Surfing in India: you never know when you meet a God

Kovalam Beach: best known surf spot in India. Not because it has the best surf but because it has cheap hotels and places to hang out if you are on vacation –  and the surf is decent there most of the time. The spot is a beach break but when it gets around 7 feet it breaks out toward the lighthouse and begins to work like a point break. Nice lefts at that time. Otherwise inside waves are short hollow lefts and rights – expect to get plenty of sand in your ears.

Alwars: potentially the best surfing spot in India (southeast coast), at Manapad Point. It is far off the beaten track and not so easily to find. The point is beautifully formed by a millions of years old lava flow that extends into the water. When the rights are working you can expect up to a 400 meter ride, so be prepared for some long walks back to the point.

Rameswaram: the place gets its name from the epic Ramayana where in Sri Rama camped here before proceeding to the island of Lanka to conquer the demon king, Ravana. An amazing temple was built here in ancient times. The water is as good as it gets on mainland India, clear and clean. There are plenty of offshore islands that have yet to be explored for surf. Maybe you will be the first to do it.

Shore Temple: well known on the India surf tour for some great hollow rights located at Mahabalipuram. The World Heritage Foundation has piled granite boulders around an ancient Vishnu temple (built by the Pallava Kings) at the beach to keep it from tumbling into the sea and this has also developed into an awesome break.

Tiruchendur: a temple town and has some good little waves breaking over a rock shelf just 200 yards south of the temple.

Varkala: not far to the north from Kovalam Beach. The spot is a beach break but when it is working it gets exceptionally hollow rights and left. The ride isn’t that long but its fast.

Mahe: a place in Kerala that used to be surfed in the 70s and 80s. From Madayi Point, north of Mahe, to Talakkolattur river mouth, south of Mahe (60 kilometers), there are numerable good breaks.

The Krishna River: enters the Bay of Bengal and divides itself into many streams. The area is marshy and difficult to access but has many good waves in store for those who are determined to get there.

Big Rock: located off the point at Fisherman’s Cove. The point itself is the most consistent break in that area but when the wave height is there and the tide just right then a submerged rock shelf in the cove produces one really awesome left barrel.

Auroville: otherwise known as Pondicherry, is a very unique place, a mix of Indian and French. The spot is your typical beach break with a river mouth that sometimes works just south of the town. The swell is usually blocked by Sri Lanka but the place occasionally does get a few good waves.

Vizag (Visakapatanam): if you are traveling or staying on the east coast of India then you should definitely check out Vizag – a place with big beaches, good hotels, a commercial harbor and some really nice point breaks with good surf – about five in number.

Dwarka: the quintessential experience of the Arabian Sea. At Dwarka, you will find some of the clearest water along the India coastline. The town is very ancient and is said to have existed for the past 5,000 years. Parts of the old city are now submerged below sea level and can be seen while scuba diving.

Jagannatha Puri: a beach break that stretches for as far as the eye can see with some nice outside peaks. On bigger days (6′-8′) getting through the shore break and strong currents can be a challenge.

Gokarna: India’s latest hang out spot (just south of Goa) for back packers and surf wanderers. Waves get good here several times a year but watch out for the shore break or we will have to come out at low tide and dig you out of the sand.

Diego Garcia Island: a very tiny U-shaped atoll that just barely rises above sea level somewhere out there in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The place is home to some of the best surf on the planet and it used to be home to a few thousand people. Although a restricted area it is still possible to get a clearance from the CO Navy Support Facility at Diego Garcia.

The Andaman Island Archipelago: engulfed by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean and although far from the mainland is owned and governed by India. The outer Islands of the Andaman Archipelago are the real find for true adventures, holding hidden treasures for surfing enthusiasts during February, March, April and May. These are some of the best waves the planet has to offer and they remain un-ridden except by a few blessed surfers who have had the guts and the bucks to go there

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