With a coastline of about 7,000 kilometers, India is a vast country. There is a well-established tourist trade on Goa beaches, but it would be a mistake to think that there are no other places with equally good beaches.
It’s just that India’s huge population works too hard for a week’s vacation by the sea; life is often too hard and unaffordable for the average person.
There is so much to see and do in this enchanting country with so many overseas tourists that most forget the beaches altogether.
The climate of India determines the best time to visit, and the annual monsoon rains never stop.
They tend to start in May and finally disappear in autumn.
It’s not the best time to go to the beach, but outside of these few weeks, the beach and warm waters are a relief when the temperature is so hot.
There are domestic flights that provide the fastest way to travel across this vast land.
Here are the best beaches in India:
1. Somnath Beach, West Gujarat
Gujarat is probably best known as the last sanctuary for Asian lions, but this beach and the temple of the same name are two other reasons to visit.
It is not a place for swimmers as the waves are strong and hit the shoreline and temples.
Joggers love this grey sand beach early in the morning.
Later in the day, when temperatures drop, sunset is a great time to overlook the Arabian Sea.
During the day, families can enjoy a picnic, with cool breezes tempering the temperature slightly.
2. Tarkarli Beach, Maharashtra
The fine white sand is a major feature of this beach, and its waters are great for paragliding, snorkeling and scuba diving.
It is quiet year-round and visitors can enjoy the local history and beaches.
Just to the north, there is the Sindhudurg fortress, which dates back to the 17th century.
The view from the top of its walls to the sea is amazing.
There are also quiet backwaters and busy villages inland.
The contrast between the busy daily life of locals across India and this beach couldn’t be more stark.
3. Ganpatipule Beach, Maharashtra
This unspoilt beach on the Konkan coast is truly exotic. A wonderful place in the state.
Those seeking tranquility, those who prefer a beach anywhere, and pilgrims are daily regulars, but the numbers here aren’t overwhelming.
The temple at Swayambhu Ganesh is popular; pilgrims regard it as the holiest place, and even non-Hindus pay their respects.
Ganpatipule has a beautiful and extensive flora, including mangroves and coconut palms.
4. Mandum Beach, North Goa
The former Portuguese colony of Goa is world-renowned for its beaches.
It would be futile to exclude too many beaches from the rest of India.
Mandrem is largely a secret – which is remarkable considering the number of tourists in Goa.
It is located in the north and attracts those interested in yoga and meditation.
You can get spa and massage and make sure the place isn’t too crowded.
Surfers and swimmers can expect good conditions.
All in all, a great beach to visit.
5. Colva Beach, South Goa
Colva Beach is the most beautiful beach in South Goa; soft white sand with coconut palms stretching from Bogmalo to Cabo De Rama.
It used to be a place that attracted high society during the colonial era.
Now as elsewhere on this coast, overseas travel is an important factor.
There are regular parties and the nightlife is very lively.
A local attraction is the “Jesus Menino” statue in the church of Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Piedade (Our Lady of Mercy), built in 1630.
6. Gokarna, Karnataka
Gokarna is a great beach resort with beautiful blue warm waters.
There are many stretches of powder-white sand, and if it’s not too hot, why not just walk around and find out? It’s a very informal place with basic cafes and a scenic bay.
If you’re feeling lazy, you can take a boat to a very secluded sandy beach called Half Moon Beach.
The seafood here is great and if you decide to stay for a few days, you can book a homestay with a local family.
7. Kaop, Karnataka
Kaup is located on the Netravati River in southern Karnataka.
The colors that face you are beautiful – the gold of the sand, the blue of the water and the green of the casuarina tree.
Sunset is a great time here and there is no better place to enjoy it than at the top of the old lighthouse.
St. Mary’s Island is just offshore and worth a visit.
They include an archipelago of four islands dating back millions of years with impressive lava columns.
Vasco da Gama is thought to have been visited in the late 15th century.
8. Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach, Kannur, Kerala
Muzhappilangad is the only drive-in beach in Asia.
It runs parallel to the NH-17 national road, 4 km between Thalassery and Kunnur.
April is a great month to visit this lovely beach as there is a festival.
It includes car and bike stunts, so it mainly appeals to a younger element, as it can be quite boisterous.
Black rocks surround the beach, shielding it from strong currents.
Perfect for sunbathing and swimming, it is a very easy and peaceful place to relax.
9. Manali Beach, Kerala
Manali Beach is the perfect base for those who want to combine the beach with the backwaters of Kerala, the main reason why tourists visit the state.
It is less than 100 km from Kochi City.
You can relax there pleasantly and enjoy the atmosphere.
Frequent rainfall means lush vegetation.
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is definitely worth a visit and you can see the locals make all kinds of things out of coir (the fibrous covering on coconuts).
10. Dhanushkodi Beach, Ramesawaram, Tamil Nadu
Dhanushkodi is the closest place in India to Sri Lanka.
This is where the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean.
Is there anything better than a beach other than beautiful sand and azure sea? Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman and his army are said to have built the “Setu” bridge to Lanka.
The town of Dhanushkodi was abandoned after cyclone damage in the 60s, but that didn’t stop those who wanted to enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches and picturesque depths of the south.
11. Ramakrishna Beach, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
This beach is located just 5 km from Visakhapatnam city.
Rows of beach huts offer lovely local food and drinks.
Seafood is especially good.
It’s a great place for families and a popular family beach for sunbathing, swimming and water sports.
Some Indian families travel long distances to get here.
There are also many attractions nearby, including the Kali Temple, the Aquarium and two museums, the Visakha Museum and the Submarine Museum.
12. Yalada Beach, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh on the Bay of Bengal has a beautiful unspoilt coastline, and Yalada Beach is undoubtedly the highlight.
No beach is known for parties or water sports; it’s their beauty and serenity that make them alluring.
The longest beach road in India is in Andhra Pradesh, but you won’t find huge crowds heading to the beach.
The Dolphin Nose Lighthouse on top of Blackmores is worth a visit.
It offers an opportunity to get a more impressive view of the area.
13. Puri Beach, Orissa
Not only is Puri Beach a beautiful stretch of palm-fringed sand, it attracts pilgrims who come here to pay their respects to Lord Jagana.
The white sand meets the rolling waters from the Bay of Bengal, a beach loved by locals and tourists alike.
Both sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, and the resulting photos will feature prominently in your photo album.
There is a small fishing village nearby where you can enjoy delicious prawns and a variety of fish.
The Temple of the Sun is 35 km from the beach, but you might as well take the time to visit.
14. Mandarmani, West Bengal
About a 4-hour drive south of Kolkata, this pristine beach is a huge contrast to that huge chaotic city.
There used to be a small fishing village, but development has seen it grow.
The 13 kilometers of beautiful sandy beaches are the main reason for its popularity.
You may see large numbers of small red crabs crawling on the sand; they are harmless and will try to avoid you.
The water is calm and therefore suitable for swimming.
Sunrise and sunset are great times of the day on these lovely sandy beaches.
15. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
No coverage of the subcontinent’s beaches would be complete without mentioning the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
Their beauty remains the same and the sandy beach is certainly one of the highlights.
Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island is probably the top beach and was recently named “Best Beach in Asia” by Time Magazine.
Water sports are prohibited, so it’s only for those who want to relax.
You can swim, but not before 8am and after 4pm.
These limitations are worth it.
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