Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal, South India has been blessed with a rich and bountiful coastline. The best beaches in South India have immense natural beauty and a tranquil atmosphere. Some of the most popular states of South India like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Pondicherry, and Andhra Pradesh have paradisiacal beaches.
South Indian beaches are a wonderful amalgam of leisurely vacations clubbed with exciting water sports activities. The food served at the shacks and eateries is finger-licking. And, the souvenir shops sell some must-buy keepsakes. Here is a list of the top 21 best beaches in South India that must be visited:
List of the top 21 best beaches in South India:
Marina Beach, Chennai
Known to be the second largest beach in the world, Marina beach of Chennai offers unmissable sunrise and sunset views. The beach receives thousands of locals and tourists on a daily basis. As the sea waters are challenging, bathing and swimming are not recommended. Take a walk on the clean golden sand and savor the relaxing atmosphere. Kids can enjoy kite flying and pony rides.
In the evening, do not miss eating special crispy murukku and sunal being sold by hawkers on the beach. Placed along the Bay of Bengal, Marina is known to be one of the most famous South Indian beaches. Close to the beach are a number of historical monuments that one can explore. Get your hands on some wonderful knick-knacks from the local market, near the beach.
Famous for: Sunrise and Sunset views; Pony rides and Kite flying for children
Elliot Beach, Chennai
Also known as Besant Nagar Beach or Edward Elliot Beach, Elliot Beach is a popular beach amongst youngsters and peace-seekers. One of the clean beaches in Chennai, this beach is located southwards of Marina Beach. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing and can relax completely during leisure walks. Locals lovingly call it Bessie.
Velankanni Church and Ashtalakshmi Kovil Temple are two of the popular attractions here that you can visit. Snack shops at Elliot serve Chili Bhajji, a popular South Indian savory delicacy, which you must not miss. Capture the blue waters and clear sky with your camera.
Famous for: Sunbathing, Cleanliness, and Tranquil Surroundings
Dhanushkodi Beach, Rameswaram
Flanked by the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other side, Dhanushkodi Beach is a paradise for loners. One of the most popular places to visit is near Rameshwaram, which is 20 km away from the main city. The azure seawaters are a treat to the eyes. As you take a walk on white sands, admire the serenity.
The main attraction here is the remains of Dhanushkodi town. This was once a busy and lively town that was destroyed by a cyclone in the year 1964. This natural crisis had completely washed the place away. What remains here is the town’s ruins. Legends say that the beach was the site where Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman, along with their army had constructed the Setu Bridge to arrive in Ravana’s Lanka for rescuing Mata Sita.
Famous for: Ruins of Dhanushkodi town
Mahe Beach, Pondicherry
Placed 22 km southwards of the city of Kannur, Mahe Beach is a beautiful beach that is dotted with swaying palm trees. It is one of the most famous beaches of Pondicherry and has a few fishermen’s villages near it. If you love swimming, you can do it here. For leisure vacationers, the beach is ideal for lazing around, which refreshes you completely.
Explore the charming and pristine Mahe beach during a leisure walk. A clean and less crowded beach like Mahe is rarely found. Do not miss collecting shells that come on the shore. Treat your eyes to the wonderful sunrise and sunset views. If you visit the beach in the morning, observe the fishermen indulging in fishing.
Famous for: Sunrise and Sunset views, Shells on the beach, Swimming
Kanyakumari Beach, Kanyakumari
The beautiful and peaceful Kanyakumari beach owns attractive multi-colored sand, which allures tourists from all around. During your visit to this place, do not miss the impressive sunset and sunrise views. Other popular attractions near Kanyakumari Beach are the gigantic Vivekananda Rock and Thiruvalluvar statue. The scenery is a complete charmer.
Kanyakumari Beach is placed on the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. The religious importance of this beach is no less than Rameshwaram. The beach is enveloped by seas on three sides. Since it is the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the rough Bay of Bengal, it is called Triveni.
Famous for: Confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal; Sunset and Sunrise views
Mahabalipuram Beach, Mahabalipuram
Overlooking the vast cerulean Bay of Bengal, Mahabalipuram beach is a wonderful site for tourists due to the presence of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram Group of Monuments. Temples, historical monuments, and caves are some of the popular attractions of Mahabalipuram that are found on this beach. Monolith Ratha, chariots, rock-cut sculptors, and ancient caves must be explored.
The architectural wonders on Mahabalipuram beach are evidence of the wealth of the Pallava rulers. The noisy sea waves break the serenity sprinkled on the beach. This beach is one of the most famous beaches in Tamil Nadu. Try your hands at surfing here. Once you are tired of sightseeing, unwind here at the beach.
Famous for: Surfing and Mahabalipuram Group of monuments (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Gokarna Beach, Gokarna
One of the best beaches in South India, Gokarna Beach is a good replacement for the busy beaches of Goa. As it is quite close to the Mahabaleshwar temple, pilgrims visit the beach for taking a dip in the holy waters. It is a secluded and laid-back beach, ideal for seclusion lovers. Half-moon Beach, Om Beach, Kudlle Beach, and Paradise Beach are the other popular beaches of Gokarna.
