The name Lakshadweep literally translates to a 'hundred thousand islands'. It has some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring islands and beaches. One can reach Lakshadweep from the city of Kochi in mainland India. Visitors (Indian and international) are typically required to obtain a permit to visit the islands. However only the islands of Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat. The permits can be obtained from Kochi. In terms of area it is the smallest Union Territory in India. It is a group of 36 different islands of which only ten are inhabited. Located at a distance of about 400 km off India's mainland west coast, the islands are unique because of the remote nature of the location. Each island is unique and is diverse in terms of flora and fauna. Some islands have been promoted for diving and water sports, while the others are more tuned to provide a tranquil ambiance to the visitors. September to February are the best times to visit Lakshadweep. Lakshadweep can only be accessed via air and sea. The island of Agatti has an airport whose sole connectivity is from Kochi airport. In terms of sea travel, the services are available from Kochi and there are seven different passenger ship services namely, MV Arabian Sea, MV Minicoy, MV Lakshadweep, MV Aminidivi, MV Bharat Seema, MV Dweep Setu, MV Kavaratti.