India has a total shoreline of 7516.6 km, of which the mainland coastline is 6100 km, and the shoreline of the islands is 1197 km. Let us look at some best Indian beaches and cities to visit along Indian Coastline
The Indian coast is divided into nine states and four union territories. The nine states include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal. Union Territories are Daman & Diu, Puducherry, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and the Lakshadweep Islands.
The mainland coast of India is divided into two parts. – The Eastern coast and the Western coast.
The Eastern coastline includes the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal and extends from Ganga Delta in the North to Kanyakumari in the South. It can be divided into three parts according to states, Orissa coastal plain, Andhra coastal plain, and Tamil Nadu coastal plain.
The Indian Peninsula offers a wide choice of beaches. Let’s look at some Interesting cities and Beaches along the Indian Peninsula.
On the east coast, the most famous beach resort is PURI in Orissa. Enormous waves throw themselves at the glistening sands, changing color throughout the day. Peppered with seashells of all kinds, this wonderful clean beach is an all-time favorite.
Spirituality and divinity resonate through every lane of the temple city of Puri. A top-rated pilgrimage destination for the Hindus, the town is scattered along the long and pristine coastline of the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Odisha. Buzzing with worshippers who come here to pay obedience to the Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri is also known throughout the world to celebrate the greater-than-life associated with his presiding deity.
While one part of the city gets busy celebrating the annual festival of Ratha Yatra (chariot procession of Lord Jagannath) that sees lakhs of footfalls, the other part on the outskirts, fringed by beaches and lakes, remains blanketed in relative calm and serenity, making it a hub for nature lovers.
Sliding further down the coastline, one comes to a lovely beach in Andhra Pradesh, VISHAKAPATNAM. This is a popular resort for beachcombers with its perfect combination of rocks and sand on the seaside.
Visakhapatnam, also commonly known as Vizag, is one of the oldest ports in the country. Situated in the heart of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam is renowned for its beautiful beaches and tranquil landscape, as well as it’s rich cultural past, making it an ideal spot for fabulous coastal holidays. The port of Visakhapatnam is famous for being home to the oldest shipyard in India. Visakhapatnam is a must-see tourist destination in South India with a multitude of human-made wonders and natural spectacles.
You can’t go to a coastal town like Visakhapatnam, and you can’t see its beaches. Vizag is dotted with many beaches along its coastline, the most famous of which is Yarada Beach. Among the most unusual places to visit in Visakhapatnam, the coast of Yarada is surrounded by magnificent hills on three sides and the Bay of Bengal on the other. One of Vizag’s beaches best thing is that they are a lot cleaner and a lot less packed with people than other famous beaches along the Indian coast, and Yarada Beach is no exception. It’s the picture-perfect place to sit back on the golden sands and watch an incredible sunset or sunrise.
The next important coast-stop is at CHENNAI. The capital of Tamil Nadu, this large city wrapped in tradition, was created by the British in the early 17th century and later passed through the French’s hands. Today it is the fourth largest city in India.
The Aura of the Past is mostly confined to Fort St. George, St Mary’s Church, and a handful of historic temples, and the bustling center of merchants three centuries ago is now a city of moderation, moderate climate, a balance of tradition and modernity, a busy city that is not quite a maniac.
The Marina beach is not the best in the country but does offer a rather lengthy stretch of sands and sea for the desperate. Marina Beach is full of activity in the early morning hours and the evenings. Strolling along the beaches during sunset and sunrise is a pleasurable experience for everyone.
This beach has become a fairground with numerous stalls selling artefacts, handmade showpieces, ethnic jewellery, and food items in the evening. Children play games, and they frolic around. Nearby is the aquarium, which is not too hot, but the nearby snake park offers a lot of fun, even if you’re not obsessed with cold-blooded reptiles.
Then, of course, there’s MAHABALIPURAM, a fine set of temples on the shore and a beautiful beach. The magnificent shore temples of the seventh century carved out of huge rocks add to the sea’s splendor. Mamallapuram, or Mahabalipuram, is a city on a strip of land between the Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
It is known for its temples and monuments built by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Seafront Temple of the Shore consists of three ornamental granite shrines. Krishna’s Butter Ball is a massive rock balancing on a small hill near the Stone Temple of Ganesha Ratha.
The sea is somewhat lost at PUDUCHERRY, famed as the ‘Little France’ of India. The Ashram of Rishi Aurobindo, Auroville, sprawls across the city, and thanks to Aurobindo’s easily adaptable philosophy mixing Hindu and Western Ideas, it draws devotees from across the world.
All over Puducherry, the French, who finally moved out a few years after independence, have left behind a large part of themselves in the names of roads, in the culture, in the local police uniform, in the language of the locals.
