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Minicoy ( Dhivehi މ ަ ލ ި ކ ު Maliku ) the 4.39 km ² second largest and southernmost island of the Indian Union Territory of Lakshadweep in the Lakkadivensee, a marginal sea of ​​the Indian Ocean. The 10.6 km long, but only a maximum of 820 meter wide island occupies the eastern and southern part of the atoll with a 30.6 km ² lagoon. It is separated by the 200 km wide nine- degree - channel of the archipelago of Lakshadweep, while the distance to the northernmost island of the Maldives is only 130 km. The population is around 10,200 (calculation, as of 1 January 2007).

The landmark of Minicoy is over 90 meters high, 1885 erbauter by the British lighthouse.

Population and Culture

Minicoy has strong cultural references to the Maldives and therefore differs from the other islands Lakshadweeps whose cultural affinities are in the Indian state of Kerala. This is evident for example in the form of settlement: The Malikun, the indigenous inhabitants of the atoll, living in eleven adjacent villages, the inhabitants of Lakshadweep and the amine divas, however, distribute their homesteads over the entire surface of each island.

The only Muslim indigenous island population speaks meal, a dialect spoken in the south Maldives Dhivehi, an Indo-Aryan language that is written in the Thaana font. The name of the dialect due to a mistake, as an anecdote: As a British official a resident asked the name of his language, he answered " Mahaldibu ge bas " (literally, " language of the Maldives " ), which incorrectly as the official " Mahal is the language of the island " understood and recorded.


Minicoy is administratively into 10 villages ( Avah ) divided, each headed by a Moopan. The village assembly Baemedu will be held at village house. The villages occupy about the northern half of the island and appear on the satellite image as a coalesced settlement without borders or open spaces between the villages. The built-up area is located along the west coast, facing the lagoon. The approximately 3.6 km long and only 50 to 100 meters wide, unpopulated northern foothills of the island belongs to the area of the northernmost village Kendiparty. He previously housed a leper colony. The southern part, South Bandaram, which is sometimes listed as the eleventh village is sparsely populated and dominated by coconut plantations.

The villages and South Bandaram from north to south:


Very little is known about the history Minicoys. Until about the year 1500, the island belonged to the kingdom of the Maldives, whose king was in 1153 converted to Islam. In the following period, the previously Buddhist Archipelago, including Minicoy, Islamized. As the Arab explorer Ibn Battuta visited the Maldives in 1346, he noted that even all the inhabitants were Muslim.

Around 1500, Minicoy under the rule of Ali Rajas of Cannanore also Muslim. The circumstances and the exact date of the change of rulers are unknown. Mid-16th century used the Maldivian national hero Muhammad Al -Azam Thakurufaanu the island as a base for his fight against the under Portuguese influence converts to Christianity Sultan of the Maldives.

Officially, the island remained until 1905 at Cannanore, as the Bibi she handed the British. In fact, since the mid-19th century it was under British suzerainty.

In 1956, nine years after the end of British colonial rule, to Minicoy decided in a referendum to remain with India and was. Together with Lakshadweep and amine divas part of a Union territory, officially called since 1973 Lakshadweep

Of 1983 due to Minicoy diplomatic imbroglio between India and the Maldives after the brother of the Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had stressed Maldivian claims on Minicoy in a public speech.

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