India, with its diversity, never ceases to amaze tourists from everywhere in the world. Magnificent mountains, lush green hills, pristine beaches, deserts, abundant history and culture – India offers a varied range of destinations and experiences to every traveler. No wonder traveling to India is on every traveler’s bucket list!
Having been born and brought up in Delhi, most of my vacations were confined to the hills and the plains. Marrying the childhood sweetheart, AY and moving to Mumbai gave me a whole new perspective in life. From leading a fiercely independent life, partying till wee hours and just exploring my true self – Mumbai was the answer to all the questions that I didn’t even know existed! Living by the seaside in a beautiful neighborhood of Mumbai called Bandra, I realized my undying love for the sea.
Life in Mumbai and exploring the diversity of this metropolitan made me realize that traveling within our country is quintessential. It is only when you see your own country that you understand its deep rooted culture and ways of life. This has by far been the best travel awakening for me and helped me graduate to exploring the foreign lands with a new insight and perspective.
India’s beach scene is nothing short of an assortment of experiences. From crazy parties, best sea food, yoga retreats to tranquility – Indian beaches strike the right cord with every genre of travelers. Here is my account on my beach travels in this glorious country that I call home! Pack your bags and head to these top beach destinations that are sure to sweep you off your feet.
Goa, India’s Beach Capital
Arambol Beach – Welcome to the Bohemian paradise! The white sand, long beach and the blue waters won us over as we set foot in Arambol. Our seaside resort was a perfect blend of hippie-ness and luxury. Upon stepping out, we noticed that several local musicians and travelers come together and form a drum circle every evening. They create melodious music that lifts the spirits and touches the soul. The enchanting drum circles, yoga retreats, people dancing to the music against the million hues of the setting sun make Arambol the perfect beach for a holiday!
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Ashvem Beach – The pristine, Ashvem is just a few kilometers away from Arambol. It is fantastic to see how pristine this beach is, given the plethora of tourists coming to Goa. We spent a full day at Ashvem, devouring on delicious food, talking to fellow travelers and tip toeing in the sea. This beach has got to be the best picnic spot for a day and is surprisingly not flooded with tourists. So, head the Ashvem Beach for a quaint and relaxed beach picnic day and have the time of your life!
Cola Beach – Cola Beach is a rather small, remote and rocky beach! Home to a lovely lagoon and views of the splendid blue sea make this beach perfect to unwind from the daily rut of life. Set against a cliff, it takes a little extra effort to get here but boy, it is totally worth it! We spent hours kayaking in the lake, sitting on the rocks and gazing at the sea. This secret beach is going to steal your heart at the first sight – as it stole ours
Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Radhanagar Beach and Elephant Beach
The renowned Radhanagar Beach is also famous for being the best beach in Asia. Radhanagar Beach surprised us with long stretches of white soft sand, turquoise water and splendid views with phenomenal natural beauty. This precious beach is set to leave you dumbfounded with its extraordinarily beautiful views and a beach experience par excellence. The wild forest and the palm trees add to the charm of this jewel of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. We spent hours gawking at the sea and walking around hand in hand, devouring on the splendid sunset views. Take a trip of a lifetime to the heavenly abode of everything perfect to the Andaman and Nicobar islands!
AY and I sauntered our way through the bushes and reached the glorious Elephanta Beach. It took us a little over half an hour of walking through the jungle to get to this picturesque beach. Many tourists prefer taking the boat and miss out on appreciating the wonderful jungle trail that leads to the beach. We snorkeled and saw the beautiful coral reef and the marine life here. The multiple colors of the coral reef and the marine life make for exemplary views. The Elephant beach is perfect to cuddle up on a hammock with a book before heading back to the hotel. It’s a pristine jewel of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and just cannot be missed!
The combination of walking through the jungle leading to a gorgeous beach and blue sea makes for an experience that no other beach offers!
Kerala – Varkala Beach
Kerala is home to the famous Kovalam beach that attracts a flood of tourists all year round. We wanted to stay away from the crowds and that’s when we found out about the lesser explored Varkala beach. Famous for the Janardhana Temple, the hip backpacker beach scene at Varkala is fairly new. The red sandstone cliffs, the groovy water current and the golden sand make for a strikingly gorgeous holiday spot! Varkala with its newness, hippie-ness and scenic views is one of our most favorite destinations in Kerala. If relaxing and soaking in the abundant natural beauty is on your mind – you should book a vacation to Varkala!
Maharashtra – Ganpatipule Beach
Staying in Mumbai gave us an opportunity to explore Ganpatipule Beach. Ganpatipule is a treasure trove near a town famous for its Alphanso mangoes called Ratnagiri on the Konkan coastline. AY and I booked a hotel in Ganpatipule for a long weekend in 2016. Ganpatipule, has some really pristine beaches with golden sand, clear blue sea and views that will blow you away. We gobbled down dozens of luscious mangoes while gawking at the brilliant views of the seaside from the vantage points. Ganpatipule is the best beach in the Maharashtra region, hands down!
Karnataka – Gokarna
A small town in Karnataka, Gokarna, is a no frills beach destination. It offers peace, serenity and splendid views of the sea. The beaches are separated by small hills that can be easily crossed in order to head to the neighboring beach. Exploring Gokarna on foot, we trekked from Kudle beach to the famous Om beach, Half Moon beach and then to the Paradise beach!
The rather peaceful beaches come alive during the Indian festival called Shivratri. This is when the beaches are packed with devotees engrossed in celebrating the festival. Gokarna is a temple town and your visit to this beautiful place is incomplete if you don’t pay a visit to the ancient temples here. With amazing food available at the shacks and local restaurants, to gorgeous landscapes of beaches and the blue sea, Gokarna makes for a brilliant and relaxed weekend getaway.
Here are a few travel tips for the fellow travelers who plan to explore the beautiful Indian beaches –
- The best time to enjoy these beach destinations would be from September end to March.
- Book your tickets, tours and hotels well in advance to crack the best possible deals.
- Carry your sun block and apply it every 2 hours to keep that tanning at bay.
- Carry your swim suit, beach wear and sunglasses and rock the beach look like never before.
- Encourage green travel. Use water and electricity as and when needed, and keep the beaches and the sea clean. After all, with the abundant beauty that these beaches offer – you are sure to return!
Last but not the least, have a crazy time exploring our incredible country and promote it as much as you can. Everyone needs to see how gorgeously diverse our country is. Spot the long weekends on the 2017 calendar and book your trips to these exotic beach destinations to gather memories and experiences to last a lifetime!