May 2019 - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Iruttu Kadai Halwa: Icon of Tirunelveli

Iconic Iruttu Kadai Halwa shop of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu

Tirunelveli and Halwa go hand in hand. The dessert called Halwa is so famous here that people fondly refer to it as Tirunelveli Halwa. Such is its celebrity status that if you happen to visit this riverside city, people expect you to return with the iconic Tirunelveli Halwa. And if you don’t, they get mightily mad at you.

The question in everyone’s head is, what is so special about this Halwa and where do you find it? Some say, it is because of the sweet waters of the Thamarabharani river. Some say it is because of secret ingredients in the halwa making recipe. Whatever the reason may be, there is no doubting the legendary taste of this dark red wheat halwa that literally melts in the mouth.

Immensely popular with both locals and visitors, the best place to buy this iconic Halwa is the Iruttu Kadai (which literally means dark shop as the shop used to operate in the dark during its early days) that is located right front of the main entrance of the 7th century Nellaiappar temple, the original icon of Tirunelveli. This Iruttu Kadai Halwa shop opens every evening at around 5 to 5:30 pm and remains open till stocks last, which is usually not more than a couple of hours. People stand in line for the lip smacking halwa a few hours in advance and traffic cops are placed in front of the shop just to regulate the flow of people and traffic. That is how popular this place is.

If you end up loving this halwa like I do, do thank the ancient Halwayis of Rajasthan who brought their culinary skills and recipe to Tirunelveli district sometime in the 19th century under the instructions of a zamindar (landlord) of Chokkampatti, a nearby village.

And while you are in this part of Tirunelveli for your dose of Halwa, do pay a visit to the gorgeous Nellaiappar temple, shop at the famous clothing stores of Rmkv and Pothys and lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of this vibrant traditional market of Tirunelveli town.

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Friday, May 24, 2019

12 Top Motorcycling Routes in the Western Himalayas for the Die Hard Adventure Enthusiast

The best motorcycle rides in the Western Himalayas

Summers can be sweltering and sultry in the plains and coastline of India, but this same season signals a vibrant change in life in the Himalayas. The melting snow, the increasing temperatures and the bright sunshine gives the entire mountainous region a makeover. Greys, whites and browns are replaced by lush green and vivid colours. The bottom half of the landscape is made up of gurgling snow fed streams and rivers, a sea of greenery interspersed with colourful flowers and a rich array of active bird and animal life. And the upper half of this landscape is dominated by the mighty mountains and their snow capped peaks. Add to this rarefied air, a pleasant nip, longer days, clean blue skies and bright sunshine and you have a heady concoction.

Motorcycling in the high mountains of Spiti

With the high mountain roads in the Western Himalayas being re-opened, this exhilarating experience now becomes accessible to all of us. Motorcycling enthusiasts, cyclists and road trippers…be ready as the time has come to act on your travel bucket-list for the mountains and to conquer some of the highest mountain roads in the world.

Iconic Signboards of Ladakh

Here is a list of the 12 best motorcycling routes in the Western Himalayas. These routes are high on adventure, spectacular when it comes to panorama and absolutely surreal when it comes to overall experience. While some of these take you to the highest villages, polling stations and post offices of India, the others take you to cold deserts, gorgeous high altitude lakes, stunning high mountain passes, India’s highest astronomical observatory, serene monasteries and temples and last, but not the least, some of the highest motorable roads in the world.

Some words of wisdom before you embark on this adventurous journey:

1) Do plan for proper acclimatization or be ready for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

2) Dare devilry is a one way track to hell in the mountains. Remember that and plan your trips accordingly

3) Mountain weather is very unpredictable. Be prepared for snow or very cold weather at all times

4) Certain high mountain passes can get blocked at times due to inclement weather. Do ensure your trip itinerary has enough buffer

5) Some areas are perilously close to our international borders. Hence, you might require inner line permits and there can be periodic checks

1) Leh –> Khardung La –> Nubra Valley –> Turtuk

Riding to the top of the world...

