Almost all the important beaches of India lie in South India with a huge coast along the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. With Goa close by and also considered as part of South India by many people, the list of beaches extends further. And the amazing island groups including Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands are full of pristine beaches that are dream beach destinations not only for Indians but for the entire world. With so many beaches to choose from, it becomes a difficult job to come up with a list of the best beaches in South India. However, we have tried our best and if you think we have missed any important beach, please let us know in the comments below.
Here is the list of 62 Top Beaches in South India For A Perfect Beachside Vacation
Famous for being naturally shaped like the auspicious symbol Om, Om beach attracts tourists round the year. Om beach is a wonderful beach located in the town of Gokarna. One can bask in the glory and serenity of the picturesque surroundings here. Its captivating beauty and pristine water lashing on the beach is a source of tranquillity for all the visitors. It can be safely said that Om Beach is one of the best beaches in Karnataka.
One of the most picturesque beaches in South India, The Lighthouse Beach is mainly known for its 35 m high lighthouse atop Kurumkal hillock. Located in Kovalam, the Lighthouse beach offers white sand, great waves for surfing and swimming and lip-smacking seafood to its visitors. Kovalam is an idyllic village along the coastlines of the Arabian Sea and is most famous for its three pristine beaches with shallow waters and low tidal waves where one can go surfing, wooden and motorboat riding.
The Rishikonda Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in South India with pristine coastline that is located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Vishakhapatnam, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. APTDC, which is in charge of this natural beauty, has done a great job in looking after the beach and ensured that this natural attraction remains unharmed. The Rishikonda Beach is thus rightly named as the 'Jewel of the East Coast', owing to its essential and intact beauty.
Known For : Calangute Beach | Baga Beach | Basilica of Bom Jesus
Nestled in the Konkan Coast Belt, Goa has a coastline stretching for over 100 kilometres and attracts millions of visitors both from within and outside the country all year round. Even though it is debatable whether Goa should be considered part of South India or not, but it is still very accessible from almost all parts of South India by an overnight train or bus. Goa has more than 50 beaches that are open for tourists and is a favourite beach destination for many both domestic and international travellers.
Best Time : October to March
Known For : Scuba Diving In Andaman | Havelock Island | Snorkeling in Andamans
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a group of many islands located on the eastern side of the Indian coast in the Bay of Bengal. Connected from Lagoons of crystal clear water and scenic beaches topped with a little bit of history make Andaman and Nicobar one of the most perfect choices for an enjoyable, laid-back holiday where you can go on long treks, laze around in the backwaters of the island, or if you're feeling a little more adventurous, even go for a bit of deep sea diving. From the pristine, untouched beaches of Neil and Havelock Islands to the bustling town of Port Blair, the Andamans have something to offer to every tourist.
Best Time : October to Jun
One of the best beaches of South India, the famous Marina Beach of Chennai, has been acclaimed as the second-longest beach in the world with a white sandy foreshore that looks as though extending to infinity. You could take a walk along the Marina beach with your near and dear ones or even all alone and enjoy the cool evening sea breeze along with a hot plate of crispy sundal and murukku. Watching the sun crawl upwards into the sky or even disappear into the ocean from the beach, is an awe-striking and enchanting experience.
Known For : Padukone | Kodachadri Hills | Maravanthe Beach
Maravanthe is a getaway which can be best described as nature's basket full of mesmerizing picturesque views. A beautiful beach town with white sand spread miles and miles along the coast fetches the beach a nickname of Virgin Beach.
Best Time : October to March
Vellankani Beach is one of the most pious and scenic beaches on the Eastern coast of the Indian subcontinent. It is the perfect buzz-filled holiday spot with the bustling crowds and swaying palm trees. The beach is one of the most popular destinations in the region. Quaint and calm, Velankanni is a little hamlet tucked away in the state of Tamil Nadu, on the coast of Bay of Bengal with pristine beaches. It is a famous Roman Catholic pilgrim centre and is visited by thousands of devotees for its shrine of "Our Lady of Good Health" aka Mother Mary. Inspired by the Lourdes in France, Velankanni is also known as the "Lourdes of the East". It has become one of the vital Marian sanctuaries of the world.
Alappuzha is referred to as the Venice of the East which has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Presently it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Alappuzha beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which plays a fascinating sight to the visitors from far and wide.
Known For : Poovar Beach | Thirparappu Falls | Vizhinjam
Poovar is a lovely island with long stretches of glowing sand, serene surroundings and refreshing gentle breeze. It is a small rustic town situated 27 kms from Thiruvananthapuram with unspoilt, unexplored beaches and beautiful backwaters of Kerala highlighting the most striking features of the town.
