Lakshadweep Islands lying opposite to the coast of Kerala are small but numerous.
They are the product of a very quiet work of the short lived microscopic species the coral polyps. They flourish only in shallow warm waters. Many islands are generally ring or horse-shoes shaped and are called atolls. The Andaman Nicobar Islands on the other hand, are bigger in size and more numerous. They are located on a submerged hilly range.
Some of them are of volcanic origin. The only active volcano of India is located on these Islands. The Lakshadweep meaning a hundred thousand islands. These are scattered between 8°N-12°N and 71°E-74°E longitude. There are approximately 43 islands of which 11 are in habited. Minicoy is the longest with an area of 453 sq.
km. The Andamans and Nicobars also known as the Bay islands are also a cluster of Islands stretched almost in a line. Andaman Nicobar Islands consists about 572 islands itself. These are situated roughly between 6°N-14°N and 92°E, Out 572 islands of Andaman and Nicobar only 36 are inhabited. Some of the islands extend from 60 to 100 kms, forming a cluster south of the Andaman group. They are fairly large and more numerous than the Lakshadweeps. Some of the islands are of volcanic origin. Barren Island is an active volano.
The Lakshadweeps extend just to the north of the independent country known as the Maldives. The Islands of Andaman and Nicobar are remnants of the submerged mountain range, which was an extension of the Arakan Mountains of Myanmar and continued through the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. Physiographic divisions of India described above are complementary to each other. The peninsular is the stable block which has provided the building material for the Northern Plains and the Mountains. The northern mountains are the major source of water, and gire the subcontinent for thousands of kilometres.
This partially enclosed character of the subcontinent has helped in strengthening the forces of homogeneity of our people.