Near Puducherry is PICHAVARAM is a lovely seaside Haunt. The mangrove forest adds to the beauty, making this a small pocket of bliss in the Backwaters. More sea-splendor lies further south, at Rameshwaram – an island alive with temples and beaches, lined with relaxed coconut palms and magnificent coral reefs.
KANYAKUMARI lies at the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula. Lofty patches of red cliffs with turquoise waters and, of course, the union of three major water bodies – the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean – there’s something mystical about Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India.
The place is all about picture-perfect sunsets, enthralling full-moon nights, sumptuous coastal food, walking along the turquoise waters, and, of course, the excitement of being in such a wonderful geographical destination; indeed, Kanyakumari can always leave you asking for more.
Apart from offering a brilliant view, where the Bay of Bengal meets the Arabian sea, it is also a holy spot for Hindus. Legend tells us that at this spot, the lovelorn Kanya, an incarnation of Parvati, had vowed to remain a virgin following her failed attempt at luring Lord Shiva into marriage.
The arrangements of the cancelled wedding lay on the seaside for centuries and turned into stone. The Older generation still talks of the beach’s curious pebbles, shaped like rice and pulses and other essentials of a wedding feast.
And off the coast, dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, a religious reformer, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Kanyakumari. The rock memorial, which covers six acres, is located on an island a few meters into the sea and is located at the height of 17 meters above sea level.
Apart from that, the statue of the celebrated Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, standing tall, almost at the convergence of the three seas, is an important tourist destination.
On the other hand, the Western coastline extends from Kanyakumari in the South to Rann of Kachchh in the North. It is divided into three parts, the Konkan coast, the Karnataka coast, and the Kerala coast. The western coastline consists of the Indian Ocean, which is the only ocean named after a country.
You need to turn to the west coast for the sea’s true splendor in coconut country and go to KOVALAM in Kerala. With smooth, cool rocks and swaying coconut palms, this resort is a favorite for those who love the sun and the surf.
Kovalam, a coastal town on the Arabian Sea in southern India, features three spectacular beaches. The Lighthouse Beach is the most popular and largest beach and is aptly named for its 30-meter lighthouse, which features a stunning location-the Vizhinjam Mosque.
Visit Samudra Beach for a less crowded beach with large coconut trees and great local fishermen’s views at work. Twelve kilometers north is THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, the capital of India’s most literate state. Till recently named Trivandrum, a beautiful city nestled in the Lap of Greenery.
From a landscape naturally enriched with some of the most scenic visuals possible along with socially significant sacred sites that have flourished for more than a thousand years, this area has something for everyone. Young and old alike can experience their slice of Kerala here, tailored to their individual preferences.
Further North is KOCHI, the ‘queen of the Arabian sea.’ A major port of Kerala and also known as Cochin, this lovely bit of land washed by the Arabian sea is flush with historical monuments. The Portuguese Church of St. Francis, dating back to the early 1500s, is the oldest European church in India.
Scattered islands laced with palm trees enhance the beauty of this historic seaport. And the rich cultural fabric of mainland Ernakulam adds an intellectual edge to the grace of nature.
Kozhikode will always have a special place in Kerala’s history, as it is here that Vasco-da-Gama first landed, and the famed Spice Route has come into existence. The region still has a historic charm to it. Kozhikode Beach is the ultimate expression of the many characteristics that make Kozhikode so unique.
Tourist comes in large numbers to see the sunset from the beach. There is a fresh supply of seafood in the shacks that surround the place. Kalumekaya (mussels) is a local favorite.
A walk to the Dolphin Point at dawn ensures a meeting with playful dolphins. You are also welcomed by a magnificent lighthouse and two piers opening onto the sea. They’ve been here for over a hundred years. Children flock to the nearby marine water aquarium and Lions Park.
Gokarna is both a hippie haven and a key temple town. It is home to some of the most secluded beaches in the country, Half-Moon Beach, which is perhaps the most picturesque.
Not accessible by road, the only way to get there is either a short trek or a boat ride from the more popular Om Beach. There’s not much to do but soak up the sun by day and camp under the stars by night. Pure blessing!
Konkan Coast starts south of Mumbai in Maharashtra and extends for more than 530 kilometres (330 miles) to Goa’s border with Karnataka.
You don’t find too many sea-resorts along the coast of Karnataka. But then you come to what is undoubtedly the best stretches of beaches in the country, GOA. Till 1961, Goa was under Portuguese rule. And it certainly shows. The influence lives on in the customs, cultural habits, and cuisine of the Land, not to mention the excellent Portuguese wines.
But it is not just the European ambience in India’s tropics that draws more than one million tourists to Goa every year. The Spectacular beaches that exude joie de vivre have a role.
The Basilica of BOM Jesus in Old Goa, which houses the mortal remains of St.Francis Xavier(the body is said to remain intact for more than 400 years!), the Assisi church, and the Se Cathedral are of special interest to Christians.
