Bakkhali Beach, on the meeting point of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal on the delta, is on the southern edge of West Bengal. Cross a small creek to reach Bakkhali, a gateway to the Sunderbans. Partly screened off by casuarina trees, the beach is best enjoyed when the tide comes in. The inter-tidal zone is worth exploring for sea life, and you can take a mini coastal trek from Bakkhali to Frazergunj, about 7km. Local eateries offer typical Bengali food, including delicious costal fare of saltwater fish, crabs and prawns.
Getting There: You can take special buses from Kolkata to Bakkhali. It takes about 4 hours to cover the distance of 125km. At Bakkhali, take the barge at the Namkhana jetty to cross the Hatania-Doania creek.
Where To Stay Bakkhali Tourist Lodge: (from Rs 1,900 for AC doubles wbtdc.gov.in).
Our Tip: Going to the Sunderbans? Here's a local myth that you should know about.
Once home to retired British and Anglo-Indian railway employees, this traditional haunt of Bengali tourists in Odisha is now developing into a major resort. Day trippers are rare and you can watch fishermen bring in their catch in the early mornings and late afternoons. From the the local lighthouse, open for a short while in the afternoon, you can get sweeping views of the Bay of Bengal and the neighbouring countryside. Local creeks in the vicinity have created a network of backwaters, and you can take leisurely boat rides, and plan a picnic. The sea currents are quite strong here, so be careful when you enter the water.
Getting There: Take a train to Berhampur from Kolkata on the Howrah-Chennai line. Auto-rickshaws are available from the railway station to Gopalpur, about 12km away. The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, about 170km by road.
Where to Stay: OTDC's Panthanivas Gopalpur (from Rs 1500 for deluxe rooms and Rs 2,750 for an AC cottage panthanivas.com). Other options include Mayfair Gopalpur (from Rs 13,300 mayfairhotels.com) and Swosti Palm Resort (from Rs 6,250 swostihotels.com).
Our Tip: Read about the best beaches in Odisha
Formally called Bheemunipatnam, this picturesque beach is rarely part of any tourist itinerary. This is where the Gosthani River meets the Bay of Bengal. The wide curve of sandy beaches make it a great place to enjoy the sea, but the nearby historical sites make it a fascinating place to visit. There are several remains of large Buddhist monastic complexes here, the main one being that of Thotlakonda on a hill overlooking the town. An important site for colonial domination in the region, Bheemili also has remains of 17th century Dutch East India Company trading posts.
Getting There: Local buses run between Vizag and Bheemili, 25km away, but a taxi ride is more comfortable.
Where to Stay: Plenty of hotels in and around Vizag. Take your pick from AP Tourism Hotel (from Rs 1,800), AP Tourism Beach Resort, Rushikonda (from Rs 2,000). For contacts, visit aptdc.gov.in.
A sandy stretch to the east of Pondicherry, this little strip of land where the Chunnambar River meets the Bay of Bengal is increasingly popular with tourists. The beach is open to visitors from 9 am to 5 pm and is accessible by ferry from the Chunnambar Boat House. There are beach shacks selling food and beverages, and showers and restrooms are available if you want to go swimming in the clear, blue waters of the sea. Stay close to the shore, however, as currents are quite strong here.
Getting There: The beach is nearly 8km from Pondicherry. Take the ferry from the Chunnambar Boat House on the Pondy-Cuddalore Road.
Where to Stay: Accommodation aplenty to suit all pockets in Pondicherry, from guest house and budget hotels to luxury hotels. For a comprehensive list of hotels, see pondytourism.in
Our Tip: Check out our list of great things to do, excellent restaurants to savour the local culinary specials and things to do at White Town Pondicherry.
At this picture perfect corner of Goa, white sandy beaches merge into the azure Arabian Sea. Cola Beach, also known as Khola Beach, in South Goa offers a tranquil and relatively undiscovered coastline with fine golden sands and volcanic boulders. Despite limited accommodation and dining options, the beach provides a serene atmosphere and safe swimming conditions, although caution is advised due to potential hazards like rocks and changing water depths. Sunset views are particularly spectacular, with vibrant colors reflecting off the sand and streams. Accessing Cola Beach can be challenging, as there are no direct bus routes and the road is unpaved and uneven, requiring a suitable vehicle or alternative transportation options.
Getting There: Located 65 kms from Panjim to the south, accessing Cola beach can be challenging, as there are no direct bus routes and the road is unpaved and uneven, requiring a suitable vehicle or alternative transportation options.
Where to Stay: Cola does not have too many stay options. Better to stay at the next popular beachin Agonda where both budget and luxury options are available.
Our Tip: Check out our guide to Goan beaches. Goa is a culinary hub, and apart from local Konkani food, the state also has some great international options.
Vengurla is a little-known coastal town, with a beach overlooked by green hills along Maharashtra's Konkan coast, near the state's border with Goa. Recently, the place was featured in "Three of Us", a nostalgic film about childhood and life featuring Shefali Shah and Jaideep Ahlawat. The region is known for its mango, coconut and cashew groves. Try the local eateries for Konkani and Malvani cuisine, especially the fish preparations.
Getting There: Although people from Mumbai drive down to Vengurla, taking the Konkan Railway is a good option too. Take the train to Sawantwadi Road (30 km from Vengurla), offering better stay and transport options than the other get-off point, Kudal. Mumbai is 537km by road.
Where to Stay: There are limited but good accommodation options, including homestays, in Sawantwadi. Dwarka Homestay tariff starting from Rs 2800 dwarkahomestay.com. Sawantwadi Palace Hotel offers exquisite and luxury stay options (Rs17000 onwards for two) sawantwadipalace.com
Our Tip: Check out our Quick Guide to Vengurla. Read this for a more in-depth look at the pleasures of the Sindhudurg region.