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    Here is a guide to the Beaches in India

    Be it on the east or west coast, with pristine white sands, golden yellow sands and black sands, beaches in India are as diverse as our many states and languages. Some of the best beaches in India are regularly finding their way on the world map thanks to their pristine beauty and solitude, adventure, watersports and beautiful resorts that have sprung up.  Imagine walking along shores while the skies adorn a bouquet of multicolored hues. The coastlines of India indeed have some of the most scenic beaches in the world!

    Goa

    When you think of ‘Goa’, your mind automatically conjures up images of surfing, golden sands, mile-long beaches fringed by swaying palms and pristine waters. It is blessed with some of the most spectacular beaches of our country. The best time to visit is between October and January.

    However, Goa is at its beautiful best during the monsoons from June to September. Moreover, during this time hotels offer the best rates. Though the prices go up peak season, several places offer a decent off-season discount.

    1. Palolem Beach

    Photo credit: Andrew Miller - flickr

    If you are looking for the most picturesque beach in Goa, then head to Palolem Beach which is in South Goa. Beautifully enclosed with a thick forest of coconut palms, this mile long beach is as scenic as it gets and is located just 45 km from Margao and 76 kilometres from Panaji.

    [Enjoy racing with the waves while surfing in Arambol, Goa]

    Photo credit: Andrew Miller - flickr

    This semi-circle shaped beach with its pristine waters and golden sands attracts thousands of tourists who are looking for tranquillity away from the crowded parts of Goa. The closest railway station is Marago on the Konkan railway station and Canacona which is a 10 minute drive away. You can also take a flight to Goa’s Dabolim airport which is about one and a half hours away.

    2. Baga Beach

    Photo Credit : harikrish.h - flickr

    For years several tourists have thronged to Baga Beach in north Goa, undoubtedly one of the best beach holidays in India. The beach is filled with food shacks, tattoo shacks , flea markets and adventure sports that are hard to match, amongst beaches of India. There are several fine-dining restaurants along the coastline that are as famous as the beach itself and attracts foreigners and Indians by the hordes in all seasons.

    [Check out 10 most of the beautiful places in Goa]

    With a pulsating nightlife on offer, this is definitely where you will head for some great time. If water sports attract you, you can go for thrilling parasailing activities, wake boarding, kite surfing and even take a dolphin spotting trip. The Wednesday flea market at Anjuna Beach and Saturday night market at Arpora are popular destinations for shoppers too.

    You can reach here by train and get off at the Thivim station or land by air at Goa's Dabolim airport which is located 50 kilometers away and take a pre-paid taxi to Baga.

    3. Agonda Beach

    Photo credit: Magnus von Koeller - flickr

    If you are looking for a relatively secluded area then Angoda beach is the place for you. This beach is located in South Goa just north of Palolem Beach. It is located 43 kilometers from Margao and 76 kilometres from Panaji. Here, you can live in a hut right on the beach and get your dream vacation.

    [Witness and interact with adorable dolphins in Candolim, Goa]

    Being a turtle nesting and dolphin site, Angoda beach has an understated elegance about it. There are plenty of tourists and souvenir stalls along the way, adding to the charm of the place.

    4. Arambol Beach

    Photo credit: dwan - flickr

    Arambol beach in Goa is yet another alluring beach in these parts. Tourists who are looking for less crowded areas, seek out this beach that has to be approached by a 10 minute walk along a narrow path. All along the way, are small shops selling trinkets and food.

    [Get an adrenaline rush as you enjoy the water sports at Baina Beach]

    There is a freshwater pond a few metres from the beach, and the sand around it is said to have medicinal properties. If you wish to stay the night, the boutique resort, Rococco at Ashvem, is a great option. The beach also offers a refreshing ayurvedic spa and a vast array of Mediterranean, Indian and Japanese cuisines.

     Kerala

    5. Marari Beach

    Marari Beach

    Photo Credit : nborun - flickr

    Not far from the small town of Alleppey in Kerala, is Marari Beach which is a perfect for people looking for a peaceful time. You can also explore Kerala backwaters from here. You can also opt for some interesting day trips from here to add to the holiday mood. These include the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, traditional coir-making units, and the Kerala backwater canals.

    [Enjoy a relaxing beach holiday tour in Kerala, cruising down the backwaters and sightseeing]

    The snake boat races take place during August over here, and are a big draw for tourists. This is one of the top beaches of India that offers complete entertainment for the tourists. The luxury Marari beach resort is an eco-friendly resort and is hugely popular as it captures the soul of the beach and is inspired by local fishing villages, the ideal place to stay when you visit the beach. The nearest train station is in Alleppey or you can land at the nearest airport in Cochin.

    6. Muzhappilangad Beach

    Muzhappilangad Beach

    Photo credit: Goutham Mohandas - wikicommons

    If you are looking for an offbeat, lesser crowded location, while in Kerala, you can also visit the only drive-in beach in the country in Muzhappilangad which is located just seven kilometres from Thalassery in north Kerala.

    To get to this beach, you can use the airport in Kozhikode or the nearest railway station which is in Kannur. This particular beach attracts a lot of foreigners too.  You can stay at the Kairali Heritage at Kannur in air-conditioned cottages that face river Kattampally.

