Kerala - the southwestern state of India is popular, within the country and abroad for its mellow, picturesque beaches. The Kerala coastline accounts to about 550 kilometers of the entire Western coast of India. Unique geographical features of Kerala coast have created a combination of vast sandy beaches and intricate backwaters in Kerala, which remain the top tourist attractions of the state.

Coconut palms try to surround almost all of the Kerala beaches but their topography changes as one moves from south to north. The plain, soft beaches of south Kerala (also known as the Malabar Coast), including the famous port of Kozhikode, are strewn irregularly with rocky heaps where waves of the Arabian Sea break dramatically. Further, towards the northern part of Kerala coast, the beach tends to rise quickly over the waves, creating several vantage points that are now old European forts of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British colonies. These uplifted coasts run along places like Thalassery, Kannur and Bekal.

What to do at Beaches

Kerala beaches come to life during the evenings and are popular for their nightlife. During the day, one may sometimes, find only tourists enjoying a brisk walk or getting a deep tan. Off the coasts of Kerala, are some of the best diving sites and reefs in India, there are many diving schools, snorkeling centers, and other water sport facilities like surfing, parasailing and kayaking. The cruises that anchor a bit deep in the shelf are a good place to go fishing too. Perhaps the most enchanting spectacle on the Kerala cost is the continual gathering of phosphorescent plankton in the shallow waters of the beaches. This usually happens during the nights and it seems that the ocean is reflecting stars above. Dolphins appear regularly off the Cherai beach, where tourist can sail with them. Many love the cool morning air and the loud murmur of the crashing waves during fine mornings at the beaches and set out to jog or take a short sprint in the sand. One can find many joggers pacing the beaches early in the morning.

The tropical setting of Kerala with its brilliant sunshine is ideal for a crisp tan or just silent contemplation while watching the sunrise or sunset from the beach. Coconut vendors prosper in Kerala and a cool coconut drink is always available. At dusk, the savory smells of Kerala’s spice laden cuisine mingles with the soft, salty breezes. The dried and smoked tuna (or Masmeen) with coconut is a popular serving on the beaches with many seaside restaurants serving delectable lobster recipes.

The annual 'Oruma' festival on the beaches of Thrissur is a spectacular carnival with a procession of 21 elephants, each ornamented with gold and silver. The procession is accompanied an epic concert of hundreds of percussionists playing traditional, folk instruments. Many visitors come to witness these activities, especially the final crescendo of fire-woks in at night, ending the festivities.

Top Beaches of Kerala are:

Bekal Beach

The Bekal Beach is close to Kerala’s border with Karnataka, and is 60 kilometers to the north from Kannur, along the coast. The beach attracts visitors to the magnificent Bekal Fort constructed on a rocky patch between long tracts of classic Kerala beaches. It is the most well preserved and largest of the medieval forts in Kerala. The solitude of Bekal beach is unique and with the Fort providing a breathtaking vantage point, its serenity is unmatched.

Kozhikode Beach

Kozhikode is often called with is old name – Calicut, has a rich heritage to add to its natural aesthetics. It was near here that the Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama landed in his search for a seaway to Indian lands. This beach has the oldest lighthouse of the Western coast of India, along with a pair of historic piers that lend it a nostalgic charm. It is an opinion of many, that the sunsets viewed from Kozhikode beach are especially beautiful.

Payyamblam Beach

The Payyamblam beach is a part of the town of Kannur and it is one of the most visually appealing beaches in Kerala. The major attractions are the large sculpture of ‘a mother and child’, that is a landscape, in a planned garden and perhaps the laidback attitude of the beach itself.  Kannur is also worth the visit, with its ancient folk art performances, like those of Theyyam.

Varkala Beach

Varkala is an important waypoint for Hindu pilgrims, as it is the site for the ancient ‘Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple’ that has been around for at least two millennia. The hot springs that open up among the large natural rocks in the beach are a part of the pilgrim tradition as well as the popular natural healing spa. The Varkala beach may also be the one of the most photographed coastal sceneries of Kerala as a part of being a very popular beach among tourists.

Kovalam Beach

The Kovalam Beach is just 10 km from Thiruvananthapuram – the state capital of Kerala. Actually, the Kovalam Beach is a collective group of three - Samudra Beach, Lighthouse Beach and the Hawah Beach. The prominent features of this beach is its vast stretch, with golden, crescent sand dunes; like ripples in the sand between the dark green palm groves and the blue Arabian sea. The time between November and March is ideal for a perfect Kovalam experience.


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