India being a tropical country comes with the advantage of the natural tan Indians are either born with or gradually come to acquire over years of exposure to the merciless sun. It also makes India an attractive spot for tourists from cooler latitudes and altitudes to come down for some sun. There are many exotic destinations around India where you can just relax and work up a gorgeous sun tan that’ll do all the talking once you’re back home.
1. Palolem Beach, Goa
An exquisite sun-kissed stretch of white sand, Palolem Beach in South Goa is the ideal spot for you to ease into a sun bed, grab a drink from one of the bars and watch people and tides come in and go out as the hours slip away. It is best to visit between October and February as it is sunny and quite pleasant. You could stay on for a bit longer to join in with the annual Christmas and New Year celebrations too.
2. Gokarna, Karnataka
A quaint temple town-turned-thriving holiday destination, Gokarna has bright blue seas, clean sands and a laidback air about it. Flanked by lofty mountains on one side and the sea on the other, this sleepy town boasts of beautiful landscapes, a beach shaped like the Sanskrit symbol “Om” and the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple. For a quiet and pleasant sojourn, October to March is the best time to visit.
This former French colony is hung-over from the colonial times, with the influence of French art, architecture and ways of life visible everywhere. There are several historical places of interest for the curious to explore, and serene beaches where the reclusive may spend a quiet afternoon just lazing around. Auroville is a must visit for a rare spiritual experience.
4. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
This bustling town is known for the Shore Temple and various rock-cut structures, the oldest dating back to the 7th century. What’s even better, though, is that you could learn to carve stone on your own for a minimal fee at a local sculptor’s! You could also go for a fishing trip into the Bay of Bengal or park yourself at the beach and enjoy the scenic beauty.
5. Varkala Beach, Kerala
Cloaked in partial anonymity, tucked away in South Kerala lay the tiny township of Varkala. The waters at Varkala beach are sourced from a mineral water spring, and are said to be holy with the power to heal and wash away one’s sins. The place earns its reputation also from the Ayurvedic massage centres that offer tourists a traditional healing and rejuvenating experience. Any time of the year is ideal for visiting Kerala.
6. Havelock Island, Andaman
For a quiet retreat away from the maddening pace of city life, head to Havelock Island between mid-January and mid-May. Its emerald waters are great for swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling, while the silken silver beaches proffer some of the world’s most amazing sunsets. You could hitch an elephant ride at the beach or the jungle, or set out to sea in a glass-bottomed boat to marvel at the colourful marine life and coral reefs.
7. Zanskar Valley, Ladakh
Mid-May to July and September to mid-October are the safest times of the year to venture into Zanskar and Suru valleys of Ladakh as the roads have opened and the rains have either not arrived or have subsided. With the sheer cold desert landscape stretching out everywhere in sight, the valley is immediately breathtaking to behold. The warmth and hospitality of the local people will make your heart melt despite the cold mountain air. Do treat yourself to the local cuisine and take part in local festivals and customs for a truly Ladakhi experience.
Visit the Shanti Travel website to plan your own tailor made trip to the sun tan destination of your choice!