    7. Alappuzha Beach

    Alappuzha Beach

    Photo Credit : Ronald Tagra - flickr

    While in God’s own country, it makes sense to stop by at Alappuzha which is known as Venice of the East. The dock that extends into the sea here is almost 140 years old. A large picturesque set of lagoons, lakes and freshwater rivers along the Arabian Sea makes it mesmerising in its natural beauty and splendour.

    [Relax, slow down and unwind on the riveting backwaters of Kerala]

    Here, you will find several species of birds and animals in their natural habitat adding to the vivid beauty, making this a ‘must visit’ destination. This lovely beach location is also famous for its houseboats, boat races and coir industry.

    8. Varkala Beach

    Varkala Beach

    Photo Credit : Thejas Panarkandy - flickr

    A purely pristine and beautiful stretch of beach is the Varkala Beach that has a vibrant stretch of cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea. This beach is located just 51 km from Thiruvananthapuram, and is an hour’s drive away.  A beautiful paved footpath runs along the length of the cliff that is fringed with coconut palms and is a stunning sight to behold.

    [Appreciate and soak in the sights nature has to offer as you go on an eco tour in Kerala]

    There are several beautiful sights to see here and one of them is an ancient shrine of the Janardhana Swamy Temple that was built on a cliff, overlooking the beach. Another attraction is the Samadhi of the Guru, where devotees throng every year to pay their respects.

    A natural spring close by is said to have medicinal properties. With a range of good accommodation facilities for tourists, this beach is fast becoming popular with foreigners and local tourists. All along the beach, there are quaint shops selling wares and trinkets.

    9. Alleppey

    Alleppey

    Photo Credit : Christian Haugen - flickr

    A trip to the beaches of Kerala will be incomplete without a cruise on the famous Alleppey houseboats. The cheapest option would be to choose the Alleppey Tourism Development Corporation’s ferry between Alleppey and Kollam which is an eight hour ride. The ferries usually set out at 10.30 am from each town everyday. The rides usually include a scrumptious meal on board. Many of these trips also stop at the coir village, along the way.

    [Cruise along the emerald green backwaters of Kumarakom in a quaint houseboat]

    You can travel through the Alleppey backwaters to places such as Kumarakom, Kottayam, and Alumkadavu (near Kollam). The breathtaking scenery along the way with swaying palm trees and local fishermen and women dressed in colourful attire will make your ride memorable.

    Lakshadweep Islands

    Looking for a beach that is both mystical and magical?  Look no further than the Bangaram beach in Lakshadweep that has beaches characterised by white sands and pristine blue lagoons.  There are plenty of thrilling water sports and adventure activities for adventure-seekers that includes snorkelling, diving, deep-sea fishing and sailing to name a few. 

    Another alternative is the Radhanagar Beach in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Its pristine white sands, deep blue waters and serene surroundings make it breathtakingly beautiful. Located 12 km from Havelock’s ferry pier, this is one of the best beaches in India.

    10. Nagoa Beach

    Nagoa Beach

    The Nagoa Beach, Diu is located near the Nagoa hamlet of the Bucharwada village in the union territory of Daman and Diu, India. This lovely beach is shaped like a horseshoe.

    If you are the adventurous kind, this beach offers plenty of water sporting activities and is a great place for swimming. Also, on offer are various water sports like parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing and windsurfing, truly a fun-filled holiday for families. The drive is quite exhilarating as you drive through coconut groves and experience the cool breeze and serene atmosphere on the way.

    Chennai

    11. Pondicherry Beach

    Pondicherry

    Photo credit: Soham Banerjee - flickr

    Pondicherry is a beach lover’s paradise. Serenity Beach in Pondicherry is a pristine and peaceful beach. This union territory is well known for its long coastline and has several places that are ideal for sunbathing and strolling in the sands. Add to that the golden yellow sands and deep blue waters; and Pondicherry is a favourite beach holiday destination for most people in the country.

    [Appreciate aqautic nature while snorkling and kayaking in Lakshadweep]

    Serenity Beach is just a short 10-minute drive from the north of the city. The vast stretches of serene sea and sky is an alluring sight. For adventure seekers there are the usual water sport activities that keep you enthralled and rejuvenated.

    [Don't miss out the things to do in Pondicherry]

    12. Mahabalipuram Beach

    Mahabalipuram

    Photo Credit : Alexander Pfeiffenberger - flickr

    If you are looking for a serene beach with a lot of history thrown in and ideally located on India’s east coast, then Mahabalipuram beach (or Mamallapuram) is just where you need to go.  It is one of the best beaches in India as one can trek here as well as enjoy the lovely resorts that dot this beach. Located about 50 kilometres from Chennai, in Tamil Nadu, you can get here by local bus or by train.

    [Check out best weekend trips from Chennai]

    The nearest station is Chengalpattu (Chingleput) which is 29 kilometres away and just an hour’s drive if you take a taxi from here. This historic town is filled with temples and the Shore temple here is a huge attraction.

    Its stone sculpture industry and rock cut caves are also well known and some of the main attractions here is the ‘Five Rathas’ (sculptured temples in the shape of chariots) and ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ which has carvings of the Mahabharata depicted on rocks. The best time to visit will be from December to March.

    Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    14. Wandoor Beach

    Wandoor Beach

    Photo Credit : Christopher Angell - flickr

    Wandoor beach is located at the southern tip of Andaman. It is one of the best places to relax under the serene beauty of nature. Only 25 km from Port Blair, this beach is famous for its swimming destinations and spectacular coral life.

    A holiday in Wandoor beach is incomplete without visiting Jolly Bouy Island. Open to tourists alternate 6 months, Jolly Bouy Island is an ideal home to exotic marine life. Rare species of fish, corals and other marine life can be found in this island.

    Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is the nearest spot to this beach. The park is known for the exotic varieties of its red, blue and sponge coral.

    15. Corbyn’s Cove 

    Corbyns Cove

    Photo Credit : Sankara Subramanian - flickr

    Another exotic location by the sea is Corbyn’s Cove, Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Surrounded on one side by coconut trees and a calm sea on the other, this beach is popular for jet-skiing, scuba diving and swimming.

    [Go scuba diving and snorkelling in the azure waters of Andaman]

    If you just want to laze on the beach then sun bathing and going for a leisurely swim is also an ideal way to get some sun and water. The best way to get here is by road as it is located just 4 kilometres east of Port Blair airport and 7 kilometres from the main town area.  You can stay at Peerless Sarovar Portico, Port Blair which offers rooms with a view of the sea.

    Karnataka

    16. Devbagh Beach

    Devbagh Karnataka

    Photo credit: Abhijeet Rane - flickr

    The southern state of Karnataka in India, also offers some beaches near the coast and one of them is Devbagh, Karnataka. This is an island off the Karwar Coast where River Kali meets the sea. You can also land here from Dabolim Airport in Goa, which is 90 km away from Devbagh.

    It is located around 50 km from Gokarna. Primarily a secluded beach, it is filled with meandering backwaters and thick jungles. There are a wide variety of options for accommodation including fishermen’s huts, cottages, log huts and houseboats.

    17. Gokarna Beach

    Gokarna Beach

    Photo Credit : Sudharsan Narayanan - flickr

    This small town of Gokarna has some of India’s most secluded and beautiful beaches in its fold. The drive to this beach is as scenic as it gets with a winding path that leads to the beach, with the rocky mountains of the Western Ghats  consists the Arabian sea on either side. Gokarna primarily consists of the Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, Om beach, half moon beach and Paradise beach.

    [Revel in a speed boat experience on the trendy Om beach]

    In fact, you can even trek from beach to the other.  Om beach is literally in the shape of Om and is one considered to be one of nature’s spectacular creations. Since Gokarna is a holy city, it also attracts pilgrims and beach enthusiasts. Located in the state of Karnataka, it is an hour’s drive away from the south of Goa border and is a 450 km drive from Bangalore.

     

    [Check out for awesome Gokarna Resorts]

     West Bengal

    18. Digha Beach

    Digha Beach

    Photo credit: Rajarshi MITRA - flickr

    Situated at a distance of 187 km away from Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, Digha beach is the most popular in West Bengal. In Digha beach, Bay of Bengal exhibits its most pristine form and this enchanting beauty allures thousands of tourists every year. It is also one of the favourite getaways of Kolkattans.

    [Camp by the Chilika Lake and experience traditional pole-boat cruises in Orissa]

    Sunrise and sunset are the best times to get an outstanding view of this beach. Beguiling beauty of the sunrays, striking the sea and the crystal sands, creates a mesmerising atmosphere around the beach. Calmness of the sea, under the spell of the sunrays offers a magnificent view sure to be etched in yourmind forever. Shallow water and gentle waves of Digha beach make it a not-to-be-missed beach in West Bengal.

    Digha beach, originally known as ‘Beerkul’, was discovered during the eighteenth century. It has also been called ‘Brighton of the East’ during the British rule.

    19. Mandarmani Beach

    Mandarmani Beach

    Photo credit: Abhijit Kar Gupta  - flickr

    Mandarmani is another hotspot among beaches in West Bengal. Claimed to be the longest driveable beach in India, this mystical beach is 13 km long. It is located in the East Midnapore district of West Bengal and can be easily reached from all the major places of Kolkata.

    [Take a weekend break on the seas fishing off Bogmalo Beach]

    Crawling red crabs add more life to the crystal sands of Mandarmani beach. The appearance of these crabs looks familiar to ‘Mandar’ - a kind of red flower found in this region. Thus, the local people named this beach as ‘Mandarboni’, which later changed to Mandarmani.

    Calmness of the morning and serenity of the evening in Mandarmani beach is an extreme delight to the mind. It is the second most popular beach holidays in West Bengal.

    20. Bakkhali Beach

    Bakkhali Beach

    Photo credit: P.K.Niyogi - wikicommons

    This beach is located in ‘South 24 Parganas’ district of West Bengal. The location of this beach adds an extra flamboyance to it and casts a magical spell on its admirer. It is a perfect holiday destination for wildlife lovers. Located in one of the deltaic islands of the Sunderbans, Bakkhali beach is guarded by naturally growing Casuarina trees. 

    There is an interesting history about the accidental discovery of this place. Sir Andrew Fraser, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal (1903–1908) discovered this place during one his voyages in the sea, quite by chance.

