India has a long coastline – one of the longest in the world and it is natural that this ancient country has some terrific coastal towns that remain popular with tourists coming in from all parts of the world. Most of these coastal towns and cities are located along the south-west coast of India and all these below mentioned towns, with perhaps the exception of mega Mumbai, promise a peaceful, calm journey through the country’s unrivalled natural riches.
Mumbai, the financial powerhouse of India, is the most cosmopolitan city in the country. Located on the coast of Arabian Sea, this fascinating city is famed for its architectural wonders, busy beaches, and being home to India’s Hindi film industry.
Gateway of India, Kanheri Caves, Siddhivinayak Temple, Global Vipassana Pagoda, Nehru Science Centre and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya are the top attractions in the city. Aksa, Juhu, Girgaum Chowpatty, Versova and Marve are some of the popular beaches in the city where you can enjoy great street food.
‘The Gateway to Kerala’, Kochi is one of the most stunning coastal cities in South India. A famous port city, this lovely seaside paradise is home to ancient forts and buildings, synagogues, basilicas and palaces and is an ideal place to indulge in numerous interesting water sports such as snorkelling and kitesurfing. Fort Kochi, Kerala Folklore Museum, Indo-Portuguese Museum, Paradesi Synagogue, St Francis Church and Santa Cruz Basilica, Hill Palace and Museum of Kerala History are among the must visit attractions here.
Famed for its old world charm as well as its modern-day elegance, Pondicherry is another beautiful coastal city in South India. It is locally known as ‘Pondy’ and as a former French colony, this wonderful city is famous for its rich culture and colonial architectural wonders and pristine beaches, forts, basilicas and palaces dating back to the pre-colonial era.
Auroville Beach, Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach, Mahe Beach and Karaikal Beach are some of the best spots to enjoy waterside frolics and to take part in water sports. Puducherry Museum, Old Light House, Notre Dame Des Anges, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sri Aurobindo Centre and Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple are the top tourist spots here.
Located on the southern end of India, Kanyakumari is one of the most culturally rich coastal cities in the Indian subcontinent. Famous for its ancient temples, religious sites, memorials, forts, and museums, the city surely has a lot to offer to the guests visiting it. Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Thanumalayan Temple, Vattakottai Fort, Government Museum and the Wandering Monk Museum are some of the top attractions in the city, visited by millions of travellers each year. Muttom, Sanguthurai and Sothavilai are terrific seaside spots where people can have a great time.
Famous for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Gokarna remains a well-known holiday spot in the southern part of India. Located on the coast of Karwar in the state of Karnataka, this amazing city is an ideal place to enjoy the best of sun and sand as well as having tantalizing dishes and refreshing drinks. Om Beach, Mahabaleshwara Temple, Kudle Beach, Gokarna Beach, Paradise Beach and Koti Tirtha are the places where tourist inflow is the highest.
Kerala is teeming with dreamy coastal towns and Kovalam is one more of them. Famed for its calm beaches, stunning landscapes and architectural wonders, Kovalam impresses with its fine amalgamation of sun, sand and sea. The city’s most popular beaches, such as Hawa, Lighthouse, Samudra and Grove, attract a lot of tourists all throughout the year, considering the fact that the weather in this part of the country is pleasant for most parts of the year. Don’t miss to visit the Halcyon Castle and Aazhimala Siva Temple as well. The famous Malabari cuisine is a must try in Kovalam. The Great Elephant Festival, held in the month of January, is another major draw to the city.
Surrounded by the Western Ghats on one side and Arabian Sea on the other, Udupi, in the state of Karnataka, stuns everyone with its ethereal beauty. Well-known for its tradition, culture and cuisine, the city is home to numerous ancient temples, architectural marvels, pristine beaches, unexplored forests and several other interesting sites. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, St Mary’s Island, Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village, Museum of Anatomy & Pathology, Kaup Beach, Malpe Beach, Ottinane Beach and Murdeshwar Beach are Udupi’s top tourist traps. Bisi bele bath (a spicy preparation of rice) and Pelakai Halwa (Jackfruit pudding) are the two must try dishes here.
Infused with Portuguese heritage and flaunting a vibrant culture, Diu is a former fishing town nestled on the eastern end of the Diu Island. This tiny district is famed for its fortresses and peaceful beaches. Nagao and Jallandhar are the most popular beaches here, ideal to enjoy water sports and other adventure activities. Diu fort, St. Thomas Church, Diu Museum and Naida Caves are among the must visit attractions in the town.