Karnataka is ranked as the fourth most popular tourist state in the country and has something to offer to everybody, from beautiful landscapes to rich cultural heritage, scrumptious food and serene beaches. Expanded from Belgaum in the north to Mangalore in the south, the beaches in Karnataka are a world in themselves. Mushroomed with beautiful palm-fringed beaches, the 320-kilometre coastline of Karnataka spans across three districts: Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada. Boasting around 40 beaches in its vicinity, beach tourism in Karnataka is still at its infancy.
Characterised by vast swathes of soft sand and backdrops of lush green hills, the beaches in Karnataka are well known for their clean and beautiful nature with splendid views. Since it lies on the west coast, the beaches here also offer spectacular sunsets. There are plenty of beaches in Karnataka for weary souls who just want to get away from the humdrum of lightning-paced city life.
Here Are The Top 12 Beaches In Karnataka
1. Take A Yoga Crash Course: Gokarna Beach
Situated in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, Gokarna Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in Karnataka slowly gaining popularity for its spectacular coastline and panoramic vistas. Surrounded by emerald green forests, it offers the perfect spot for celebrating a picnic. With its ocean and clean sands, Gokarna beach is a one-of-a-kind place in the country for swimming. Serving delicious food, you can find numerous shacks, cafés and guesthouses here. You can also spot various birds around this serene beach. Taking a crash course in yoga is also a great way to spend your mornings at Gokarna Beach.
2. A Nature Lover’s Paradise: Tannirbhavi Beach
Lying on the shores of Mangalore, Tannirbhavi Beach is a less crowded beach in Karnataka to enjoy a relaxing evening. People are drawn to the natural beauty of the coastline fringed with trees and golden sand. The sight of tiny fish through the clear water and boats riding the waves makes this place a nature lover’s paradise. The beach is complete with facilities like concrete benches, lifeguards and small eateries. An ideal place for swimming, people often go here in the evening to spend a few hours soaking up the sea and sand to introspect and connect with nature.
Also Read: 8 of the most beautiful beaches in Mangalore
3. Surrounded By Four Rocky Islands: Malpe Beach
One of the most famous beaches in Karnataka near Udupi, Malpe Beach is a gorgeous stretch of white sand surrounded by four rocky islands—Daria-Bahadurgad, Daria-Gadara-Kallu, Kari-Illada-Kallu and St. Mary’s Island. With a plethora of fun things to do on this beach, you can go for a camel ride or indulge in some exciting water sports. The pleasant weather, pristine white sand, and delectable food shacks make Malpe Beach an ideal spot for a quick escape to simply relax and bask in the sun’s warmth.
4. Host To The Annual Karavali Festival: Karwar Beach
Karwar Beach also known as Rabindranath Tagore Beach is located in the Uttara Kannada district. Less crowded, you will surely find this Karnataka beach to be the perfect spot for those looking to soak up the sun and salt off-the-beaten path. The beach’s miles of soft white sands and soothing coconut groves provide blissful relaxation, while its crystal clear waters are quite tempting for boating and swimming. The annual Karavali Festival is one of the biggest events held at the beach around December and January. This beach in Karnataka attracts a large number of tourists due to its crescent shape offering a splendid view of sunrises and sunsets.
5. Naturally Shaped Like The Om Symbol: Om Beach
Located in the town of Gokarna, Om Beach is naturally shaped like the symbol for Om and is one of the most popular beaches in Karnataka with lush greenery surrounding it and pristine waters lapping at its shores. Known for its beautiful rock creations, it also offers abundant outdoor activities like banana boat rides, surfing, and speed boating. You’ll find a few shacks, small eateries, and fishing boats at the beach. A heaven for all the shutterbugs, this place has some mind-blowing scenery amidst its rocky terrain.
6. An Escape From The Noisy Traffic: Kudle Beach
Cuddled up in the small town of Gokarna, Kudle Beach with its quiet environs and silent surroundings is one of the most serene and tranquil beaches in Karnataka. Surrounded by lush green hills on three sides and white sand stretching as far as the eye can see, Kudle Beach is a haven suitable for leisurely walks and practising yoga. The sea is shallow enough for dipping your feet or to simply have a bath, but it is always better to be careful. You can put up a hammock and read your book, watch the vibrant sunset, or take a stroll along the shores of the beach. People come here to escape the constant traffic noises that plague the cities.
