Top 10 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in India
|Illustrated picture. Photo: Mixi|
Much of India is surrounded by ocean and the country has some incredibly scenic beaches that offer everything from solitude to parties. The best beaches in India can be found on the west coast, with Goa being the most famous beach destination. However, there are other places to consider as well, especially if you want to get away from the tourist trail.
Located on the southernmost tip of mainland India, Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu offers plenty of unique delights. As the meeting point of three different bodies of water—the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea—this historic town offers views markedly different from elsewhere on India’s coasts. A famous 133-feet-tall statue of Tamil poet and philosopher, Thiruvalluvar, is yet another remarkable highlight worth visiting.
This small and scenic beach town in the state of Maharashtra is a popular destination for water sports. Besides its pristine, eight kilometer stretch of white sanded beach, Tarkarli offers snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing and water skiing options to visitors. The beach town is also known for its proximity to Sindudhurg Fort, a famed 17th-century fortress built by Maratha rulers.
Kerala’s another dreamy coastal town is Kovalam that is famed for being home to architectural wonders, calm beaches, and beautiful landscapes. When here, you get to witness the best combination of sun, sand and sea, and it is worth a visit. Further, since the city boasts of pleasant weather throughout the year, its beaches, such as Hawa Beach, Samudra Beach, and Lighthouse Beach are major crowd pullers. Also, if you have time, don’t miss visiting the Aazhimala Shiva Temple and Halcyon Castle.
This small temple town in the state of Karnataka is among India’s finest seaside towns owing to its popular palm-lined beaches and tranquil atmosphere. A calmer alternative to Goa, Gokarna offers plenty of scenic beaches that are almost always crowd-free. Kudle, Om and Paradise beaches are among the most popular options. Gokarna is also home to historic Hindu temples such as the Mahabaleshwar Temple dating to the 4th century C.E.
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Part of the union territory of Daman and Diu, this coastal town is as historic as it is scenic. It was an ancient trading port prior to coming under Portuguese control in the mid-16th century – from which it gained independence only in 1961 to become part of modern India. Home to historic basilicas, forts and heritage buildings, Diu is a rewarding vacation destination. Make sure to visit Diu Fort, built in 1535, as well as the Basilica of Bom Jesus, dating to 1594, before hitting up the district’s popular Nagoa beach.
Also known as the Gateway to Kerala, Kochi is one of the most gorgeous coastal cities that South India boasts of. This beautiful sea paradise is a famous port city, which is dotted with basilicas, ancient buildings and forts, palaces, and synagogues. Being home to numerous beaches, such as Fort Kochi Beach, Veeranpuzha Beach, Cherai Beach, and many more, Kochi makes for an interesting spot to indulge in various water sports. Apart from this, the must-visit attractions here are Paradesi Synagogue, Fort Kochi, Indo-Portuguese Museum, Kerala Folklore Museum, and Hill Palace.
It’s a beautiful coastal city in India that is well-known for its modern-day elegance, as well as old-world charm. Popularly known as Pondy, this former French colony is famous for its colonial architecture, rich culture, forts, pristine beaches, and palaces that date back to the pre-colonial era. Some of the best spots to enjoy waterside activities are the Promenade Beach, Auroville Beach, Serenity Beach, Karaikal Beach, and Mahe Beach.
Surrounded by the Western Ghats on one side and Arabian Sea on the other, Udupi, in the state of Karnataka, stuns everyone with its ethereal beauty. Well-known for its tradition, culture and cuisine, the city is home to numerous ancient temples, architectural marvels, pristine beaches, unexplored forests and several other interesting sites. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, St Mary’s Island, Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village, Museum of Anatomy & Pathology, Kaup Beach, Malpe Beach, Ottinane Beach and Murdeshwar Beach are Udupi’s top tourist traps. Bisi bele bath (a spicy preparation of rice) and Pelakai Halwa (Jackfruit pudding) are the two must try dishes here.
|Photo: Curly Tales|
Stunning heritage architecture, delicious local cuisine and picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal await you in this historic town on India’s eastern coast. The largest among four districts that make up the union territory of Puducherry which was once a French colony, this quaint town is an attractive destination for history enthusiasts. Formerly known as Pondicherry, the town is an ideal weekend getaway from Bangalore, Chennai and other south Indian cities.
10. Havelock Island
|Photo: Sushant Travels|
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to plenty of charming beach towns, but Havelock Island is among your finest options. Pristine and largely non-touristy, this small island is home to Radhanagar Beach, which has repeatedly been voted among the world’s most beautiful beaches. Elephant beach, a popular snorkeling spot, and Kalapathar beach, which gets its name from the black (kala) rocks (pathar) that adorn its coastline, are two other picturesque beaches worth visiting.
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