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Sun,surf And Sand

To each his own. While the wealth of culture that India has to offer is enormous, its amorphous contrasts can confused, bewilder, constrain the tourist.

Take a little time off to relax then, at any of the country's magnificent beaches.

India has a spectacular coastal belt and all along, in hundreds of kilometers are beaches, some developed, some not.

If you are a city person, Mumbai is built along a bay with the Juhu beach garlanding the city in opaque blue. Further down the city, however, are beaches not visited by people except for the fisher folk. Equally enticing is the Marina beach at Chennai.

But if you wish to escape from the cities, come to Goa. A former Portuguese colony Goa has over a hundred kilometers of beach strips, each more compelling than the other. Now fully developed as an international beach resort, Goa offers the finest holiday villages, hotels and cottages. Come at Christmas or New Year, come during the Carnival following Lent: the boisterous merry making,Feni-the local wine, the strains of lonely, haunting melody, will become tangible memories of an earthly Xanadu.

Come to Kovalam, Kerala's magnificent beach resort, set amidst the blue of the Arabian Sea and the lush green vegetation of Kerala. Wake up to yoga exercises in the morning and close your eyes to tender fingers massaging your tanned body in the finest experiments in herbal and ayurvedic massages.

Equally inviting is the Marina beach in Chennai. From here head for Mamallapuram and- watch the sea thunderous a laud the beach temple, gloriously silhouetted against a spectacular blue sky. Or go to Visakhapatnam and swim idly in the sea and watch the great factories here build Indian ships. Come to unexplored Gopalpur-on-Sea in Orissa. Or visit Puri, surely the world's most picturesque sea coast. And then there is Digha-beautiful, exotic, splendorous in its isolation. And while a resort comes up in Mangalore, or close by Manipal, you can always discover a beach of your own in Gujarat, where the beach line still awaits exploitation.

But the beach holiday to beat them all will be on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. A turquoise sea with myriads of colored fish, white tree-fringed sands, coral reefs, and shells, shells, and more shells for the collection of a lifetime.




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