This is possibly the mecca for all motorcycling aficionados. At 17,582 feet above MSL, Khardung La, which is about 45 kilometres from Leh, is one of the highest motorable roads in the world. A steep ascent from Leh takes you to this high mountain pass and on the other side of it exists Nubra valley, one of the popular Ladakh tour places and that is famous for its double humped bactrian camels and scenic views of the Shyok river. A little beyond Nubra valley is the very remote village of Turtuk that shares more similarities with Central Asia than South Asia.

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Approximate number of days: 3 days (one way)

Accessible months: Usually open throughout the year unless there is heavy snowfall at Khardung La

Nearest airport: Leh, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir)

2) Leh –> Chang La –> Tangtse –> Phobrang –> Marsimik La –> Pangong Tso

The frozen road of Chang La

You might be mistaken if you think Khardung La is the highest motorable road in India. There is a slightly offbeat mountain pass called Marsimik La or Marsimek La that is even higher than it. At 18,384 feet, it is higher than Khardung La and hence owns the title of the highest motorable road in India. But, the road here is not in as good a shape as the one at Khardung La and hence only experienced motorcyclists should attempt to scale this pass. This route takes you through lovely Ladakhi countryside, beautiful mountain passes and authentic villages before arriving at the iconic Pangong Tso lake.

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Approximate number of days: 3 days (one way)

Accessible months: May to July

Nearest airport: Leh, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir)

3) Keylong –> Gramphoo –> Batal –> Kunzum La

Chandra Taal Lake - Paradise in the Himalayas

This has to be one of Western Himalayas’ most treacherous routes. It is made up of boulders, stones, pebbles and gushing mountain streams. This route tests the true grit and mettle of the motorcycle and its rider. Connecting the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh with Spiti, this route takes you to the absolutely stunning Chandra Taal lake and the heady Kunzum pass, before descending into the villages of Spiti.

Level of difficulty: Difficult (the roads are really poor) with many boulders and water streams

Approximate number of days: 4 days (one way)

Accessible months: March to December

Nearest airport: Kullu (Himachal Pradesh)

4) Leh –> Upshi –> Chumathang –> Hanle –> Tso Moriri –> Tso Kar

The Army road that leads to Hanle in the Changthang Cold Desert

For most of this route, the mighty Indus river flows next to you and that too in the middle of the Changthang cold desert, where horses, Ladakhi kiangs, nomadic tribes and spectacular mountains keep you company. Apart from spectacular views, this ladakh road trip offers you the chance to visit the second highest astronomical observatory in the world at Hanle, a rich wetland in Tso Moriri and a lovely salt lake in Tso Kar.

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Approximate number of days: 3 days (one way)

Accessible months: All year round unless there is heavy snowfall on the high mountain passes

Nearest airport: Leh, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir)

5) Manali –> Rohtang La –> Tandi –> Barlacha La –> Sarchu –> Tanglang La –> Leh

The Himalayan roads and the bridges - a world apart

When someone talks of a Ladakh bike trip, this is what they would referring to in all probability. One of the most iconic motorcycle trips in the world, this adventure packed route takes you through some of the highest mountain passes in the world, sensational valleys, beautiful landscapes and roaring mountain rivers. If you are a motorcycle lover, this route definitely has to be on your bucket list.

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Approximate number of days: 3 days (one way)

Accessible months: May to July

Nearest airport: Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) or Leh, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) depending on which way you opt for this route

6) Kaza –> Ki –> Kibber –> Tashigong –> Thinam

Picturesque Himalayas and the Spiti Valley as seen from Ki Monastery

Home to the world’s highest polling station at Tashigang and colorful gompas in harmonious surroundings, this route in Spiti valley takes you to some of the highest villages in the world. Rapidly ascending roads, steep curves and hairpin bends and heavenly vistas greet you here. I would go here to stay in these high villages and to meditate in its tranquil monasteries.