     Odisha

    21. Puri Beach

    Puri Beach

    Photo credit: rjha94 - flickr

    One of the most sacred places of the Hindus, Puri also boasts of a magnificent beach lying along the coastline of Bay of Bengal. In this beach, the radiant sunrays mix elegantly with the roaring sea waves, creating a splendid view and a mesmerising atmosphere.

    Puri beach can be called as the abode of the sand artists; sand art is one of the main attractions of this beach. Every year, Puri beach hosts sand art festival where artists gather to displays their fascinating art skills. Several national and international artists take part in this festival with great enthusiasm. Sudarshan Pattnaik is one of the most popular sand artists of Odisha. His name and fame has reached several countries in the world.

    [Discover historical monuments and sacred temples with our rustic Puri tour]

    Puri beach can be easily reached from Puri railway station. While travelling by air, Bhubaneshwar airport will serve as the nearest airport to this beach.

    22. Chandipur Beach

    Chandipur Beach

    Photo credit: Subhashish Panigrahi - flickr

    Chandipur beach is located in Baleswar district of Odisha. This beach is popular for its uniqueness: water in this shore moves away 1-4 km when the tide ebbs, making the sea seem to disappear in this beach. This singular natural occurrence of Chandipur beach makes it one of the most visited beaches in India.

    In Chandipur beach, bio-diversity can be found in the best form. Horseshoe crabs; one of the rarest species of crabs, can be found on this beach. Swaying waves, sand dunes and peaceful atmosphere prevails on this beach. For food lovers, there is the addition of Chandipur beach serving extremely delicious seafoods.

    Chandipur is located at a distance of 200 km from Bhubaneswar and 10 km from Balasore. It is well connected to other nearby places and can easily be reached by following National Highway No. 5.

    23. Chandrabhaga Beach

    Chandrabhaga Beach

    Photo Credit : Vaibhav San - flickr

    Famous Sun Temple of Konark is the nearest attraction centre to Chandrabhaga beach. It lies only 3 km away from the Sun temple and 30 km from Puri. Chandrabhaga beach is related to many mythological tales. Lord Krishna’s son Shamba is believed to have worshipped the Sun God on the river mouth of Chandrabhaga. Shamba, who was a leper, got cured in this place. Since then, Chandrabhaga is considered as a sacred place for the treatment of lepers.

    [Experience the gems of India with the Orissa Golden Triangle tour]

    Other tales depict how the Sun God fell in love with Chandrabhag, daughter of a sage, and efforts of the latter in keeping herself away from the romantic overtures of the Sun God. In order to resist all the tricks of Sun God, Chandrabhag sacrificed her life in the river.

    Her sacrifice has been marked as a holy occasion and is celebrated on the seventh day of every full-moon fortnight of Magha month. Every year, thousands of devotees visit this beach and offer prayers. This beach is an ideal spot for relaxing and attaining mental peace.

    24. Ashtaranga Beach

    Among the various beaches in India, if anyone wants to see the magnificent glory of the sunset, they must visit the Astaranga Beach. Located at a mere distance of 91 km from Puri, this beach gets drenched in the glorious colours of the setting sun. While the crystal sands of this beach reflect the colour of the setting sun, the view is truly enticing and panoramic. From October to June is the best time period to visit this beach. 


Attractions

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Pangong Lake

Rather, the most sought after tourist destination is Pangong Tso in Ladakh region. It is the highest among the high altitude lakes in India which is filled with saline water but provides some awe-struck moments to the visitors with the unbelievable phenomenon of changing colours quite a number of times a day.

The reflections of the towering Himalayan peaks in the water add more charm to the lake. Currently, Pangong Tso is the favorite location for tourists as the banks of the lake give soothing bed to relax and the nearby places are enhanced by the beauty of this particular lake. The quiet lake is 134 km in length and 5 km in width is situated at an altitude of 14270 meters. But the major share of the lake lies in the area of China. Now, its recognition is spread everywhere in the world because it is termed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The highly saline water does not accommodate any water species not even micro-organisms. But the banks of the lake give space for several birds and animals very rarely seen in the other parts of India. It is an important breeding ground for many migratory birds as well.

Height: The lake is located at an altitude of 4250 meters above the sea level.

Location: Pangong Tso is easily accessible as it can be reached after a five hour drive from Leh and the travel would be on a rough and dramatic mountain road. You will cross the villages of Shey and Gya during the tour and go through Chang La as well.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the ideal time to visit the lake as the other seasons may cause challenges due to the heavy snowfall.

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Nubra Valley

Something divine makes Nubra Valley close to heart and it is not an exaggeration but a fact that experienced and shared by the countless tourists visited the paradisiacal location in Jammu and Kashmir. Without touching the spectacular roads of Nubra Valley, a Ladakh tour will not be complete. The tri armed valley has Diskit Village as its capital. Ldumra, a magnificent name is the original name of the valley as the local scholars insist. Ldumra means Valley of Flowers. The large valley is formed after the merging of Shyok River with Nubra or Siachen River causing the separation of the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The valley is located 10000 feet that is 3048 meters above mean sea level and those who cross the Khardung La Pass can easily come to Nubra Valley from Leh.

