India as one of the largest peninsular countries enjoys the advantage of having vast stretches of some pristine beaches. Coastal states of Goa and Kerala have already established themselves as ‘must go to’ beach destinations across the world but the beaches in east India are also well worth exploring.
The French colony of Pondicherry is the perfect place to get a slice of history and beach time on relatively remote locations. Apart from traversing the cobble stone streets of this quaint town, head north for some quiet and beautiful beaches. A pleasant departure from shop lined beaches on the western coast, all you might get here is a lone shack, serving simple but tasty food and a few beverages. The Serenity beach is one of the most popular but with this increase in popularity it is also getting increasingly busier.
If you travel towards Chennai to the north from Pondicherry, there are small lanes on your right that lead up right to the sands. Finding a lone spot for yourself is easy! If you are looking for some comfort, the resorts on the coast have private beaches with all the luxury or for a more authentic experience of the place, stay at a homestay and hire a bike or cycle for the day and explore on your own. October to March is a great season to visit Pondicherry and soak in all the sun!
Another coastal destination which has not yet arrived on the radar for travellers is the state of Orissa. Close to the Bay of Bengal on the North Eastern side of India, Gopalpur is one of the popular beaches to visit. Clean white sand, palm lined stretches, water sport activities and street food are available on this beach.
Most people visit Orissa for the famous Jagannath Puri Temple. Once finished with the spiritual part of the journey, explore the beaches for some relaxation. Sailing and surfing under expert guidance can also be thrilling experiences.
Though they are rapidly losing lustre, the Chennai beaches Marina and Besant Nagar beach are also frequented by many visitors. Infact Marina beach has an admirable record of being the longest in Asia with a sandy stretch running for 13 kms although after the Tsunami hit the coast in 2004, part of the beach has unfortunately shrunk. Marina beach is considered a great social establishment by the local community. Visit early in the morning or evening to see it bustling with locals busy with various activities – a game of football, local snacks being served, people strolling, vendors selling handicrafts – all great photo opportunities! Take an early morning visit to the fishing village side and see how the catch comes in the wee hours of the morning!
For the more adventurous in nature try skirting the east coast of India, right from the bottom most point at Kanyakumari and heading north. The trip allow you to experience a part of India which is relatively unexplored by tourists. The local flavours will be strong, situations memorable and the beaches in east India beautiful.
If you would like to include plan a trip to include the beaches of east India contact our reservations team who will be happy to help you with your plans.
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.