Beaches in Kerala
Located at the southernmost tip of India, Kerala is one of the most beautiful states of the Indian Peninsula. Rightly known as 'God's Own Country' embracing the Arabian Sea in its west and the Western Ghats to its east, it has mesmerizing geographical features that makes it one to the most famous tourist destinations in Asia. Its long shoreline consists of various serene beaches that would make your journey to this heaven a memorable one.
Alappuzha Beach, also known as Alleppey Beach, is located in Alappuzha District of South Kerala. It is a very popular tourist spot of Kerala known for providing relaxation to its visitors.
On the west of this mesmerizing beach lies the great Arabian Sea while the other end is covered with dense palm trees. It is composed of various lagoons, fresh water rivers and vast lakes that enhances its natural beauty. The 140 year old pier, extending into the sea is also a major attraction of the beach. Among visitors across the world, it is famous as 'Venice of the East'.
The nearby Vijaya Beach Park consisting of children's park and boating facilities add to the entertainment facilities of the beach. There is also an old light house that attracts the visitors.
Alappuzha Beach also offers its tourists various water sports including swimming, beach volleyball, surfing and parasailing. Boat races are also a major attraction of this place.
On a visit to this beach, one must experience the stay at the houseboats in backwater of the beach that consists of furnished bedrooms, cosy living rooms, modern toilets, kitchen and balcony, providing all comforts.
The best time to visit Alappuzha Beach is from August to March.
Situated about 5km from Guruvayoor town, Chavakkad beach is located in Thrissur district of Kerala. It is believed to get its name from the Cheval trees which are found in abundance here. It is also known as Mini Gulf since a family member of most of the families living here is working in the Middle East.
Lying at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and a river locally called Azhimokam, it is one of the best beaches which is blessed with nature's inexplicable beauty. The still water lagoons, soft sands of the beach, palm trees and azure water from the Arabian Sea, adds to the picturesque view of the whole beach. It is mostly visited by few Hindu pilgrims, apart from usual tourists, who are on their way back after worshipping at Guruvayoor Temple. Since it is not very crowded as compared to the other beaches in Kerala, it provides a perfect environment to relax and reconnect with your inner self.
Guruvayoor Temple, one of the most sacred and famous temples of Kerala, is also situated near the beach and is visited by both foreign and Indian tourists. St. Thomas Church at Palayur the oldest church in India, built in AD 52 by St. Thomas himself, is also situated nearby.
Cherai Beach is located 25 km away from Kochi bordering the Vypin Island (also known as Vypeen Island). It is also known as 'The princess of the queen of Arabian Sea'. An adventurous boat ride from Kochi to Vypin followed by 40 minutes of bus ride will take you this mesmerizing beach of Kerala.
Situated at the combination of sea and the backwaters and bordered by luscious green coconut palms, this 15 km long Cherai Beach is a covered with paddy fields and soft sand all over the place. Chinese fishing nets and small wooden boats can be found around the beach. Tourists enjoy the peaceful environment of the nature along with delicious mouthwatering sea food, coconut water and wine. The newly adorned 400 meters main beach lined with high mast lamps will make your stay sparkling even during the night. Since the water here is quite and calm, swimming is one of the most loved activity of tourists visiting this beach. For adventure lovers, they can hire fast speed water-scooters and speedboats which are easily available on rent. If you are lucky enough, you can get a chance to watch dolphins playing in the sea.
The Bolghatty Palace in Bolghatty Island built in 1744 by the Dutch, which now operates as a hotel, is also worth visiting. Another important tourist spot is the Pallippuram Fort built in 1503 by the Europeans and is one of the oldest existing monuments in India.
Located just 12 km from the city of Ernakullam, Fort Kochi is the first township discovered by Europeans in India. This former fisherman town was shaped into the current booming town by the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally by the Britishers. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Kerala still maintaining its old colonial charm. The best way to explore the beach is to go walking. You would be mesmerized by the beauty of colonial forts, churches and several European style buildings that surround the beach. St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica, Vasco House, Bolgatty Palace, Hill Palace, Palliport, Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town are some of the prominent structures that are worth visiting.