Except the river beds, every other place in the valley shows scant vegetation and low precipitation levels. Most of the villages in the valley are occupied by Nubra skat speakers and in the villages, one can find lush greenery and farming which happen through the regular irrigation. Diskit is the place where native people are seen in abundance and Diskit Monastery is the entre of attraction as well. The Shyok River flowing on one side of Diskit has a captivating effect on the visitors. Nubra Valley unwinds a lot of surprising sights when you visit it and an unbelievable fact is that the valley was open to the public till Hunder until 2010. Beyond Hunder, it was the greener region in the lower altitude where the Turtuk village exists. Till 2010, the Government did not allow tourists to mesmerize themselves in the magnificent beauty of Turtuk where numerous apricot trees and other vegetation along with the tribal community were preserved as a virgin.

Height: 3048 meters above the sea level

Location: The paradisiacal Nubra Valley is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and the main road access to the valley is through Khardung La pass where you have to show the photocopies of your travel permit to the soldiers camping.

Best time to visit: The months from June to September is the perfect period to visit Nubra Valley

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Khardung La

Controversies regarding the proclamation that Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world is not yet diminished but Ladakh travelers still believe that it is the highest and most adventurous pass in the world. Despite the controversies, Khardung La keeps on attracting hundreds of adventure seekers every year, be it bikers, trekkers or visitors. Nestled amidst the most reverberating surrounding, the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is located at an altitude of 17582 feet. Near to the pass, the collection of awesome valleys will lure you and along with the natural extravaganzas, the Tibetan prayer flags are an additional charm.

The pass was constructed in the year of 1976 and later in 1988, it was opened to public and from then on, the pass was inviting uncountable bikers, trekkers and tourists. It is maintained by the Border roads Organization as the pass is highly significant and important to India because it was once used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Recently, Khardung La became the hot potato of the town with a happy news that a ten member team of visually impaired people is going to conquer the pass through cycling in 2017.

Height: Khardung La is located at an altitude of 5359 meters. But there is an incorrect proclamation on the signboards appear here saying that the height of the pass is 18379 feet.

Location: The highest motorable pass in Ladakh is lying about 39 kms away from Leh. By road, one can reach the pass. The first 24 kms of the road are paved and from there to the North Pullu check post, the 15 kms of the road are filled with loose rock, dirt and occasional rivulets formed after the melting of snow.

Best time to visit: The season between May to October is the best time to visit Khardung La.

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Tso Moriri Lake

It won’t be exceeding at all how much you describe the beauty of Tso Moriri in Ladakh, a highly protected lake in Changthang Region and a significant portion of Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.  It is the largest of all high altitude lakes in India especially in Ladakh and is located at an altitude of 4522 meters above the sea level. The length comes to 26 km north to south and 3 to 5 km is the width and the water is wholly brackish. 

The water to feed the lake comes from the springs and melted snow from the nearby mountains. There are two major stream systems to lead the water to the lake. One in the north part of the lake and the other comes in the southwest part. Huge, extensive marshes are seen at both the entrances of the lake. Rupshu Valley, a breathtaking area is the guardian of Tso Moriri along with an array of the lofty Himalayan Mountains in the surrounding.

The number of people come to witness the beauty of this splendid lake is lesser when compared to that of Pangong Lake. It is because of the secluded location of the lake. Hence, it is a favorite home town for many migratory birds. They come to breed here especially birds like great- crested grebe, the brown-headed gull and the Brahmin duck. The rare Himalayan hares are also abundantly seen near the lake. Thus, the declaration of the lake as a reserved area is a right option to protect these species from extinction. Less human interference would keep their lives strong.

Height: The lake is situated at an altitude of 4522 meters.

Location: You can reach Tso Moriri via road from Leh. It is 150 kms away from Leh Airport. Kalka Railway station is the nearest one to the lake. You will get buses and taxis from the station as well.

Best time to visit: May, June, July and August are the peak season when tourists come to Tso Moriri in large numbers and other months will be filled with snow and have extreme cold conditions.

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Shanti Stupa

The white dome of Shanti Stupa is clearly visible from a far distance when you are on a tour of Leh. Peace Pagoda got its name like that because of many reasons mainly the silence persists in and around the pagoda always. This Buddhist prayer center is the most beloved attraction in Jammu and Kashmir. At a height of 4267 meters, the two storied stupa stands holding its head high and overlooks the bustling Leh town. The uneven mountain terrains in the surrounding gives the pagoda a remarkable shining. It is at a location which is 5 km away from Leh town and one who visits the stupa has to climb five hundred steps. The exotic view of the Himalayan peaks turns the beauty of the stupa also, a peace lover would dedicate his life to have such overjoying moments.

History

The stupa was constructed by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists. The construction was started in 1983, many Buddhists and Indian Government officials have supervised the procedures throughout.

Structure of the stupa

Among the two structures of the pagoda, the first level depicts the central relief of Dharmachakra which has deer on each side and the turning wheel of Dharma also has a golden image of Buddha at the center. The second level displays images which show the birth of Budhha and the death as well. In addition, both the level have smaller images of Buddha meditating. The stupa came into existence in order to spread the word of peace and harmony among people and it came into establishment as a commemoration of the valuable 2500 years of Buddhism.

Location: Any one can reach the stupa via road from Leh, only 5 kms from the town, a walk of fifteen minutes would require.

Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm

Highlights: The sunset and sunrise views from the stupa are inevitably beautiful


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Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill is still a mystery yet a famed attraction that pulls the adventure lovers on a large scale toward it. A mystifying phenomenon which stunts the science and fiction together and exists as a magic to the normal people visiting here. Magnetic Hill is a trump card of every Ladakh tour because of the awe-struck moments it would promise the travelers. There is a sign board placed which says that the hill defies gravity completely and inviting everyone to experience the magical phenomenon.

 If you keep your vehicle in neutral at a position marked on the road and wait, you will be surprised to see the vehicle starts moving uphill at 10-20 km per hour. And this is the unexplainable feature of Magnetic Hill that confuses the world of science. It is located on Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway and on the east, the beautiful Sindhu River is flowing calmly. Near the hill there is a Sikh Gurudwara maintained by the Indian Army. Due to the natural attraction as well as the human architectural brilliance, the hill has gained popularity in a short term. 

Not just the vehicles hitting the road but the aircrafts and helicopters crossing the radius which Magnetic Hill comes in would feel the same magnetic effect. If the aircrafts are going on a slow pace, then it starts jerking while they are in the circumference of the hill. So the only solution to escape from the clutches of this phenomenon is that the crafts should move at a greater speed.

Height: Magnetic Hill is located at an elevation of 14000 feet above the sea level.

Location: To reach the hill, you can hit the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway and it is situated at a distance of just 30 kms from Leh town.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Magnetic Hill is from June to October.

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Havelock Island

Being one of the topnotch attractions in Andaman is the sublime Havelock Island brimming with silky beaches and exuberant greenery. A lot of tourist locations, resorts, hotels, attractions and much more are creating the perfect background to Havelock Island to host as many tourists as possible. This is the largest of all the islands in Andaman and comprises of a lot of small islands. The administration in Havelock promotes eco-tourism on a large scale.

 The lighthouse established in 2005 at the northern part of the island gives additional recognition for the island. The accommodation options on Havelock will let you be surprised. Ranging from high-end, luxurious resorts to camps with basic amenities, the stay arrangements done by the administrative people here are unbelievable.

Highlights: The long stretches of different types of beaches are the main highlight to be pointed out. Declared the best beaches in the world, almost all of them are blissfully located on Havelock Island, connected to closely to the main boat jetty on the island.  

Elephant Beach, Radhanagar Beach, Vijaynagar Beach, Kalapathar Beach which are known in numbers also are proclaimed to have the highest number of tourists every year. The green fringed shorelines, the clear sea water, the colourful marine animals, the long coral reefs, the wild fauna and flora bring forth the astounding picture of Havelock incomparably beautiful.

Activities: Snorkeling and diving are the favourite activities done on the islands though other major water based activities like boating and kayaking are frequently done.

Distance from Port Blair: Havelock Island is lying 42 kms northeast of the capital city, Port Blair. There are regular boat services by the Directorate of Shipping Services which connect Phoenix Bay jetty in Port Blair to Havelock daily.

 

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Chidiya Tapu

As the name suggests, Chidiya Tapu is the perfect haven for unseen migratory birds and common native birds found in Andaman Islands. Recognized as the most enchanting beach in Andaman and tourists arrive here on a large scale as the beach extends the best ever sights for them including the eye catching sunrise and sunset views. This is a silent yet crowded beach encircled by evergreen forests on one side and the short hills on the other side. 

As it is considered to be the presenter of the most finishing touch of sunset and sunrise views, it is the main hub in Andaman Islands. The beach is filled with 46 varieties of endangered species of birds, and white spotted deer. There are a lot of seasonal orchids and other varieties of plants.

Highlights: The major attractions of Chidiya Tapu are the Chidiya Tapu Biological Park, the Sylvan Sands, the Munda Pahar Beaches etc. You will be able to stay at a forest guesthouse located nearby atop a hillock and from there, the panoramic view of Chidiya Tapu in detail.

Activities: Apart from sunset and sunrise views, people come in plenty toward this beach to identify the rare species appear in multiple colours and size. Even though many of the birds are commonly found on the beach, you would find it as a unique and unnatural scene to find the colourful gathering of them. Boating is an attractive activity done here as well as snorkeling and swimming are also a part of the adventure activities usually experienced by those who visit here.

Distance from Port Blair: It is located about 25 kms from Port Blair.


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Neil Island

A tiny island located to the south of Andaman is Neil Island, brimming with less explore marine diversity, coral reefs, long beaches and bewitching greenery. Being one of the tourist destinations in Andaman, Neil is so happy to become the host with revealing all what it has. A romantically silent island unlike the hustle of Havelock Island, Neil Island is termed as the vegetable bowl of Andaman. A perfect place to simply relax and chill is the beaches here and the deserted shores are favourite to those who love to relax in utmost peace.

In two hours, one can explore the island by walking around. It got the name Neil after the British Brigadier General James Neill who stubbornly dealt with the rebels during the 1857 Mutiny. The rich cultivation of paddy is found in Neil Island that belongs to the Ritchies’ Arhcipelago between Havelock Island and Rose Island.

