Sun, tan, wind and sand with an occasional cocktail in hand. Isn’t that what your ideal beach holiday comprises of? Of lounging in the sun getting that perfect tan. Of cool dips in the pool and swims in the sea. Of that cold beer and chips combo.
India’s coastline is an impressive 7,500 km long stretch. Yet a lot of it is less explored as most of us flag to Goa whenever we think of a beach break. So why not look for cooler, less crowded alternatives that are equally beautiful and travel friendly?
A coastal village in the Malvan region in western Maharashtra, Tarkarli is home to a gorgeous and clean coastline. This place will soothe your mind and guarantee a relaxed body and soul. The clear water, pristine beach, quaint village and delicious seafood makes this a treasure trove for beach lovers. Tarkarli has recently seen a surge in tourism, so visit this place before it loses its charm to overcrowding. The turquoise water, favourable waves and rich coral reefs make this place an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving activities.
- Nearest railway station:Kudal (30 km)
- Nearest airport:Dabolim [Goa] Airport (130 km)
Considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimage places for Hindus in India, Puri also boasts of an exquisite shoreline. While the town may be famous for its Rath Yatra festival, its coastline is what truly draws tourists in. Situated on the Bay of Bengal, a large part of Puri is covered in sand and waves. Visit the Puri beach to engage in some fun water sports. Balighai beach sees Olive Ridley turtles lay their eggs in the sand between December and January, along with a host of migratory birds taking flight in the air above. A 30-km drive from Puri will take you to Chandrabhaga beach where the historic Konark temple is situated.
- Nearest railway station: Puri Terminus
- Nearest airport:Bhubaneshwar (60 km)
Havelock, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
A ferry to Havelock Island will take you straight to paradise. This island and its beaches are unlike any other in India. The virgin white sand, bright and deep blue waters, vast coral reefs and gorgeous resorts makes this an apt luxury beach destination. Engage in numerous water activities, from snorkeling and scuba diving to sea walk and parasailing. Every beach here offers a different experience. While the Kalapathar beach is rocky, the Govindnagar beach is crystal clear and then there is the famous Radhanagar beach with clear white sand. A holiday here will surely rejuvenate you.
- Nearest airport: Port Blair
Situated on the coast of Karwar, Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka, primarily known for two reasons – its beaches and temples. Every year hordes of tourists visit Gokarna for relaxation and refreshment. Gokarna is unlike other beaches which have restaurants and shacks lining up on the sand. This beach holiday mainly serves the purpose of a leisurely sprawl on the sand.
- Nearest railway station: Ankola (20 km)
- Nearest airport:Dabolim [Goa] Airport (140 km)
Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
Pondicherry or Puducherry is the ultimate French experience in India. This little town tucked away on India’s south-east coastline promises travelers sanctity and serenity. Famous for its brightly painted houses, large boulevards, colonial buildings, serene backwaters, pristine beaches and authentic French cuisine, Pondicherry has a lot to offer.
- Nearest railway station: Villupuram (40 km)
- Nearest airport:Pondicherry
Kovalam, with its three adjacent crescent beaches is a renowned beach destination in Kerala. The rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm clear water, suitable for sun bathing and swimming. The beach complex includes strings of budget accommodation, ayurvedic wellness centres, shopping zones and convention facilities. This fishing village is especially famous for its ayurvedic massage and yoga centers.
- Nearest railway station: Trivandrum (15 km)
- Nearest airport:Trivandrum (15 km)
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
The temple city of Mahabalipuram is famous for its intricately carved temples and rock cut caves. This town was once the abode of the Asura king Mahabali. The serenity, beautiful white sandy beaches, tall coconut and casuarina trees are reasons enough to visit this tranquil place.
- Nearest railway station: Chengalpattu Junction (30 km)
- Nearest airport:Chennai (60 km)
Marari beach, not far from Alleppey, is the perfect location for a relaxed holiday. The beach is flanked with coconut palm trees and white sands. It is an ideal destination for those who are not looking at an activity filled holiday and instead only want to unwind. Soak up the sun and spend your afternoons leisurely at this beach.
- Nearest railway station: Alleppey (16 km)
- Nearest airport:Kochi (40 km)
Ganpatipule is a small pilgrimage and beach town located in the Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. The town is mainly known for its 400 years old temple of Lord Ganapati. The idol of Lord Ganesha is believed to be a monolith which was self-incarnated and discovered over 1600 years ago. Ganpatipule has one of the most spectacular beaches along the Konkan Coast in Maharashtra. It is an ideal getaway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike. Ganpatipule is one of the only two white sand beaches in Maharashtra, the other being Kashid Beach.
- Nearest railway station: Ratnagiri (50 km)
- Nearest airport:Belgaum (270 km)
The beach haven of India, Goa is flanked with 70 beaches, full of golden sand with uninterrupted stretches from the tip to the toe of the state’s coastline. A majority of Indians and foreigners rush to Goa whenever they want a beach getaway. The beach state is divided into North Goa and South Goa. North Goa is full of happening beach culture with numerous shacks and pubs along the beaches. The South Goa is more on the quieter side, with a variety of luxury resorts with their private beaches. Every beach in Goa has its own street market full of beach clothes, local alcohol, hats, amongst other stuff.
- Railway station: Madgaon
- Airport:Dabolim [Goa] Airport
Which of these will be your next beach destination?