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Approximate number of days: 2 days (one way)

Accessible months: April to December

Nearest airport: Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) or Chandigarh

7) Kaza –> Langza –> Hikkim –> Komic –> Dhemul –> Chorden

Extremely scenic mountain village of Langza in Spiti, Western Himalayas

While the previous route takes you to high mountain villages, this route takes you even higher. India’s highest post office at Hikkim, India’s highest village in Komic and an absolutely gorgeous village located at the base of mighty snow capped mountains in Langza are some of the treats of this route. The roads can be bad to worse, but the panoramas will more than make up for it.

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Approximate number of days: 3 days (one way)

Accessible months: April to December

Nearest airport: Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) or Chandigarh

8) Kaza –> Dhankar –> Mud –> Pin Valley

You can do nothing but admire nature's bounty at Dhankar, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh

This has to one of Spiti valley’s prettiest routes. Connecting Pin valley national park with the main Spiti highway, this route is full of pristine river views, cute villages and lush nature. At Dhankar, this route also offers one of the best river confluence views in the Himalayas where the pin and the spiti rivers meet. Trekking enthusiasts will love this route as it allows them to indulge in the high altitude Dhankar lake and the various treks leading towards Pin Parbati peak and the Great Himalayan National Park.

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Approximate number of days: 2 days (one way)

Accessible months: April to December

Nearest airport: Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) or Chandigarh

9) Leh – Alchi – Lamayuru - Kargil – Zozi La – Sonmarg

The butt-breaker Zozila pass

The notorious Zozi La can be found on this bike trip to Ladakh. Running perilously close to the Pakistan border, a lot of military action can be seen on this route. It is home to two tranquil monasteries in Lamayuru and Alchi, it has the gorgeous confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus rivers, it has the unique magnetic hill and stunning valleys. While the roads till Kargil are good, do expect some back breaking conditions after that, especially as you near Zozi La pass.

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Approximate number of days: 2 days (one way)

Accessible months: April to December unless there is heavy snowfall on the high mountain passes

Nearest airport: Leh (Jammu and Kashmir) or Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir)

10) Shimla – Sarahan – Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa

This is apple terrain. Sarahan and Sangla are famous for their apples. Chitkul is considered the last village on the Hindustan – Tibet highway. And Kalpa is home to the Kinnaur Kailash mountain view. Located in the Sutlej and the Baspa river valleys, these villages offer everything from pretty riverside to ripe apple orchards and from lovely mountain vistas to a pretty mountain holiday.

Level of difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Approximate number of days for return journey: 3 days (one way)

Accessible months: All year around unless the roads are blocked due to heavy snowfall or landslides

Nearest airport: Chandigarh

11) Leh – Padum

Scenic Zanskar river - beginning to freeze - once completely frozen, the famous Chadar trek on the river begins

Recently opened, this route takes you to the heart of Zanskar valley, one of the remotest regions in Ladakh and certainly a new addition to a leh ladakh bike trip plan. This route will be cold, as offbeat as possible and will offer you some of the best views of the Zanskar river, the one that freezes to become a ‘chadar’ or carpet in the winter months.

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Approximate number of days: 2 days (one way)

Accessible months: May to July

Nearest airport: Leh, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir)

12) Leh – Chemrey – Chang La – Pangong Tso

Capturing the Pangong Tso beauty in his lens

From lush Indus valley to mustard fields to high mountain passes and a massive salt water body, this charming route takes you through some of the most diverse landscapes of Ladakh. The offbeat Chemrey monastery, the beautiful Chang La pass, the quiet Tangtze village and the absolutely jaw dropping high altitude Pangong tso lake are its main highlights. Camping by the lake and watching the starlit Himalayan night sky is an experience to die for.

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Approximate number of days: 2 days (one way)

Accessible months: All year round unless the roads are closed due to heavy snowfall

Nearest airport: Leh, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir)

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Rani Ki Vav: Queen of all Stepwells in India

Every inch of Rani Ki Vav Stepwell has something to show or tell

It is an ancient water storage system. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. And it features on the back of the new one hundred (100) rupee currency note. But what makes this 11th century stepwell so unique are its intricate carvings, sculptures and visual depictions that have stood the test of time.

