Suheli Island excursion

Suheli Par is a coral atoll in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, India. Situated 47 km south-west of Kavaratti, Suheli is an uninhabited island of Lakshadweep. Suheli Par, consists of a banyan reef, enclosing a very large lagoon (more than 18 km2) in which lie two uninhabited islands known as Cheriyakara and Valiyakara. Due to rich marine life, there was a proposal to declare Suheli Par a Marine National Park.

A recent survey results showed the occurrence of 21% live coral cover. The lagoon of these islands are very big and consisted coral patches. The Porites corals were dominant in lagoon and they were in good condition. Those colonies affected by bleaching event also recovery fast. One of the remarkable features observed by the survey team was that the islands consisted of rich resources of reef fishes. Suheli island is an important site for tuna fishery. Turtle nesting takes place in sand bar between the two islands. Survey team sighted 12 turtles in reef slope.

Suheli Valiyaknra Island is evidently the most important turtle rookery in Lukshadaweep. Plans are afoot to permanently settle islanders from Kavaratti there. At present, Valiyakara is inhabited (and sparsely so) only during the fair season (October-May). The island has a tropical climate. Suheli Valiyakara is situated at 10? 08' north latitude and 72? 18' east longitude, and has two islets named Indira Dweep and Shastri Dweep. Suheli Cheriyakara is situated at 10? 22' north latitude and 72? 15' east longitude.
Suheli is frequently visited by islanders mainly from Kavaratti on account of the excellent fishing in the lagoon and occasionally by people from Agatti and Amini for the same purpose. Coconut cultivators have begun fencing off parts of the half mile long main nesting beach, with the express purpose of preventing nesting turtles from coming ashore and inadvertently uprooting their coconut saplings.

According to the legends, Suheli was originally held by Kavaratti islanders but was subsequently confiscated by the Raja of cannanore as a communal punishment for an alleged conspiracy against his representative there.

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The Lakshadweep (Laccadive Islands) is string of little-known islands, lying 250 miles off the Malabar coast of India. There are 36 main islands in all, forming an archipelago of surpassing beauty. Nature and culture have both remained preserved over the centuries, miles from the mainland and the trade routes. This is a world of silver sands and clear warm waters, of submerged banks and virgin reefs, enclosing a fascinating underwater world.

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.

The uninhabited islands consists Bangaram, Tinnakara, Tilakkam and Suheli. Kalpity, Parali 1 & 2, which are nearby Agatti island. The 10 inhabited islands are Minicoy, Andrott, Kavaratti, Kadmat, Agatti, Amini, Kalpeni, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra. Four of the islands Bangaram, Agatti, Kadmat and Minicoy are now open to both domestic and foreign tourists.