They say that the beauty of nature lays in contrast, opposites living in complete harmony with each other. It is every travelers dream to visit a place where beauty exists in a plethora of forms. From ancient Hindu mythology to a completely western Hippie culture, from an enriching history to scintillating religious artifacts, Gokarna, a village in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka tour
provides a feast to all our senses.
The word Gokarna dates back to the era of the destroyer, Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow here; In addition it is also located at the ear-shaped confluence of the rivers Gangavali and Agnashini. Gokarna is about 453 Km from Bangalore and 240 Km from Managalore. It is between the Gangavali and Agnashini rivers and situated along the Karwar coast by the Arabian Sea. It is near the college towns Suratkal and Manipal. One of the reasons it is such a good tourist spot is because of the ease with which people can reach Gokarna. Located close to National Highway 17, it can be accessed from nearby towns like Kumta, Ankola and Karwar by buses and cabs. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation also has buses plying in and out of Gokarna throughout the day. Failing this, private buses like VRL, Sugama etc operate night journeys from Bangalore to Gokarna. The railway station at Gokarna is just 6 km from the town and hence makes trains the best possible mode of transport to Gokarna. The Konkan Railway on the Mumbai to Mangalore route operates trains on certain days.
The main religious attractions would be the Mahabaleshwar Temple, Maha Ganapathi Temple and the Uma Maheshwari Temple. About 80 Km from Gokarna is the Murudeshwara Temple which has the biggest statue of Lord shiva in the world. It would certainly take one full day to cover these temples, and they are certainly some of the most attractive places that you could visit when you are in Gokarna. In general, Gokarna is a round-the-year destination as it is has four beautiful beaches each better than the last. Kudle is the most popular of beaches and is a 20 minute walk from the town. Another 20 minutes away is the Om beach and the Half-moon and Paradise beaches are an additional 20 and 40 minute walk respectively. The beaches here give you a whole new feeling, and spending two hours of your morning here would certainly be a refreshing experience. However, if the purpose of the trip is to make a pilgrimage, then the best time to go would be during the slightly warm months of February and March as the famous Shivarathri festival is celebrated during this time and pilgrims from all over the country book Gokarna tours in South India
and come down to enjoy the tremendous processions.
Food & Accommodation
The food is exquisite as they serve freshly prepared sea food and sizzlers. The main items to enjoy would be the Pomfret and Kingfish sizzlers, not to forget the delicious prawn masala. To be safe, it is always better to avoid the regular water served here and buy a bottle of water. Gokarna caters to people of all financial positions. They have bamboo shacks priced as low as Rs.100 a night to 5 star hotels. The best place to stay would be close to the beach as the food and stay work out very cheap.
Planning Your Trip
Since Gokarna is mainly a hippie paradise and a religious destination it would be wise to spend at least 3 days there to soak in the beauty of Gokarna ranging from the most breath-taking of beaches to the most spiritual of temples. Walking is the best mode of transport with in the village, but, cycles and rickshaws are also available but may need good bargaining skills for the budget traveler. Gokarna is well connected to most of South Indian cities and numerous holiday tours from Bangalore
to Gokarna are available.
Here, it is very common to see sadhus sitting in a trance but people intending to carry charas must do so with caution as the locals do not appreciate it and might inform the police. A safe trip is the most memorable trip.