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5 top beach experiences in India

Palolem Beach, fringed by coconut trees
Image courtesy: flickr-creative commons-Klaus Nahr

Chilling at Palolem
If there’s one enduring image of tropical beaches and sun-kissed sands in the country it ought to be Palolem Beach – a haven of calm among the line of touristy beaches dotting Goa’s coastline. Set around a small bay, the beach, lapped by gentle waves, can lull and soothe you into a pleasant holiday mood. It’s the sort of beach where people do yoga on the smooth sands at dawn and where stylish huts nestled between the trees are the choice for accommodation. The best thing to do at Palolem, though, is to sit back in the evening, order a tall, cool cocktail and sip it slowly as you watch the sun dip into the deep waters of the Arabian Sea.

Sunset on the Konkan Riviera
Starting a little before Ganpatipule and stopping before the turn-off to Ratnagiri is a smooth ribbon of road clinging to the edge of the hills, threatening to fall into the sea below. For those who are constantly in search of epic sunsets, this 6km drive from Undi Beach to Aarey Warey Beach offers meditative moments in a magnificent blaze of blue and orange, guaranteed to bring the hunt to a grinding halt.

Beautiful corals and clear waters makes the Andamans a top diving destination.
Image courtesy: Prahlad Kakkar

Snorkelling & Diving at Havelock
The Andamans’ main island, Havelock, has a variety of activities to offer but none as delightful as scuba diving and snorkelling. Dive into the blue and venture underwater into a magical new world full of tropical fish, live coral, sea turtles, stingrays and other wonders. Havelock is also one of the few places in the world where inexperienced divers can try out a single dive instead of signing up for a whole course. The best part is that you don’t need to be a swimmer to try this adventurous activity. If you fancy staying above the surface, snorkelling is a good option. With the clear visibility underwater, you’re sure to see enough to give you a vivid insight into the world that lies beneath the sea.

Oyster Rock Lighthouse, Karwar
After a long ocean ride from Karwar, when your boat reaches the rocks of this uninhabited island in the middle of the sea, there will be a moment of panic. The idea of being alone with only the ancient Oyster Rock Lighthouse for company is unnerving. But when you finish the climb to the top of this lovingly preserved structure, and a blinding blue sea unfurls all around you, panic flees and is replaced by the thrill of being alone on top of the world.

The Chinese fishing nets, a landmark of Kochi.
Image courtesy: Kerala Tourism Board

Beachside Stroll in Kochi
Serene Kochi has been drawing traders and explorers to its shores for over 600 years. Nowhere in India can you find such a mix by the beach: giant Chinese fishing nets, an ancient synagogue, a mosque, Portuguese houses and crumbling remains of the British Raj. The pavement that skirts Kochi Beach is great for an evening stroll, as the town slowly starts lighting up in the background. The scene is reminiscent of how trading ships would have found their way to this famous port in another era.


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