Avoid These Mistakes on Beaches in India

Published by Maharudra Walke on

things should not do on beaches in India
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On the way to India’s beaches? It’s also important to know the typical mistakes to avoid before you set off.

From polluting the environment in the park and harassing animals to recognizing cultural expectations and refraining from daredevil stunts, this article covers it all.

Learn why these mistakes are not advisable on Indian beaches and how you can have a fun and appropriate time at the beach.

A collection of detailed practical advice and the author’s own experiences will help you organize a memorable and safe beach trip.

Littering and Pollution

things should not do on beaches in India

The problem of littering affects many of India’s coasts in particular to a considerable extent.

Although signs and garbage cans are in place, it seems that most visitors litter, which ultimately leads to environmental degradation and damage to marine life.

The National Center for Coastal Research (NCCR) has found that plastic waste accounts for 90% of beach litter in India.

Versova beach in Mumbai is famous for one thing in particular: the accumulation of plastic.

But thanks to the clean-up drive led by defender and environmentalist Afroz Shah, more than five million kilograms of plastic has been dumped, according to him.

People are caring for the place, and the beach and other sea creatures are gradually reappearing.

During the clean-up at Versova beach, I was shocked by the cohesion that prevailed for a few months.

It is important to always have a small bag with you to pick up the trash and dispose of it properly.

Produce the picture and invite others to do the same for the conservation of our beautiful beaches.

things should not do on beaches in India

Disturbing Wildlife

endangered species such as the Olive Ridley turtles prefer the Indian beaches to lay their eggs.

It is wrong to get close to these animals as it affects their behaviour and their lives. The Olive Ridley turtles like to nest on the Gahirmatha beach in Odisha.

During the nesting season, these endangered species pose a threat requiring the restriction of public access to these areas.

However, this has become a problem over the years as people sneaking onto the beaches disturb the turtles, causing their numbers to dwindle.

For example, I had the opportunity to see newly born Olive Ridley turtles when I was in Odisha.

It was very moving and reminded me that we should respect wildlife.

The author recommends keeping your distance from the animals, not touching or feeding them and not violating the rules of the protected areas, if there are any.

things should not do on beaches in India

Drug Use and Public Intoxication

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs on the beaches is not only forbidden in most regions, it is also suicidal.

This can lead to accidents or drowning and contributes to a bad tone in families and other special occasions that warrant a visit to such places.

The state of Goa, which is known for its beach parties, has reported several cases of drug and alcohol use.

It is worth noting that the state government is cracking the whip on these activities by imposing fines and making arrests to ensure safety for all.

From my own experience, I can say that the issue of pioneer control is quite evident, especially when I observe the radius of the beach affected by public customers under the influence of various substances that cause discomfort and health risks to other beachgoers.

Enjoy the beach sober. Abide by the laws of the host country and refrain from using products that could slow down your thinking.

things should not do on beaches in India

Nudity and Inappropriate Attire

Many Indian beaches are located near conservative communities.

Wearing revealing clothing or nudity can offend the locals and lead to legal problems.

Puri beach in Odisha, near the Jagannath temple, is of religious significance.

Visitors are expected to dress modestly and respect local customs.

However, there have been instances where tourists have behaved inappropriately, leading to tensions with the locals.

On my visit to Puri, I was reminded to dress modestly to respect local customs and not offend anyone.

Find out about local customs before your visit and respect them. Dress appropriately and behave respectfully.

Reckless Driving

things should not do on beaches in India

Off-road activities such as racing with ATVs or cars affect the sand dunes, which has a negative impact on the natural habitat and also endangers the lives of other people who are on the beach.

Therefore, beaches like Varkala beach in Kerala have taken strict and effective measures against activities involving vehicles on the sand to prevent environmental damage.

This way, violators are punished with fines and other consequences to keep the atmosphere in the houses, parks and other public areas calm for all.

I once saw jeep owners speeding through the beach area, which disturbed the sand and also other beach lovers.

Never drive on the beach if it is not allowed and make sure you follow the established rules for beaches.

Respecting Local Customs and Religious Sites

Each region of India has its own practices and beliefs that have been more or less preserved in the sacred or culturally relevant areas of the coast.

These can be detrimental to the host communities if treated disrespectfully. At Puri beach in Odisha, near the Puri Jagannath temple, it is forbidden to expose one’s body and behave politely.

However, some tourists disregard these recommendations and are intolerant of the locals as a result.

During my visit to Puri, I took my time to make sure I understood the culture and traditions of the place, which made my trip extra special.