The best features of the beach includes the massive Chinese fishing nets, made of bamboo poles and teak wood that lie by the shoreline. Just behind the nets there are large number of stalls where you can enjoy the freshly caught fish that you can ask local chefs to cook the way you want. The local sea food cuisines are also a must-eat which includes fish molly, Fish Peera, Alleppey fish curry and fried fish. For the shopaholics this beach also houses some antique shops selling a beautiful collection of stones, ornaments and shell decoratives that are available at fair prices.
The best time to visit Fort Kochi beach is during the New Year's Eve when the carnival at this place would make the visit unforgettable.
Situated just 16 km away from Kozhikode, this beach holds the prestige of being the place where Vasco Da Gama, the first European landed to India, to create a history in the socio-political relationship between India and Europe. On 27th May, 1498, he along with 170 men, first set foot here. A stone monument with the words 'Vasco Da Gama landed here' inscribed on it memorialize this historic event. Locally known as Kappakkadavu, it is also mentioned in geography and history textbooks as 'Gateway to the Malabar Coast'.
The best way to reach Kappad beach is through the calm backwaters of the Korappuzha River. Along your way you would experience the breathtaking natural beauty and unusual scenes along with the river. It is a very beautiful beach that is covered with rocks that protrude into the sea. The golden sand of the beach lined by swaying coconut palm trees at one end and crystal clear water of the Arabian Sea on the other end, makes this beach one of the most pleasant tourist destinations of Kerala. Adding to the beauty of the beach are the fishing vessels that fill the shoreline of the beach.
An ancient temple, which is believed to be around 800 years old, is another famous tourist spot of the beach. Located at the top of the largest rock, it is a very religious temple that is visited by tourists and devotees from all over the state. The Ayurveda Health Spa located here offers the famous Ayurveda spa that would drift you to the sublime bliss. The oil massage of this Spa is also worth a try.
Located just 16km to the south of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, Kovalam beach was once a casual fishing village that transformed into the now world famous beach after the arrival of hippies in early seventies. It is also known as 'Paradise of the south'.
This beach is unique in its own beauty since it is covered with black sand (unlike any other beach) and fringed with palm coconut trees at one end, making the environment soothing, and Arabian sea on the other which you would love gazing at while enjoying a sunbath. The Ayurvedic Parlour that offers many ayurvedic spa treatments is famous amongst the tourists. The yoga and meditation centers of the beach will make your mind and body relaxed. The beach also has many shacks from where you can buy local handicrafts, clothes and jewellery. Apart from this, there are a large number of resorts and cottages that provide world class accommodation of all ranges to tourists visiting here.
Adventure lovers can enjoy many water activities including surfing, cruising, kayaking, skiing and much more. The calm and shallow water of the beach also makes it suitable for swimming.
Marari beach, located just 60 kms from Cochin, is a pristine fishing beach.
A stretch of soft white sand with coconut palm trees swaying in the air, this is a perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy what nature has to offer you. Since it is not a tourist beach, you would love to be soaked in the serenity and peace of the beach. You can hire a boat that offers all modern facilities including furnished bedroom, modern bath and toilet, sit-outs and even kitchen, and can observe the everyday life of local people. If you visit here during the month of August, you must watch the snake boat races where large serpent-shaped boats are rowed by 130 oarsmen. The beach also have a large number of homestays and resorts where tourists can stay. The mouth-watering coconut flavoured seafood of Kerala is also worth eating once you are on this beach. You can also buy a lot of exotic spices and antiques from Cochin. You can also enjoy water sports like parasailing, surfing, swimming, etc.
If you had enough of beach activities you can also visit coir-making units in the nearby Mararikulam Village and learn how to convert piles of coconut fiber into a rope. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is also worth visiting as it houses birds like cuckoos, egrets, waterfowl, parrots, teal, herons, water duck and the list goes on. The ancient city of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Chandragiri Fort is just 4kms from the beach.
Situated about 12 kms from the Kannur district and 2 km from the main town of Kannur in Azhikhode, Meenkunnu Beach is an extension of Payyambalam beach. Its name is a combination of two Malayalam words Meen, which means fish and Kunnu which means small hill.
This secluded beach of Mennkunnu with golden sandy seashores fringed with rows of swaying coconut palms on the other end is a traveller's paradise. The calm and secluded environment of the beach is its most adorable characteristic. The tourists love to lay lazing on the sunbathed beach enjoying the serene beauty of the gushing waves of the azure sea water. Away from the hustle and bustle of the town, this beach is a perfect location to relax and get connected to your inner-self.