Above video: The above video is a walkthrough of this magnificent stepwell. Watch in full HD or 4K mode for best quality.

An Apsara and her jewels - fashion in the 11th century

An engineering and creative feat, Rani Ki Vav was built as a memorial to 11th century king Bhimdev Solanki by his wife queen Udayamati. Spanning seven levels, Rani Ki Vav looks like a deep well from the top and from the front, it looks like a wide multi-storied temple complex with a maze of steps, sculptures and pillars.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Rani ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat

Stepwells are an ancient form of subterranean water resource and storage system. It was created to help people find water in some of the driest regions of the country. But, Patan’s Rani Ki Vav, takes the stepwell concept to another level. It made this daily chore of carrying water an entertaining and informative one through its rich sculptures and carvings that tell many stories from Hindu mythology. And all this entertainment and learning takes place when people used to take breaks while climbing these 7 storeys with loads of water in hand.

The ornate pillars inside Rani ki vav, Patan, Gujarat

In simple words, the people living here got access to water (stepwells), got protection from the sun (sheltered rooms inside the stepwell) and visual entertainment and learning (through the sculptures and carvings).

World Heritage Site of Rani Ki Vav on the back of our 100 rupee currency note

This amazing stepwell, built using Maru-Gurjara architecture as an inverted temple, is a sight to behold in the 21st century and I am assuming that it was way more special when it was built in the 11th century during the rule of the Chalukyan dynasty.

The mesmerizing carvings of Rani Ki Vav - Entertainment for those who came to fill water in the 11th century

But, there was a period of time when this magnificent piece of architecture was hidden from the world after a massive flood in the nearby Saraswati river buried this entire stepwell in silt. It wasn’t discovered till the late 1980s, but this stepwell rose out of the all the silt while retaining all of its pristine glory. A few earthquakes have weakened the lower levels, but in spite of all these testing elements, Rani Ki Vav stands magnificent in all its grandeur.

Ganesha and his consort along with other sculptures at Rani ki vav, Patan, Gujarat

Rani Ki Vav’s highlights are its 800 plus sculptures across the seven galleries. It’s side walls are the most ornate, but if you look closely, you can experience impressive visual stories almost everywhere. The sculpting gets richer as you descend into the stepwell and at the bottom, you feel like you are inside a surreal sculpted world.

Balram Avatar of Lord Vishnu with Apsaras - Rani Ki Vav, Patan

The famous sculptures are:

1) The Ananta Sayana Vishu (Reclining Vishnu) that you can see at the far end of the stepwell at each of the lower levels with the Shesh Nag protecting him

2) The 10 avatars of Vishnu – Vaman, Varaha, Koorma, Narasimha, Krishna, Rama, Buddha, Balram, Kalki and the others

The beautiful Rani ki Vav stepwell of Patan, Gujarat

3) The Vish Kanyas who depict sexuality and poise

4) The apsaras who depict fashion, grace and sexuality (do pay note to all the make up elements of that era)

Gorgeous interiors  of Rani Ki Vav, Patan

5) Tridev (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) with their consorts

6) Mahisasura Mardini slaying the demon

Rani Ki Vav - Magnificent heritage of Gujarat

7) The demon who was cursed to lift the weight of the world

8) An ancient game played by the artisans who built Rani Ki Vav (Can be seen on the floor on one of the levels)

Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu - Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat, India

9) Ganesha and his consort

10) Stories of Lord Shiva

11) Brahmins and Sadhus

Vaman Avatar of Lord Vishnu - Rani Ki Vav, Patan

Rani Ki Vav is certainly an astounding place. One visit can simply overwhelm you, which is why I went there thrice. Once, to get a feel of the place. The second time with an authorized tourist guide to understand the history in depth and the third was to indulge in some photography.

Kalki Avatar - Rani Ki Vav, Patan

During each visit, I seemed to discover more of the place. I seemed to see newer motifs, designs and sculptures. Most of you might not be able to visit many times. So, even if you manage to visit only once, do ensure that you opt for a proper tourist guide and plan to stay here for at least 2 to 3 hours.