Best Time : August to March
Known For : Dhanushkodi Beach | Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park | Adam's Bridge
Dhanushkodi is a small, sparsely populated beach town on the coast of Tamil Nadu. In the 1964, Dhanushkodi was hit by one of the worst storms India has ever seen. Ever since then, Tamil Nadu has rebuilt this town to become one of the most unique and unusual beach towns in South India.
Best Time : October to February
Known For : Tagore Beach | Scuba Diving and Snorkeling | Lighthouse, Devbagh
Pristine blue water, picture perfect backdrop of beautiful mountains and lush green belt of casuarinas trees blend together perfectly to give you a destination not to be missed i.e. Devbagh.
Best Time : October to Apr
Known For : Gokarna: Mahabaleshwar Temple | Om Beach | Mirjan Fort
The beautiful town of Kumta situated amidst the marvelous wonders of nature is one of the most enticing places to visit in Karnataka. Lying on the coastline of Arabian Sea, it offers tantalizing beaches, fascinating black rocks, intriguing temples and sprawling greenery, Kumta is all about relaxing, unwinding and solitude.
Best Time : October to March
Half Moon is a smaller, less popular and hence a less crowded beach, yet quite a beautiful beach in Gokarna. With its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Karnataka and a newly found hub for beach lovers and hippies.
Hawah Beach located in Kovalam is a stretch of isolated beach famous for its enchanting sunset views. Renowned as the second largest beach of Kovalam, it is also known as Eve's Beach for it being the first topless beach in India. However, topless bathing is banned now.
A beach showcasing beauty, calmness, serenity and everything that signifies nature at its best, the Elliot's beach cannot be forgotten by anyone who has visited it once. Elliot's Beach is located in Chennai, the fourth largest city in the country, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India.
Muzhappilangad Beach, located 8 km from Thalassery is often tagged as a paradise for relaxing, swimming and sunbathing. However, it's most famous as the Drive-in Beach where you can actually drive on the beach by paying a fee of just Rs. 10. The nearby city of Thalassery, fondly known as Tellichery, is a coastal town of Kerala nestled at the shore of Arabian Sea and immersed in the vibrant culture. Steeped in rich history and heritage, this town was one of the earliest British settlements in the state.
This is one of the most famous beaches in South India, located around 20-minutes (walking distance) away from Gokarna. Here travellers will get a number of simple huts and beach-side eating places where one can enjoy lots of things. A kilometres-long pure white sandy beach surrounded by palm trees is the major attraction of this beach that attracts a large number of travellers.
Known For : Ponnani Juma Masjid | Padinharekara Beach | Thrikkavu Temple
A small beach town located in the Malappuram District of Kerala, Ponnani is mainly renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches. Flanked by the Arabian Sea on the west, Ponnani is also referred to as small 'Mecca' of South India. It is dotted with several Muslim institutions, Jama Masjid, established in 925, being one of them.
Best Time : October to March
One of the most beautiful beaches in all of South India, the Paradise beach is accessible only by boat or after some trekking. No water sports are available here but swimming in the calm waters can be fun. Also known as the Plage Paradiso, Paradise Beach is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. Adorned with the golden sand, this famous and highly sought after beach is always swaying in a cold sea breeze. This is a little-isolated beach, and to reach here, you have to take a ferry across the backwaters, which takes around 20-30 minutes.
Famous for its sunsets, Kozhikode Beach commemorates the beauty of the colonial era with its lighthouse and two dilapidated piers which are more than 100 years old. Formerly known as Calicut, Kozhikode was the Capital of Malabar during the Zamorin rule 500 years ago and is famous for its centuries-old trade in cotton and spices with Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians and Chinese.
A large promontory separates this Northern beach from the southern side. Samudra Beach is where you can enjoy the sight of shoreline fishing and watch local fishermen ply their trade. There is also a mosque on this beach. Samudra Beach is located in Kovalam, Kerala.
Untouched and unspoilt by tourist activities, the Edava beaches are the virgin stretches circling a blue lagoon where sea and backwaters run parallel divided by a more-than-one km of straight road. There is also an estuary that connects the sea with the backwaters here.
Known For : Kalakkad Wildlife Sanctuary | Kalugumalai | Tuticorin Port
Coming across a city like Tuticorin is not common. It is a beach town, also one of the busiest ports, has a wildlife sanctuary, houses numerous temples and churches and tens of other monumental sites. If this does not make it to you radar, then nothing else would.
Best Time : October to March
Auroville Beach, also known as the Auro Beach is located in Pondicherry, which is a union territory. It is a part of the Auroville Ashram and is situated about 10 kilometres away. The beach is about 12 kilometres away from Pondicherry and lies on the right-hand side of East Coast Road and is considered to be among the most quaint beaches.