Nearby attractions of the beach includes the Snake Park which is dedicated to preserving the endangered reptile species including both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. One of its kind, this park also houses Lion-tailed Macaque apart from various species of snakes.
St. Angelo Fort, a Portuguese Fort, is also worth visiting. It offers mesmerizing views of the beach and the entire Kannur town from a hilltop.
Muzhappilangad beach is located just 15 km from the city of Kannur and 8km from Thalassery.
It is the only drive-in beach of Kerala and the second largest in India. The complete four kilometers length of the beach with firm sand is available for a drive. To reach this beach you have to pass the unpaved roads bending through coconut groves. Once you reach this beach you would be mesmerized by its exceptional stillness and cleanliness. It is gaining attraction from both local and foreign tourists with every passing year.
It is surrounded by black rocks which protect this beach from the strong currents of the sea and makes it a natural shallow cove. It is a perfect location for those who love swimming in the sea without the fear of lashing waves. One can also enjoy sunbathing at the shores of the beach. It also attracts adventure lovers by its water sports that include paragliding, power boating, parasailing and catamaran ride.
About 100-200 meters south of the beach is a privately owned Island named Dharmadam or Green Island. Covering an area of 2 hectares, it is enclosed with coconut palms and mangrove bushes. During low tides one can even walk to this island.
Payyambalam beach is located just 2 km away from the Kannur district of Kerala. It is a beautiful beach of Kerala, mostly famous as a relaxing holiday spot for locals and tourists.
The secluded beach of Payyambalam has vast stretches of silver sand fringed by waving coconut palm trees. Tourist visit this place to recline in the tranquil, clean and serene environment. One can also enjoy beach activities such as volleyball, water boating, scuba diving and much more. The view of sunrise and sunset from the beach is rejuvenating.
The beach is famous for its gardens and the massive sculpture of Mother and Child erected by Kanayi Kunhiraman, a noted sculpture. The remains of prominent social and political figures of Kerala that includes A.K. Gopalan, Sukumar Azhikode, Swadeshabimani Ramakrishna Pillai, Pamban Mandavan, E.K. Nayanar and K.G. Marar are laid to nest near this beach.
You can also visit St. Angelo's Fort which was constructed in 1505 by the Portuguese. The natural fishing center of Moppila Bay that is located at the sea wall diving inland water and rough sea, is also worth visiting.
Snehatheeram beach is located in Thalikkulam which is about 30 km from the Thrissur District of Kerala. Snehatheeram is a Malayalam word which means love shore. It is an ideal beach destination for couples and children. Maintained by Department of Tourism (Kerala), it was also awarded the best tourist destination in the year 2010.
With relatively calm and safe sea and cleanliness of the beach, it is an ideal picnic spot amongst the local people and foreigners. It offers a mesmerizing view of the sunset and sunrise. The beach garden along with the children's park is a famous attraction of the beach. With entry fees of INR 5 for adults and INR 3 for children, this beach offers good quality equipment and a small pool for the children to enjoy in. An aquarium containing large marine species and restaurant named Nalukkettu that offers delicious sea food, adds to its richness.
Every year a week-long beach festival is conducted here by the tourism department to promote the beach.
Engandiyur, Vadanappilly, Valappd and Nattika are some of the towns located near the beach.
Kollam Beach is located in Kollam district about 71 kms to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state. Another name for this beach is Mahatama Gandhi Beach.
After Cochin Port trust, it is the second largest port in Kerala, as of 2010. Apart from being one of the oldest ports on the Malabar Coast, it is also the hub for international cashew trading of the country. It acts as a gateway to the elegant backwaters of Kerala and is situated on the edge of Ashtamudi Lake. This beach offers a mesmerizing view of the Arabian Sea and is very famous amongst both local and foreign tourists. One can also enjoy the 4-hour long canal cruises to the island village. The Mahatama Gandhi Park, which is situated along the beach, is also a major attraction of the Kollam Beach. It is owned by Kollam City Corporation and maintained by the Rural Tourism Development Company. Inaugurated on January 1, 1961 by Zakir Hussain, the then Vice president of India, this park has entertainment facilities of International Standard.
The nearby village of Thangasseri is also worth visiting. The 144 feet tall light house was built in 1902 and is open to visitors. Ruins of Portuguese/ Dutch churches and forts built in the 18th century stands as a keepsake of their rule in this area. One can also visit the Thirumullavaram beach, a beautiful secluded beach perfect for picnic spot which is located just 6 kms north of Kollam.
