India is a beautiful country with much cultural, religious, and geographical diversity. The South Asian country has some 4,671 miles of stunning shoreline, with 1,382 off-shore identified islands. While many islands are fairly popular and crowded, there are a few less-crowded islands that offer various aquatic attractions, brilliant cultural and natural sights.
From the quaint little islands off the coast of Goa to the famous archipelago of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there are a plethora of islands that you must visit once in your lifetime. Pack your bags and get ready to explore these five best islands, without worrying about the crowd.
Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu
Generally referred to as Rameshwaram Island, Pamban is an island located between peninsular India and Sri Lanka. Pamban is famous for the holy town of Rameshwaram and its Hindu temple of Ramanathaswamy. It offers turquoise blue waters, white sandy beaches, and a magnificent view of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean in its full splendor. The picturesque island also provides many aquatic adventures such as diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and snorkeling.
Havelock Island, Andaman
Havelock Island (recently renamed as Swaraj Dweep) is a short ferry ride from Andaman’s capital Port Blair. With its silky beaches, sky-blue waters, beautiful coral reefs, and rainforest trails; Havelock Island offers a perfect vacation itinerary. It provides adventurous activities for adrenaline seekers with a variety of water sports including snorkeling, jet skiing, scuba diving, and more. A myriad of marine species can be found in the waters around this gorgeous island. There are several luxury resorts for comfortable lodging here.
Minicoy Island, Lakshadweep
Minicoy Island is one of the 36 islets of the Lakshadweep archipelago in the Laccadive Sea. It is perfect blend for relaxation and activity, offering clear waters that are rich in marine rife, pristine coral reefs and shipwrecks. Minicoy offers the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the country. As the depth of the water is 3-4 feet for almost 2 kilometers, you can stand and walk on the seabed, admiring the marine beauty.
St. Mary’s Island, Karnataka
St. Mary’s Island is a cluster of four tiny islets in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe, Karnataka. Apparently, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed on the isle in the late 15th century before heading on his way to Kerala. The island is famous for its distinctive geological formations of hexagonal basalt lava rock columns, which appear to be clustered like a giant honeycomb. At sunset, the sea and columns bathe in stunning tones of orange and red. It is also famous among birdwatchers as many avian species inhabit the island, such as seagulls, sandpipers, egrets, and more.
The Great Nicobar Island
The largest island in India, the Great Nicobar Island is one of the most beautiful isles of Indian Ocean Islands. Great Nicobar is situated south of all the other islands in the archipelago and is the southernmost point of the country. With its crystal-clear water and amazing flora and fauna, this island is perfect for a small vacation. The island has a mountainous terrain and five rivers flowing through it. Owing to its outdoor paradise, the island attracts many tourists every year.