Mahisasura Mardini - Rani Ki Vav, Patan

In addition to Rani Ki Vav, you can visit the nearby Sahastralinga Talav, which is an ancient structure that was used to store water and was kept for irrigation. If you cross the Talav, you will come to the dry bed of the Saraswati river, the river that was once full of water in the 11th century and that changed course somewhere around the 13th century AD.

Lord Viishnu and Apsaras on the walls of Rani ki vav stepwell, Patan, Gujarat

Unlike the dusty Patan town, Rani Ki Vav and the neighbouring Sahastralinga Talav are clean, green and full of trees and birds, thus making you feel that you are in the lap of nature. Hence, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of locals picnicking here during weekends, festivals and holidays.

An ancient game played by the workers who built Rani Ki Vav, Patan

Rani Ki Vav and Patan were once the jewel of the Solanki dynasty. Patan was its capital. Trade and business used to thrive. And creativity was at its very best. Even the famous Patola sarees come from here. Unfortunately today, this town is a shadow of its glorious past.

Designs and Sculptures galore at Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat

Even though it is just 3 hours from the capital city of Ahmedabad, no one prefers to visit this offbeat side of Gujarat and instead head straight to Rann of Kutch, Gir National Park or Dwarka. But, this offbeat trail is full of hidden gems! The Modhera Sun Temple, the heritage town of Siddhpur and Rani Ki Vav are places that one have to experience. There are countless other small gems in this region.

An Apsara applying lipstick  in the 11th century - Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat

I would certainly recommend exploring this part of offbeat Gujarat. The queen of all stepwells in India, Rani Ki Vav, will blow your mind! Go on and experience it for yourself on your next holiday to Gujarat.

Pillar carvings - Rani ki vav, Patan

Rani Ki Vav Entrance Fees:

Indian Nationals: INR 35

Foreign Nationals: INR 550

Tourist Guide Fees: Roughly INR 400 per hour (price is usually negotiable). Remember to check for official ID card.

The demon who was cursed to lift the weight of the world - Rani ki Vav, Patan

Rani Ki Vav Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM

Carvings and sculpting on every inch of Rani Ki Vav Stepwell, Gujarat

Handy Tips for Rani Ki Vav:

1) Carry an umbrella, sunglasses, sunscreen or hat to protect you from the strong sun. There are hardly an trees around offering you shade

2) Carry a jacket in case you are visiting during the winter months

3) Do wear good shoes as you will have to climb up and down a lot of steps

4) Hold young kids at all times as the bottom level is cordoned off and quite risky for them

Visual stories seen from every single nook and corner of Rani Ki Vav Stepwell, Patan, Gujarat

How to reach Patan:

By air: Ahmedabad would be your nearest domestic and international airport. From here, you can reach Patan either by rail or road.

By rail: Many long distance trains connect to Mahesana, which is an hour from Patan. You could either opt to take an auto, cab or bus from here or opt for the less frequent passenger train from Mahesana to Patan (this train is locally referred to as DEMU)

By road: Patan is about 140 kms from Ahmedabad. On a good day, it should take you somewhere between 2 to 3 hours if you are using your own mode of transportation. If you opt for public buses, it can take you close to 4 hours.

Rani Ki Vav, a magical place in Gujarat

Best season to visit Patan:

September to February would be the best months to visit Patan and Rani Ki Vav as it is during these months that the temperatures are pleasant. This would also be the time when this town gets the most visitors.

This is what is portrayed in the new 100 rupee currency note - Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat

Best time to visit Rani Ki Vav:

As Rani Ki Vav is many levels under the ground, natural light doesn’t reach in at all times. If photography is on your agenda, you should plan to visit between 11 am and 2 pm to get maximum light. An hour before or after is also fine, but one side of the stepwell might have shadows while the other is well lit.