Located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, the port city of Mangalore or Mangaluru is known for its swaying coconut palms, beautiful beaches and temple architecture. It is also an important industrial, commercial, educational and healthcare hub of the state of Karnataka. It has many beaches, with the most famous one named on the city itself as Mangalore Beach.
A long stretch of glowing sand and changing colors of sky makes this Padinharekara Beach a charming place to visit. Situated at Malappuram on Tipu Sultan Road, the major attraction of this beach is majestic view of the Arabian Sea, Bharathapuzha River and the Tirur Puzha River.
The village of Kovalam was once upon a time a small fishing village that was located 15 kilometers from Mahabalipuram. Today, that fishing village is still there, but has also expanded to become one of the most exotic and spectacular beach resorts in all of India.
Located at the mouth of the Chaliyar River, 10 km from Kozhikode, Beypore Beach is famous for its Ship building yard more than 1500 years old. During the trading days of Arabs and Chinese, and later the Europeans, this was one of the most important fishing harbours.
Kappad or locally known as Kappakadavu, is a famous beach near Kozhikode (Calicut), India, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama landed on 20 May 1498. His voyage established the sea route from Europe to India. This heralded the arrival and permanent route from Europe to India. This heralded the arrival and permanent presence of various European merchant companies, leading to eventual domination and rule by the East India Company and later the period of British colonial rule.
Sandwiched between the sea and a river, Murudeshwar beach is home to the giant Shiva statue. Although water sports are not available here, tourists indulge in swimming and a calm walk on the beach. Murudeshwar is also a popular religious town in South India with the major attraction as the huge Shiva temple, Murudeshwar is a religious site which also serves as the connecting point for popular scuba diving destination Netrani Island.
Between the coastal towns of Kannur and Thalassery along the Malabar Coast lies the scenic Thottada Beach. The cleanliness, solitude and tranquillity are part of the charm of the beach, making it the ideal getaway for anyone looking to escape the noise of the city and reconnect with nature and themselves.
The Snehatheeram Beach situated in Thrissur is one of the most super-scenic beaches present here, and a trip to Thrissur without coming down here is incomplete with the sun, sand and the Arabian Sea all coming together in perfect harmony and descending upon the beach right in the middle of the coastline.
The Baby Beach in Kannur, as the name suggests, is a tiny yet an extremely attractive beach along the shore of the Arabian Sea. Don't be mistaken by its name or size, this beach is a very happening picnic spot for the locals of Kannur and attracts the attention of many tourists with its panoramic view of the azure Arabian Sea.
Voted as the first 'Beach Wedding Destination' in Kerala, the Kollam Beach requires no introduction. This scenic and breathtaking natural wonder is also known as the Mahatma Gandhi Beach and boasts of pristine blue waters that seem to unite with the bright sky at an infinite distance, while tourists marvel at the sheer magnificence of the majestic scene.
Kanyakumari also known as Kanniyakumari, earlier known as Cape Comorin, is a town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu India. The name comes from the temple, Devi Kanya Kumari Temple in the region. It is the southernmost tip of peninsular India. Kanyakumari town is the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills, an extension of the Western Ghats. The nearest town is Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District, 22 km away. Kanyakumari has been a town since Sangam period and is a popular tourist destination. Contrary to the popular belief that Kanyakumari lies at the meeting point of three bodies of water, it borders only one, the Laccadive Sea to the southwest, south, and to the southeast. It is the confluence of the Western Coastal Plains and Eastern Coastal Plains.
The Sothavilai Beach is one of the most famous beaches that can be found in the entire district of Kanyakumari. The beach stretches to over 4 kilometres, which makes it one of the longest natural beaches in the entire state, and the views that this attraction offers cannot be put into words.
Karwar with its gorgeous scenic beauty and a subtle sparkle of religion and history is a beautiful tourist destination. Karwar is a city in Uttara Kannada district in the South Indian state of Karnataka and the administrative centre of Uttara Kannada district. Karwar lies on the west coast of Southern India at the mouth of the Kali river. Its geography creates a natural harbour with protection against monsoon weather. Being a port town, Karwar is a centre for agriculture, some manufacturing and tourism.
A perfect beach for a carefree getaway, Malpe beach with its blue expanse of sky and the palm trees dotting the shoreline, is a popular tourist beach in the city of Udupi. Most famous for its South Indian restaurants all over the country, Udupi is a coastal town with carefully carved temples, architecturally splendid buildings, laidback beaches and unexplored forests.
This palm-fringed beach is actually a rock-strewn one with crimson cliffs and giant rocks lining up the coastline in the most attractive and scenic way possible. The Ezhara Beach is sure to charm you with the panoramic view of the azure waters of the Arabian Sea and its foamy white waves crashing against the rocks.