Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. Goa is also known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to those in laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda.
Kozhikode is a coastal city in the south Indian state of Kerala. It was a significant spice trade center and is close to Kappad Beach, where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498. The central Kozhikode Beach, overlooked by an old lighthouse, is a popular spot for watching the sunset. Inland, tree-lined Mananchira Square, with its musical fountain, surrounds the massive Mananchira Tank, an artificial pond.
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Pondicherry (or Puducherry), a French colonial settlement in India until 1954, is now a Union Territory town bounded by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. A seaside promenade runs along the Bay of Bengal and passes several statues, including a 4m-high Gandhi Memorial.
Port Blair on South Andaman Island is the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal. Its seafront Cellular Jail, completed in 1906, hints at its past as a British penal colony and is now a memorial to Indian independence activists. Inland, the Samudrika Marine Museum showcases local marine life. The Anthropological Museum focuses on the islands’ indigenous tribes.
Digha is a coastal resort town in the east Indian state of West Bengal. The dune-backed Old Digha Sea Beach faces the Bay of Bengal. Close by, the Marine Aquarium and Regional Centre (MARC) is home to sharks, rays and sea snakes. To the west, inland from sandy New Digha Sea Beach, leafy Amarabati Park surrounds a lake. West of town, the white-domed Chandaneswar Shiv Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Diu is a coastal town at the eastern end of Diu Island, India. A bridge connects the island to the state of Gujarat. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Diu Fort, a 16th-century Portuguese citadel, features a lighthouse and cannons. Inland, centuries-old St. Paul’s Church was built in elaborate baroque style. Nearby, whitewashed St. Thomas Church is now home to the Diu Museum, with wooden carvings and religious artifacts.
Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Sites reflecting those influences include Fort Kochi, a settlement with tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship. Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, typical of Kochi, have been in use for centuries.
Havelock Island is part of Ritchie’s Archipelago, in India’s Andaman Islands. It’s known for its dive sites and beaches, like Elephant Beach, with its coral reefs. Crescent-shaped Radhanagar Beach is a popular spot for watching the sunset. On the island’s east side, rocky sections mark long, tree-lined Vijaynagar Beach. The island's forested interior is home to birdlife such as white-headed mynas and woodpeckers.
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