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a group of islands in the Arabian Sea, located to the west of the Malabar Coast of the Hindustan peninsula; part of India. The islands total an area of 28 sq km. They are coral atolls (elevation, 3–4.5 m) with lagoons. The climate is subequatorial and there is a monsoon season. Annual precipitation totals about 1,700 mm. The estimated population is 31,800 (1971). Exports include coconut fiber, copra, and tortoise shell. The population engages in fishing and hunting sea animals. [14–351–3; updated]