Lesser Known Beach Towns in India that are Totally Worth a Visit This Winter
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India is the proud custodian of a 7500-kilometer long coastline marked by the cobalt blue waters and sun-kissed sand. Be it the party-beaches of Goa or the rocky shores of Karnataka, the coastal towns in India enchant every kind of traveler. The winter season (November to February) in India comes with many festivals and events and so, with holidays. And what could be better than spending these holidays at the beautiful coastal towns in India and catch some warmth? While places like Mumbai, Pondicherry, and Kanyakumari come in the list of popular beaches in India, there are some lesser-known coastal towns that are totally worth a visit this winter. Take a look at these less explored beach holiday destinations in India to have the best experience of the sea and sand!
Balachadi, Gujarat: the summer resort of Nawanagar rulers
If you don’t belong to Gujarat, you might hardly have heard of Balachadi! So, when it is about spending winters in the lesser known coastal towns in India, Balachadi can be the best choice. Balachadi can be found just 25 kilometers east of Jamnagar, Gujarat. The town that hides behind the popularity of Surat, Vadodara, and Ahmedabad was the summer resort Nawanagar rulers and also had a history associated to the Polish and Soviet camps. Besides, it also houses some beautiful ancient temples.
What to see: Baleshvar Temple, Balachadi Beach, Sainik School
Best for: Families, luxury travelers, history buffs
Nargol, Gujarat: one of the most secluded beaches to spend winter
Nargol is one of the unexplored beaches in India where you can feel the warmth of the sun at its best by spending your winters at one of the cottages. Lined with swaying palms and a long stretch of golden sand, Nargol is truly a beach heaven. You can reach here from Surat and Vadodara quite easily, and even from Mumbai since it is located on the border of Maharashtra. The town is home to a large number of Parsi people.
What to see: Nargol Beach, Agiary Temple, Swaminarayan Temple, Friday Market
Best for: Families, religious trip, shopping
Valsad, Gujarat: the land of banyan trees
Also called Bulsar, Valsad is a historic coastal town in Gujarat. Before the British came to India, Valsad was a part of the regional kingdom. The name Valsad means banyan trees in Gujarati language and this also indicates that the town has a plethora of banyan trees around. You would wonder to know that this humble town has been a home to the Bollywood actresses like Nirupa Roy and Bindu. Remember! Do taste Valsad’s Dabeli to make the best of your winter vacation.
What to see: Tithal Beach, Swaminarayan Temple, historic prison
Best for: Culinary and historical tours
Dapoli, Maharashtra: A coastal town with glorious past
Also known as Camp Dapoli (due to the fact that the British had their camps here), this coastal town of India is located in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Home to a large number of coconut farms, Dapoli enjoys its low-key status. You will find the graves of many high-rank British officers in the town. The rivers Bharja and Vashishthi flow through the town making the surroundings even more beautiful. And you know what? If you catch a big fish in Dapoli, the locals will make you a delicious dish out of it for free! The temperate climate of Dapoli makes it one of the best places to visit in winter in Maharashtra.
What to see: Karde Beach, Ladghar Beach, Old abandoned church from the British era, Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth (one of the biggest agricultural universities in India), and the British High School
Best for: Families, History Buffs
Velas, Maharashtra: an abode to the sea turtles
Famous as the birthplace of Nana Phadnis, a historical figure in India who was the secretary in Peshwai in Pune, Velas is one of the best coastal places of India and another beautiful gem that falls in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Velas is best known for its Turtle Festival where thousands of small and big Olive Ridley sea turtles visit its beaches and lay their eggs. You can best enjoy the place by staying at one of the traditional cottages located near the Velas Beach. The Konkani cuisine of Velas is also a must try during your winter vacation.
What to see: Bankot Fort, Harihareshwar Temple, a large number of prey birds, and of course, the turtles
Best for: Nature enthusiasts, animal lovers
Guhagar, Maharashtra: home to the Alphonso
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One of the most picturesque coastal cities in India, Guhagar has many reasons to spend your winter holidays here, two of the best known being its Alphonso mangoes and its virgin beaches. Other things that require a mention are Guhagar’s betel nuts and coconuts. Although Guhagar has been featured in some Marathi films, it is still one of the coastal areas in India that people know a little about. Guhagar is the local language means a “cave house” and the town has got this name after the cave-like temples built by the Pandavas in the region.
