cards in the cabin. Dinner was announced (served Chicken Biriyani), and we finished it by 8:30 and after a long chat we hit the beds at 12:00 in the midnight. I just wanted to feel it, so went on to the captains deck, you could see nothing except reflections from lights on ship and hear water splashing. It's an amazing experience.

Day3 : first glimpses of Island and exploration in Minocy still to come...
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Old 12th November 2010, 12:47   #19
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Great choice destination and amazing pictures.I am glued to this thread.
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Old 12th November 2010, 15:19   #20
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This promises to be a very good and interesting Travelogue. 16K per person seems very reasonable.
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Old 12th November 2010, 15:51   #21
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Wow ! Lovely pics and a well written travelogue to go with it Raghu ! Keep them coming...
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Old 15th November 2010, 06:40   #22
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Hi
Very nice thread. The island has been on my list for quiet some time now and your thread might give me the extra push to make it. Waiting to see how the whole thing turn out. Neat pictures. Cheers.
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Old 15th November 2010, 16:09   #23
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Raghu,
What happened to the travelogue, no updates from last 3 days. I am eagerly waiting for it, as this would be my next place in my travel list.
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Old 15th November 2010, 16:15   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus. View Post
Great choice destination and amazing pictures.I am glued to this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
This promises to be a very good and interesting Travelogue. 16K per person seems very reasonable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kannan666 View Post
Wow ! Lovely pics and a well written travelogue to go with it Raghu ! Keep them coming...
Quote:
Originally Posted by drrajasaravanan View Post
Hi
Very nice thread. The island has been on my list for quiet some time now and your thread might give me the extra push to make it. Waiting to see how the whole thing turn out. Neat pictures. Cheers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rk_sans View Post
Raghu,
What happened to the travelogue, no updates from last 3 days. I am eagerly waiting for it, as this would be my next place in my travel list.
Thanks guys,

rk_sans was busy at home over the weekend and at work today and hence couldn't update the TL. Would start updating soon.
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Old 15th November 2010, 17:24   #25
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Default Day 3: Minicoy Island first step on land after approx 20hrs on ship

It was 6:30 AM in the morning, my eyes opened and could feel that ship is no longer sailing. Bailed out of the bed and peeped through window to see Minicoy Island few kms away. That's out first destination, went out to feel the morning air and to catch the glimpses of the island.

First glimpses of Minicoy

Three Friends & A Trip to ISLANDS-boat5.jpg


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I didn’t find any lagoons and was wondering what’s so special about this island then, went straight to tourist Manager to find it out, it’s then I found that the actual lagoon and the resort are on the eastern side of the island and currently ship is anchored on the west side. This is to avoid damage to marine life (corals and lagoon); to reach the jetti of the eastern side one need to use boats from the ship, journey to land would take 45mins. Rest of the details would be announced once the breakfast is done. I went ahead and took some snaps, wanted to get a panoramic view, but couldn’t yet due to busy schedule.

Went and woke up rest, decided not to take bath as anyways we would be hitting the sea in just few mins, finished morning chores and headed towards breakfast. It was bread, butter, Jam with Idly and wada on the menu, sweat lime to end.

Came an announcement at 7:30AM, disembark gates would be opened at 8:00 for the tourists to visit the island. Gate is below level 2, one need to use the stairways to reach the gates. There are two gates on either sides of the ship depending on the roughness of the sea they decide which gate to open. We were asked to wait on the port side gate (one facing the island), after around 10mins the gate started opening after an announcement from the captain, oh boy what a view it was, we were almost to the water level (few feet’s high), and boats started moving towards the ship. Boats were moving very rapidly up and down, was wondering how to get on to them.

One after other we were asked to stand on the exit of the gate, two people either sides hold our hands and then help us landing on the boat, quickly one needs to grab the place on the boat and secure himself. There are no lifejackets on these boats, but they are always with 6-7 people who are meant for help in case required.

Boats

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Disembark gate and tourist waiting for boat ride

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View from Gate Exit
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To be continued.....
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Old 15th November 2010, 18:28   #26
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Awesome pictures. I guess you should have really enjoyed the ship ride.

Well how much did the entire trip cost you?
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Old 16th November 2010, 10:22   #27
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Default Day 3: Minicoy continued...

Once loaded to their capacity, we were heading towards the island. We were gliding through the waters, it was a bumpy ride, I was feeling like taking on rapids in a raft. It’s then few on the boat felt the beat and ended up providing food for fish (probably mistake to have heavy breakfast). But most were having fun, we sat on the front of the boat facing sea and it was amazing. After 25mins of the ride we started seeing lagoon and water turned green and blue, it was the first time I saw blue water, couldn’t manage to take more snaps as water was splashing us all the way and taking out camera was out of question for me.

Random pics from boat

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Soon we reached jetti and we were off the boats the same way, guys on the shore would hold your hand and pull you out once they find boat in perfect position. Tough it sounds and looks bit scary it’s well managed and they ensure the safety to extreme, they don’t allow anyone to get in/out the boat till it’s secured and they are well positioned.

