The end of summer is here, and with it, the final chance to pack your bags, slap on some sunscreen, grab your hat and head to the beach! For lovers of the sand, sea and surf, here’s a specially curated list of the most beautiful, unexplored beaches across India’s coasts. Skip the usual suspects (did anyone say North Goa?) and hordes of tourists for a truly private, peaceful and perfect experience by the sea. Read: A Dummy’s Guide to South East Asia’s Most Iconic Beaches
Shhh. Let’s keep this a secret!
1. Varkala Beach, Kerala
Kerala is home to several popular tourist beaches. The beautiful Varkala Beach, located north of the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, is a welcome change. The beach is located 10kms away from the calm and quiet hamlet of Varkala.
Varkala Beach is a portrait of absolute pristine beauty. Rugged green cliffs nestle against the border of the beach, as graceful coconut trees sway in the lilting winds. History junkies will enjoy a trek to the 2000-year-old shrine the Janardhanaswamy Temple which stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach. Adventure lovers will also find plenty on offer!
Interestingly enough, the blue waters of Varkala Beach are believed to have medicinal and healing properties. A dip in them is said to cure the soul of sins – hence giving Varkala Beach its alternate name, Papanasam Beach.
Kerala’s Varkala Beach is located 51 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 37 km south of Kollam in South Kerala. From December to March is the best time to visit.
2. Malpe Beach, Udupi, Karnataka
Gentle turquoise waters lapping against vast stretches of golden brown sand with blue skies overhead completing the postcard perfect picture – welcome to the beautiful Malpe Beach, located just 6kms from Udupi in Karnataka. (Read: A Cheat Sheet To Hotels In Bangalore) A gentle little stream flows around the beach, known colloquially as the Malpe River.
Malpe Beach is a perfectly untouched beach with maximum privacy. Sit back and soak in the aura of absolute calm! Malpe Beach is also a known surfing destination – so why not try your hand at learning it?
For those who are easily tired of beach bumming, four small but interesting basalt-rock islands are located close by from Malpe Beach. Local boats ply to and fro the islands from Malpe Beach. Of all the islands, the one to look out for is St. Mary’s Island, a coconut island with rugged volcanic formations. Settle down here in the evening to catch a famously stunning sunset.
Malpe Beach is reached from city of Udipi in Karnataka. The closest airport is Mangalore, located 55kms away. The best time to visit is from October to December.
3. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock, Andamans
One of the best kept secrets of India – Radhanagar Beach, located on Havelock Island in the Andamans is simply something else. The beach has topped several lists to be crowned as the ‘best Beach in Asia’ – and yet its sheer location ensures that only serious travelers ever tread its shores.
Fine white sands and wonderfully clear turquoise blue waters welcome you to Radhanagar Beach. A special hallmark of the beach is the absolute calmness of the sea water – there is minimal wave action and tidal turbidity.
Whether you choose to lounge by the waters just relaxing or explore the waters through scuba diving / snorkeling, Radhanagar Beach is just perfect (in fact, Radhanagar has some of the best dive centres in the Andamans). Couples will love the privacy and walking by the beach against the backdrop of magnificent sunsets! Read: A Peek into 5 Super Exclusive Private Islands
Radhanagar Beach is best accessed by boat/sea plane from Port Blair in the Andamans. The best time to visit Radhanagar Beach is between October and March during spring.
4. Talasari Beach, Orissa
Offbeat travelers and beach lovers, this is one visit you should definitely not miss! The stunning white sand Talasari Beach, located in the Baleswar District of Odisha, is one of the most beautiful but lesser-known beaches of India. It is the last beach in the state of Odisha to the north.
The beach derives its name from the scores of tall palm trees which ensconce the beach – ‘tala’ means ‘Palm’ and ‘Sari’ means ‘row’ in Oriya. Interestingly enough, the word ‘tala’ also means rhythm, which comes alive in the beautiful beats of the sea rhythmically lapping against the pristine beach. The entire landscape around the beach is spectacular – there are vast stretches of lush paddy fields, rolling hills and gushing rivers. The estuary of River Subernarekha lies in the near background. Read: Why You Need To Visit Sri Lanka This Summer
Talarari Beach is a magical cocoon, far away from the chaos of civilization. No intruding hawker or screaming salesman will disturb your peaceful beach experience at Talasari.
Odisha’s Talasari Beach is located 36 km s from Jaleshwar, is the nearest railway station and 300kms from Bhubaneswar, the nearest airport. The best time to visit is from October to June.
5. Agatti Island, Lakshadweep
A magnificent beach, located just out of reach of the madness of everyday life – Agatti Island in Lakshadweep provides the perfect offbeat beach experience. It is a sight you will remember vividly for the rest of your life – sparkling coral reefs, turquoise blue lagoons, deep blue ocean, sweeping beaches and giant coconut palm trees welcome you to the beautiful Agatti Island. The colours of nature will astound you! The is a sense of absolute peace and endless calm, which is the perfect dose of rejuvenation for a worn-out city dweller.
Agatti Island offers plenty of opportunities to experience nature life never before. Go diving with the glorious marine life in the deep seas, or snorkel in the shallow lagoons. Witness a marvelous sunset on a glass bottomed boat, or explore an uninhabited island. One thing’s for sure – your time at Agatti Beach will be unlike any beach you’ve experienced in the past! Read: 9 Insanely Thrilling Bucket List Experiences – Do You Dare?
Agatti Island in Lakshadweep is best accessed from Kochi, Kerala via ship or plane. The best time to visit is from October to April.
This piece was originally published in JetWings, the inflight magazine of Jet Airways.
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