From Kashmir to Kerala, Goa to Mumbai and Rajasthan to Northeastern states, you probably know all about the must-visit destinations in the country. However, India is also home to several scenic islands which are often overlooked and unexplored compared to the more popular places. Whether it’s beautiful beaches, splendid views, adventure activities, heritage spots or sightseeing, you have enough and more to explore here. So, for your next getaway/holiday, why not plan a trip to one of these lesser-explored and beautiful islands in India? We’ve picked out the top five of them to help you out!
Islands in India for a laidback holiday
Diu is amongst the most beautiful islands in India. It is located on the off-lying side of Gujarat‘s Kathiawar peninsula, detached through a tidal creek from the mainland. Away from the buzz of cities and urban life, this laidback place is where you can spend time lazing by the beach, savouring the views all around. Apart from must-visit spots like Ghoghla Beach and Jallandhar Beach, there are churches, forts and even caves (Naida Caves) to keep you exploring. The Seashell Museum and Diu Jail are other landmarks to head to in Diu. While you’re at it, don’t forget to load up on delicious seafood dishes and local delights along with a drink.
St. Mary’s Island
St. Mary’s Island is considered as the place where Vasco De Gama set his foot first. This makes it a land of great historical importance. Situated off the coastline of Malpe (Udupi) in Karnataka, the island has sandy beaches lined with coconut palms and a thriving wildlife to add to its charms. A group of four islands, the northern island here features basaltic rock formation in a hexagonal form, touted to be the only one of its kind in the country. In fact, the islands are one of the 26 Geological Monuments of India! For sightseeing, you have places like Daryabahadurgarh Fort, Sri Krishna Temple, Paradise Beach, Virupaksha Temple, Coin Museum, Malpe Beach and Vadabhandeshwara Temple to sort you out. Beach trekking and bird watching are among the most popular activities here.
Divar Island is said to be derived from the word Dipavati, which means ‘small island’ in the language Konkani. Located in the Mandovi river, Goa, what makes this place one of the must-visit islands in India would be its combination of Goa’s laidback vibes and the old-world charm that comes with a quaint village. So, while you would be able to enjoy a drink by the expansive beachside, Divar Island also lets you stroll through quiet streets, gaping at Portuguese villas and fort ruins, far away from crowds and noise. The Bonderam festival, much like the popular Carnival is an event worth checking out while you are here.
Recognized as the world’s largest river island by the Guinness World Record, Majuli is located in the Brahmaputra River, Assam. Well-known as a hub for Assamese neo-Vaishnavi culture, Majuli Islands are considered as the first island district of India. Flaunting a highly vibrant culture and supremely scenic beauty, it is one of the most mesmerising spots for high rise views. Go around and interact with the local tribes, sample their dishes, understand their way of life…gain an insight into this unique region. Ferry rides and bird watching are some of the activities you can try. Stay in cottages built on stilts, enjoy the serene surroundings and live the simple life – that’s what Majuli is all about.
Little Andaman Island
The fourth largest of the Andaman Islands, Little Andaman has beaches, museums and historical spots for you to explore. When you’re done beach-hopping, indulge in some water adventures like surfing. Boating, elephant safari and scuba diving are other activities to look out for. Other notable spots like White Surf Waterfalls and Whisper Wave Waterfalls are bound to delight nature lovers.
Packing in everything from great beaches and pleasant vibes to delicious food and heritage spots, these islands in India await you.