How to do the Bookings for Lakshadweep?
Hello everyone, I hope you are finding this Lakshadweep Travel Series helpful. In today’s post, I will discuss about the process of doing the bookings for Lakshadweep. And, how to easily obtain an entry permit. When we were planning a trip to Lakshadweep, doing the bookings was the most tiring and frustrating part of the whole process. But it was because we had no one to guide us. And, assure us that whatever we were doing was the right way. I tried searching on Google as well as on YouTube to get the answers to my doubts. But the information out there seemed incomplete and somewhat unreliable. And, that is the biggest reason why I want to write this post and share what we learned about doing the bookings for Lakshadweep. And, I hope that this post helps you in planning your trip with ease.
First Step to do the Bookings for Lakshadweep
Now, this is very important to understand that when you plan a trip to Lakshadweep, wait until everything gets confirmed. Don’t rush to book the trains and flights before getting the confirmation for the hotel/package you want to book in Lakshadweep.
Even if you get the verbal confirmation, I would say, hold on till you get the written confirmation.
Also, you need to keep an eye on the flight/train availability while you wait for the package confirmation.
So, the first step to do the bookings for Lakshadweep is to decide how you want to travel to Lakshadweep i.e. by ship or by flight.
I have already shared this part in my video, so do check it out before moving ahead with this post-
Also, to get more clarity you may read this detailed post, what is the best way to reach Lakshadweep. I have also shared the approx. prices for each category in this post, so that you find it easy to plan your budget for the Lakshadweep trip or to take the right decision based on your budget.
And, to decide which island you would want to visit in Lakshadweep, check out this post, how to plan a trip to Lakshadweep.
Once you go through these posts, I am sure you will get a clear idea what you want to do; whether you want to book a ship cruise or you want to stay at an island.
Now comes the main question!
How to do the Bookings for Lakshadweep?
There are two ways to do the bookings for Lakshadweep.
- Through the Govt. website (SPORTS)
- Through a Travel Agent (Only SPORTS Authorized)
Usually people like to go with travel agents and book the pre planned packages offered by them. But we, on the other hand, absolutely hate booking travel packages even if they come with great deals. Simply because they limit our options to explore and it feels like we don’t get much freedom to do as we please.
And, that’s the reason we choose to plan and execute all our trips on our own. That’s what we tried doing with Lakshadweep trip as well. So, let’s take a look how you can book directly through SPORTS website.
Step 1 – Go to the link https://samudram.utl.gov.in/ and Sign Up!
You can skip the sign up initially and access the website like that only and once you want to proceed with the booking, you can do the Sign up.
Step 2 – Go to the Booking section and select the package you want to book.
Here you can choose Samudram, which is a 5-Day Ship Package or Bangaram, Kadmat and Kavaratti which are the Island Stay Packages.
Both these packages are all-inclusive (stay and food) except certain activities for which you need to pay on the island. Please check the details of inclusions and exclusions under the Packages section on the website.
You will see there is an option to book Thinnakkara island but please note there is no stay option available at Thinnakkara as of now (March 2023).
Step 3 – Check Availability.
This is the most difficult part of the booking process. Because 99.99% times it will show ‘Sorry, Rooms are not available for the selected dates’. This could be because the website is not updated regularly. You will be tempted to try and check the availability for other dates or may be for other months too but don’t keep your hopes very high, you just may get only disappointment. Don’t want to demotivate you here but just stating what we experienced. So, try but don’t lose hope, okay!
We started checking the availability in October for a trip we wanted to take in January. Luckily, we got it for the dates we were looking for. Right now in March I tried checking availability for the rest of the months but every time I got the same message of non availability. Here’s an update dated 2oth March, it seems like the website got updated recently as I checked the availability again and this time it worked in the first attempt.
Here I am sharing the screenshot of how it looks like-
The above screenshot shows the number of available room at Bangaram Island.
The above screenshot shows the availability of Samudram Package for the month of October and November 2023.
Step 4 – Booking & Payment.
Now once you get the available dates on the website, you can simply follow the further steps, fill out all the details and make the payment. In this case, you will receive an email from the SPORTS about the confirmation of your booking. You can also send an email on your own to confirm your bookings at email@example.com (e-mails will be answered within 48 hours). Or, you can call at +91 484 2666789, +91 484 2668387.
Once you get the confirmation, you can proceed to apply for the Entry Permit.
Even though we got the option to book the package online we couldn’t convince ourselves to make the payment because of the uncertainty of things. We were worried what if we never get an acknowledgement. What if things get delayed, etc.
When we tried to contact on the number provided on both their websites, they gave us another number which belonged to some private travel agency.
We were quite skeptical about the online booking process hence decided to skip it altogether and go directly with the travel agent.
But let me tell you we were unnecessarily paranoid because in Lakshadweep we met people who have booked the package directly online and they faced no issues. Also, they mentioned that once the payment was done the SPORTS personnel stayed in touch with them through WhatsApp.
So, it’s totally up to you how you want to do the bookings.
However, I can give you one solid reason to go ahead with a travel agent. There’s a high probability that you may get some discount if you negotiate with the agent. While there’s no chance of getting a discount if you book directly online.
We talked to 2-3 travel agencies and did the final bookings with Mr. Irshad Hussain from Lakshadweep Voyage.
We found him easy to talk to, he sounded genuine and he also didn’t take any extra amount or service charge from us. He stayed in constant touch with us through calls and WhatsApp messages. I must say it was our best experience of booking a package through a travel agency. So, if you too decide to book with a travel agent you may consider, Lakshadweep Voyage, without a doubt.
Here is the list of all the SPORTS Authorized Travel Agents – https://samudram.utl.gov.in/sprt_Agents.aspx, in case you want to check out the others too.
Another thing to note, if you book with a travel agent then you don’t have to worry about the entry permit too. As, they take the whole responsibility for that as well. Entry permit is usually issued within 7-15 days of your journey.
How to Get the Entry Permit?
You will need to apply for an Entry Permit if you do the bookings for Lakshadweep online. There are two ways to do that. One, you download the application form for entry permit, fill it and send it to the concerned authority. You will have to provide the police clearance report with this and your id proofs.
Another way is to do it online.
Go to https://epermit.utl.gov.in/ and create your account. Here, click on Apply for new Permit under the Permit section. Fill the details in the form and attach the required documents. Pay the entry fees and it’s done. Your permit will be ready for download 15 days prior to your journey date.
To visit Lakshadweep Islands, you need a sponsor. If you know someone residing in Lakshadweep then you may ask them to sponsor you, they will provide you a letter which you need to upload in the form. Or else, you will need to get entry permit with the help of a travel agent. If you are booking a private hotel then they can also sponsor you for the permit.
So, this is how you can do the bookings for Lakshadweep trip and get the entry permit. I hope this information helps you in planning your trip to Lakshadweep. If you still have any queries, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.
In the next post of Lakshadweep Travel Series, I will share all about Bangaram Island and what to expect there. So, stay tuned!
When are you planning your Lakshadweep trip? Please do forward this post to your friends and family. I will meet you in the next post, until then bye bye and take care!