Tag Archives: Beaches

5 Beach Destinations along the West Coast of India

Most of us are a fan of beaches and look forward to every opportunity to escape the city to the beautiful shores lined with palm trees. India is blessed with an amazing coastal region and provides good scope for us to plan these beach escapades by opting for anything from a weekend getaway to a week long vacation.

Following are some of the most sought after beach destinations within India that you can visit this winter.

Kovalam

Kovalam is a beach town located in Kerala and famous for its crescent shaped beaches lined with coconut trees. The most famous of them being the Lighthouse beach which has a striped lighthouse from where one can gaze at the spectacular view of the ocean. There are other beaches like Samudra Beach and Hawah Beach which are equally beautiful. Kovalam is an apt destination for beach lovers and also honeymoon couples, as this town is home to some luxurious beach resorts. One can club this visit with day tours to Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari.

Number of days required : 3 to 5 days

Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam / Courtesy: Trans India Travels

Gokarna

Gokarna means “cow’s ear” and Lord Shiva is believed to have emerged here out of the cow’s ear. Based in Karnataka, this location is more of a temple town with Lord Shiva’s Mahabaleshwara temple and many others like Maha Ganapati, Bhadrakali, Uma Maheshwara and Venkataramana Temples. Over the years though, this town has grown into a  beach destination with its famous Om beach, Kudle Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise beach. These beaches are lined with palm trees and white sand.

Number of days required : 3 days

Om Beach, Gokarna / Courtesy – mouthshut

Dapoli

Dapoli is a town in Ratnagiri District  with a coastline of around 50 kms and is also called as the “Mini Mahabaleshwar” due to its cooler climate throughout the year. It is known for its ancient forts, pristine beaches, caves, temples, water activities and much more. One can also attend the Velas Turtle Festival between February and April to witness the hatching of the endangered Olive Ridley turtle eggs. An unexplored destination, this is one of the best options if you are looking for something non-touristy and less crowded. It is also a great destination for a weekend getaway.

Number of days required : 3 to 4 days

Scuba Diving / Courtesy : Google

Tarkarli

If you are looking for water sports like scuba diving, Tarkarli is one of the best destinations for the same. A village in Malvan Taluka of Sindhudurg District in Maharashtra, it is known for the white sand beaches, clear waters, Sindhudurg Fort, and extremely delicious seafood. One can also enjoy the backwaters of Karli river which are lined with palm trees and inhabited by dolphins. Tarkarli too makes for an easy weekend getaway.

Number of days required : 3 days

Luxury Stay in Goa / Courtesy : Hindustan Times

Goa

Goa is a well-known and most sought after tourist destinations by Indians and foreigners alike. Every visit to Goa can give you a different experience based on the region you explore. North Goa is home to the best pubs, shopping options, seafood and water activities and is generally visited by first time visitors to Goa. Those who look for a peaceful vibe, private beaches, non-touristy areas opt to explore the South of Goa. Goa is full of sights with the Dudhsagar waterfalls, Harvalem waterfalls, temples like Shantadurga or Mangeshi, Bom Jesus Basilica Church, Aguada Fort, Chapora Fort, Anjuna Beach, Agonda Beach in the South and so much more. Also, one is spoilt for choice with multiple stay options from beach shacks to luxury beachfront resorts.

Number of days required : 3 days to 1 week

To get a customized end to end travel plan and bookings, connect with us on astraltripsco@gmail.com or whatsapp/call on – +91 98333 74563

 

Pondicherry – French Colony in the South

Pondicherry or Puducherry or Pondy, a French colonial settlement in India until 1954, is now a Union Territory town bounded by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state along the east coast. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. A seaside promenade runs along the Bay of Bengal.

Auroville

Auroville is an experimental community in southern India. It was founded in 1968 by the spiritual leader Mirra Alfassa as a town where people from all over the world could live in harmony. Its focal point is the Matrimandir, a futuristic, spherical temple covered in gold discs.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

An ashram of saint Sri Aurobindo is located in the White Town area. The main Ashram building is where the mortal remains of Aurobindo and the Mother are kept. Their Samadhi is in the central courtyard under a tree and is covered daily with flowers. A peaceful place to visit in the early morning.

Manakula Vinayagar Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple is of considerable antiquity and predates French occupation of the territory.

White Town

White town is the central area of Pondicherry located near the seashore. This a part of France in India with its brightly painted yellow & white walls, European styled streets. Get transported back in time with the stunning French architecture. Many of the sights are located within this quarter.

Museum

If you’re interested in history, then head to this museum. Even though we associate Pondicherry with French history but in reality it goes much beyond that and you will be able to see glimpses of the rich history of this region. You will get a glimpse of the French Pondicherry, mirrors, grandfather clock, furniture, cutlery etc.

Promenade Beach 

You cannot miss the beach on your visit to Pondicherry. This is the sunset boulevard of Pondy and it gets closed in the evening for traffic.

Other Places of Interest

Eglise de Notre Dame

Sacred Heart of Jesus Basilica

French War Memorial

Day Trips near Pondicherry

  • Chidambaram Nataraja Temple
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Pichavaram Mangroves Boating
  • Chennai

Best Time to Visit

November – March

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North Goa Roadtrip – 3 Days Itinerary

Hello,

My wife and I did an unplanned trip to Goa for 5 days (including 2 days travel). This was our first trip to Goa. We decided to cover North Goa places in this trip.

Since it was off-season, we got a Guest House for just Rs. 500 per night in Anjuna (thru Goibibo). It was a suite room with TV, AC, Fridge, Balcony. A compact room and located near the beaches.