Top view of Rani Ki Vav Stepwell, Patan, Gujarat

Other tourist attractions in Patan:

1) Patan Patola museum where the 900 year old art of weaving Patola sarees still exists

2) Ancient paper carving of the Jadiya family

3) Sahastralinga Talav

4) Sunset at Maya Tekri

The queen of stepwells, Rani ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat

Nearby tourist attractions of Gujarat:

1) The 12th century Sun temple of Modhera, about 45 to 60 minutes away

2) The heritage town of Siddhpur, about 45 to 60 minutes away

3) The UNESCO world heritage city of Ahmedabad, about 3 hours away

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

10 Mesmerizing Beaches of India

Emerald waters and silver sands...a mind blowing combination at Kadmat Island, India

When you are traveling to India for a summer holiday, the first beach destination that comes to mind is Goa. Goa is unarguably beautiful but not many of us know that India is full of captivating beaches scattered along its long coastline and offshore islands. They offer different experiences from family-oriented atmosphere to party filled coves. Here are some of the most mesmerizing beach destinations in India to help you plan your summer getaway.

1) Kadmat Beach, Lakshadweep Islands

A colorful setting on the Kadmat Lagoon

If you are looking forward to a relaxing summer holiday in India with your family, Kadmat will take your family bonding to the next level. A spot in the Indian Ocean when you look it up in the map, a beach holiday at Kadmat is on par with Mauritius and Maldives. Its silver sands, pristine emerald waters and rich underwater life are some of the best in India and is something that needs to be experienced by all beach lovers.

Things to do in Kadmat:

a) Scuba Diving and Snorkeling: The waters near Kadmat island are teeming with rich marine life and hence are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.

b) Kayaking: The lagoon on one side of Kadmat island is perfect for those kayaking sessions with friends.

c) Sunbathing with a book in your hand: Kadmat beach is ideal for sunbathing and since there are hardly any people here, the only sounds that disturb you are the sound of the waves.

2) Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

A postcard view of sunset at Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India

Considered as Asia’s No. 1 beach, Radhanagar beach or beach number 7 is famous for its iconic sunsets. Located on Havelock island in the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India, Radhanagar beach is extremely popular with couples and honeymooners.

Things to do in Radhanagar beach:

a) Lazy walks: Radhanagar beach is perfect for those long lazy walks especially during its magical sunsets.

b) Mangrove treks: Just beyond the beach are gorgeous mangroves, tidal flats and tropical forests that make for great hikes.

3) Cola Beach, Goa

A stunning view of the river that joins the sea at Cola beach, Goa

One of the hidden gems of Goa, Cola beach is located right under a tall cliff and is an absolutely beautiful place where a small river joins the sea. The beach is not super big here, but the river joining the sea here ensures that you can get the best of both fresh water and sea water.

Things to do in Cola:

a) Kayaking on the cola river under the shade of swaying coconut palms.

b) Beach volleyball at the place where the river joins the sea.

c) Stay in a riverside hut with a sea view.

4) Varkala Beach, Kerala

The stunning cliff beach of Kerala at Varkala

This cliff beach is undoubtedly one of Kerala’s most popular beaches. And it is also one of those divine beaches where a dip in the sea is supposed to wash away all your sins.

Things to do in Varkala:

a) Temple visit: Offer your prayers at the nearby 2000 year old Janardhan Swamy temple.

b) Cliff walk – dine, shop and enjoy the views while walking along the cliff edge.

5) Tarkarli, Maharashtra

Enjoying the sunset amidst pristine beach setting

Maharashtra’s Tarkarli beach boasts of a long stretch of white sand perfect for morning or afternoon walks. The beach is safe for the kids to play with waves. The community is known for being courteous and respectful. Tarkarli is a perfect place for fresh seafood by the shore and hammocks over the sand.

Things to do in Takarli:

a) Snorkeling – dive deep into the blue waters of Tarkarli and discover the beauty of underwater scenes like one-of-a-kind coral reefs and rare species of fishes.

b) Stay in a House Boat – experience the serenity and calmness of Tarkarli by staying in a Houseboat. Also, this is a good way to bond with family and kids because the cruise is exclusive to one guest or family.

c) Dolphin Watching – Dolphins are truly enjoyable to watch; they are one of the most charismatic sea creatures. Dolphin experience is one of the most captivating and exciting activities in Tarkarli.

