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In Pics: 10 Beautiful Indian Islands You Must Visit For Their Unique Histories, Cultures

If you’re looking for off-beat locations to holiday this summer, here’s our pick of 10 mesmerising Indian islands -- from the backwaters of Kerala to the Andamans -- where you can find your sense of adventure, as well as tranquility.

In Pics: 10 Beautiful Indian Islands You Must Visit For Their Unique Histories, Cultures

As Indians, we often find ourselves mesmerised by clean beaches, breathtaking views, and the splendid architecture of different countries. But look closer home, and you’ll find beautiful islands with delectable cuisines, age-old traditions, and remnants of an unexplored era.

Here are The Better India’s top picks of Indian islands to visit during any time of the year to take a quick break from the rush of city life.

1. St Mary’s, Karnataka

Popularly known as Coconut Island, this place is a set of four small islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe. Another speciality of this place is the presence of unique hexagonal basalt rocks that were formed millions of years ago when Madagascar broke away from the Indian subcontinent.

“Think golden sands under your feet, tall palm trees grooving to the music of the wind, and white foamy waves crashing against the rocks,” wrote Soumya on her blog Stories by Soumya.

2. Chorao Island, Goa

India in Pics: Adorable Must-Visit Islands Which Will Leave You Mesmerised

This island is the largest of the 17 islands in Goa and is located on the Mandovi River. Here, you can explore the local culture and cuisines, and it is ideal if you wish to stay away from all the parties and tourist-populated locations. The island’s culture is a blend of Portuguese and Brahmin culture, where you can enjoy boat rides, witness how authentic feni is made, and visit old temples and churches, as well as a beautiful bird sanctuary.

Photo Credits: Kanika & Saurav (@inspired.travellers on Instagram)

3. Munroe Island, Kerala

Popular for canal cruises, Munroe is located in the backwaters of Kerala and is composed of a cluster of eight islands. Named in honour of Resident Colonel John Munroe, the town’s most celebrated event is the Kallada boat race, held during the 10-day festival of Onam. Munroe Island is located about 27 km away from Kollam.

4. Minicoy, Lakshadweep

India in Pics: Adorable Must-Visit Islands Which Will Leave You Mesmerised

The southernmost island of Lakshadweep, Minicoy’s highlight is the depth of seawater. It is just 3 – 4 feet in height, and one can easily walk for about two kilometres without being submerged in water. The area is home to innumerable coconut trees and clean water, and is known for a panoramic view from the lighthouse, as well as beach sports.

“It’s an amazing place to visit…The island is known for its sandy white beaches with crystal blue waters and secluded lagoons. Water sports like snorkelling and scuba diving and swimming can be enjoyed at the beaches. The Minicoy Island Lighthouse, which was established in 1885 at the southern end, is worth visiting for its history and island view from top is very scenic,” wrote Meena Ranade on TripAdvisor.

Photo Credits: Basari EP (@basariep on Instagram)

5. Havelock Island, Andaman

India in Pics: Adorable Must-Visit Islands Which Will Leave You Mesmerised

Located 70 km from Port Blair, this island has been the highlight of Andaman tourism for decades. Teeming with with tropical jungles and white sand beaches, this island has a very small population, which enables the travellers to explore nature more. Notable places to visit include Radhanagar, Elephant, Kalapathar and Vijaynagar beaches.

Photo Credits: Raj Mohan (@rajography on Instagram)

6. Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu

India in Pics: Adorable Must-Visit Islands Which Will Leave You Mesmerised

Located between the Indian peninsula and Sri Lanka, this island is connected to mainland India via the Pamban Channel (bridge). There is a lot of ancient historical and religious significance here; the island was invaded by British and Dutch traders because of it was easy to access geographically. After independence, the region came under Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. There are also plenty of delightful architectural structures, beaches, a sea rail bridge and water sports. The place is also popular for typical South Indian cuisine.

Photo Credits: Raj Mohan (@rajography on Instagram)

7. Neil Island, Andaman

India in Pics: Adorable Must-Visit Islands Which Will Leave You Mesmerised

Filled with dense tropical forests and greenery, complemented by white sand beaches as well as rich coral reefs, Neil island is one of the most popular islands in Andaman. It is also known as Shaheed Dweep and spans over an area of 13.7 sq km only, most of which is covered with forest. There are thin roads and very little population. Moreover, internet connectivity is almost zero here, which makes this the perfect place for digital detox.

Photo Credits: Nikhitha Natraj (@nikhithanatraj on Instagram)

8. Pallam Island, Andhra Pradesh

India in Pics: Which Will Leave You Mesmerised

Surrounded by mangrove cover in the Godavari Estuary of Andhra Pradesh, the island is known for its greenery and serenity. This paradise is a perfect location to try authentic Andhra seafood. The island is a village populated with tiny houses, and the major occupation here is fishing.

“The climate is good here. The village is very near to the beach and I loved the seafood,” wrote Sai on

Photo Credits: Prudhvi Chowdary (@prudhvichowdary on Instagram)

9. Diu Island, Daman & Diu

India in Pics: Which Will Leave You Mesmerised

Diu is a serene island on the south coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar. The architecture and other infrastructure showcases the remains of Portuguese colonial rule here. The island is famous for adventure sports like swimming, surfing and paragliding. The average temperature here remains between 25 – 28 degrees Celsius. Summer is the ideal time to enjoy the island.

Photo Credits: @phantoms_photography on Instagram

10. Ross Island, Andaman

Also known as Netaji Shubash Chandra Bose Dweep, this island is located in the southern part of Andaman. It is the easiest inter-island to visit as it falls near the capital city. There are several historical destinations, including ruins of old buildings made by Indian prisoners. There also lies a sanctuary which has a vast variety of birds and animals.


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