This lovely town in Karnataka is one of the most exciting beach destinations in India right now. The best part is that very few people are actually aware of this little hamlet which is home to a lot of small and pristine beaches. This lack of awareness has enabled the beaches to be calm and clean. The beaches in Gokarna have a magnetic property of just attracting you to them. From the amazing sunsets to the fun late night parties, this beach town has it all.
Gokarna also attracts a lot of pilgrims due to its many temples.
The name of the place actually means- Ear of the Cow. This name is based on a legend, which says that Lord Shiva was born right there from the Ear of a Cow.
The beauty of this town rests in the fact that you can both enjoy the serenity of the beach and the hustle bustle of the interesting local culture.
There is one large beach, which is the main beach of Gokarna, and the other smaller beaches can be found on the south side.
This town is home to several beaches. Walking along the town, it is impossible not to come across the many beaches that have formed Gokarna and made it so popular among backpackers.
This is the main beach of the town. One can say that this beach birthed the town of Gokarna. Being a popular place, and close to the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna Beach gets a little crowded for people who imagined Gokarna to be an isolated town. If one is looking for some activity and life, this beach is the place to be. It is usually packed with people all bustling around. While, if you are someone looking for some relaxation and calmness, then this beach might not be the one for you.
Gokarna is a town surrounded by hills and mountains. This makes it popular among trekkers as well, you come to conquer the intervening and curving paths carved in the hills.
Kudle Beach is one of the smaller beaches, which is far from the maddening crowd.
You will have to make your way past the mountains and step onto the narrow winding lanes in the hilly areas to reach here. This is more of a trek than a stroll. The beauty is magnificent as you trek the narrow path that overlooks more hills and a deep blue sea. The trek gets more enjoyable the more down you go. The salty sea breeze starts hitting and the grand Silver Oak trees are replaced by fresh Palm Trees. At the last leg of the trek, one can actually see the vast stretched sandy beach and the lovely deep sea water. It is a sight to behold.
The beach is covered with the turquoise blue Arabian sea on one side and then flanked by mighty rough mountains on the other.
There are travellers from all around the world that come over to this beach. It forms a great place to just meet people and know about their cultures. You can also just pitch a tent here and rest by this beautiful seaside.
This is situated at about 7 km off the main town of Gokarna. It derives its name from the fact that the shape of the beach is actually like the Hindu Symbol of Om. This is the perfect beach to put your feet up and relax. It has several cafes and beachside shacks that serve up the most delicious food.
This little beach is so away from the civilisation that you might be the only tourist there. It is beyond the jagged peaks and over the tall trees. This sleepy beach is beautiful to camp at. You can set up your tent here and spend a lovely night under the stars and by the sea at this place. To reach here one can either trek from Om Beach or take a boat ride from Om Beach to here.
Beaches are not the only things that define the town of Gokarna. It is packed with other mesmerising sights which one should not miss.
Gokarna was originally a town meant for spirituality and pilgrimage. It houses several temples, the most famous one being the – Mahabaleshwar Temple. This Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The architecture of this temple itself is intricate and ancient. It has so much of culture and history which makes it a very interesting place to visit.
The deity or the Shiva Linga sculpture is about 1500 years old and still sits strong.
There are many other temples that are located nearby and can be visited if one has the time to spare.
This is said to be one of the most endangered parks in India, which makes it even more imperative to visit it and learn about this place. The Anshi National Park is a treat for bird watchers, as there are over 200 different kinds of birds that one can potentially view from here.
The park doesn’t have well-marked walking trails, and thus, one has to be careful to not walk into the natural habitat. The park is calming in itself, and the occasional chirping of the birds makes it a pleasure to walk through.
This town is only about half an hour away from Gokarna. It is the residence of the famous Lalguli Falls, which has in recent times garnered a lot of attention. These Falls are majestic and one will be charmed at the very first sight. The land near the waterfall is also a great place to sit and have a picnic in the afternoon.
Gokarna is a fantastic town in India to explore and to actually know the culture of the place. The town hosts a lot of tourists (Gokarna is also famous for its yoga classes) who bring with them their cultures. You can always spot some Irish travellers, some Spanish yoga enthusiasts, few Romanian swimmers or maybe Icelandic Guitarists. You can just huddle up and sit with them and discuss all kinds of things, and travel their countries through their stories. Many people just end up spending the night at the beach with travellers as they discuss anecdotes from their home towns or just sing their songs under the marvellously starry night. This experience alone makes Gokarna worth it.
One way to head to Gokarna is to head to Goa and take a taxi or a cab and drive to this town. It is only about five to six hours away.
There are also trains that ply to Gokarna.
Gokarna is a charm to visit from November until February. During these months the weather is pleasant and comfortable. It is not too hot and humid as the summer months, and it is not wet like the monsoon months.
However, if you are fond of greenery and would like to visit Gokarna for more than just the beaches, then Monsoon is the month for you. The hills all turn lush green with trees and the place is lovely to see.
This beach town is completely under the radar. It is the kind of mystical place where you can just put your feet up, sip a warm cup of coffee and read a book on the shores of the beaches. There are hardly any crowds or chatter to be heard, and only the melodious songs of the birds and the crashing of the waves against the shores might break the silence. This town exemplifies the idea of living in the moment and enjoying the little things in life- like just laying down on the beach and doing nothing. In this laid-back yet dreamy town where one can feel that life must be lived in the present moments and not in the milestones.