Day 1: Thane – Anjuna

We start our roadtrips always very early in the morning in order to avoid traffic. It is also very peaceful to drive. We started from our home at 3:30 AM. Our first stop was ahead of Satara for tea.

We took the Belgaum-Chorla Ghat route since the roads were really good and quite scenic too. This is one of the longer routes in comparison to Amboli Ghat. We avoided the Amboli Ghat since the roads were terrible with lot of potholes.

Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 1/41 by Prahlad Raj
Anjunem Reservoir – Chorla Ghat
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 2/41 by Prahlad Raj
Chorla Ghat
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 3/41 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 4/41 by Prahlad Raj
Bom Basilica
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 5/41 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 6/41 by Prahlad Raj
Se Cathedral

We reached Anjuna by 2:30 PM. Settled down in our room and took a nap till 4:30 PM. We headed out to Anjuna beach in the evening but we didn’t find any good place so we moved to Baga beach. We have heard of Britto’s. So we went there for a beer and some snacks. Its a nice place right by the beach to spend an evening.

Photos of Britto's, Baga, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Britto's, Baga, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

Day 2: Mapusa – Harvalem – Fort Aguada – Sinquerim Beach

We started off the day with Mapusa Market since it was a Friday. The market is typical with Fruits/Vegetables, Clothing. Indians can basically skip this market. Locals sell pork dishes.

Photos of Mapusa, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Mapusa, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

Harvelam falls, Rudreshwar Temple and Harvalem caves are located some 30 – 40 kms from Mapusa. This place is a worth a visit since it is an off-beat location, there is less crowd too.

Photos of 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/4 by Prahlad Raj

We went to Anand Bar & Seafood restaurant in Anjuna as recommended by the owners of the guesthouse. The food was really good and quite cheap too. The place is popular among the locals and tourists. It was quite crowded on a weekday afternoon. Since it was off-season, the rates were lesser than what was printed on menu. Got a vegetable biryani and gobi manchurian for just Rs. 220.

Photos of Anand Sea Food Restaurant & Bar, Anjuna, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Anand Sea Food Restaurant & Bar, Anjuna, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

We wanted to cover Fort Aguada and Reis Magos Fort. But we ran out of time in the evening. This place is ok to visit maybe in the morning when it will be less crowded. Good views of the ocean from the fort.

Photos of Aguada Fort, Candolim, Goa, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Sinquerium Beach, Candolim, Goa, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

Day 3: Indian Naval Aviation Museum – 3 Kings Chapel – ShantaDurga Temple – Mangueshi Temple – Arambol Beach

Indian Naval Aviation museum is located near the Dabolim Airport. We started with this place as it was southern most and covered other places one by one. It was 45 kms from Anjuna.

There are a few models of aircrafts in display. There is nothing much to see in this museum. A couple of torpedoes, INS Vikrant model etc.

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

The best part which we liked to do in Goa was driving around the interior areas. It was quite scenic with views of green fields, hills, backwaters, chapels. This is something one should not miss when in Goa apart from the beaches. Take a bike or rent a car and roam around aimlessly to see the real beauty of Goa.

Photos of 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

3 Kings Chapel is one of the haunted places in Goa. Nobody is allowed here after 6 PM. This place is 10 kms from the airport. It is located on top of a hill. There was a car and couple of bikes parked near the gate and nobody was around. We were not sure whether we were allowed to go inside. So we just walked inside a couple of 100 metres to reach the church. The place was really quiet and eagles were hovering in the skies. We saw a few people near the church and were a bit relieved. This church opens only on a Sunday. Great views of the villages and the ocean from the church. A must visit place!

Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 4/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Shantadurga Temple, Cortalim, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Shantadurga Temple, Cortalim, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

We spent the evening at Arambol beach. It is a beautiful beach. Quite clean and less crowded too. Sip a beer in one of the shacks and relax. Don’t think!

Photos of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Day 4: Reis Magos Fort – Old Goa

We visited Reis Magos Fort in the morning. There is an entry fee of Rs. 20 per person and a vehicle will take you to the top of the fort. Just a couple of minutes drive. There is a beautiful church located right next to the fort. Reis Magos fort is a must visit place! Showcases the works of Mario De Miranda, Cartoonist.

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Reis Magos Fort, Verem, Goa, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Reis Magos Fort, Verem, Goa, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Reis Magos Fort, Verem, Goa, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Old Goa

We visited Fontainhas (Latin Quarter) area in Old Goa which has Portuguese styled houses. Its quite beautiful to walk around this place.

Bom Basilica, Church of St. Assisi, Se Cathedral are places of historical importance.

Photos of 1/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 5/5 by Prahlad Raj

A few travel tips for Goa:

1. Cashew Nuts – Go to Old Goa market (Panji Market) to get the best quality and good price cashnew nuts. It costs Rs. 900 per kg with quite a lot of varieties available.

2. Fenni – A drink made of Coconut or Cashew is the local drink. It is a must try when in Goa

3. For Vegetarians – Look out for Udupi hotels in Calangute road, Old Goa etc. This is your best bet if you don’t like the smell of seafood.

4. Villages – Visit the interior villages of Goa. This is where the beauty of real Goa is.

5. Beer – Alcohol is available like everywhere. You can drink all you want. Drink responsibly! Do not drink and drive.

6. Other place of interest: Salim Ali Bird sanctuary, Chorao Island, Dudhsagar waterfalls will be worth a visit during the season.

We returned via the Amboli Ghat route. The roads were quite bad with lot of potholes but we got to see the beautiful Amboli Waterfalls on the way. There was no difference in travel time.

Photos of 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

Thank you for reading my blog. Any queries, just post your comments. Will be happy to help.

 

“To get an itinerary prepared for your trip, connect with me on Whatsapp @ +91 95945 58457.”