The coastal shores of India are home to some of the best beaches in the world. Offering exotic locales to sandy landscapes subdued by the incessant assault of waves, few can resist the fascinating charm of a beach escapade.
Beaches can make anyone fall hopelessly in love with them. What’s not to love? Shores that stretch for miles, a warm, placid sea breeze and joyful mirth of the waves – beaches have something for everyone. Be it honeymooners or family vacationers, bachelor’s trip with your squad or an all-girls getaway, beaches are alluring, tugging at your heart to come just a little closer. Shades of blue greet the eyes, from azure to cerulean, sapphire to a deep green, turquoise, aquamarine, cobalt, beryl; the list is endless and the view, simply breathtaking.
It’s time to pack in the beach gear and take off to these coastal paradises.
This town in north Goa is home to one of the longest beaches in the state, and Candolim beach is shaped in a crescent. The soft sandy beach runs long with the ever-popular Calungate beach to its north and tapers towards the smaller Sinquerim beach to the south. With most tourists heading to Calungate, this leaves Candolim with a peaceful and languid environ. Adding to its beauty, the beach has dunes covered with coconut trees and scrub, merging deep blue, frothy white waves, burnished sandy tones and lush green.
Candolim is perfect for adrenaline-pumping water-based activities. Travellers can opt for regular activities such as water skiing, or newer adventures such as wakeboarding, kneeboarding, and even paddleboarding. With adventure tourism reaching new heights in India, popularity for such sports has risen remarkably. Those who wish to take it slow, can enjoy a lazy ride on a yacht out in the Arabian Sea. To truly enjoy the bounty of the sea, opt for a dolphin-watching cruise and see them play around in the Arabian Sea.
To revel in a slice of history, head to the 17th century Aguada Fort and the adjoining lighthouse, at a short distance from the beach that overlooks Mandovi River. Built by the Portuguese, it is said that the freshwater springs within the fort would provide supply of water to the ships that passed by, garnering the name of Aguada, meaning water.
Trujet connect: Trujet offers direct service to Goa from Hyderabad. Candolim is approximately 35 km from Dabolim airport.
Rushikonda, Andhra Pradesh
Almost 20 km away from Visakhapatnam, Rushikonda beach is a fascinating place to visit. Considered as one of the gems of Andhra Pradesh’s coastline, golden sands of the Coromandel Coast and vast unrelenting stretches of the Bay of Bengal are breathtaking.
Blessed with waves that have quite an attitude, Rushikonda is famous among the surfers, especially with a consistent swell throughout the year, thereby attracting locals and foreigners in equal measure. Also during off-season, in case the waves are not suitable for surfing, visitors can turn to diving! Dive to almost 4-5 m depth and witness another world come alive. The coast is teeming with rich marine life. Try spotting rays, parrot fish, jellyfish and lobsters among others.
Near the beach, there is a submarine museum that may pique the interest of many. The INS Kursura (S20) was a Kalvari class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy. Among key missions, she was part of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, and was decommissioned in 2001 after 31 years of service. She is now preserved as a museum at Ramakrishna Mission beach and is open to the public.
Trujet connect: Trujet offers direct flight service to Rajahmundry from Hyderabad. Rushikonda is approximately 220 km from Rajahmundry.
Covelong Beach, Tamil Nadu
Covelong, also known as Kovalam, is a fishing village almost 40 km from Chennai en route Mamallapuram. One of the best beaches in Tamil Nadu, Covelong beach offers numerous water sports opportunities, while retaining a certain serene aura, perfect for travellers who want to sit back and relax. The natural rocks along the coast add another dimension to the scenic vista.
The 16th century port town was developed by Saadat Ali, the Nawab of Carnatic. In 1746, the French took over the town and in 1752, it was said to have been seized by the British East India Company. Even the Dutch built a fort here during the colonial era, and the building now functions as a private luxury beach resort. This is a good place for novices to learn how to ride the waves. The Classic Surf & Music Festival also takes place here, where the days are filled with yoga, sun, sand and surf, and visitors can dance away the nights to the music.
Trujet connect: Trujet offers direct flight service to Chennai from Hyderabad. Covelong is 40 km from Chennai International Airport.
St Mary’s Islands, Karnataka
A little known gem of India, St Mary’s Islands are a set of four secluded islands off the coast of Malpe in Udupi. These islands have columnar basaltic lava, an iconic geological formation, dotting the shore with rocks. An important geo-tourism site, these islands are one of the 26 Geological Monuments of India, as declared by the Geological Survey of India in 2001. The basalt in these pillars or flat topped hills were formed by volcanic activity, with scientific studies claiming that this part of India was once joined to Madagascar in the continent of Africa. The rift between the two is supposed to have taken place almost 88 million years ago.
According to local folklore, in the 15th century, Vasco da Gama apparently landed here on his journey from Portugal. It is said that he named one of these islands, O Padrão de Santa Maria, as a dedication to Mother Mary, before heading to Kozhikode in Kerala. This is how the islands got their name.
Visitors to the islands will be greeted by the cries of the many colonies of gulls, witness sandpipers in flight and great white egrets, among others. The islands do not have any buildings or shops, but plenty of benches and shaded pavilions for travellers to rest. With coconut trees shimmying in the breeze, large hexagonal rock formations, azure waters – these islands provide a panoramic view like none other.
Trujet connect: Trujet offers direct flight service to Goa and Bengaluru from Hyderabad. St Mary’s Islands is approx., 320 km from Dabolim airport, and 415 km from Bengaluru.
Written by – Ramya JS D’Rozario