What to see: Guhagar Beach, Durga Devi Temple, Vyadeshwar Temple
Best for: Families, people on spiritual trips and culinary tours
Bordi, Maharashtra: a region of chikoos
Located in Palghar District of Maharashtra, Bordi is one of the best beach towns of India that are perfect for an offbeat winter vacation. The Bordi Beach covers an area of 17 kilometers. Although it is easily reachable from Mumbai, it skips the glance of the tourists who are busy exploring the beaches of Alibaug and Juhu. While beaches in India are synonymous with coconut, Bordi beach offers you delicious ‘chikoos’. The local specialties like Pooran Poli and Shrikhand are must-try too!
What to see: Dahanu Bordi Beach, temples
Best for: Couples, food-lovers
Agonda, Goa: an escape from the Goan crowd
When it comes to the best beaches in India, Goa is the first name that pops up. Candolim, Ashwem, Calangute- every beach in Goa is different from the other, making Goa an ideal beach destination. But Agonda is a place that will take you away from those crazy party animals. Located in South Goa, Agonda is one of the coastal protected areas in India that are known as turtle nesting sites. Agonda is a great place for water sports activities while it is also popular for its relaxed atmosphere.
What to see: Cola beach, Agonda Beach, Butterfly Beach, Yoga Centers
Best for: Nature enthusiasts, swimmers, boat rides, parasailing
Kasarkod, Karnataka: best for a tranquil sunset
Nestled in the Uttar Kannada District of Karnataka, Kasarkod is one of the most tranquil beach towns in south India. Kasarod comes in Honavar taluk and is best known for its beautiful waterfront parks and beaches. If you want to enjoy the tranquility of a beach during sunset, Kasarod is where you should head to. You will find a well-maintained pathway along the beach to take a leisurely stroll. Birdwatching is one of the famous activities in Kasarod. The town has many casuarina plantations.
What to see: Eco Beach and Park, Sunset Point
Best for: Kids, wildlife enthusiasts
Kumta, Karnataka: a tropical getaway for winter holidays
Offering breathtaking views of the Arabian waters, Kumta is one of the best beach towns in India that are known for picturesque sunsets. Just 30 kilometers from Kumta is the town of Gokarna which is quite popular among the tourists for its beaches. On the other hand, this Karnataka town has Yana, a village that attracts plenty of adrenaline-seekers for rock climbing. Although Kumta is a less explored coastal town, reaching it is not a herculean task. It is well connected to the major cities of the west and south India by the Konkan Railway.
What to see: Kumta Beach, Yana Rock Climbing, Dhareshwar Beach, Gokarna Beach, Mirjan Fort
Best for: Adventurers, Solo Travelers, Photographers
Kundapura, Karnataka: the coastal abode of Lord Kundeshwara
Also known as Kundapur, the coastal town of Kundapura is a precious gem in Karnataka. The town has a lot of religious significance and is known for its perfect location as it is surrounded by waters of Panchagangavali, Kalaghar rivers and the Arabian Sea from three sides. The name of the town comes from the ancient temple of Lord Kundeshwara it houses. The town is only 38 kilometers from Udupi, which is another famous destination for the beach lovers. The spectacular beaches of Kundapura are perfect to spend the wintery days.
What to see: Kodi Beach, Sri Kundeshwara Temple, Pete Venkateshwara Temple, Uppinakudru, Basrur
Best for: History buffs, devotees, Surfers
Poovar, Kerala: romantic time on the backwaters
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Are you getting married this winter? Then Poovar can be the place where you can escape the crowd and spend a romantic vacation with your significant other. Home to one of the best beaches in India for the honeymoon, Poovar lies at the southern tip of Thiruvananthapuram. Poovar has a long trading history as it used to be the trading spot for sandalwood, ivory, timber and other products. Some people also identify Poovar as the place for the early Muslim settlements in India. The pleasant pictures of nature that Poovar creates after monsoon make it a great place to be during winters in India.
What to see: Poovar beach, Arjuna Backwaters, Golden Sand Beach, beach cottages
Best for: Couples, nature enthusiasts
Kakkathuruthu, Kerala: the island of crows
Kakkathuruthu is a tiny island town adorning Kerala’s coast with its breathtaking landscapes and rustic beauty. Kakkathuruthu is, indeed, one of the most photogenic places in Kerala and recently has been mentioned in the National Geographic magazine as one of the stunning destinations. The town looks marvelous at the time of dawn when the fishermen start the day on their boats. Boating to the island of Kakkathuruthu itself is an unforgettable experience. If you like to watch different kinds of birds flying over the skies, the Vembanad Lake of Kakkathuruthu has enough opportunities for you.