But nothing compares to the splendor of the beaches of Goa. This coastline stretches along the Arabian Sea from the top to the bottom of the state. Every beach community has developed its own personality and reputation since the hippie days of the ’60s.
They cater to every tropical behest: choose from the palm-fringed sands of Palolem, the hippie market bliss of Anjuna, the backpacker Arambol or the bolder, the brasher Baga; or the lovely, laid-back Mandrem; the expansive sands groomed in front of the fancy five-star resorts or the concealed crescent coves, where the only footprints are the scurrying crabs and your own.
The Konkan coast in Maharashtra offers a treasure of beautiful beaches, one of the most picturesque in the country. Pleasingly off the tourist trail, they are void of commercial development, and many are practically deserted.
The first city of Indian business and Maharashtra’s capital, MUMBAI, is the largest Island on the Arabian Sea. But it does not feel like an island and certainly does not flaunt the idyllic beauty that islands have been known to offer. It is a fast-paced business center, more washed by money than by sea-waves. The Gateway of India has lost its value with air travel taking the place of ocean liners.
Mumbai may not be the only welcome point for foreigners anymore, but India’s main port remains. The Colaba causeway is a fascinating mix of fishermen, tourists, junkies, and officegoers, bringing out this immensely cosmopolitan city’s intrinsic attraction.
The Marine drive along the shoreline gives a fine view of the sea, and the Chowpatty beach never ceases to amaze with its beach-bums and sandcastles and jumble of curious activities. At one end of the Marine Drive is Malabar hill, the Beverly Hills of India; at the other is Nariman Point, the ever-bustling business center. The other business center is at Flora Fountain.
The tower of silence, where the Parsis lay out their dead, St John’s church, the Cathedral of ST. Thomas, Haji Ali’s mosque, and the Mahalakshmi temple add the religious touch to an otherwise trade-centric city.
And the Hanging Gardens, the Victoria Gardens, and the aquarium provide the element of peace and beauty amidst the hectic activity.
The Glamour of Bollywood, the fond name for the tinsel town where the enormous Indian Film industry thrives, the screams of the stock markets, the cheap lipstick in the alleys of sin mingle with the rush of sweaty commuters and flashy cars in the frantic city.
It is the most moneyed city in the country and the city that houses Asia’s biggest slum, Dharavi.
The Alibaug, Kashid, Divegar, Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar, Murud, Karde, Ganpatipule, Tarkarli, Malvan, Devbaug beaches are listed in order of vicinity to Mumbai, are some of the most spectacular beaches and yet, you won’t have to look far to find many lesser-known shores where there isn’t a soul in sight.
An unforgettable way to visit the beaches is to take a motorcycle trip down the coast of Konkan.
Further North, in Gujrat, the sea seems to have lost its charm. Gujarat has the longest shoreline in India, which lies in the state’s Kathiawar region and is 1,600 km long. This coastline is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and is dotted with 41 ports.
The Land of myths and legends, DWARKA is a holy site for Hindus, with various Lord Krishna temples. Another city which devotees flock to is PORBANDAR, the Birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. On the whole, the attraction of sun-drenched sands and the cliffs of sea resorts ends with Goa’s fabulous beaches.
Although DAMAN has several beaches, it lacks the magnificence of Goa. The best feel of the sea in this region is Probably at DIU. This Tiny Island, which with Daman and Goa formed the Portuguese colony in India, sports lovely retreats with warm sands and a relatively clear sea.
Memories of the Portuguese lie scattered along its streets, churches, and in the sixteenth-century fort.
One of India’s Union Territories, the Andaman Islands, and the Nicobar Islands consist of two distinct groups of islands located at the Bay of Bengal’s southeastern end. The Andaman Islands are the submerged mountain range peaks, and the Nicobar Island is an arch that stretches from Myanmar to Sumatra Island, Indonesia.
Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The place has become more important in recent times, mostly due to the cellular prison being located there. Besides being historically significant, it offers many adventure sports such as parasailing, scuba diving, and kayaking.
The smallest of all the union territories in India, Lakshadweep, is a group of beautiful islands located off India’s western coast in the Arabian Sea. it might not be as blue as Maldives islands but it is worth spending some time if you don’t have that much time to do your things in the Maldives. It is made up of 36 total islands and consists of reefs, atolls, and submerged banks.
The charm of Lakshadweep lies in its geographic isolation. It’s equally beautiful and mystical and provides a unique blend to the tourists. Water activities are equally prevalent here, enabling people to relax and enjoy themselves.
Conclusion on Best Indian Beaches and Coastline
There is a lot more to India beauty. The most important relates to the saying about the eyes of the beholder. So, look beyond the obvious. You never know what you may find. After all, this is India. And you can never finish off all spots in one lifetime.