Love Water? Add These 7 Lesser Known Indian Islands to Your Bucket List
If you are in search of dramatic coastlines, sun-kissed beaches, peaceful walks and excellent seafood, India has an array of beautiful islands. They offer a real away-from-it-all vibe.
Besides Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep, there are seven other off-the-radar islands with breathtaking landscapes and a thriving local culture. These stunning islands will surely nourish you and the locals take pride in offering hospitality with love and soul.
Divar Island, Goa
You really have to see Divar Island in order to believe it. It is amongst the most beautiful places to see in Goa. The fact that such a small, pristine, and simple place can exist in Goa alongside the crazy party scene is amazing. Absolutely unlike any experience in Goa, Divar Island will leave you feeling happy and satisfied. This is because the entire place gives off a rich, wholesome, almost home-like vibe which is particularly attractive to those who prefer quiet and natural beauty.
The small island is covered with dense forests and there is only one village on it with a small set of residents. The hilltop views are pretty too. It does not have any commercial tourist attractions but the local sites like the whitewashed Church are worth a visit. These are simple yet intricately designed structures full of elegance.
Grand Island, Goa
There is no dearth of water-related activities in Goa, of course. While different beaches offer different things to tourists, these options are not in one place. However, Grand Island is the nirvana of Goan water sports. Located near the city of Vasco, there is a lot to be experienced here from diving, and snorkelling to fishing. You will also be able to spot frolicking dolphins in the cerulean blue waters of the Arabian Sea.
Majuli Island, Assam
Majuli is a lush green environment-friendly, pristine and pollution-free freshwater island in the river Brahmaputra, just 20 km from Jorhat city and located 347 Kms from Guwahati. Known to be the largest river island in the world, it is well known for its vibrant cultures and traditions.
Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the contemporary world, this well-frequented tourist destination in Assam stands as a serene haven. Majuli Island embodies an ancient realm where inhabitants reside in bamboo huts, engage in manual craftsmanship, and cook over open fires.
Here, natural beauty flourishes, diverse wildlife thrives, and tranquillity prevails. Majuli Island also offers excellent birding opportunities, with both domestic and migratory birds, including storks, kingfishers, egrets, purple moorhens, and white-breasted waterhens, making it a perfect destination for bird enthusiasts.
Valiyaparamba Island, Kerala
Valiyaparamba island, the third-largest backwater in Kerala, presents a scenic tapestry of local flora and fauna. It is the largest island in the Kavvayi backwaters. The tranquil and secluded Valiyaparamba Island serves as an ideal retreat from urban life.
While the Valiyaparamba beach, situated nearby, remains unspoiled and less frequented by tourists, the backwaters of Valiyaparamba are a year-round attraction. However, the period from November to May is particularly recommended, providing an excellent opportunity to escape the summer heat and immerse oneself in the beauty of this picturesque destination.
Netrani, also known as Pigeon Island, stands as one of the captivating islands off the Murudeshwara coast. The island has lush vegetation and distinctive rocky formations and serves as a sanctuary for numerous pigeons. Nestled amid coral reefs and crystal-clear waters, Netrani emerges as one of the finest snorkelling and diving sites in India.
Murudeshwara hosts multiple operators providing single dives and comprehensive scuba diving courses. Swim alongside vibrant marine life, witness them up close underwater, and marvel at the colourful corals for an unforgettable experience.
Munroe Island, Kerala
Munroe Island, a gem nestled in the backwaters, comprises a group of eight islands, separated by charming water channels and lakes. It is located approximately 27 km from Kollam and the island is named after Colonel John Munroe. He is credited with connecting various backwater regions through canal construction in the former princely state of Travancore.
The island boasts attractions like narrow waterways, canal cruises, and the renowned Kallada Boat Race held during the 10-day Onam festival. Munroe Island provides a unique and peaceful retreat. You can indulge in activities such as coir-making and fishing.
Diu Island, Daman and Diu
Diu, a picturesque island, is situated near the coast of the Kathiyawad region at Veraval port in the Union Terrority of Daman and Diu. Renowned for its natural beaches, rich history, and various attractions, Diu offers a serene alternative to Goa.
Jallandhar and Vanakbara beaches are perfect for sunbathing, while adventure enthusiasts can head to Ghoghla and Nagoa for thrilling water sports like parasailing, water skiing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and banana boat rides.
Toward the eastern part of the island lies the town of Diu, named after the island itself, showcasing historic churches and forts dating back to the Portuguese era.