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Sun, Sand & Sea: Beaches That Are Just A Drive Away From Bangalore

    Beach crazy Bangaloreans need only to drive a short distance (yeah, 11 hours is close when it comes to beaches!) from the city to hit up golden sands and splendid, frothy waves. And no time like the present to shoot off to the shores. So pack up and head off for some thrilling seaside activities like surfing, paragliding, and dolphin spotting this New Year's. 


    If you’d like to beach bum at a place that’s a lot like Goa but is more easygoing, then hop by to Gokarna. At the pilgrim town’s popular Kudle or Om Beaches, you can spend many an hour sipping a cold beer at seaside shacks. For a more secluded experience, you can escape to nearby Halfmoon and Paradise Beaches. Accommodation is limited to basic hotels or cabins by the beach.

    Driving Time: 8.5 hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Dabolim, Goa


    Presided by the world’s second-largest statue of Shiva, the calm waters of Murdeshwar make for an ideal getaway from city life. Nearby, Netrani Island, just off the shore, is a popular diving site where you’ll be able to spot coral, eels, parrotfish and other underwater beauties. Mid-range and basic hotels can be found easily here.

    Driving Time: 9 hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Mangalore


    A busy city with a generous coastline, beach-hopping in Mangalore is a rewarding experience. You can start off at Panambur Beach where you can soak your feet perched on a rock, as you watch ships sail from the port. The beaches at Ullal and Someshwar are serene spots surrounded by palm groves and offer spectacular sunset views. For the explorer, there are other beaches if you're willing to make another drive across the coast. For stay, you can pick between budget stays at the heart of the city or cosy beach resorts.

    Driving Time: 7 hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Mangalore


    Udupi’s unspoiled beaches are perfect for a sun-kissed holiday. At Malpe, you can sign up for a crash course in surfing. However, if you are looking to embrace surfing as a serious pastime, do stop by the relatively unknown fishing hamlet of Kodi Bengre near Manipal. The Shaka Surf Club calls this picturesque estuary home, and you can learn how to ride the waves like a pro here. Kaup Beach, closer to Manipal, and the breathtaking Marvanthe, where you’ll be surrounded by the vast Arabian Sea on one side and the River Souparnika on the other, are worth a visit.  You’ll find a mix of beach cottages and mid-range hotels here.

    Driving Time: 7 1/2 hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Mangalore


    A tourist favourite, Pondicherry’s French Quarter is where you can explore old-world homes with cascading bougainvillea and historic sites before hitting the Promenade Beach. Ideal for long walks, the main beach is packed with war memorials, and statues of Mahatma Gandhi and the former French governor-general, Dupleix. For quieter sojourns, you can escape to Paradise and Auro Beaches on the outskirts. When booking your stay, you can pick between star properties, chic boutique hotels, and run-of-the-mill lodges.

    Driving Time: 6 hours (approx)

    Nearest Airport: Chennai


    Just outside Chennai, you can spend a weekend gorging on seafood and sipping on cold drinks at a shack on the packed Mahabalipuram beach. Once you move away from the main tourist spots, you’ll be able to splash around in turquoise waters, surrounded by white sands, as dolphins merrily pass by. Plush resorts, mid-range beachside digs, and basic homestays are all available here.

    Driving Time: 5 1/2 hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Chennai


    A short drive from Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam is thronged by beach lovers from across the globe. The Lighthouse Beach, with its black sands, is lined by restaurants and shops from where you can watch the waves lap the shore. On the opposite side, Hawa Beach is crowded with sunbathers while the steep Samudra Beach offers a more peaceful experience. Lavish hotels and beachside properties are common here along with homestays and hostels.

    Driving Time: 11 hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram


    Nestled behind gorgeous, red cliffs, Varkala’s popular Papanasam beach is thronged by tourists looking to work up a tan or by spiritual seekers looking to wash away the sins of their past life. In between rounds of beach volleyball, you can head to makeshift shacks that offer relaxing Ayurvedic massages. Stay options include hotels that suit a backpacker’s pocket or sprawling resorts with the best amenities.

    Driving Time: 11 ½ hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram



    Cavelossim, Goa

    Enclosed by the Sal River and the Arabian Sea, Cavelossim paints a pretty picture with its stark black rocks and white, smooth sands. By the beach is where you sit back and watch dolphins or you can traverse the waters in speedboats. To complete your dreamy holiday, you can park yourself at luxurious hotels and resorts that the area is famous for.

    Driving Time: 10 hours (approx)

    Nearest Airport: Dabolim, Goa

    Arambol Beach


    Arambol, Goa

    North Goa’s Arambol Beach is off the tourist radar and can be reached by walking through a dense growth of trees. Nearby, a freshwater lake comes with hot water springs and valley views that, together, make for a gorgeous sight. For a rush of adrenaline, you can paraglide above the calm, blue waters. Easy-on-the-pocket hotels are all the rage here.

    Driving Time: 10 ½ hours (approx.)

    Nearest Airport: Dabolim, Goa