When I think beach, all that comes to my mind is magnificent, virgin blue waters, unadulterated sandy beaches, a wealth of coconut trees and when I imagine this scene in its entirety only one place fits the bill &ndash Maldives.
Tourists who wish to travel to Maldives from India can now traverse the waterways between the tropical island nation and India through means of ferry Apart from the existing 2-hour & 30-minute flight between Mumbai to Malé or the 1-hour & 40-minute flight between Kochi to Malé that is offered by Indigo Airlines.
The initiative was publicized during Prime Minister Narendra Modi&rsquos two-day state visit (his first official trip since taking office in his second term) to the Indian Ocean archipelago. The passenger cum cargo ferry service between Kerala&rsquos Kochi and Malé via Kulhudhuffushi atoll is very much in keeping with India&rsquos &lsquoNeighbourhood First&rsquo policy.
Whilst the ferry service has been agreed upon and officially backed by a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by both Prime Minister Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, there aren&rsquot many finer details emerging with regards to schedules or operation date.
Despite that, it was settled that greater prominence needs to be placed upon improved connectivity between the two countries and both leaders have signalled concerned officials to work expeditiously towards fulfilling their goal. Allegedly, the journey between Male and Kochi is about 700 km, whereas distance between Kochi and Kulhudhuffushi atoll is about 500 km.
On that account, the proverb &lsquothe journey, at times, is better than the destination&rsquo couldn&rsquot be more truer than in this scenario. A 24 hour voyage on the open sea&rsquos seem way more fascinating than a 2 hour flight Would you agree