Highlights: One of the major highlights of Neil Island is Neil Kendra, a beautiful curving bay full of white sand and holding the major jetty of the island made attracting by disarraying numerous colourful wooden fishing boats. Known to be the heart of the island, Neil Kendra has Bharatpur Beach on its left and Laxmanpur Beach on the right. The richest collection of marine lives and coral reefs have given Neil Island the peculiarity of being one of the most thrilling scuba diving sites on the island. In addition to diving, Neil Island is home to those who love snorkeling, swimming, birding, cycling etc.

Activities: Glass bottom ride and snorkelling are the major activities available on Neil Island though there are enough opportunities to do diving and other prime adventure activities.

Distance from Port Blair: The island belongs to the South Andaman district is located about 36 km northeast from Port Blair.

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Radhanagar Beach

Radhanagar Beach in Andaman has ranked 8th among the top ten beautiful beaches in the world based on travelers reviews and rating available on multiple sources and Radhanagar Beach deserves it for many reasons. One of the most ravishing beauty in Andaman with a lot of tourists visiting it every year, Radhanagar Beach is the gem of Havelock Island. 500 meters away from the beach, one can see only the expansive blue water and the lush green tropical forests but when you reach the beach, the sights are apparently awe-inspiring.

 Radhanagar is commonly called as Beach No.7 and this is one of the closest beach located near to Havelock Island ferry tier. The silky beach is kids friendly as well so that families are found in plenty on the beach to spend their vacation or a short holiday. There are nothing to be worried as the coast guards are roaming around always and the number of people here will be a pleasant sight to see.

Activities: Snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, boating, parasailing etc are some of the most commonly seen activities on the beach and among them Scuba Diving is the best as it offers the clear interaction with the wide range of marine animals and coral reefs around living in harmony. 

The turquoise water gives a rejuvenating experience while you swim across or do snorkeling and since the number of tourists are relatively higher, the Government opens more opportunities for them to spend an ample time on the beach. As it is a superb place adventure lovers also would covet, the fame it has achieved international importance in no time.

Distance from Port Blair: From Port Blair it will take more than three hours to reach Radhanagar Beach as it is located about 72 kms away from the capital city.

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Baratang Island

One of the aboriginal tribes of Andaman lives in Baratang Island, a highly blessed region with years-old wilderness. Earlier, the tribes did not let outside people to enter their community but presently, Baratang Island is a vibrant tourist destination as people love to spend time amidst the huge forests, limestone caves, mangrove ranges and the mud volcanoes.

Baratang is a part of the Great Andaman Chain with an area of 243 sq.kilometers and that marks it as the main island of the group. Middle Andaman is lying to the north and South Andaman in the south of Baratang Island. And it belongs to Rangat Taluk.

Highlights: The active mud volcanoes are the highlights of Baratang Island along with the abundant mangrove forests and evergreen rainforests and the limestone caves located beyond the forests. So adventure lovers find Baratang as a wise choice to indulge in mind blowing trekking and nature walk. Among the multiple number of mud volcanoes, jalki, as the locals call it, is the famous one.

Activity: Nature walk through the wild forests and the extensive mangrove forests is one of the prime activities done on Baratang Island. Boating, trekking, hiking etc are some of the other, identified activities available on the island.

Distance from Port Blair: The island is located about 150 kms north of Port Blair and one can reach the island by ferry services only.


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Elephant Beach

Settled on the sands of Havelock Island, Elephant Beach is a reveling beauty well presented by the long coral reefs and the shining shoreline. A peaceful beach with pure serenity and silent ambience will offer the visitors a soothing melody and that would be the perfect time to relax, to walk around with your love or just to do sunbathing. Among the different beach on Havelock Island, Elephant Beach has a special significance because of its friendly atmosphere and not so crowded shoreline. In addition to the adventurous activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, tourists find time to do boating and similar activities on the beach. The clear water, the calm waves, the cool breeze and the magnificent sights on the shore have their own impacts on the number of people visiting the beach, and it increases only year by year.

Highlights: The long array of private boats, fishing boats and buoys extend a riveting beauty to the beach. Moreover, it is a kid friendly beach as well so that families are found here aplenty. The huge shoreline is the key factor behind the countless visitors appear on the beach every day. 

During monsoon also, tourists would love to come to Elephant Beach. People have reported that at times, the wild elephants from the nearby forests come to the beach and stroll along the white sandy bed.

Activities: An ideal place for snorkeling and scuba diving is Elephant Beach though boating and other fun, water based activities are also done by the visitors often. Tourists have experienced the best sea walking as well on Elephant Beach.

Distance from Port Blair: Elephant Beach is located on the famous Havelock Island. It is lying about 69 kms away from the capital city of Andaman, Port Blair. One can reach the beach via boat from Havelock jetty after reaching there from Port Blair by road or by boat.


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Diglipur

A marvelous town in the north part of Andaman Islands is Diglipur, an amicable tiny town with a lot of good people around. For eco- friendly tourists, this town is an inevitable choice. Though the marine life is the prominent feature of this town but the cultivation of orange and rice has enormous importance in the economy of Diglipur.

Highlights: Lamiya Bay Beach is a highlight of the town, it is located a few kilometers away from Kalipur Beach. The beach is lying in the foothills of Saddle peak, the highest one in Andaman. Around 20 kms from Diglipur is the green Shyamnagar covered by thick jungles and why Shyamnagar is a priority for tourists is because of the presence of mud volcanoes here. Kalipur Beach and Ramangar Beach are the other famous beaches at Diglipur and they are famous for turtle nesting. Moreover, visitors are quite eager to visit Alfred Caves as well where a huge collections of limestone structures are found.

