Little-known Marari Beach, not far from Alleppey in Kerala, is ideal for anyone who's exploring the Kerala backwaters and feels like some time at the beach as well. This beach is quiet and undeveloped, and a bit of a secret (although interest in it is growing). The name Marari is shortened from from Mararikulam, a small and sleepy fisherman's village.
Kerala, just north of Alleppey and around 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Kochi.
The nearest train station is in Alleppey, about 30 minutes away. Expect to pay 200-300 rupees for an auto rickshaw. Alternatively, the nearest airport is in Kochi. A non-air conditioned taxi from the airport to Marari will cost around 1,500 rupees. Travel time is approximately one and a half hours.
Weather and Climate
The weather at Marari is warm and humid throughout the year. Rain is received from both the southwest and northeast monsoons, which produce intensely heavy downpours. The rain is at its worst from June to July, and late October to December. Late December to March are the best months to visit, when the weather is dry and sunny every day. During April and May, the heat and humidity quickly builds, and summer temperatures reach 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit).
What to Do
Marari isn't a tourist beach but rather a peaceful place to relax and unwind. Those who visit Marari look forward to the slow pace of life, and soaking up the serenity and tranquility on the deserted sandy beaches.
A number of interesting day trips are possible around the area. These include the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, traditional coir-making units, and the Kerala backwater canals. If you're there during August, you can also check out the Snake Boat Races.
Where to Stay
Accommodations at Marari beach consist mainly of resorts and homestays, some of them fronting the beach.
The earth conscious Marari Beach Resort is a big draw. This luxurious resort, inspired by local fishing villages, aims to capture the heart and soul of the beach. It's set on a sprawling property filled with coconut groves and lotus ponds, and among other things offers Ayurveda treatments and yoga classes on the beach. Rooms cost from about 10,000 per night for a double, during the low season.
A Beach Symphony, which consists of four cottages on the beach, is a hidden gem. Price starts from about 12,000 rupees per night. Another recommended option in the same price range is the boutique Marari Villas.
Alternatively, Marari Sea Lap Villas is one of the top secluded beach stays in India. It's a friendly family homestay right on the beach. Popular Marari Dreamz is another traditional homestay with rooms priced around 4,000 rupees a night.
A Warning About Swimming at the Beach
Unfortunately, it's been reported that Marari Beach is a popular location for fishermen to defecate at sunrise. Although the excrement gets washed away by the tide later in the morning, the bacterial content of the water is likely to be high. Thus, while the beach may look clean and unspoiled, this is actually deceptive.