Combating climate change and protecting the world’s resources is every nation’s responsibility. Environmental stewardship knows no national borders.
India has also taken extensive measures to improve the way it protects its land, air and water. It concerns itself particularly with the ocean, as the sea surrounds three sides of the nation. India’s commitment to marine conservation has recently paid off in a big way with the addition of two Blue Flag beaches, bringing the total number on the list to 10.
What Are Blue Flag Beaches?
Blue Flag certification is an internationally recognized eco-label awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education. This sustainability-based nonprofit organization applies 33 stringent criteria on beaches, marinas and boating tourism companies. Judges consist of members of the UNEP, the UNWTO and the UNESCO, among others.
The world’s oceans unite all nations, serving as a reminder that what happens on one side of this big, blue sphere impacts the other. The United Nations estimates that approximately 3 billion people rely on seafood worldwide as a staple in their daily diet. The planet’s waterways don’t follow the petty laws created by humans.
Therefore, a factory that pumps pollutants into the Atlantic Ocean in South America can impacts the food supply in Africa. Combating environmental problems should be the top unifying issue of our times — since it will take a worldwide effort to preserve the resources everyone relies upon for survival.
How Do They Help With Marine Conservation?
Blue Flag beaches in India must align with nine of the International Blue Flag Organization’s 17 principal goals. In particular, they must meet the following criteria:
- Good health and well-being: Does the beach have proper management to protect public safety and clean drinking water?
- Quality education: Are signs about the Blue Flag program displayed? Does the venue provide information about water quality, local ecosystems and environmental education?
- Clean water and sanitation: Does the beach comply with all water quality standards? Does it have proper sanitation, clean restrooms and recycling sorting bins?
- Industry and infrastructure: Are all buildings and beach equipment adequately maintained?
- Reduced inequalities: Does the beach offer access and facilities for the physically disabled?
- Sustainable cities and communities: Does the surrounding area encourage sustainable transportation? Are there public options and bicycle storage facilities?
- Life below water: Do officials actively monitor coral reefs and other sensitive habitats?
- Life on land: Is the beach clean from trash and garbage dumping? Do authorities restrict unauthorized camping and driving?
- Peace and justice: Is there a beach management committee to monitor the area and ensure compliance with the rules?
The Blue Flag program’s larger mission is to encourage community, economic justice and environmental sustainability across borders. Its beach certification is particularly vital to combating pollution, as conditions in waterways in one location quickly spread to others.
Beautiful Blue Flag Beaches in India
India takes its role in environmental stewardship seriously and its commitment paid off in 10 gorgeous Blue Flag beaches getting certified in India. If you are looking to satiate your pandemic-induced wanderlust and earn a new passport stamp, why not book a stay near one of the 10 Blue Flag beaches in India to enjoy an eco-friendly holiday and some of the clearest waters anywhere?
This historic beach near Koyilandy, Kerala is where Vasco da Gama first laid foot in India, changing the history of India forever. Since then, the spice route flourished off its shores. Today, you can witness the arrival of several species of migratory birds during your visit. Since its certification in December 2020, Kappad has become a busy coastal tourist destination that’s also eco-friendly.
This popular tourist spot is considered the most beautiful beach in the Gujarat region. It received its Blue Flag certification in a September 2021 ceremony presented by an international jury. This location is popular with tourists who want to spend some time in the waves before touring what remains of Diu Fort, which was a medieval fortress that defended the city through 1961. You’ll find no shortage of lodging in the nearby city of Diu.
If you want an experience similar to the Santa Monica pier, head to Shivrajpur. The village lies between a lighthouse and a rocky but white-sand shoreline just 15 minutes north of Dwarka. After receiving its certification in October 2020, visitors visit the picturesque beach to enjoy the views and its sustainability. As you explore the mythological temple town, it’s full of historic culture, pilgrimage sites and temples that span the centuries, Shivrajpur beach offers a break from your itinerary.
You might think red rocks are only a staple in the desert American Southwest, but you’ll find sand in that exotic hue at Kasargod Beach. It’s an eco-friendly strip of beach in Kerala that officially became certified in October 2020 after passing water quality, safety and environmental management tests. If you’re a fan of lighthouses, the photogenic one here will not disappoint. Like Ghoghla, it attracts discriminating visitors — you won’t find many madding crowds.
Are you seeking the ideal beach sunset picture? Udupi’s Padubidri Beach is a quiet location that has the perfect backdrop of palm trees. Local officials spent years making it a sustainable destination and finally earned their Blue Flag recognition in October 2020 by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE). Once you arrive, check out the open markets, historic monoliths and the NITK lighthouse that make the beach so popular.
Rushikonda beach features miles of golden sand along the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh. This destination is popular with young and old visitors alike. Visitors can enjoy things like water sports and the tourist attractions in nearby Vizag while supporting a Blue Flag beach that became official in October 2020, along with many other beaches mentioned here.
7. Golden Beach
There’s gold overhead and under your feet at this location. You’ll feel like King Midas if you frequent this Blue Flag beach as of September 2021, which is popular with pilgrims who come to visit the nearby temple to Lord Jagannath. You’ll find several eclectic and adorable souvenir shops lining the sand and more than a few signs pointing to Puri Beach, which is another name for this scenic destination.
How would you like an expansive white-sand beach filled with shells and crabs and surrounded by lush green forest… This must-see destination is located in the pristine Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The blue waters of Radhanagar beach are shallow enough for swimming and snorkeling, which persuaded Time magazine to rank among the top best beaches in Asia. It also retained its Blue Flag certification as of September 2021 due to its local community continually being committed to make it an eco-friendly destination.
Kovalam Beach is one of India’s most visited tourist destinations located in Kerala. It’s a popular place for surfing and sunbathing, but it earned its September 2021 Blue Flag certification because it’s also a sustainable place for boating. It’s worth the trip for the many nearby shops and restaurants as well, so you won’t get bored once you’re done chasing the surf.
Eden is the first beach near Tamilnadu to win the coveted Blue Flag certification in the September 2021 ceremony for its sustainable boating operations and tourist activities. Located in Puducherry, this beach has an 800-meter safe swimming zone, as well as a bathing room and toilets for tourists amid the shops and stands.