6) Kaup, Karnataka

Quiet walk on the beach in the early hours of the morning

If you are looking for a quiet and clean sanctuary, Kaup is the place to be. The beach is very peaceful and calm. You can sit and relax in the shades of one of the large rocks while watching the waves. There are also a lot of restaurants with good food in the area. Kaup is famous for its lighthouse and pristine blue and green waters.

Things to Do in Kaup:

a) Visit Tourist Places – there are a lot of popular attractions and tourist spots in Kaup. Tourists can book day trips, excursions, and tours to maximize Kaup’s beauty.

7) Kovalam, Kerala

Chilling at Kovalam beach, Kerala

Another beach perfect for families is Kovalam, Kerala. The beach is one of the best for surfing and other water sports. Kovalam consists of two coves-Hawa and Lighthouse. Lighthouse is full of open-air restaurants with a fantastic view.

Things to do in Kovalam, Kerala:

a) Sight-Seeing Tour- there are a lot of tourist attractions in Kovalam. Enjoy the majestic view of these attractions while cruising along the water.

b) Overnight sightseeing in a houseboat – enjoy the tranquillity of backwaters while floating in a houseboat.

c) Water sports – you can try a water sport you’ve been dying to try. You can choose from surfing, paragliding, parasailing, jet skiing, or snorkelling.

8) Galgibaga, Goa

The silversands of Galgibaga Beach, South Goa

One of Goa’s cleanest beaches, Galgibaga beach is an important turtle nesting site. As it is a turtle nesting site, you will not find any tourist infrastructure here, but you can certainly walk on it and enjoy its pristine white sands and warm waters.

Things to do in Galgibaga:

a) Turtle nesting: If you happen to visit during turtle nesting season, you can either see the turtles come to the beach to lay the eggs or you can see the little ones make their way to the Arabian sea after they hatch from the eggs. Both of these are surreal experiences.

b) Long Barefoot walks: Galgibaga is one of those places where you will not find any trash, garbage or pollutant. It is as clean as how mother nature created it.

9) Muzhappilangad, Kerala

The gorgeous beaches of Kerala

Muzhappilangad, Kerala is known as the longest drive-in beach in Asia. It is also one of the best beaches for driving. Muzhappilangad, Kerala offers a one-of-a-kind experience by driving a 4KM stretch of sand while you enjoy the view of the Malabar Coast. Enjoy swimming safely with the kids because the water current is not high. You can also get to taste their delicacies along the way with multiple shacks that offer authentic cuisine.

Things to Do in Muzhappilangad:

a) Walk to the Dharmadam Islands - you walk to Dharmadam Island a few minutes away from Muzhappilangad. Dharmadam Island is a private beach with scenic views.

b) Enjoy Water Activites – your stay at Muzhappilangad Beach will not be complete without trying their water activities like parasailing and paragliding.

10) Patnem, Goa

Yoga, Meditation, Reading, Swimming, Cricket, Frisbee, Walking, Jogging, Ambling, Sleeping, Sunbathing, Drinking...all at Patnem Beach

Patnem beach is located in Goa. It’s the perfect sanctuary for complete relaxation. Yogis visiting Goa love this serene place. If you want some me time, this place is not too crowded and can be your perfect haven in India. You can peacefully hang out in a humble bamboo hut by the beach and relax as you swim in the clear waters.

Things to do in Patnem:

a) Enjoy a yoga retreat- If you’re in for a yoga holiday, this is the place to be. There are yoga classes for beginners and professionals alike.

b) Visit Jaali Boutique and Café- For the fashionista, you can find exquisite designer clothes in this boutique plus modern Rajasthani textiles, jewellery, and other handicrafts.


I hope you have realized by now that India is full of beautiful beaches that offer everything from gorgeous setting, pristine nature, warm waters, adventure, partying and so much more. So, where have you decided to go on your beach holiday in India?

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