What to see: Sunrise and sunset, coconut fields, canoe boats on Vembanad Lake
Best for: Couples, Families, Photographers, Birdwatchers
Varkala, Kerala: where all the sins are washed away
Located to the north end of Trivandrum, Varkala is another peaceful hamlet in Kerala. Surrounded by the waters of the Arabian, Varkala is known for its palm-fringed cliffs and the ancient temple of Janardhana Swamy. The Varkala Beach is also known as the Papanasham Beach as the locals believe that the holy waters of the sea wash away all the sins here. The Janardan Swamy Temple of Varkala is considered to be 2018 years old and also referred to as Dakshin Kashi. Varkala is also a significant place for Kerala’s geology as the sedimentary rocks dating back to the Cenozoic age are found in this region. You can also get an Ayurvedic treatment for any kind of skin ailment near the Varkala cliffs.
What to see: Papanasam Beach, Janardan Swamy Temple, Sivagiri Mutt, Ayurvedic centers
Best for: Sightseers, swimmers, photographers, religious tours
Puhar, Tamil Nadu: the lost city of Cholas
When we talk about the coastal areas in Indian states, the places of Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Thanjavur, and Kanchipuram comes first into the picture. Besides being home to the mind-boggling beaches, the coastal towns of Tamil Nadu are also known for their cultural heritage. Puhar is one of such places where you can discover a lot about Tamil Nadu’s 4000 years old history and the heritage left by the Chola kingdom. Puhar, also known as Kaveripoompattinam, was the capital of Chola empire. This ancient port city comes in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Puhar has also started a new chapter in the archaeological studies of the Indian coast. Many underwater ruins have been found at the beaches of Puhar. So, if you want to do something insightful on your winter holidays, Puhar is the perfect place to be.
What to see: Poompuhar Beach, Silappathikara Art Gallery, Masilamani Nathar Koil, ancient ruins
Best for: Archaeologists, students, art lovers, history buffs
Thiruchendur, Tamil Nadu: the realm of cashews
Famous for its Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, the panchayat town of Thiruchendur in Tamil Nadu is another coastal town where the beauty of sunrise can be best captured. Nestled on the southern tip of India, Thiruchendur is well-connected to the cities like like Madurai, Tuticorin, and Tirunelveli. Also famous for its cashew plantations, the town gets flooded with people during its 12-day annual festivals called Aavani Peru thirunaal and Maasi peru thirunaal in the month of Maasi that usually comes between February and March. You will find a smaller number of people here in winter making it the best time to visit Thiruchendur.
What to see: Thiruchendur Temple, Tiruchendur beach, cashew plantations, festivals and rituals
Best for: Cultural tours, photographers, families
Mandapam, Tamil Nadu: a gateway to southern islands
Do you want your winter vacation to be a low-key affair? Then Mandapam is the place where you should be. Located beside the famous Pamban Bridge and Vehicular Bridge, Mandapam is a pretty little town of Tamil Nadu away from all the hustle of city life. The town is located in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. The beach of Mandapam also serves as a gateway to other small islands that lie around the coast of Tamil Nadu. Watching the fishermen sailing their boats and exploring the natural coral reef are the things you will surely enjoy.
What to see: Mandapam beach, Pamban bridge, amusement park
Best for: Families, divers, kids
Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu: the abandoned town
Dhanushkodi, with its pristine coast and the status of being an “abandoned town”, has one of the beaches in India with blue water. Dhanushkodi is nestled to the south-east of Pamban bridge. This unique town is only 29 kilometers from Sri Lanka. The town was destroyed by the cyclone of 1964 and today, you can only see the remains of the old town including the Dhanushkodi Railway Station, church, temples, school, and houses. The remote location of this “ghost town” provides an eerie feeling to the visitors. Although Dhanushkodi shares a tragic story of its past, what makes the town unique is it being the meeting point of the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal.
What to see: Ruins of the church, temples, and Old Dhanushkodi Railway Station, Dhanushkodi Beach, Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
Best for: Explorers, Adventurers, Youngsters
Bheemunipatnam, Andhra Pradesh: the mythological town
Also known as Bheemili, Bheemunipatnam is one of the most scenic spots in Andhra Pradesh. This beautiful coastal town in South India has been a Buddhist pilgrimage site as many Buddhist relics were found here during the excavation. Another famous attraction in Bheemunipatnam is the Narasimha Temple that was built by the Mindi kings in the 14th century. The stunning coastline of Bheemili is adorned with many mythological sculptures and a big Buddha statue. The town takes its name from the Mahabharata character Bhima.
