Top 9 Offbeat Beaches in South India
Sun is blazing and sultry. Notorious clime is prevalent all over South India. Most of the rest of India is following suit too. The usual tourist paradises seldom attract visitors during summer. However, travelers on the lookout for unique places are never disappointed in a country like India. For unknown reasons, several offbeat places in South India remain unexplored that is ‘cool' to visit.
During summer beaches become popular among tourists. Here is a list of offbeat beaches in South India. These are spots worth visiting yet mostly overlooked. Probably most travelers are used to traversing the beaten path. Anyway, these beaches will provide you with a much-desired soothing experience this summer.
Kurumgad Island, Karnataka
Kurumgad island is more famous for the Devbagh beach in the vicinity. It is one of the best offbeat beaches in South India that you can add to your bucket list. When looking forward to spending a refreshing weekend, Devbagh beach can match your requirement.
It is a quiet beach best known for the amazing sight of golden sand and clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea. Western Ghats on one side makes the location even more picturesque.
Water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, water scooters, and boat rides can keep you occupied. The spot where Kali River meets the sea is a popular location for cruising. The sunset views are enchanting around here. With seafood delicacies that are popular in the region, you can enjoy a perfect evening. Activities are mostly offered by Devbagh beach resorts.
Noteworthy spots to visit when in Karwar are Narasimha Temple, Majali Beach, the abandoned lighthouse, and Sadashivgadh Fort.
How to reach: The nearest airport is around 85 KM away in Goa. Karwar has a railway station and Karwar Bus Stand is 8 KM away. Kurumgad island is accessed by boats from near Kali River Bridge.
St Mary's Island, Karnataka
St. Mary's Islands stretch intriguing offbeat beaches off the coast of Udupi town in Karnataka that you can mark in your chart. It is a group of four small islands considered to be an ecological wonder in the Arabian Sea. Cut off from the clamor and crowd, this tiny piece of land is also known as Coconut Island thanks to the several trees on the island.
The name, St. Mary's Islands is associated with Vasco da Gama's visit to the island.
The uninhabited beach with white sand and clear waters is one of the top offbeat beaches in South India to visit in Karnataka. What makes it more interesting is that people barely know about the island. Volcanic rock formation stands out on one side of the beach while the other side of the beach is more beautifully covered with seashells. Since the island is uninhibited, the facilities are limited. And the total diameter of the island is not large making it easier for you to cover the area within the stipulated time.
To get to the island you can avail of the frequent, fast, and more expensive means of speed boats from Malpe Beach. Then, there are ferry boats as well comparatively less expensive but less frequent and slow. Usually, they operate from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM.
Although there are no major activities on the island, water sports options are available at Malpe Beach.
It is recommended to visit the island between October to January.
How to reach: The closest airport is in Mangalore and is about 60 km away from Udupi. The closest railway station is in Udupi. From Udupi, you can take a local bus, or avail of local taxis to Malpe Beach.
Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
Kanyakumari is an exquisite and certainly one of the top offbeat beaches in south India. Its very location marked by the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea, makes it a must-visit spot.
Spectacular views of sunset and sunrise here make your visit worthwhile. Visiting Kanyakumari beach can be a complete package full of activities, visits to religious and historical sites, and tourist spots.
Besides spending time at the beach, things to do in Kanyakumari include visiting Gandhi Memorial, Our Lady of Ransom Church, Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Kanyakumari Wax Museum, Vivekananda Rock, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Tsunami Monument, Thiruvalluvar Statue and Kanyakumari Devi Temple.
Make sure to go on a shopping spree in the streets and markets in the town. You will love the array of souvenirs on display.
There are more beaches in the area. Muttom Beach, Uvari Beach, Sanguthurai Beach, Sothavilai Beach, Thengapattinam Beach, and Hidden Twin Beach
How to reach: The nearest airport to reach Kanyakumari is the Trivandrum international airport and the domestic Tuticorin airport. Both of these airports are located at a distance of around 85 km. Kanyakumari has its railway station and the town is well connected by road.
Nicknamed Shangri-La, Kadmat beach is a splendid offbeat tourist destination. Kadmat Island in the Lakshadweep is a part of the Amindivi Subgroup of islands of the archipelago. The island is a marine protected area to safeguard the distinctive marine life in the region. However, tourists are free to take delight in the crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches.
Moreover, it is a splendid location for scuba diving, kayaking, and snorkeling. Deep sea fishing and the fact that you can cook your catch in the shacks adds more thrill to your stay on the beach. Visiting the beachside shops for souvenir shopping can be a good idea.
Winter is the best time to visit the island when the temperature drops below 20°C.
How to reach: Kochi is the nearest airport and shipyard to Lakshadweep islands. And in Lakshadweep, the airport is located at Agatti. From Agatti, tourists are transported to Kadmat in ferries, catamaran vessels, and speedboats.