Minicoy Jetti

Three Friends & A Trip to ISLANDS-minicoyjetti.jpg
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Tourists would now board tempo travellers, and they drove us a to SPORTS administrative office in Minicoy. We were handed tender coconuts (complementary), it’s here we would have a small briefing on what would be done on the islands and lunch in the afternoon.

SPORTS Admin Office
Three Friends & A Trip to ISLANDS-dsc_2875.jpg

To be continued...
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Old 16th November 2010, 10:35   #28
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Default Random Pics and view from SPORTS Admin Office

Enjoy guys

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Old 16th November 2010, 10:42   #29
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Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
Awesome pictures. I guess you should have really enjoyed the ship ride.

Well how much did the entire trip cost you?
Thanks Joe,

It was an amazing experience.

Trip cost was 16416 INR/Person + misce expenses + Flight tickets to & From Cochin.
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Old 16th November 2010, 11:44   #30
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Default Some Info and interesting facts of Minicoy

Minicoy or Maliku is the southern most island in Lakshadweep. Among the islands of the territory, it has perhaps the oldest recorded history. Marco Polo referred to it as the “female” island. Ibn Batuta, the African Globe trotter who visited Maldives in the fourteenth Century, mentions about this beautiful island Muluk, from where he married two women during his short stay for seventy days.

The island is crescent-shaped, and more than 10 Km in length from end to end. The lagoon is large and deep enough for small ships to enter. There is a small island at the northern tip of the main island, known as Viringili which was used by the people for isolating small –pox patients in olden days, and therefore is also known as ‘SMALL POX’ island. Within the lagoon, the reef dries at low tide at the north-western entrance, constituting an ideal place for marine collections.

The Minicoyans are children of the sea. In olden days their vessels went far into Arabia, the Maldives, Andaman, Bengal and Burma. This has left them the tradition of a sea falling life, and the youth of the island even now look to the sea for a livelihood. More than half of the inhabitants of working age are employed as seamen in ocean going vessels all over the world. The islanders have their own Seamen’s Associations at Calcutta and Bombay, which provide employment opportunities for prospective young men. The profession of the seamen, which make the ordinary Minicoyan a globetrotter, and has also helped him to embellish his household with articles found the world over. He uses exquisitely painted china wares and his beds are spread with silks brought from abroad. The cloth for this turban and Haryal are still brought from Calcutta. So are the Libba cloth for women and the fine laces that decorate the clothing.

Among the many foreign influences which the islanders have adopted may be listed the duodecimal system of numerical notation. This is however almost extinct but with a few very old people, who still use it for counting coconuts.

The main attraction of the island is its carefully arranged villages, known as Athiris. Each Athiri has its own internal organization headed by a Moopan, around which the life of the community rests. They have their own village house, their own streets, bathing tanks, places of worship and burial. The public clubs for men and women which were the centers of a day night life in olden days are extinct now, but the buildings are still maintained in tact. Another curious remnant of old life in the island is the sheds where profligate men and women were exposed to communal punishment.

The houses, which stand in their own provate enclosures, are arranged in streets. They are kept neat and tidy and reflect the urge of the people for order and colour. All the houses have a swing cot made of wood which is beautifully furnished and painted in different hues. The inhabitants love a profusion of colours, be it on the beautifully engraved tabletops that decorate their drawing rooms or on fishing boats or racing dhonis. One of the handicrafts of the people is boat modeling which is a piece of art painted in different colours.

In Minicoy there are 10 villages in the island. They are (from south to north) listed as below.

SlNo Name of Village Village’s Color
1 BAADA White
2 Aoumagu.Blue
3 Boduathiri Yellow
4 Rammedu Yellow
5 Sedivalu White
6 Alodi
7 FunhilolYellow
8 Kudhehi White
9 Falessery Red
10 Kendiparty

Each village is headed by a Bodukaka (big brother) and a Bodudatha (Big Sister) assisted by a 2nd Bodukaka and a 2nd bodudatha. First Bodukaka looks after the internal matters of the village and 2nd Bodukaka the external affairs.

Each village has a village house where ‘baemedu’ (assemblage of villagers) is held. The assemblae of people from all the villages is known as ‘havaru’. As source of income a avillage has fishing boats, country crafts and cocounut trees. Common feasts are conducted at the village house during the celebrations of Eid and other festive occasions.

The folk dances of Minicoy are ‘Lava’, Thaara’, ‘Dandi’, ‘Fuli’ and ‘Bandiya’. Colourful and elegant race boat known as ‘Jahadhoni’ used for race, reception of dignitaries and for annual picnic to Viringili/Raggan.

Source: Minicoy (Lakshadweep) History & Culture

Some things that I got after discussion with our guide during Snorkelling

> All the disputes are resolved at Baemedu, and a conflict happens very rarely, I could feel that the moment I stepped on the islands. People are very hostile and are peace lovers.

> Groom side is the one that would bear every expense of the marriage, after marriage groom has to spend his nights only at Brides place as long as they are on island, this is their custom.

> Since they are closer to Maldives, official language in Minicoy is MAHAL (all the other islands in Lakshadweep speak Malayalam).

MAHAL Script:

Three Friends & A Trip to ISLANDS-dsc_3086.jpg
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