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Lakshadweep (ləkshäd´wēp´), union territory (2001 provisional pop. 60,595), 11 sq mi (28 sq km), SW India, consisting of the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Kerala state. The capital of this group of 36 islands (10 are inhabited) is Kavarrati Island. Minicoy is the largest island. The population, mainly Muslim, engages in fishing and copra production. Malayalam is the main language except on Minicoy, where Mahl is spoken. The territory is administered by the home minister in the central government of India with an appointed local advisory council