Mystical India isn’t just about temples, elephant safaris, festivals and exquisite sarees, it's also a perfect destination to bask under the golden sun and feel the rush of the wind along with the softly swaying coconut trees.
With a stretch of 7,500-kilometer coastline, there definitely are handfuls of options for beach lovers. Be it scuba diving on remote islands or just a quick dip in city beaches, India fulfills the fantasies of locals and tourists alike.
Goa, Orissa, Chennai and Kerala are among the places in the country flocked with tourists for their beautiful beaches.
Beaches in Goa
Known as “The Queen of Beaches”, Calangute is just 16 kilometers away from Panaji, the state capital. Situated along the shores of the Arabian Sea in North Goa, the resort's names is an alteration of the local vernacular word “Koli-gutti”, which means the “land of fishermen”.
The name is also associated with “Kalyan-gutti” or the “village of art” in the vernacular and “Konvallo-ghot” or the “strong pit of the coconut tree”. The latter is probably due to the fact that the nearest village to the resort is abundant in coconut trees. Housing excellent accommodation facilities, the bets time to visit Calangute is between the months of September and March.
Baga Beach : About 10 kilometers west of Mapusa and extension of Calangute in essence, this charming combination of land sea still puzzles visitors and even the locals as to where it begins and where it ends. Baga Beach offers a scenic and more varied imagery and is lying on a rocky and forested cape.
An expanse of soft white sand holds the salt water that has a blend of the water from the river that flows toward the sea from the top of the village. What used to be a space for fisher houses are now home to flamboyant bars as well as restaurants and handicraft shops.
Colva Beach : When it comes to picturesque splendor, Calangute's only competition is Colva Beach, the pride of Salcete.
One of the most popular beaches in the south of Goa, the captivating natural harmony of the sand, sea and sky leaves the visitors spellbound. Offering good accommodation, Colva is only 100 meters away from the seashore and is about 6 kilometers away from Margao.
Beaches in Kerala
Kovalam Beach : A sixteen kilometer-drive from Thiruvananthapuram city si the internationally renowned Kovalam that has three adjoining crescent beaches, with the southernmost called Lighthouse as the most popular.
Since the 1930's, Kovalam has been a favorite among tourists, particularly the Europeans. Ideal for bathing due to its calm waters, the resorts here offer a variety of leisure options that would truly make any visit a rejuvenating and relaxing one.
The Varkala Beach : An important Hindu pilgrimage center, Varkala is also home to a seaside resort and spa. Aside from having the 2000 year old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Care Center as main tourist attractions, the coastline is an inviting sight with rich mineral springs and high cliffs rising from it. It is 41 kilometers fro Thiruvananthapuram city.
Kappad Beach : Located 16 kilometers from Kozhikode city and locally known as Kappakadavu, Kappad is the place where Vasco da Gama landed on May 27, 1498. What's drawing the crowd here is the sprawling rock that protrudes from the sea and the temple erected on it, which is believed to be 800 years old.
Beypore Beach : Sought after by Western Asia merchants for its ship-building industry, it was here that the Uru, a traditional Arabian trading vessel was constructed. Beyoe was also an important port and fishing harbor of ancient Kerala and the beach is located at the mouth of Chaliyar River, about 10 kilometers south of Kozhikode.
Beaches in Chennai
Coyelong Beach Chennai : This quiet fishing village lures people from around the world with its swaying palm trees, beautiful beaches and an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, make it one of the most popular beach resorts of Coromandel Coast. Its history reveals the ancient port of Coyelong, which was built by Saadat Ali, a Nawab of Carnatic.
Marina Beach Chennai : One of Chennai's major tourist attractions, Marina Beach is the second largest in the world and is a sight to behold during sunrise and sunset. The early 1880's subjected the beach to further enhancement under the British rule. Spread in an area of 13 kilometers, the place comes alive at night with children and people selling kiddie stuff filling the sandy shore.
Beaches in Orrisa
Puri Beach : Puri is one of the most important pilgrim destinations in India and is gifted with fine, white and wide beaches ideal for beach sports. Aside from countless pilgrim taking purification bathes, tourists and locals flock to Puri and are kept amazed with the roaring waves from the Bay of Bengal. Water sports are not encouraged here due to the rough nature of the seas.
Gopalpur-on-Sea : This is one of the several beaches in India that is undisturbed by day trippers. Located 15 kilometers from Berhampur and 170 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, the beach is ideal for sailing and surfing.
Lakshadweep meanwhile is another spellbinding place to visit. This archiepelago boasts of bright green isles, superb lagoons, miles of sun kissed sands and waters of the Arabian Sea unfold here. Of the 36 island, only 10 are inhabited and five are open to tourists.
Beaches in Lakshadweep
Kavaratti : Many beach activities can be done here in the beautiful, calm lagoon of Kavaratti. Swimming, water sports, kayaking and yachting are among the physical activities that tourists can get themselves into. For the not so athletically inclined individuals, viewing the exotic marine life through a glass botoom boat ride and a trip to the well believed to contain medicinal water will do.
Kalpeni : Known for its is known for its charming beauty and the islets of Tilakkam and Pitti, Kalpeni is one of the uninhabited islands in Lakshadweep on that is situated in Cheriyam, north of the archipelago. Enclosed by a shallow but huge lagoon, Kalpeni is ideal for swimming, reef walking, kayaking and other water sports. Pedal boats and other water sports crafts are available for renting.
Minicoy : Its unique Maldivian character, hemispherical shape and its large lagoon, one of Lakshadweep's largest, draw tourists to this southernmost island of the archipelago.
Kadamat : The long sandy beaches of Kadamat guarantee a tropical holiday minus the overcrowding. Identified for its huts aesthetically facing the lagoon and situated in the coconut palm groves, its 8-kilometer long shoreline is ideal for beach activities as well as some water sports.
Bangaram : Also an uninhabited island, Bangaram has a wealth of coral formations, which is attractive to certain varieties of fishes, and is often a sight for sting rays, manta and hawkbill turtles. Sports activities suitable here are windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, diving, parasailing, water skiing and deep sea fishing.