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Discover five of India’s most spectacular beaches

Sep 11,2017 - Last updated at Sep 11,2017

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Over 7,500 kilometers of coastline means India is packed with seaside gems. There are shimmering, white-sand beaches that would give any in Thailand a run for their money. Surf-washed party towns spill into the Indian Ocean and hippy retreats for yogis and sunbathers are kissed by the Arabian Sea.

Perhaps one of these five top spots will be enough to tempt you to cross into the subcontinent for some beach bliss…

Palolem, Goa

Palolem is the beach of choice for many a traveller to India. With its rambunctious row of bamboo restaurants and bars, its rolling Indian Ocean surf, its swaying groves of coconut trees and prime location in the heart of South Goa, there's plenty to love. It's much quieter than the throbbing resort towns to the north, too, which means there's loads of scope for lazy days of sea kayaking, sunbathing and munching on tikka-infused, fresh fish curries.

Radhanagar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Heading out to the far-flung Andaman and Nicobar Islands deep in the Bay of Bengal might mean adding a couple of extra legs to your journey, and a tad more bureaucracy with travel permits, but just one glimpse of paradisiacal Radhanagar Beach is sure to make it all worth the effort.

Home to sand so white it glows like magnesium, and seas of a pearly turquoise-blue, it's that real tropical beauty you've been waiting for. You'll find it on Havelock Island, where elephants often stroll the shores and jungle-clad mountains rise and fall on the horizon.

Varkala, Kerala

The whitewashed waves of the Indian Ocean forever crash against the ochre-hued sands of Varkala. The cliffs stand tall, and the fishermen bob on the swells from morning to night.

One of the hippest hangouts in all of Kerala, this beachside resort is a real looker. It's walled in by high bluffs to the back, and has a smattering of relaxed beach bars with their own deckchairs along the shore.

Nearby, the river town of Paravur also has some more deserted sand stretches, not to mention access to the world-famous Keralan Backwaters.

Tarkarli, Maharashtra

Far away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, sun-kissed Tarkarli can reveal a totally different side to Maharashtra state. It runs for a whopping 8 kilometers up the edge of the Arabian Sea, shimmering with its light-yellow sands that are broken only by the presence of the occasional fishing hut or wood-carved canoe.

Aside from watching the local folk haul in their daily catch as the sun sets dramatically on the horizon, SCUBA diving in the kaleidoscopic coral reefs of the Malvan Marine Sanctuary should be top of the menu.

Gokarna, Karnataka

If you're after the same glowing yellow sands and stooping groves of coconut palms that Goa has, but don't want to deal with the booming seasonal crowds, untrodden Gokarna could just be the choice for you.

Arcing their way around the Indian Ocean coast, the sands here encircle a ramshackle temple town of mysterious Hindu stupas and incense-scented shrines. Yogis and meditators, surfers and sunbathers all share the shoreline, which is broken into a number of separate beachfronts: lively Gokarna Beach itself, powdery Kudle Beach, and rustic Om Beach with its bamboo shacks and boulders.


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