India has a large coast line of around 7,500 km and is blessed with many beautiful and serene beaches. This September we are celebrating International Coastal Clean up Month and on the same occasion, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change announced 8 Indian beaches to be blue flagged with International Eco - label. Blue Flag certification is a globally recognized eco-label standardized by the ‘Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark’ based on 33 rigorous criteria under environmental education and information, environmental management, bathing water quality, and conservation, safety and services in the beaches. So basically, these blue flagged beaches are eco - tourism models providing the tourists with most comfortable and hygienic facilities. Let us know about the 8 beaches which have been Internationally blue flagged recently.
1. Shivrajpur Beach, Gujarat
This Dwarka beach is a beautiful white sand beach with clean water. It often attracts tourists for the dolphins viewed often along the coast. The beach is home to coral reefs as well as extensive marine life such as Porpoise, Octopus, Star fish, sea urchins and lot more. Sea turtles also inhabit the beach. The beach is merely 12 km away from Dwarka, so one can plan a nice trip to Dwarka as well and visit the beautiful Dwarka temple and also have a dive in the sea to explore the ancient archaeological remains of Dwarka. The Shivrajpur beach maintains a serene quality, so one may not find any water sports there. But the serenity it provides is worth a visit from a stressed and busy schedule.
2. Ghogla Beach, Diu
The Ghogla beach is a very less crowded and quiet place. So if you are looking to freshen up your mind with clear thoughts then this is one place you must visit. It also provides water sports facilities so adventure lovers are welcomed as well. Since it is blue flagged there's need to stress it separately that it is a neat and clean beach and also demands to be maintained the same, so a warning to visitors to maintain the decorum of the place. I can't help but mention here that the guards are so strict about the hygiene of the beach that you may even see them driving away stray dogs littering over the beach.
3. Kasarkod Beach, Karnataka
Kasarkod is a small village of the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It was the only beach in Karnataka for a long time to be blue flagged, which has recently being accompanied by Pabudiri beach. It is considered the most pristine and virgin beach of the Konkan coast. Can be counted comparatively a deserted beach surrounded with Casuarina trees. It is a white sand beach extending up to 5 km. The beach lies on the way to Murudeshwar main temple, so a trip can certainly be planned to visit here.
4. Pabudiri Beach, Karnataka
The Pabudiri beach is located in the Udupi district of Karnataka. The beach is a very place to chill with friends, colleagues or even family. One of the most noticeable things here is the infrastructure provided along the beach without losing the natural essence of the beach which makes it favorable for tourists to visit it. If you are planning to visit the beach then a serious suggestion from frequent visitors would be to definitely enjoy the ice creams from Gadbad, which is a km away from the beach.
5. Kappad Beach, Kerala
This is an important beach on the list as this is the beach where Vasco Da Gama had first arrived in Kerala in1498 with 170 men and changed the course of history along the Malabar Coast. The beach is located in the Kozikode district of Kerala. The beach is surrounded with rocks and small hills which add to the stunning view. If you are a bird lover then you may also be lucky enough spot some migratory birds who are observed here occassionally. Kozikode is the nearest Railway station to the beach and Calicut is the nearest airport.
6. Rushikonda Beach, Andhra Pradesh
Rushikonda beach is located 8 km away from Vizag city of Andhra Pradesh and is famous for its sparkly golden sand. The beach is surrounded by trees. It is renowned as one of the virgin beaches of South India. Another attraction here is the water sports to enjoy the sea adventure. AP tourism has also built cottages and restaurants along the beach for the comfort of tourists.
7. Golden Beach, Odisha
The Golden Beach of Odisha, which is also known as the Puri beach, is located in the Puri city of Odisha. It is also known as Mahodadhi in local language. The most important thing of this beach is that the Jagannath temple is located along this beach. And in spite of a pilgrimage being located near the beach, it is managed to be kept exceptionally clean by the state authorities. However, taking bath in the harsh tides of this beach can prove dangerous and so it is prohibited, which eventually also cancels out the option of water sports for natural reasons. One remarkable resemblance of the state culture is observed along the beach is that there are plenty of local vendors selling sweets to eat while enjoying the view.
8. Radhanagar Beach, Andaman
The last beach on the list is the most magnificent beach of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in the Havelock island. The beach is surrounded by coconut trees from all sides and covered with tropical forest from both sides. Aloof from the rest of the world, it is a whole new world to live in with complete peace and serenity. The emerald blue water of the Andaman Sea and white sand makes the experience extremely marvelous. There are many huts, benches and chairs along the beach which add to the aesthetics of the beach. Radhanagar Beach is counted among the few beaches of the Andaman island which has no restrictions over swimming.
These are the 8 beaches which have been blue flagged with International Eco - label for the safety, hygiene and amenities they provide to the tourists. So, as soon as the lockdown eases down the restrictions and it is favorable to travel around the country, don't fail mark these beaches on your list.
- Himali Nalawade