Along with Mahabaleshwar Temple, Ganpati Temple featuring massive chariots is another popular attraction, close to the Gokarna beach. This beach is a nice place to organize a picnic with loved ones, enjoy morning walks, and simply laze around. Savor in peace. The beach is flanked by islands and small hills.
Famous for: Laid-back and Secluded; Early morning walks
Paradise Beach, Pondicherry
Also known as Plage Paradiso and Chunnambar, Paradise Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in India. It is 8 km away from the main city. This clean beach with turquoise waters lies along the Cuddalore Main Road. A walk here completely rejuvenates the visitors. Dolphin viewing is one of the attractions of Paradise Beach. Get into a ferry, making its way through the backwaters. A family picnic can also be planned here.
You can also enjoy swimming here, which is allowed only near the shore. A boat house with amazing rides like a merry-go-round and a bouncing castle, is another attraction here. It has a nominal entry fee. The café here serves lip-smacking delights such as Fried Rice and Fish Manchurian. Paradise Beach is accessible by boat through the Chunnambar Resort. The last beach leaves at 06:30 PM.
Famous for: Isolated beach with Rejuvenating Ambiance
Varkala Beach, Thiruvananthapuram
Also known as Papanasam Beach, Varkala Beach is positioned amidst Kovalam and Alleppey. If you love water sports, you can partake in swimming, windsurfing, and parasailing. Soak in the sun and admire memorable sunset views. There is a stream near the beach, known to have medicinal and curative properties, along with religious significance. Do not forget to capture the natural beauty of your cameras.
It is the only beach in south India where the Arabian Sea is placed along the cliffs. Two of the other popular attraction here are the Sivagiri Mutt and 2000-year-old Janardhanaswamy Temple. Forget the day’s tiredness by enjoying relaxing Yoga and Ayurveda massages.
Famous for: Yoga and Ayurveda, Sightseeing, Sunbathing, Windsurfing, and Parasailing
Ramakrishna Beach, Vishakhapatnam
The long beach on the Bay of Bengal, Ramakrishna Beach or RK Beach is one of the popular Vishakhapatnam beaches. Locals visit in the morning for an early morning jog. The beach offers memorable sunrise and sunset views. Enjoy the touristy hustle-bustle and the food as swimming isn’t recommended here. The beach is named after Ramakrishna Mission ashram, right across Beach Road.
An ideal beach for picnics and family outings, it is sprinkled with various attractions. INS Kursura Submarine Museum, Kali Temple, Sri Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, and restaurants, are some of the popular names. Enjoy activities such as water surfing, windsurfing, sunbathing, deep sea angling, and beach volleyball.
Famous for: Sightseeing; Sunrise and Sunset views, Beach Activities
Alappuzha Beach, Alappuzha
One of the most popular backwater destinations in Kerala, Alleppey has a beautiful beach, called Alleppey Beach or Alappuzha Beach. Waves of the Arabian Sea, coming from the west side, touch the shore, which is lined by swaying palm trees. The beach has been blessed with immense natural beauty. Another popular attraction here is Vijaya Beach Park, an amusement park for visitors. The tall lighthouse offers wonderful surrounding views. There are a number of other attractions too including a pier, more than a century old.
For adventure enthusiasts, Alappuzha Beach has a lot to offer. One can enjoy swimming, parasailing, and surfing in the azure seas. Plan a picnic with your loved one and make a sand castle or a few games of volleyball. The beach and backwater bustles with activity during the snake boat races in August and September.
Famous for: Natural beauty; Water Sports; Sightseeing
Cherai Beach, Kochi
Located at a distance of 30 km from the main city, Cherai Beach is a shallow beach and thus is ideal for swimming. Some of the other water sports activities offered here include surfing, speed boat ride, canoeing, and so on. The beach is located on the northern end of Vypeen Island and is a blend of backwaters and the sea. Chinese fishing nets are another attraction here on the waterfront.
Do not miss a visit to the backwaters that are just a few minutes away from Cherai Beach. The lucky visitor might spot a dolphin in the waters. The natural beauty and serenity are worth admiring. Collect the colorful shells, which wash ashore. Partake in kite flying or simply enjoy a bicycle ride to the nearby villages.
Famous for: Swimming; Water sports; Backwater visit; Kite flying, bicycle ride.
Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
Out of the three crescent-shaped beaches in Kovalam, Lighthouse Beach is probably the most popular one. The other two are Samudra and Hawa or Eve’s beaches. The beach gets its name from the 30 m high lighthouse, Vizhinjam lighthouse, made atop a hill. As you take a walk on the silver sands, the calm sea waves caress your feet. Treat your eyes to the memorable sunset views. Partake in activities like swimming, surfing, and parasailing. The popularity of this beach coincides with the Baga beach of Goa.
Both honeymooning couples and family vacationers visit the beach every year from within the country as well as outside. It also is one of the cleanest beaches in the state. There are a number of restaurants and shops near Lighthouse Beach. As you take a walk, a cool breeze brushes past your face.