Activities: Since there are plenty of beaches, caves, greenery etc, Diglipur offers the visitors a huge number of activities ranging from refreshing trekking through the jungles to the water based activities like island hopping, snorkeling, boating, fishing etc. Near to Diglipur there are famous spots to do multiple activities.

Distance from Port Blair: Lying 290 kms away from Port Blair, the small town of Diglipur that can be connected by boat from both Port Blair and Mayabunder. The boat services from Port Blair are available twice a week. But one can reach the town by road via ATR from Port Blair.

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Vijaynagar Beach

Known as Beach No.5 is Vijaynagar Beach in the north east part of Havelock Island. Very remote from the crowded locations on Havelock Island, Vijaynagar Beach is close to heart for those who love to spend time in utmost calmness. The regular touch of the sapphire blue water on the pearl like sandy beach makes no noise and it is one of the reasons why tourists chosen it as the perfect space for romantic couples and families. 

The beauty of the beach has been praised so much by those who visited it. It is always better to come here freely, just to roam around, or to float on the shallow water, or to read under the large shade given by the huge trees on the shore or to do sunbathing. The collection of Mahua trees and palms is the significant ornament making the beach a splendid place to sit back and relax as much as time one wants to. This is one of the magnificent attractions in Andaman.

Highlights: A photographer's paradise is Vijaynagar Beach; especially the sunrise views from the beach is incomparably magnificent. When the sun’s fresh rays spread all over the wide sea, the entire atmosphere starts blushing in all possible colours and there is no better sight from the beach would satiate a photographic mind. The native birds appear during the fresh mornings add effective colours to the sunrise pictures.

Activity: The beach is recognized for relaxed swimming and sunbathing. Adventure activities are not yet a fashion on this inevitable part of Havelock Island.

Distance from Port Blair: Vijaynagar Beach is located at a distance of about 38 kms from Port Blair but from Havelock jetty the beach is lying 9 kms away only.

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Chadar Trek

For some years, adventure seekers all around the world have been talking about Chadar Trek in the Zanskar Region. Until this year, hundreds of people have experienced the thrill hidden and the mind blowing sights around Chadar frozen river. In fact, Chadar Trek is the most sought after and one of the breathtaking treks in the Himalayas. The winter trek is so special for those who are ready to have adventure at the maximum level. 

The river trek starts from Chilling where the river begins to freeze and mostly, travelers choose February as the best time to cross the frozen river as the ice sheets will be comparatively stable. The precarious snow-flakes would pose severe threats during the trek but in some other time, the challenges would be kind to the trekker. The surrounding of the river are completely vertical cliffs tall up to 600 meters. The Zanskar River is a tributary of the Indus and is 5 meters long. 

A trekker would have to cover 16 kms per day to complete the Chadar Trek. Usually, people opt for 10-15 days of trek depending on the climatic conditions persisting here. The temperature at Chadar will come to the lowest at -35 degree Celsius during winter and thus Chadar Trek becomes more intimidating. Approximate trekking distance one would have to cover in total is 75 kms.

Maximum altitude: 11123 feet is the height at which Chadar Trek would lead you to.

Location: To take part in Chadar Trek, one should arrive in Leh and from Leh, the journey starts and goes to Chilling, the beginning of the Zanskar River in the frozen state. From Leh it would take about 65-70 kms to reach Tilad via Chilling, the base camp of the trek.

Best time to visit: January end to February is the best time suitable for trekking in the frozen river of Chadar. Quality and safe trekking gears and highly warm clothes are required.

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Markha Valley Trek

Adventure lovers always had an affection to Markha Valley and still it fulfills the dreams of a trekker or adventure seeker with the unrivalled collection of natural spectacle. Long day trekking tours are offered by a lot of tour providers all over India which promise a journey through the most scenic locations and villages. The awesomely exciting feature of this trek is that it will let the trekker cross two high altitude passes in Ladakh; Gandala La at 4980 meters and Kongmaru La at 5276 meters.

 Being one of the diverse treks in Ladakh region, Markha Valley trek offers a lot of adventurous moments throughout. The barren land of Ladakh and the Buddhist temples found throughout the journey make the trek special. The route winds past the Ladakhi villages and it goes to Hemis National Park where the chances to spot some rare wildlife species are comparably high. The nomadic groups of people will be a unique picture to keep in heart. The symbols of Buddhism like ‘chortens’, stupas, multi colored prayer flags and numerous monasteries narrate the story of Buddhist culture embraced Markha centuries ago. Another interesting fact heard about Markha Valley trek is that it is also called ‘tea house trek’ due to the accommodation provided in parachute tents in most of the villages during the tour.

Maximum altitude: 15000 feet is the maximum altitude the trek will cover.

Location: In most of the cases, the trek starts from Leh. The trail usually goes through Chilling, Skyu and then to Markha. From Markha it would take the trekker to reach Hankar and Nimaling and finally return to Leh. The ideal trekking distance is 75 kms and it would be graded as difficult.

Best time to visit: The months of June, July, August, September and October are recommended as the best time to do Markha Valley trek.