With the second-longest coastline in India, it’s time Andhra Pradesh gets the attention it deserves among globetrotters. By Shibani Bawa

 

With a coastline that stretches over 900 kilometres, Andhra Pradesh is home to some of the most beautiful beaches off the Bay of Bengal. While some of these places are fairly well- known and attract throngs of tourists during local festivals, there are several other hidden gems where you might get lucky and spot dolphins frolicking in the sea.

Besides an enviable range of watersports and delectable seafood offerings, some of these places are also home to interesting museums, such as the Submarine and Aircraft Museum on Ramakrishna Beach. From the Vizag Yachting Festival, the first edition of which was held in March this year, to the Machilipatnam Beach Festival—there’s plenty to look forward to on the shores of Andhra Pradesh. The state tourism website, aptdc.gov.in, is the best way to stay updated on the local festivals and events organised through the year.

Rishikonda Beach

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Located 30 kilometres from Visakhapatnam, Rishikonda is the most popular beach among watersports enthusiasts. While you’re here, try your hand at water skiing, wind surfing, and speed-boating, or just sit back and relax under swaying palm trees.

Uppadda Beach

Just five kilometres from Kakinada, Uppada offers a quiet setting to its visitors. A popular weekend destination among locals, the beach is considered safe due to its wide shoreline.

Manginapudi Beach

Located 10 kilometres from Machilipatnam, this beach is popular among seasoned surfers. The beach is remote and offers a striking setting with its black sand. Nearby attractions include the Undavalli Caves and a dance school that teaches kuchipudi.

Bheemunipatnam Beach

Bheemunipatnam, popularly known as Bheemili, is located at the mouth of the River Gosthani and is another popular site for water sports. Some of the available options include snorkelling and scuba diving. The place is home to a striking statue of Buddha, representing the place’s past as an important Buddhist centre.

Suryalanka Beach

Around nine kilometres from Bapatla in Guntur district, this one is among the cleanest beaches of Andhra Pradesh. While dolphin-spotting is a major attraction in November, the calm waters make it ideal for a day out with the family any time of the year. The state-run Haritha Resort is a good option if you want to stay close to the beach.