What to see: Bhimili Narasimha Swamy Temple, Dutch settlements, Buddha Statue, Clock Tower
Best for: Historical and religious tours, photographers
Mypadu, Andhra Pradesh: a weekend getaway from Chennai
Located in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh, Mypadu is the village from where you can capture gorgeous views of the Bay of Bengal. You will find Mypadu at a distance of 25 kilometers from central Nellore. Mypadu is one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai, especially to those who want to avoid the crowd in Pondicherry and Rameshwaram. Mypadu also houses a number of temples. If you are willing to explore the rural side of Andhra Pradesh, Mypadu is an ideal place to be.
What to see: Kandaleru Dam, Penchalakona Temple, Venkatagiri Fort, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Best for: A relaxed holiday, rural atmosphere
Manginapudi, Andhra Pradesh: the black soil beach
Another peaceful beach town in Andhra Pradesh is Manginapudi which is located in the Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh and is 11 kilometers from Machilipatnam. The Manginapudi beach provides breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal coast. This lesser known beach was once a gateway to India for the foreign traders. One of the unique things about the beach is that it has black soil in place of golden sand that is usually found at most of the Indian beaches. Manginapudi is one of the best coastal towns in India to enjoy solitude.
What to see: Kuchipudi dance performances, Dattashram temple, Manginapudi Ramalayam temple, Undavalli Caves
Best for: Couples, Explorers
Chandipur, Odisha: finding the horseshoe crabs
Also called Chandipur-on-sea, the resort town of Chandipur is one of the idyllic places to visit in India in December with family. Chandipur is located in Baleshwar district of Odisha. What makes the Chandipur beach so unique is its water that decreases to 5 kilometers because of the ebb tide. Chandipur is also known for a rich biodiversity and as an abode to a large number of horseshoe crabs. Close to the Chandipur Beach is a fishing market which is another point of attraction. From November to March is the best time to visit Chandipur, you can plan your winter vacations here.
What to see: Sunset at Chandipur beach, Wheeler Island, fishing market
Best for: Families, Fishing, Culinary tours
Paradip, Odisha: the seaport town
Paradip or Paradeep is located in the Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha and is one of the major seaport towns. Paradip has a glorious past and was used as a transportation hub for sending the food material and other commodities to Cuttack and nearby cities. While Paradip is most popular for its port and beaches, you will also find numerous beaches in the town. Since Paradip is the meeting point of the Mahanadi River and the Bay of Bengal, it creates some beautiful wooded areas and islets around.
What to see: Paradip Port, Jhankad Temple, Baladeva Temple, Bhitarkanika National Park, Marine Aquarium
Best for: Families, wildlife explorers, people interested in maritime history
Mandarmani, West Bengal: the crawling space for red crabs
Mandarmani is one of the fastest growing resort villages in West Bengal and is located to the east of Midnapore District. Due to the humid subtropical climate of West Bengal region, Mandarmani is a great place to spend winters in. Sprawling over an area of 13 kilometers, the beach area of Mandarmani is famous for its red crabs. People also consider Mandarmani as the longest driveable Indian beach. If you are an avid photographer, you would love to capture the sunrise from Mandarmani Beach. Besides, it is also a perfect spot for adventurers and bikers. Another specialty of the town is its handicraft market.
What to see: Mandarmani beach, Red Crabs, handicraft markets
Best for: Water Skiers, Photographers, Adventure seekers
Wandoor, Andaman: colorful corals in azure blue waters
Wandoor is located 25 kilometers east of Port Blair. The beaches of Wandoor are still unaffected by the human affairs and therefore, provide a vast landscape full of azure blue waters. Wandoor is also famous as a gateway to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, a place known for its rich coral reef and sea turtles. You can take a boat to Jolly Buoy, an island inside the national park where you can explore the colorful corals. The scenic beauty of Wandoor in winter months will enchant you forever.
What to see: Wandoor Beach, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Best for: Snorkelers, swimmers, nature enthusiasts, couples
You might have visited many beach towns in India and must have enjoyed playing with the ocean waves, but when it’s completely a unique experience to unravel the mysteries of these unexplored and lesser-known coastal towns of India that are so far from the hullabaloo of popular tourist destinations. Get say goodbye to the winter blues and get ready to enjoy the tranquility of these scarcely traveled places!