India is home to some of the most pristine and picturesque islands in both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. So lose yourself (and all your worries) in the paradise landscapes of these islands on your next holiday.
1. Plan a road trip to Rameswaram Island in Tamil Nadu.
The island is just across the southern-most point of India’s mainland located in the state of Tamil Nadu. A famous pilgrimage destination, Rameshwaram can be reached by crossing the beautiful Pamban bridge.
The bridge is in itself an architectural wonder. The island has on it the home of the late President Kalam.
2. Lay your hands on hidden treasure at Ponnumthuruthu Island near Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram.
The serenity of this island will leave you spellbound.
The island is surrounded on all sides by the backwaters of Anjengo. In the local language, the literal meaning of the island is ‘island of gold.’ The Queens of Travancore royal family are believed to have hidden their gold on this island.
On the island, you will find a Shiva temple which is more than a century old.
3. For a touristy experience, head to Lakshadweep, a cluster of 36 islands known for their marine wonders.
This is a beautiful cluster of thirty six islands, known for their marine wonders. These tropical islands have a very fragile ecosystem, and the beauty has to be seen to be believed.
You will be surprised to know that this tiny UT (Union Territory) has three reefs, five banks underwater and twelve atolls.
Seen below is the Agatti Island Airport – the gateway to Lakshadweep.
4. If you are of the adventurous type, scuba diving and snorkelling await you at Havelock Island, Andaman.
The largest among islands in Andaman and Nicobar, the Havelock Island is one of the most beautiful places on this earth.
Although it is the most visited island in this region, you will still find the beauty of this place untouched.
5. Elephanta Island near Mumbai is the place for history buffs! It is home to ancient cave temples from the 15th century.
These world famous caves are located on an island off the coast of Mumbai, called Gharapuri.
These islands have a rich history, which goes back to the 15th century. No one knows for sure who created these caves and why.
6. Daman and Diu is a living reminiscence of Portuguese occupation on the islands.
Daman and Diu – it’s all about pristine beaches, lovely villages and old buildings from the Portuguese era.
Since the islands were ruled by the Portuguese for more than 300 years, you will find a Portuguese touch in just about everything.
The island lies on the bank of the Daman Ganga River.
7. Munroe Islands in Kerala are truly a visual delight.
This cluster of islands together form one of the most picturesque spots in Kerala. And that’s not all; between the islands you will find a serene and beautiful lake called Ashtamudi, which will take your breath away.
8. Don’t miss Cochin Island! It happens to be the largest man-made island in India.
Cochin has been a favourite of travellers since time immemorial.
The backwaters and the natural legacy make for the perfect setting.
9. Majuli Island in Assam is the largest river island in the world! Now that’s something we all want to see, don’t we?
The stories of the beauty of Majuli in northeast India have reached far and wide.
This beautiful island has been formed in the delta of the river Brahmaputra. You don’t see such a marvel of Mother Nature very often. Some of the most beautiful migratory birds are found on this island.
10. Whitewashed Churches and homes towering about green landscapes – that is Chorao Island near Goa.
In Goa, this island has been formed by a cluster of mangroves. The Portuguese found it so enchanting that they often flocked to it for having a jolly time.
11. See through waters: Netrani Island in Karnataka is claimed to have the cleanest waters in India.
If you’ve not heard of Netrani islands don’t worry, not many people in India know about this awesome heart-shaped island tucked away 19km off the coast of Karnataka from the temple town of Murudeshwara (seen below).
It is a coral island and therefore ideal for snorkelling and diving. Those interested in marine life will be amazed by the varieties of coral. There’s plenty of butterfly fish, parrot fish, trigger fish, and loads of eels and shrimps too.
Since the island is used by Indian Navy for target practice, one may require prior permission to visit the island. Alternatively, you can go with scuba diving groups, which have the requisite permissions to be there.
12. Surrounded by boulder rocks, St. Mary’s Island in Karnataka is very similar to Giant Causeway in Ireland.
Also known as the coconut island, St. Mary’s comprises of four islands in the Arabian Sea, located off the coast of Udupi in Karnataka.
The main attractions are distinctive hexagonal columns of rocks. Scientific studies claim that it was from here that Madagascar, once part of India, started drifting away some 88 million years ago.
The islands call for a one day excursion, as there is no accommodation available here. When evening dawns, one must return to the Maple beach.
13. Butterfly Island in Goa is where you go in yachts and bask in sun for a hot tan.
If Goa beaches are not fascinating enough for you, take a yacht and head to the nearby Butterfly Island.
It is off the coast of Palolem and locals often describe it being similar to Robinson Crusoe’s Island. The beaches here made are strewn with boulders that make for a good climb.
14. Barren Island in Andaman is the only active volcanic island in all of South Asia.
A breathtaking island with astonishing beauty, it is sad that landing ashore is strictly prohibited and visitors can only circle around the island in a vessel.
But even as you travel in the vessel, one feels a mystery surrounding the island. There is no escape to how beautiful it looks even from the periphery.
15. Clean waters, cool breeze and pristine greens make up the Great Nicobar Island, the largest in India.
If you are looking for a touristy island in India surrounded by the cleanest waters, Great Nicobar Island is the place for you. Sparsely inhabited the island is covered in rainforests and home to diverse wildlife.