When people plan a beach vacation, countries like Greece, Brazil and Australia often come to mind. But if you’re looking for a ridiculously affordable getaway and an opportunity to experience some remarkable cultural diversity, India should top your list. Most of these beaches are fairly relaxed and quiet, which makes them suitable for families and those who want to get away from human civilization. With that in mind, here is a look at 9 beautiful beaches in India that you should visit.
If you want to get away from the crowds, scenic Varkala Beach, located roughly an hour north of Trivandrum, the capital of the state of Kerala, is the place to be. If the view from the beach isn’t enough for you, the hanging cliffs that overlook the beach offer views above the Arabian Sea. Aside from rejuvenating your body and soul through yoga, you can also give Ayurveda – the world’s oldest holiest medicine – a try!
You can find Kaup – or Kapu as the locals call it – near the town of Udupi in the state of Karnataka. Aside from swimming in the Arabian Sea, you can also take a dip in the nearby Netravati River, regarded as one of the holiest in all of India. Make your way to the nearby 100-year old lighthouse and take in a view of the sunset. Or if you’re the antsy type who can’t stay in one place, a day trip to Coconut Island and Thonsepar – known for their unique lava formations – should do the trick.
Gokarna, a holy town also located in the state of Karnataka, is home to some of the most isolated and cleanest beaches in the entire country. It also welcomes an extremely eclectic mix of visitors ranging from devoutly religious pilgrims to party animals looking to booze it up. Check out the huge chariots outside the Ganapati Temple, which is used to haul a statue of Shiva – pulled by a hundred locals! – through the streets during the Maha Shivaratri Festival, which takes place just before springtime. This area is sort of like how Goa used to be before it became super touristy. But get here before it’s too late; developers are starting to realize the gobs of money that they can potentially make.