“Summers are here!”
In most places, this would be a cause for celebration. In India, this is a reason to turn the ACs on at eighteen degrees, stock the house with watermelons and scurry to the beach/hills at every opportunity.
In the spirit of acting as a welcoming committee for the Great Indian Heat, here are a few ways to rock summer at an Indian beach.
What You’ll Need
Pack right, people.
Leave those shoes at home, unless you’re planning to trek or hike. Flip flops and slippers work like a charm on the beach sands. A cool pair of sunglasses, swimming trunks and light cotton clothes are an absolute must.
Also, company. Whether it’s Goa or the Konkan coast, beaches are great to visit with friends. Just be wary of That Musician Friend who insists on bringing his guitar along for every outing. After the first fifteen times, strumming Comfortably Numb at the shack when all you really need is to hear the waves gets a bit old.
Places to Hit
Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andaman and Nicobar Islands….it’s not just Goa that has all the sand and surf, folks.
The beaches on the Kovalam coast of Kerala are an absolute delight. Maharashtra and Karnataka have some pristine beachfronts untainted by the tourist traps that plague Goa’s Palolem and Baga offerings. But if you want something off the book, hit Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island (Andaman and Nicobar). Once voted the best beach in Asia by TIME, it packs quite the punch for sure.
Things to Do
Ah, yes, the million dollar question.
So you’ve got the gear and you’ve got the destination. Now, what to do?
Chillin’: Be it Goa, Kerala or the southern coast of Tamil Nadu – you’ll find plenty of enviable vantage points to park yourself and just gaze away until dusk hits. A host of cafes and shacks are strewn across the coast giving you a range of gastronomic options. They say you don’t know what the phrase “Take it easy” means until you’ve hit the beach. Trust me, its the Gospel.
Adventure Sports: If you’re a water baby, beaches will be your paradise. There’s no way to rid yourself of that summer sweat than to take a plunge into the pool, or better yet, dip into the ocean waves as the sun shines happily down upon you. Activities like kayaking, banana boat rides, jet skiing, paragliding, rock and hill climbing, trekking and mountain biking await you here. Kerala’s forests aren’t far from the coast, so a nature trail wouldn’t go amiss there.
Music: The Goanese sure love their music – almost as much as their food. Be it any month of the year, there’s always a music festival or concert taking place. Be sure to check some of those out – you won’t be disappointed. In short, there’s plenty of nightlife bursting at the seams with song and dance to make your vacation at a beach a “Won’t sleep till I’m dead” affair.
Basically, beaches are a perfect foil to the Indian summer. So if the heat gets to you, there are excellent escapes available. Go figure.