The beaches along the 1600 kilometre coastline of north western state Gujarat may surprise the travellers by its clear water, white sand and most importantly the quietness, thanks to the low tourism activity.
The beach fun in India is normally associated with Goa where most of the vacationers go to de-stress from the daily life routines. While the shores in Goa are popular and, naturally, crowded, northward in the western coast of Gujarat, you will find more silent beaches. Many tourists may be unaware about the 1600 kilometre long coastline that Gujarat offers, accounting for 22 pc of the total seaside in the country and bordered by the Arabian Sea and the Gulfs of Khambat and Kachchh.
That the beaches are unexplored and unexploited was evident from the limited people at the Okha Madhi beach near the holy city of Dwarka that is one of the four most revered pilgrimages for Hindus in India. Although Dwarka receives pilgrims and tourist in large number throughout the year, located just half an hour away from the main Dwarkadhish temple, the beach does not seem to draw as many tourists. As a result they are cleaner, more serene and much quieter than one may expect the beaches to be. Undisturbed by hawkers or any beach shack, as Gujarat is a dry state, it allows you to dip your feet in the clear blue water in peace. The beach boasts of fine white sand that makes it ideal for a long walk. At one corner is also located the Marine National Park for sea turtles and marine life, where the caretaker also allows you to take the small turtles in hand.
Another coastline in the vicinity is Positra, famous for the coral reefs and marine life. It is here that the River Gomti meets the Arabian Sea. Along the long beachfront, the assembled stones and the rocks act as the barrier between the sea and you. At a distance also rests the lighthouse of Dwarka, giving a beautiful view of the place.
While the beaches surrounding Dwarka are fairly deserted, the beach in Somnath, another pilgrimage destination located nearly 250 kilometres away from Dwarka, has more life. The credit could be given to the temple that is located adjoin the Somnath temple of Lord Shiva where tourists and the devotees throng all through the year. The path leading to the beach is covered with a flea market by a range of hawkers selling coconut water, products made out of shells, souvenirs and junk jewelleries. As you enter the beach you also find camels covered in the colourful and traditional embroidery from Kutch in Gujarat, with their masters alongside prepared to give you a ride along the coast. The beach also offers a beautiful side view of the Somnath temple built in the Chalukya style of the temple architecture, rebuilt in 1947 over the ruins of the ancient temple that was sacked by Turkic Muslim invader Maḥmūd of Ghazna in 1024–25.
The lesser known Gujarat beaches may come as a surprise to the travellers especially looking for fine and clean sand for long walks, clear water and the silence to sit and enjoy the sound of the sea.