I know that in every country there are rules that you have to abide by. So find out about the customs and do not break them. Stick to the dress code and be polite.

Unauthorized Photography

things should not do on beaches in India

Photographing people or places surreptitiously without their consent may constitute an invasion of the privacy of others, including locals and other tourists.

However, in some regions, photography is not allowed, especially in areas designated as security zones or near military barracks or posts.

On some Thai beaches located near strategic points such as temples, signs have been posted prohibiting photography.

Failure to comply with these notices can result in fines or other legal consequences.

I once had an embarrassing experience when I did not even realise it was a no-photography zone while taking photos, and I had to delete the photos immediately after I took them.

Take permission beforehand when photographing, and avoid taking photos in areas prohibited by local laws.

things should not do on beaches in India

Specific Local Customs and Laws Beyond General Etiquette

At this beach, there are certain peculiarities prohibiting specific behaviors not generally forbidden on other beaches.

For example, at Marina Beach in Chennai, there are some specific guidelines that prohibit the preparation of food on the beach or the organisation of camps in the area that would adversely affect the condition of the area and make it undesirable for use by others.

If you break these rules, you face a fine that will literally ruin your visit.

When I travelled to Chennai, I found that following these particular rules in the southern part of India made travelling a much better and more enjoyable encounter for everyone involved.

Pay attention to the specifics of the local rules and always abide by them to be considerate of the community and surroundings.

Avoiding Dangerous Activities Specific to the Beach Environment

Some activities such as swimming in forbidden areas can be fatal because of strong currents or sharp rocks.

The measures taken at Kovalam beach in Kerala consist of lifeguards, warning flags and signboards.

However, the tourist group still does not heed these precautions, leading to rescues and occasionally fatalities.

I have learned the consequences of not following safety precautions and it’s pretty horrific.

Observe the safety signs, swim only in marked safe zones, and abide by the lifeguards’ instructions.

Things should not do on beaches in India

Safety Tips Specific to Beach Activities

While engaging in water sports or other beach activities, you should follow certain measures to prevent accidents.

Some tourists in Goa have engaged in unauthorized water sports and have landed in legal trouble as a result.

However, the government had to shut down these fake operators for the sake of tourists’ safety.

When I swim at different beaches, I make sure that I go to the right operators who have a license and of course follow all the prescribed measures to enjoy the swim.

Professional, licensed operators should always operate water sports, respecting the laws for water sports in each country.


Even though it is pleasant and even somewhat exciting to go to the beach in India, there are some important aspects to keep in mind so as not to interfere with the lives of the locals and offend their culture. In this way, you are helping to preserve such scenic attractions and not disturbing the lives of the locals. Do you have any questions or would you like to add something to the guidelines? Comment below! Write us a message and let the discussion continue.


What are the main things to avoid doing on beaches in India?

Avoid littering, disturbing wildlife, consuming alcohol or drugs, and disrespecting local customs and laws. These actions harm the environment and can lead to legal issues.

How can I dispose of my trash responsibly on the beach?

Carry a small bag to collect your trash and use designated bins. If there are no bins available, take your waste with you and dispose of it properly later.

What should I do if I see wildlife on the beach?

Maintain a respectful distance, avoid touching or feeding animals, and follow local guidelines regarding protected areas to ensure their safety and yours.

Are there any specific dress codes to follow on Indian beaches?

Yes, many beaches near conservative communities require modest attire. Always check local customs and dress accordingly to respect local sensibilities.

Is it safe to swim at all beaches in India?

No, some beaches have strong currents and hidden dangers. Always swim in designated areas and follow the instructions of lifeguards and safety signs.

Can I take photographs on any beach in India?

Not always. Some areas may have restrictions on photography, especially near sensitive sites. Always check local guidelines and ask for permission before taking photos.

What should I do if I want to engage in water sports?

Choose licensed operators for water sports and follow all safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Avoid unlicensed operators to prevent accidents.

Are there penalties for using drugs or alcohol on beaches in India?

Yes, consuming drugs or alcohol on beaches is illegal and can result in fines, arrests, and other legal consequences. Enjoy the beach sober to stay safe and respect local laws.

How can I respect local customs and traditions on Indian beaches?

Learn about local customs before visiting, dress appropriately, behave respectfully, and follow specific local rules to ensure a positive and respectful experience.

What are the safety tips for driving vehicles on the beach?

Avoid driving on the beach unless permitted and always follow local regulations to prevent harm to the environment, wildlife, and other beachgoers.

Categories: Beach

Maharudra Walke

I am a seasoned traveler with over 10 years of experience in beach vacations, water activities, solo travel, and villa stays.


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