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Lakshadweep (; ), also known as the Laccadive Islands, is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 km off the coast of the South West Indian state of Kerala. The islands form the smallest Union Territory of India. The total land area is 11 sq mi or 32 km². Ten of the islands are inhabited. Lakshadweep is the northern part of the erstwhile Lakshadweepa. The islands are the northernmost among the Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos group of islands, which are actually the tops of a vast undersea mountain range, in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

The land area is 32&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup>; the lagoon area is about 4200&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup>, the territorial waters area is 20,000&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup> and the economic zone area is 400,000&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup>.


Lakshadweep, comes from Lakshadweepa, which literally means one hundred thousand (लक्षं laksha) islands (द्वीप dweepa) in Sanskrit. It is the least populous Union Territory of India


The earliest references to the islands is made in Puranuru as part of the ancient (Dravidian) country,. Little else is known about the early history of the Lakshadweep islands. There are references to the control of the islands by the Cheras in the Sangam literature Pathitruppaththu. A Pallava inscription of 7th century...
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