Sure, we’ll admit it–when you think about beach destinations, it’s probably not India that first comes to mind. In reality though, this is more a testament to the diverse natural and cultural attractions that the country has to offer than anything else! Just because India is a prime destination for tons of other types of tourism doesn’t mean that it can’t be a beach destination as well.
Don’t believe us? Need a little convincing? Give us a few minutes of our time and we’ll show you what we’re talking about. After you take a look at our list of the fifteen most beautiful beaches in India, you’ll see what exactly we mean:
Less a specific beach and more an entire state defined in large part by its beaches, there’s no way that we couldn’t start our list with the classic Indian beach destination of Goa. Whether you’re looking for active, party-minded beaches or more seclusion provided by beaches like the one pictured above, Goa probably has something for you. If you get tired of the sand and sun, Goa also has plenty more to offer. From its beaches to its fine architecture to its historic places of worship, India’s Goa state is perhaps the country’s most famous tourism destination–and for good reason.
Varkala Beach, Kerala
With its striking backdrop of a red laterite cliff, a dip in the water off picturesque Varkala beach is said to wash away any sins that you may have committed during your lifetime. We don’t know about you, but forgiveness for all our wrongdoings just for taking a nice swim sounds like a pretty good deal to us. On top of the cliff runs a path featuring a number of small restaurants and snack bars that cater to tourists, and the region is also home to the famous Sree Janardhana Swami Temple. If you’re in Kerala state, check it out!
Kovolam is one of India’s premiere beach towns, located in the Kerala state on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Though there are a number of great beaches in the region, the most iconic is without a doubt Lighthouse Beach. This spot has been popular with locals as well as primarily European tourists since the 1930s, and remains a major draw for tourists to India today. Rocky protrusions jutting off of the beach act to break up rough surf, meaning that bathers can enjoy relatively calmer waters just offshore.
Agatti Island, Lakshadweep
Our first beach located off the Indian mainland, Agatti Island is actually part of the Lakshadweep Union Territory rather than any Indian state. Almost 500 kilometers offshore from the Indian subcontinent, Agatti Island is one of those places that seem to have materialized from a dream. Only six kilometers or so long, the island is nonetheless home to several thousand people as well as a small airport. If you’re looking to enjoy a quieter, more luxurious Indian beach holiday, Agatti Island could prove a good starting point for your search.
Andaman Islands, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Andaman Islands are part of another Indian Union Territory, but this time on the other side of the Indian mainland. These islands are so far to the east that they’re closer to the shores of Myanmar than to India–in fact, a few of the Andaman Islands even do belong to Myanmar! That said, as a tourist, it’s the Indian Andaman Islands that are going to interest you. The islands are recognized for their astounding nature, which of course continues even under the water line–the coral reefs in the vicinity are some of the best in the world. If you’re looking to get away, this is the place to do it.