Note: Even for Indians, an entry permit from the combatant authority is required to reach the island. For more details: https://lakshadweep.gov.in/how-to-reach/
The Union Territory town Pondicherry was a French colony once upon a time. The reminiscence fills the air and the site. The beach town has an ambiance so attractive and so unlike south Indian. Beach lovers bask in the glory of this lively location.
Besides the usual beach-related stuff, you can visit places like Pondicherry Museum, Park Monument, French War Memorial, Chunnambar Boathouse, and Pondicherry Botanical Garden. Apart from Pondicherry beach, there are Promenade beach, Auroville Beach, Mahe beach, Karaikal Beach, Veerampattinam Beach, Rock beach, and Serenity Beach not far from each other. Offbeat beaches galore!
Tourists stroll around the beaches enjoying local delicacies and seafood or engage in activities like surfing, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, motorboat riding boating, and fishing. The beaches are also known for beautiful seashells, golden sand, and deep blue waters.
The best time to visit Pondicherry is during winter.
How to reach: Chennai International Airport is the nearest airport located 135 km away. And the nearest railway station, Villupuram, is 35 km away. Pondicherry is best accessible by road.
Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu
A Historically, geographically, and mythologically prominent location in India. It is the southern tip of India. From here Sri Lanka is just 15 Nautical Miles away by the sea. The small town was completely rampaged by a cyclone in 1964. The dilapidated remnants still bear witness to it.
Today, the offbeat beach town is more famous as a tourist location. A splendid beach stretching kilometers to the tip is a visual treat. The word ‘Dhanushkode' literally means “tip of the bow”. It borders the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. The merging point of both these water bodies is called “Arichal Munai” which can be viewed at Dhanushkodi.
Unlike other beaches, most people visit Dhanushkodi for the sheer experience of being there.
Other attractions in the town include Adam's Bridge, Pamban Bridge, and ruins of a Church and Station, and there are 60 plus temples in the nearest town, Rameswaram.
Beware of the summer months. The location is notorious for its sultry climate and the beach is devoid of big trees to provide shade.
How to reach: The nearest railway station is 24 KM away and the nearest bus stand is 26 kilometers away at Rameswaram. Buses ply between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi. The nearest airport is far away at Madurai, nearly 200 kilometers away.
Have you been to the popular Kovalam Beach? Kovalam Beach is usually occupied by international tourists. Chowara beach situated in a quaint village is not very far away from Kovalam. Yet, it is less crowded and more pleasant for an offbeat beach experience.
Huge boulders, a long stretch of sand, and a green top over the beach make it an attractive offbeat location. At the same time, during high tides, the spot is dangerous to visit. There are no major entertainment activities associated with the beach.
Aazhimala Shiva Temple and Chowara church are adjacent to the beach. There are also several resorts among the crowded coconut trees overlooking the sea.
Winter is the best season to visit Chowara beach.
How to reach: Trivandrum International Airport is about 24 km away and about 20 km away is the nearest railway station. Roads connect the beach to all major towns and cities.
Butterfly Beach, Goa
Goa is one of the most-visited beach destinations in India. There is a constant flow of international tourists to this tiny state which has over 35 beautiful beaches.
Butterfly beach is one of those gorgeous offbeat beaches in Goa. Its unique location, surrounding greenery that attracts butterflies and the shape of the beach make it special and hence the name.
Interestingly, the beach cannot be accessed by road but involves a hike through the forest and hilly terrain. Else, the beach can be reached by boat from the nearby beaches. Lush green terrain on one side and a butterfly-shaped beach on the other side makes this secluded beach, a fabulous spot. It is little wonder that the beach is also known as Honeymoon Beach.
Rock climbing and hiking are the major activities here besides spending pacifying time playing in the waters or relaxing at the beach.
It is recommended to avoid the beach during monsoons.
How to reach: Goa has an airport and railway station in the state. And the state is well connected by a national highway. To reach Butterfly beach you need to sail by boat from Palolem or Agonda beaches.
Yarada Beach, Andhra Pradesh
Yarada Beach is situated on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal in Visakhapatnam. The lush green environs are a major attraction here. The vast expanse of coconut and banana plantations covering most of the beach gives a scenic view of the beach.
Clear waters and a clean beach make sure you have a pleasant stay at the beach. People come to relax, swim and enjoy the panoramic views of sunrise and sunset. Air Craft Museum, Dolphin's Nose, Rama Krishna Beach, Ross Hill Church, Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi Temple, and Tyda Park are worth visiting places in close vicinity.
The beach is frequented by travelers throughout the year. However, winter provides a pleasant atmosphere to be at the beach.
How to reach: Yarada Beach is 15 kilometers from Visakhapatnam city and is well connected by road. There are airports and railway stations available at Visakhapatnam.
The scorching heat and holiday season, both are contradictory yet occur in India between April to June. For children to remain shut inside their homes to evade the summer heat is a big challenge. It is the holiday season and children look for surprises and traveling. Umpteen number of offbeat beaches in south India create just the kind of ambiance children look for. Obviously, not just the kids, even those who have the kids within them alive can explore these offbeat beaches in south India.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers