9 Hidden, But Beautiful Islands In India
For some people island is for water sports, beach parties and meeting new people. For some it is the dream place for lazy days, hanging hammocks and a nice book. And for the rest, it is about long walks, beautiful sunsets and equally enchanting sunrises.
Whichever way, we associated them with a number of good and rejuvenating things; however, overly commercialized beaches with murky water are a big turn off.
While there are many islands in India that might disappoint you, there are a few which will actually never fail to give you a relaxing and refreshing vacation. Here’s a list of some of the extremely beautiful islands of India, far away from the tourist crowd.
1. Majuli Island — One of the biggest river islands in the world
Majuli Island is the one of the biggest river islands in the world and subsequently in India. The most unique of all the islands in India, this place is famous for its breath-taking sunrises and stunning sunsets. You will get a fair taste of Assamese culture here. Out of all the islands of India, this one is the most unconventional one. You will find moss instead of sand on its coast and traditional northeastern cuisine instead of seafood. However, it will prove to be an experience worth all the travel.
Best time to visit: October – December
How to reach: Take boat ride from Jorhat which is fairly connected through airways to Guwahati. There are two ferries – one leaves at 10 am and the other at 3 pm.
Places to see: 21 Satras and Mishing Village
Where to stay: La Maison de Anand, Yggdrasill Bamboo Cottage or government accommodations
Things to do: Rent a motorcycle to explore the island. Try your hand at local meshing and mask making.
2. Diu Island — The island with Gujarati heritage
This small island of India has traces of Portuguese culture infused in it. The architectural beauty and serenity can stun you to a surreal world. The exquisite beaches and tropical sea-food with a dash of Gujarati influence, will make it a notch different from other islands in India. And the best part, alcohol is legal here, unlike in Gujarat!
Best time to visit: October – January
How to reach: Diu can be reached by airways and roadways from most major Indian cities. However, it does not have a railway station.
Places to see: Diu Fort, Gangeshwar Temple, Seashell Museum and St Paul’s Church
Where to stay: Sugati Beach Resort, Kostamar Beach Resort, and Krishna Park Resort. Most of the high end resorts are located near Nagoa Beach.
Things to do: Rent a scooter or a bike to enjoy the locale to the fullest.
3. Divar Island — Near The Coasts Of Goa
One of the untouched islands in India, Divar Island lies about 10 km upstream from Panjim, Goa. It is situated across the bustling river of Mandovi, and has retained the lively culture and countryside feel of Goa.
Best time to visit: Mid-November – Mid-February
How to reach: 10 mins ferry ride from Viceroy’s Arch in Old Goa
What to see: Our Lady Of Compassion Church, Shree Ganesh Sateri Temple, European Houses and Portuguese landmarks.
Where to stay: Divar Island Retreat Guest House
Things to do: Just for your info, Dil Chahta Hai was also shot here. So, you can recreate some of your favorite scenes from that movie here.
4. St Mary’s Islands — Off the coasts of Karnataka
St Mary’s is a set of four small islands in India. Quite similarly to Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, these islands are famous for their basaltic rock formations cut into a peculiar hexagonal shape. The rocky beach and clear blue water make these islands a must visit. This island in India is still unknown to a large number of people.
Best time to visit: December – January
How to reach: Only way to reach this island is to take a boat from Malpe, Karnataka. The ride is roughly 15 mins and costs about Rs 500 for a round trip.
Places to see: Coconut gardens and basaltic rock formations
Where to stay: Unfortunately there are no accommodation facilities on this empty island in India. However, you can make your arrangements on the Malpe, nothing like it.
Things to do: A few selfies and group pictures on this extraordinary rock formations are requisite
Tip: Carry your own food and beverage since there is no refreshment facility available on the islands.
5. Little Andaman Island — Island of rare marine turtles
Little Andaman Island is one of the offbeat destinations in Andaman Islands. Not heavily crowded, this place has some really alluring beaches. It is one of the most beautiful islands in India, and perfect for those who love nature in its raw form. For a budgeteer, this is the perfect island in India for honeymoon. It would not be a conventional one, but a memorable one, nonetheless.
Best time to visit: December – February
How to reach: It’s a little more than a day’s voyage by ship from Port Blair.
Places to see: White surf waterfalls, Whisper wave waterfalls, Hut bay and Coral reefs on the east of the island
Where to stay: Jina Resort and Blue View
Things to do: Surfing on some fabulously high waves is the top thing to do in this best island in India.
6. Lakshadweep Islands — One of the best islands in India for honeymoon
Beautiful Lakshadweep Islands is a set of 36 palm-laden coral islands. This group is the smallest island in India. The extraordinary beauty and fairly untouched environment can beat any amount of stress that you had prior to your visit.
Best time to visit: October – May
How to reach: This set of islands in India has good connectivity through airways and seaways.
Places to see: Kavaratti Island Marine Aquarium, Minicoy Island and Agatti Island
Where to stay: Coral Beach Resort or Island Holiday Home
Things to do: Scuba diving at Kavaratti and Kadmat
7. Barren Island — A secluded paradise in the Andaman Islands
Barren Island, the most easterly island of Andaman, is the only active volcanic island of India and also of South Asia. The astonishing beauty and lava rocks on this beautiful island of India will take you through a memorable journey. One of the most pristine islands of India, the sad part is that landing ashore is prohibited. You are only allowed to circle around the island in a board vessel.
Best time to visit: February – May
How to reach: Ships sail from Port Blair on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Or take a seaplane from Port Blair. You need a minimum of 7 passengers.
Where to stay: True to its name, the island is inhabited. And there are no accommodations available there. However, you can book your retreat on Port Blair.
Things to do: Diving and barefoot scuba on your day trip to Barren Island
Note: A special Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required from the Forest Department.
8. Grand Island — The Place to dive and fish
The best place for diving and snorkeling near Goa is the Grand Island. It is famous for its exceptional scuba diving sites. The exquisite beauty and unlittered beaches will add to your experience.
How to reach: A ferry ride will take 20-40 min from Goa depending on the departure point. It can be arranged by your resort.
Popular Attractions: Suzy’s Wreck dive, Shelter Cove dive, Bounty Bay dive, Sail Rock dive, Spice plantation and Dolphin points
Where to stay: This island is open just for a day trip of 8 hours. There are no accommodation facilities available.
Best time to visit: October – May
Must try: Ship-wreck scuba diving and bait-fishing
Tip: Since the island is used as a base for Indian Navy, there might be chances that the entry is closed due to training exercises. Check with your hotel in Goa for the information before setting your plan.
9. Great Nicobar Island — The largest island in India
The Great Nicobar Island is the largest island in India. Its crystal clear water will tempt you to take a dip and let go of your inhibitions. Amazing flora and fauna of this place makes it a small world of its own. One of the best islands in India, this place is perfect for a small vacation with your family or your spouse.
Best time to visit: February – June
How to reach: Boats and helicopters are available from Port Blair.
Places to see: Indira Point, Campbell Bay, Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
Where to stay: Silver Sand Havelock, Anugama Resort, and Aashiaanaa Residency Inn
Things to do: Lazy dipping and floating on the serene coasts.
So, which of these islands call to you and allure you to experience them at least once? Share, which on are you going to explore first.