India may not immediately come to mind when you think of surfing, paddle boarding and water sports, but in fact it’s growing community of sports enthusiasts are drawing tourists from all over the world. As a peninsula that juts out into the Indian Ocean it has plenty of coastline and water to explore. Check out paddleboards.com for all things SUP!
One of the wonderful things about watersports is the ability to do them wherever there is water. Stand up paddle boarding is an excellent and versatile sport to try out while you travel because you simply need a board and a place to put in. This greatly opens up your choices when you think about it – all you need is calm water and equipment, so why stay in a pattern of going to the same places over and over again? India may not immediately come to mind when you think of surfing, paddle boarding and water sports, but in fact it’s growing community of sports enthusiasts are drawing tourists from all over the world. As a peninsula that juts out into the Indian Ocean it has plenty of coastline and water to explore.
List of Places in India to Paddle
There are more places in India to paddle board than we have room for here, but here are a few ideas to get you brainstorming your next exotic trip. .
Start in Mumbai, the economic beating heart of India, and go south a bit along the coast to find the peaceful state of Goa. Here are the classic vacation vibes with all the beaches you need to get started. In fact, it’s beautiful beaches are what make it famous. It has everything a resort lover could want. You can choose to try more than just stand up paddle boarding here with adventure companies that can cater to everything from water skiing to the new adrenaline pumping sport of flyboarding (combo of a small jet pack and a wakeboard).
Keep going south along the west coast in the state of Karnataka to find the town of Mulki and its head waters for the Shambhavi River which make it ideal for water sports. Famous for its surfing, there is a lot to check out here with multiple outfitters that can help you take full advantage of the water filled geography with opportunities to kayak, paddle, water ski and boat. It’s quiet water sports at its best.
Marina Beach, Chennai
Heading over to the eastern coast of India for this next, must- see destination that has it all. Marina Beach is 6 miles of beach right in the dynamic city of Chennai. This is it for all the city lovers who want to find culture, nightlife, shopping, restaurants and entertainment when they aren’t out on the water. Formerly known as “Madras” this city is a cultural touchstone in India and has it all. But, fair warning, it does get busy out on the water with 15,000 to 20,000 people a day visiting Marina Beach during the summer months.
Not far down the coast is the old French settlement of Pondicherry with French character and a charming French Quarter it has ambience to soak in before hitting the water on Promenade Beach, Seaside Beach or Seaside Promenade. The combination of western colonialism and traditional Indian customs based in Hinduism create a city with both temples and cathedrals to explore.
Chilika Lake (Odisha)
Up near the northeast coast of the Indian Peninsula is the largest brackish water lake in the world, Chilika Lake. This unique water draws lots of wildlife and opportunities to see it. This wildlife habitat is a huge draw for bird watchers with 160 species of birds present at peak migratory season. While paddling watch for the fresh-water dolphins that are regularly spotted! This special area is on the list as a possible UNESCO World Heritage site and is worth the time to enjoy. Take your board out for some early morning yoga or fishing to grab the perfect paddle board experience for this location.
India is famous for its history and rich cultural heritage. Heading down the eastern coast of the country there is a town that sits out in the water with ocean on one side and the Great Salt Lake to the southwest. With water almost completely surrounding the area it is the perfect spot to paddle. Known as far back as Marco Polo’s time as the “Seven Pagodas” the existing Shore Temple can be seen right on the water guarding the ancient city the Pallava dynasty built in the 7th and 8th centuries.
The Final Verdict
India does not disappoint with many diverse locations and deep history to draw you in. It’s time to look beyond the usual places you think of for paddle and water sports and check out this amazing country.
Afterall, if you’re a seasoned Stand up Paddle Boarder you know the benefits of looking at the world from the peaceful deck of a board.