By Reya Mehrotra
Recently, a picture of a boat that appeared to be suspended in the air went viral on social media. A closer look revealed that the boat was floating on Meghalaya’s Dawki river. On one hand, where polluted and frothing rivers like Yamuna make headlines for all the wrong reasons, we have a number of water bodies in India and around the world that are known for their clean, glass-like surface and water. Here are some of them.
Bonito means beautiful and the word aptly defines the water bodies of Bonito in Brazil. They are known for their clean glass-like water and thriving marine life. Bonito draws huge crowds for its ecotourism. Its Sucuri River, Blue Lake Cave and Gruta do Lago Azul are some of the popular tourist attractions and known for a number of activities.
Whitehaven beach, Australia
Protected by the Whitsunday Islands National Park, Whitehaven Beach is in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is known as one of the most eco-friendly beaches and is Queensland’s cleanest beach. It is also known for its pure white sand which is silica, giving it a bright, luminescent colour. It is also called Chalkie’s beach and has camping and barbecue facilities. The beach is first said to have been discovered in 1879. Owing to the scope of tourism at the beach, the government announced investing $3.9 million for constructing a walking track and upgrade of the camping area.
La Chiva beach, Puerto Rico
Also called Blue beach, La Chiva is one of the cleanest water bodies in the world. Activities like snorkeling are popular at the beach and most visitors come there for long walks in the picturesque landscape. The colour of the beach water varies and gets lighter as one walks along the eastern side of it. While the beach has been declared safe, the entry into La Chiva islands is prohibited due to the risk of explosive hazard.
Located in Dwarka, Gujarat, Shivrajpur beach is another Indian ‘Blue Tag’ beach known for its white sand and clear blue water. What makes it unique is that it is disabled-friendly and uses solar power. After it was given the Blue Tag certification last year, tourism has picked up and the government is planning on further beautifying the beach and nearby locations to attract crowds. Kacchigadh Lighthouse is located near the beach and is said to have been constructed by Maharao Deshalji, the ruler of Kutch, to provide shelter and safety to sea vessels.
Rushikonda, Andhra Pradesh
Rushikonda beach is located around 8 km from Vizag and is a popular tourist destination as well as a Blue Tag beach. It is known for its golden sands and picturesque views. It has a number of water sports like water skiing, scuba diving, swimming and windsurfing. Owing to its beauty, it is called one of the virgin beaches of southern India. A number of cottages around the beach attract tourists as well. After it received the Blue Tag, the place has become a global name for tourists to visit as Blue Tag beaches meet safety and cleanliness norms and have ample amenities of global standards.
It is a ‘Blue Tag’ beach, one of the 10 Indian beaches to have received the tag given by the Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark to destinations that are eco-friendly. Historically, Kappad beach is an important one. In 1498, around 500 years ago, men led by Vasco de Gama had first landed in Kerala and the spice route is said to have flourished through this beach. A number of migratory birds are spotted on the beach that also has several rocks and small hills.
Dawki River, Meghalaya
On November 16, the Union ministry of jal shakti tweeted about river Umngot (Dawki), which lies 100 km from Shillong in Meghalaya. Flowing into Bangladesh, the river is a natural divide between Jhantia and Khasi hills. “It seems as if the boat is in the air; water is so clean and transparent. Wish all our rivers were as clean. Hats off to the people of Meghalaya,” the ministry mentioned in its Twitter post. Later, PM Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat session too mentioned about the crystal-clear river.
Exuma beaches, Bahamas
A district of The Bahamas, Exuma consists of 365 islands known as Cays. Its water bodies are known for their scenic beauty and cleanliness. The Starfish Beach is known for its red starfish, the Tropic of Cancer beach is famous as the first installment of Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here. As the name suggests, the Tropic of Cancer runs through the beach. Forbes Hill beach and Love beach are known for snorkeling, Jolly Hall beach is known for turquoise water and powdery sand.