Mal: ലക്ഷദ്വീപ് lakṣadvīpu
‘Hundred Thousand Islands’ [Laccadives]
From Skt/Mal: lakṣam/lakh, ‘one hundred thousand’; and Skt: dvīp, ‘island’.
Lakhs (100,000) and crores (10 million) are still used in the Indian counting system. Lakshadweep fails to live up to expectations: it is in fact made up of thirty-nine islands (plus twelve atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks), some 99, 961 islands short; and, with a total area of 33 km2, it is the smallest Union Territory in India.
Only ten islands are inhabited: Kavaratti, Agatti, Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat, Bitra, Andrott, Kalpeni and Minicoy.
This is why others suggest ‘Landmark Islands’ [Skt/Mal: lakṣam, ‘landmark’, ‘target’, ‘direction’].
This is a common enough name for islands serving, as they do, as ‘markers’ or ‘beacons’ for navigators and trading ships crossing the Arabian Sea.