Travel: 5 off-the-grid beaches along India's western coast
We get five avid travellers to talk about their favourite off-the-grid beaches along the western coast of India. Here's what they chose for the perfect sea-side getaway
BONUS: PARADISE BEACH
The locals have another name for this beach situated on the Maharashtra-Goa border, but it is called Paradise Beach by the foreign tourists who frequent it. It seems like a typical beach at first, but ride your bike along the shore for 2km and you'll find a lake surrounded by hills, where you can go skinny-dipping without any fear. — Eshna Kutty, dancer
MANDVI BEACH, GUJARAT
I enjoyed my trip to this quaint beach in Gujarat simply because not too many tourists venture here. If you're looking for a typical beach holiday, this place is certainly not it. There aren't any shacks or fantastic eateries around, nor are there too many places where you would consider crashing for the night. However, this also makes it the perfect place if you're looking for serenity. Back in the day, Mandvi also used to be a shipbuilding hub. Although a few yards are still operational and you can visit them, several lie abandoned. You will end up with beautiful photographs of the majestic wooden vessels.
Vinobha Nathan, travel photographer
GALGIBAGA BEACH, GOA
While Goa has many beaches to pick from, I would always advise going to Galgibaga in South Goa for three reasons. Firstly, it's so removed from civilisation that the number of people that frequent it is minimal, leaving the beach virtually unoccupied. Secondly, if you're here at the right time of year, you could be fortunate enough to witness the hatching of Olive Ridley Turtles. Lastly, there are no shacks on this beach, with the exception of Surya Beach Café, just off the coast (with a sign that says it's recommended by Gordon Ramsay, though it isn't). The food is to die for, and is the only place in Goa where I'd recommend having oysters on the half shell.
Fernando Monte da Silva, food and travel writer
Pic courtesy/Ajit Karkera
DELTA BEACH, KARNATAKA
Not too far away from Udupi's Kodi Bengre Beach is the pristine Delta Beach. You might think that the best backwaters are in Kerala, but you can have that experience right here. The fishing community residing here may not be very forthcoming at first, but if you're lucky, they will lead you to a boatman who can give you a tour of the tiny islets that float on the waters. Nearby, there's a toddy shop where you can tuck into local fare like chicken sukka.
Sachin Bhandary, founder of eccentrips.com
MUZHAPPILANGAD BEACH, KERALA
This beach is the only drive-in beach in the country. You can pay an entry fee, which is not over R20, and take your car in to zip along the shore. There are also some small local eateries off the beach that serve simple yet delicious seafood. The other reason IâÂÂÂÂlike going here is because you can find some stellar quality mussels in the area, which a few locals will catch and sell to you. Whenever I'm cooking for an event in Mumbai, I make sure to source my mussels from here.
Sandeep Sreedharan, chef