India’s last beach paradise?

I softly tread on the white sand, slippers in hand and jeans rolled up. The residual waves of the Arabian Sea caress my feet and playfully slip the sand from underneath my soles. I look at the chirpy turquoise blue waters before me, and at the only trail of footsteps I’ve created in the soft sand; in a country of 1.1 billion people, you have to be really lucky to find a sun-kissed beach with not another soul in sight.

I arrived in Diu on a long, jerky bus ride from Ahmedabad this morning, and immediately fell in love with the laid-back ambiance of the island. The empty roads beckoned me to rent a scooter and drive along one of India’s most untouched coastlines. With the wind in my hair, I manoeuvred my way around the majestic churches of Diu, its sparsely populated villages, its Bohemian eating joints, and the remains of its old forts, all emanating parts of its Portuguese history.

Diu, Daman & diu, india, offbeat travel, off the beaten path, secret beaches, untouched beaches

Instead of returning in the evening to what is locally known as sunset point, a snippet of conversation with a resident of the island convinced me to head towards an edge of the island, where “there’s no one,” he promised. Following his directions, I found myself at the base of a cliff, on the right of which the sea and sand stretched for miles.

The sun is now a bright yellow ball of fire, and to my heady self, it appears to be smiling at my arrival. On an impulse, I drop my slippers and run into the sea. The waves throw me a frisky welcome; I float atop the smaller, jump against the mighty, duck under the intimidating, and often get hurled to the sandy seabed. Each time I look up, the sun has moved a few inches lower, and turned a few shades more orange.

Diu, Daman & diu, india, offbeat travel, off the beaten path, secret beaches, untouched beaches

A dozen colourful little structures on the cliff scramble for my attention, and as the tide starts to rise, I wade my way to the shore to attempt to climb the rugged but gentle slopes of the cliff. The structures, as I soon realize, are shrines that house the remnants of the Portuguese occupation of this little island. The waves crash sharply on the rocks at the edge of the cliff, and the sun turns a bright red, as though trying to prompt me of the original colour of these shrines. I keep them company till the sun paints the entire sky red and sinks all the way to the horizon.

Diu, Daman & diu, india, offbeat travel, off the beaten path, secret beaches, untouched beaches

Walking away in the after-sunset, I realize that the footprints I created on the sand have been wiped away by the sea. It has no memory, I’m harshly reminded. Tomorrow, it will kiss the beach again, play with the waves, shine over the shrines, colour the waters, paint the skies, and welcome any life that chances upon it.

Diu, Daman & diu, india, offbeat travel, off the beaten path, secret beaches, untouched beaches

 This travelogue was originally published on Huffington Post after some serious edits. I still prefer this version.

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  1. Abhinav Sarangi says:

    Good article, but I seriously cannot agree with the statement that Diu might be the last beach paradise. There are so many unexplored, pristine beaches around India, of the top of my head, Chandipur,Gokarna, Murud, and then there are beaches of Kerala, Andaman and Lakshadweep

    1. I debated that too Abhinav, but I can surely vouch for Diu over Gokarna & the beaches of Kerala. Lakshadweep can only be done on a group cruise, so I don’t think you’ll ever find the beach without other people. Andaman is surely a strong competitor, so Diu might be the second last 🙂

      1. Abhinav Sarangi says:

        Diu might be the best ‘last beach paradise’, I only have your beautiful words to go by as I have not been there, and these words make me want to believe you, and I do.
        My point is there are other places which will going forward take over the mantle as Diu gets more commercialised. Also India is such a big place with so many virgin places, I would be very careful with using the ‘best’ adjective.
        On a side note, any beach vacations coming up on IndiaUntravelled?

        1. Yeap, I’ve refrained very much from using the ‘best’ adjective. ‘Last beach paradise’ is a question too, I don’t know of another yet.

          Beach vacations with India Untravelled? Not yet. We are most likely heading up in the high Himalayas this summer, to Spiti 🙂

  2. samareshbiswal says:

    nicely u have penned the words

  3. Beautifully written piece, haven’t read the edited version but this is perfect as it is…. We were planning a trip to diu this jan… But were adviced against the idea by almost evryone who had been there… Saying it wasn’t worth the 20 hrs of travel involved sp. Since we have done goa and andamans both! But this pc makes me wonder if we made a mistake by dropping it!

    1. There’s always next time. Go for it, I’d say. I haven’t been to the Andamans, but I can definitely vouch for it over Goa; it is like Goa must’ve been 20-30 years ago.

  4. what about the beaches on East coast? I prefer those than the rocky ones in Konkan.

    1. Diu’s beaches aren’t really rocky, and most of the ones I’ve been to along the Konkan coast aren’t either. I’m yet to do the beaches on the east coast, but I hear some of them are beautiful. Have you been to any?

  5. This post reminds me of my trip to Gokarna! It’s only during our vacation that we truly appreciate the sun, the sky.. Things that are always there, but which are often overlooked. Sad but true!! 🙂

    1. Very true 🙂 But then there’s nothing like the sun setting in a blue sky over the sea – not something that’s always there, especially when you live in the cities!

  6. manseelikes says:

    hmm…shall have to plan a trip soon to Diu- considering I live so closeby. It would be a crime not to

    1. Yes, absolutely! I’m hoping to go back soon myself 🙂

  7. Celine Phantom Bag says:

    Rei kawakubo and Merce Cunningham created a fashion line called Scenario.To listen to their voices, I just wanted to imitate you. There are chunky knits, boyfriend blazers, wool jackets, turtleneck bodysuits, shearling aviator jackets, pretty skirts and dresses, sexy shorts, elegant flared pants, polka dot tights, but also snake print platform ankle boots, Mary Jane platform wedges and loafer pumps to complete the looks. If you look for security in a job or are scared to try something different, you won’t get far in the pursuit of true wealth.Even when they had failedand every single one of them had at least oncethe truly rich said they had used those experiences to learn from their mistakes and get back in the saddle. A authentic seller is willing to respond to all your issues. Lack of any other accessory, also gave push to the stardom of idea of handbags.The laidback slouchy silhouette looks chic. (c) Depending on the direction from which the Kunzite gemstone is viewed, it could appear to be a pale color or a gorgeous lilac shade of pink.

  8. priyamkbora says:

    I just came back from a trip to Diu last week…and I can totally relate to what you have been meaning to say through this piece…I too fell in love with Diu just as I entered the border and the serenity touched me and my family as my friends…I totally recommend Diu beach for anyone who would want to enjoy the clean walk through the waves…

    And the view from the top of the lighthouse at Diu fort was enthralling too… and left us mesmerized,making u want to come back again…I hope we do…for I wanna explore more…

  9. saurabh joshi says:

    I was at Diu last year……and it was nothing like anything I had experienced so far…the calmest place and cleanest as well (by Indian standard)..just the sight of empty roads refreshed my mind…only if I had a tent, Nagoa would’ve been my home for weeks

  10. Rajendra vala says:

    Nice article and interesting comments.
    Hi, I m from Gujarat and we used to go Diu frequently due to its beautiful beaches and pleasunt atmosphere. There are good no of places to see and enjoy. I worry that present commercialization of Diu may disturb its peace and atmosphere.

  11. Nice Post! No more debate on beaches. Its a Wonderful gift by nature. All beaches are good but its depend upon time which time to choose to visit there like at the evening time when sun-set point is coming it increase the beach’s beauty.
    Thanks for this good content I enjoy this beach through your blog.
    Keep it up to travel life and keep writing good content.

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