Cherbaniani Reef

Cherbaniani Atoll
Native name: Malayalam: Valiyapanniyam
Nickname: Baliypanni Reef
Cherbaniani Atoll
Location of Cherbaniani Atoll in Lakshadweep
Location Arabian Sea
Coordinates 12°18′N 71°53′E / 12.300°N 71.883°E / 12.300; 71.883Coordinates: 12°18′N 71°53′E / 12.300°N 71.883°E / 12.300; 71.883
Archipelago Lakshadweep
Adjacent bodies of water Indian Ocean
Total islands 3
Major islands
  • North
  • South
  • Middle
Area 0.015 km2 (0.0058 sq mi)[1]
Highest elevation 2 m (7 ft)
Territory Union territory of Lakshadweep
District Lakshadweep
Island group Aminidivi
Tehsils of India Aminidivi
Subdivisions of India Bitra
Population 0 (2014)
Pop. density 0 /km2 (0 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Malayali, Mahls
Additional information
Time zone
ISO code IN-LD-01[2]
Official website
Avg. summer temperature 32.0 °C (89.6 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 28.0 °C (82.4 °F)

Cherbaniani Reef, also known as Beleapani Reef (Malayalam: Valiyapanniyam), is a coral atoll[3] belonging to the Amindivi Subgroup of islands of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, India. It has a distance of 1,880 km (1,170 mi) south of the city of Delhi.


Cherbaniani Reef is located 33 km north of Byramgore Reef and at 12°18′N 71°53′E / 12.300°N 71.883°E / 12.300; 71.883 it is the northwesternmost feature of Lakshadweep. The atoll has a roughly oval shape and was first described by ornithologist Allan Hume in 1876;[4] its total lagoon area is 57.46 km2 (22.19 sq mi).[5][6] The 14 km long coral reef that encloses the lagoon has three small uninhabited islands on it.


They are composed of accumulated coral sand, shingle, cuttle-bones and sea shells. There are many land hermit crabs under the boulders and among the detritus.[7] The atoll used to be a breeding ground for pelagic birds, including the sooty tern (Sterna fuliginosa) and brown noddy (Anous stolidus), which were formerly found in great numbers.[8]


North Islet has a small seasonal guano camp.


Lakshadweep islanders from Chetlat and Bitra sometimes visit the islands to collect guano for the gardens of the inhabited islands, gathering eggs, dumping garbage and disturbing the nestlings of pelagic birds in the process. The beaches are strewn with marine litter composed mainly of oceanic flotsam deposited by currents, such as plastic bottles, glass bulbs, polystyrene foam and cans.[9]


The Atoll belongs to the township of Bitra of Aminidivi Tehsil.[10]


  1. "Islandwise Area and Population - 2001 Census" (PDF). Government of Lakshadweep.
  2. Registration Plate Numbers added to ISO Code
  3. Cherbaniani Reef, India
  4. Hume, Allan O., The Laccadives and the West Coast, Stray Feathers. (Calcutta), IV (1876), 413-83. 21.
  5. Cherbaniani Reef - Oceandots at the Wayback Machine (archived December 23, 2010)
  6. Mistakenly switched here between Byramgore and Cherbaniani.
  7. W.A. Taylor, FRSE, Geographical Notes, Scottish Geographical Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 11, 1892
  8. Birds of Lakshadweep Islands Archived January 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. P.S.B.R. James, The Lakshadweep: Islands of Ecological Fragility, Environmental Sensitivity and Anthropogenic Vulnerability, Journal of Coastal Environment
  10. Tehsils info

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