होम Culture / History  History of Lakshadweep

 History of Lakshadweep

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In the enchanting tapestry of Lakshadweep’s history, a blend of legends, cultural transitions, and colonial encounters unfolds. The islands, now renowned for their pristine beauty and vibrant culture, have a narrative that weaves through time, from mythical tales to the gripping era of colonial rule.

Unravelling Myth and Legends

 History of Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep’s early history is veiled in unwritten tales and local legends. A captivating narrative whispers about Cheraman Perumal, the last king of Kerala, believed to have settled on these islands after his conversion to Islam. As the tale goes, his clandestine departure from Cranganore led to a maritime journey that culminated in the discovery of Bangaram, Agatti, and the emergence of settlements on Amini, Kavaratti, Andrott, and Kalpeni.

However, the veracity of this legend remains unverified, leaving it to the imagination and fascination of those who are drawn to the mystique of ancient tales.

Islam’s Arrival and St. Ubaidullah’s Vision

 History of Lakshadweep

The 7th century brought a new chapter as Islam touched the shores of Lakshadweep. St. Ubaidullah’s dream, guided by Prophet Mohammed, led him to Amini after a shipwreck. Despite facing opposition, he propagated Islam, leaving a lasting impact. The marabout of St. Ubaidullah, nestled in Andrott, became a sacred site, influencing regions as far as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Burma.

Portuguese Encounters and a Brave Resistance

 History of Lakshadweep

The arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century marked a tumultuous period for Lakshadweep. Seeking the prized coir, the invaders faced a resilient community on Amini. In a bold act, the islanders thwarted the Portuguese invasion by poisoning the intruders, securing their sovereignty and coir resources.

Shifting Sovereignty: Arakkal Rule to British Annexation

Sovereignty danced between the hands of the Hindu Rajah of Chirakkal and the oppressive rule of the Arakkal house. In 1783, a plea from Amini islanders to Tipu Sultan led to a division of suzerainty, with Tipu Sultan ruling five islands and the rest under Arakkal. Post the Battle of Seringapattom in 1799, British East India Company annexed the islands. The subsequent cyclone-induced damages in 1847 led to British involvement, showcasing early signs of colonial influence.

British Rule: Political Maneuvers and Colonial Dynamics

The annexation in 1854 marked the dawn of British rule, introducing political manipulations and methods to establish supremacy. Lakshadweep Regulation 1912 reflected a limited judicial and magisterial status for Amins/Karanis, underlining British interests in profit exploitation through the Beebi without bearing the responsibility of administration.

Despite the British-era schools and dispensaries, their rule was defined more by economic pursuits than the welfare of the islands. Lakshadweep’s journey under colonial reign highlights the intricate interplay of politics and exploitation.

Emergence of a Union Territory

 History of Lakshadweep

The tides of change swept across Lakshadweep in 1956 when it became a Union Territory. The name “Lakshadweep” was bestowed upon it in 1973, signifying a new chapter in its political identity.

In the modern era, Lakshadweep stands as a testament to resilience, cultural diversity, and a history that echoes through its coral-lined shores. The islands continue to beckon travelers with their beauty and stories, inviting all to be a part of their timeless narrative.

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