Famous for: Vizhinjam lighthouse; Sightseeing; Sunset, Water Sports
Marari Beach, Mararikulam
Taking its name from the fishing village of Mararikulam, Marari Beach is located at a distance of 11 km from Alleppey. After visiting the lovely Alleppey backwaters, visit this beach for some memorable moments, away from the city hustle-bustle.
The pleasing surroundings and soft sands of Marari Beach look and feel soothing to the visitors. Secluded and laid-back, it is also known to be one of the most romantic beaches in India. If both of you are adventurous souls, enjoy activities like water skiing, sea surfing, parasailing, and deep-sea fishing.
Famous for: Water Sports; Sightseeing
Auroville Beach, Pondicherry
More commonly known as Auro Beach, Auroville Beach is one of the best beaches in Pondicherry. This beach with soft, golden, and black-hued volcanic sand is located at a distance of 12 km from the town. Visitors can savor mesmerizing views of the setting sun, looking like an orange-colored ball. The beach receives maximum visitors at the time of weekends and is quite popular amongst youngsters.
You can spend some peaceful time with your loved ones here at Auroville Beach. Partake in relaxing, fun activities such as beach volleyball, swimming, and sunbathing. Surfing is another popular activity here. You can simply lie down on the beach and relish the wonderful scenery and the cool breeze. Two famous monuments worth visiting here include a 4-meter-long statue of Mahatma Gandhi, and a war memorial remembering the martyrs of the First World War.
Famous for: Sightseeing; Sunset views; Fun activities
Covelong Beach, Chennai
5 km away from Chennai, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Covelong Beach is one of the best beaches in South India. This heavenly beach has clean blue waters and white sands. The beach bustles with activity in the evenings when people come here for leisure walks to enjoy stunning sunset views. If you love fishing, this is the place to be. Ferries take you inside the sea to enjoy fishing. Notice carefully, you might get a chance to collect colorful shells.
As the sea here is calm, you can try your hand at surfing. Other water adventures are also offered here. If you turn your eyes slightly away from the sea, you can explore the ruins of an old Catholic Church. Then there are the ruins of an old Dutch Fort. The serenity and natural scenery are simply spellbinding.
Famous for: Sunset; Fishing, Water Sports; Sightseeing
Karaikal Beach, Pondicherry
One of the best beaches for swimming in India, Karaikal Beach in Pondicherry is a heavenly site where you can spend some memorable moments. Family vacationers and adventure lovers can partake in a number of activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, beach volleyball, and so on. Visit the beach for savoring wonderful views of the sunrise. If you love peace, this is the place to be.
Some of the popular attractions near Karaikal Beach that one can visit include Tantondreeswara Temple, Thirunallar, Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple, Nagore Dargah, and Velankanni Church (31 km). The beach offers an amazing blend of solitude and entertainment.
Famous for: Mesmerizing Sunrise; Beach activities
Mypadu Beach, Nellore
With its never-ending patch of greenery, golden sands, and clean azure waters, Mypadu Beach is one of the main attractions in Andhra Pradesh. The beach derives its name from Mypadu, a fishing village in Nellore. This is an ideal place to relax and completely rejuvenate yourself. Enjoy a refreshing dip in sea waters, which changes its colors as per the rays of the sun.
Lie down on the clean golden-colored sands of Mypadu Beach and enjoy sunbathing. This scenic beach is around 25 km away from the city of Nellore. Close to the beach are small eateries that serve lip-smacking food. The beach receives decent footfall during the weekends. Cruises are also offered to tourists by the state tourism department.
Famous for: Relaxed atmosphere, Green surroundings
Bangaram Beach, Lakshadweep
The surreal Bangaram Island is a tear-shaped uninhabited island that is one of the most popular attractions in Lakshadweep. The beach has a turquoise blue lagoon with black corals that allure beautiful fishes, making it a popular site among tourists. The beach has abundant natural beauty and tranquility, ideal for honeymooning couples. Lie down on the glistening sand and relax yourself.
Bangaram Beach is no less marvelous during the night than it is during day time. For adventurous souls, the beach has a lot to offer. Enjoy activities such as windsurfing, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing here. Swaying coconut palms got the shores. Away from city life, this secluded beach is quite mesmerizing.
Famous for: Windsurfing, Scuba diving, Deep sea fishing; Picturesque beauty
Rishikonda Beach, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Located at a distance of 8 km from Vishakhapatnam, Rishikonda Beach has golden sands and a vast stretch of seawater, inviting visitors from all around. Tourists can visit this no-frill beach to simply relax and treat their eyes to the wonderful scenery. Another popular attraction here is a 14th-century temple, Sapta Rusheswara Temple.
The waves of the Bay of Bengal offer you a chance to indulge in a number of water-related activities including water skiing, swimming, speed boating, and windsurfing. As you take a walk on the shores, the warm sea waters caress your feet. Enjoy sunbathing by laying down on the clean sand.
Famous for: Water skiing, Windsurfing, Swimming