The months of October to March is the best time to visit the beach.
Thirumullavaram beach is located 6 kms from Kollam town in Kerala and is a popular picnic spot among the residents from time immemorial.
The secluded beach of Kollam will soothe your mind and body with its natural beauty. The swaying coconut palms, the ebbing waves of the Arabian Sea and the clean and unspoiled sand of the beach makes this beautiful beach an ideal picnic spot. Since it not very commercialized you would not even find any vendors hassling you, so you can relax for hours without any disturbance. Swimming on this beach is a safe activity that tourists like to indulge in. Another must-do while you are in Thirumullavaram is to taste the local cuisine that is mostly flavoured with coconut and spices like cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. You would love eating food served on a banana leaf, the traditional style of the south.
A water hillock named Nyarazhcha Para which means Sunday Rock, is another allurement for the tourists visiting here. During low tides, this hillock can be seen clearly from the shore about one and a half kms into the sea.
Apart from this, the famous Shree Vaikundapuram Mahavishnu Temple is also situated near the beach. It is one of the most esteemed and ancient temples of Kollam that is believed to be sanctified by Parasurama, the creator of Kerala. The pond inside the temple has a strange feature that the water inside it never tastes salty despite being consisting of sea water.
Shangumukham Beach is located just 8 kms away from the city of Thiruvananthapuram. With a vast stretch of white sand along with coconut palms lining the beach and the serene atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of city, this beach is an ideal location for tourists to relax and rejuvenate.
The beach is also known as the Sunset Beach as it offers mesmerizing views of the sunset. Although it is not safe for swimming since the water here is loud and rough, other activities like building sand castles, beach volleyball, skating and badminton playing keep the tourists busy. The famous 'Star Fish Restaurant' fulfils the desire of delicious mouth-watering local cuisine, along with an open air theatre. There is an Indian Coffee house too at the beach which offers luscious coffee and food.
During the festive day of Arattu, a procession of images of Lord Narsimha, Lord Padmanabhaswamy and Lord Krishna is taken to the Laccadive Sea at Shanghumugham Beach. These idols are taken back in procession after the ceremonial bath which concludes the festival.
The beach is equipped with a skating school that provides coaching to children of all ages. Next to it is an indoor sports complex where you can play badminton and table tennis. The Jawaharlal Nehru Park of Traffic Lights for children is a park where children can learn the traffic rules while enjoying the park. For young children, cycles are also available on hire.
A giant statue of a mermaid called Matsya Kanyaka stands as a symbol of the beach. This 35m long giant sculpture, created by Kanayi Kunhiraman, a renowned sculptor, adds to the beauty of the surroundings.
The Viel Tourist Village which is connected to the beach by a floating beach is an added attraction. It is a famous picnic spot which offers Amusement Park, Children's Park, Lagoons for boating and a Water Front Park too.
The Vettucadu Church, a famous Christian church marked for its architectural beauty also lies near the beach.
Varkala beach, located about 50 km north-west of Thiruvananthapuram and 37 km south west of Kollam is one of the top 10 seasonal beaches of the world. The calm and serene environment of the beach consisting of silvery sands enclosed with swaying coconut palms makes it a relaxing beach holiday. One can enjoy water sports like surfing, parasailing, scuba diving and sailing, apart from usual swimming and sunbathing.
The 2000-years old temple - Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple, dedicated to Ayyappa stands on a cliff of the beach. People here offer 'Vavu Bali' for peace of soul of their relatives who have departed from this world. On the top of Sivagiri hillock, stands the final resting place of Shree Narayana Guru, a great social reformer who spread the ideology 'one religion, one caste and one god'. Thousands of devotees visit here every year from 30th December to 1st January- the pilgrimage days.
There are innumerable massage centers around the beach providing rejuvenating oil massages that remove toxins, improve blood circulation and burn extra fats. Apart from this, Sivagiri Mutt is a famous Ashram near the beach which is known for its Ayurveda treatment.
The beach also fulfils the desire of having delicious sea food through many charming restaurants and shacks nearby. You can even ask the chefs to prepare food according to your own taste. Also, this beach is full of high class resorts and homestays that offer excellent accommodation facilities to its visitors.
Last Updated on : January 10, 2014