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Lakshadweep may be a group of islands within the Lakshadweep Sea, 200 to 440 km (120 to 270 mi) off the southwestern coast of India. The archipelago is run as a union territory and district of India. They were also referred to as the Laccadive Islands, although geographically this is often only the name of the central subgroup of the group. Lakshadweep means "one hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit, and Malayalam, the foremost speech within the territory.

The islands form the littlest Union Territory of India and their total area is simply 32 km2 (12 sq mi). The lagoon area covers about 4,200 km2 (1,600 sq mi), the body of water area 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi) and therefore the exclusive economic zone area 400,000 km2 (150,000 sq mi). The region forms one Indian district with 10 subdivisions. Kavaratti is the capital of the Union Territory and therefore the region comes under the jurisdiction of Kerala supreme court . The islands are the northernmost of the Lakshadweep–Maldives–Chagos group of islands, which are the tops of a huge undersea range , the Chagos-Lakshadweep Ridge.

As the islands havent any aboriginal inhabitants, scholars have suggested different histories for the settlement of those islands. Archaeological evidence supports the existence of human settlement within the region around 1500 BCE. The islands have long been known to sailors, as indicated by an anonymous reference from the primary century CE to the region in Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.

The islands were also mentioned within the Buddhist Jataka stories of the sixth century BCE. Islam was established within the region when Muslims arrived round the seventh century. During the medieval period, the region was ruled by the Chola dynasty and Kingdom of Cannanore. The Catholic Portuguese arrived around 1498 but were expelled by 1545. The region was then ruled by the Muslim house of Arakkal, followed by Tipu Sultan. On his death in 1799, most of the region passed on to British and with their departure, the Union Territory was formed in 1956.

Ten of the islands are inhabited. At the 2011 Indian census, the population of the Union Territory was 64,473. the bulk of the indigenous population is Muslim and most of them belong to the Shafi school of the Sunni sect. The islanders are ethnically almost like the Malayali people of the closest Indian state of Kerala. Most of the population speaks Malayalam with Mahi (or Mahl) being the foremost speech in Minicoy island. The islands are served by an airport on Agatti Island. the most occupation of the people is fishing and coconut cultivation, with tuna being the most item of export.