7. Enjoy Sunbathing: Half Moon Beach
Situated in Gokarna, Half Moon Beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches in Karnataka. Surrounded by luxuriant hills and lapped by stunning turquoise waters, the beach got its name from its striking resemblance to a half-moon shape. Separated from Om Beach by a cliff, tourists get an amazing view of the Arabian Sea. The beach offers numerous exciting activities including canoeing, swimming, and paddle boats. The beach also has shack restaurants that provide finger-licking food. You can go sunbathing in the afternoon and lie on hammocks at night to unwind and escape the monotony of city life.
8. Perfect For Solitude Lovers: Paradise Beach
The fourth beach lying across the coast of Gokarna Town, Paradise Beach, also known as Full Moon Beach, is accessible only via boat or a trek from Half Moon Beach. Prized for its serenity and surreal beauty, the mesmerising sight of the Arabian Sea makes it an excellent spot to relish its coastal beauty. You must not miss out on the local cuisine prepared at the shacks and cafés dotting the beach. You can enjoy swimming or camping along the water here to refresh your mind and body. Perfect for solitude lovers, this famous beach of Karnataka is ideal for those who want to get away from the routines of everyday life.
9. Surrounded By Casuarina Groves: Ullal Beach
Nestled on approximately 14 acres of casuarina groves, Ullal Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in Karnataka in the oldest town in India, Ullal. Catering to both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, there are many restaurants nearby, particularly famous for their seafood. You can also take a dip in the waters of the beach as it is very clean. Various arrangements for some water sporting activities are accessible for adrenaline junkies. Ullal beach mesmerises its visitors with a scenic view of the majestic Arabian Sea.
10. Owned By A Private Enterprise: Panambur Beach
Located in Mangalore on the shores of the Arabian Sea, Panambur Beach is the first beach in the country which is wholly owned by a private enterprise, i.e. the Panambur Beach Tourism Development Project. This beautiful beach in Karnataka has been awarded the cleanest and best maintained beaches in India, owing to its excellent maintenance. Attracting tourists with its range of outdoor activities from camel, buggy, and horse rides to water sports, including jet-skiing, surfing, boating, and parasailing, there are plenty of activities to satiate your craving for thrills. The International Kite Festival that takes places in January at the Panambur Beach is attended by tourists from all across the country.
11. Witness The Bioluminescent Phytoplankton: Nirvana Beach
A must-visit destination in Kumta and close to Gokarna, the Nirvana beach features the unique phenomenon of bioluminescent phytoplankton at night. Acting as tiny fairy lights, the planktons brighten up the waters in pitch dark surroundings. With rocks on one end and crabs crawling out of the sand, Nirvana beach is one of the best beaches in Karnataka, ideal for a quick dive into its blue waters. Secluded from throngs of crowds, this beach has tree houses to climb up into for those who wish to enjoy the peace and quiet.
12. Spot Dolphins: Devbagh Beach
Devbagh beach in Karwar is a private beach and is one of the most famous beaches in Karnataka. A nature lover’s paradise, it’s an untouched beauty, sandwiched between the magnificent Western Ghats and the mighty Arabian Sea. You can also try your hand at some thrilling adventure sports such as parasailing, jet-skiing, parachute riding, speed boating, and banana boat rides among many others. You might even spot a dolphin or two while on an expedition into the waters. Creating a delightful view, you can also spot white seagulls flying across the backdrop of the softly lit coral sky.
Why Should We Preserve the Beaches?
A favourite travel destination amongst most people is the beach. For some, beach holidays are about relaxing in paradise, for others it’s about swimming, snorkelling, remote coastal strolls, and meeting local fishing communities. If you’re dreaming of beautiful sandy beaches and cool blue sea, then you have already caught the beach-fever! Head out to these beaches in Karnataka for an exciting getaway with your family and friends.
When at the Karnataka beaches, avoid damaging or removing pieces from their place. We should make sure to pick up after ourselves and dispose of rubbish in a proper manner. When travelling to the beaches, if possible try to opt-out of franchised restaurants, and instead try eating at the local shops and food stalls.
The decisions we make when travelling to the beaches, or anywhere in general, play a huge role in this ecosystem. An important principle of responsible tourism is to leave the place you visit the same or even better than how you found it. Everything starts with us deciding to make a small change. Save the beaches, save the earth!