Gokarna, in the
state of Karnataka, is a temple town and also a tourist destination that’s well
known for its many beautiful beaches and tranquil locales. The Mahabaleshwara
temple in Gokarna makes the town an important pilgrimage center for Hindus and is a must visit for those planning a holiday in Karnataka.
Bare Basics on Gokarna
Gokarna is a coastal town in the
Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Gokarna is a Sanskrit word that roughly
translates to cow’s ear. The town gets its name because the confluence of two
rivers that surround this town, Aghanashini and Gangavati that forms a shape like
that of a cow’s ear.
This town is a pilgrimage center for
Hindus because of the many temples in this region, especially the Mahabaleshwar
Shiva Temple. You can visit the site if you’re religious inclined or just plain
curious as during the monsoon months the pilgrim crowd will be quite low.
Take a Temple Trip
The revered Atmalinga in the
Mahabaleshwara temple is said to have been brought here by Ravana. It is said
that Ravana did penance to obtain the Atmalinga, the possession of which would
have made him invincible. Lord Shiva gave him the Atmalinga but told him that if
he ever placed it on the ground before he got to Lanka; he would not be able to
lift it again.
As the Devas did not want Ravana
become even more powerful and extend his tyranny across more worlds, they
prayed to Lord Ganesha who tricked Ravana into placing the Atmalinga down on
the ground at Gokarna.
As he was not able to lift it up
again, Ravana had to leave without it. A temple was built to house this
powerful Atmalinga - the Mahabaleshwara Temple.
many other temples in Gokarna and surrounding areas like the Maha Ganapathy
Temple, the Uma Maheshwari Temple, and the Bhadrakali Temple, Varadaraja Temple,
Tamragauri Temple and the Venkataramana Temple.
Burrow in the Sands of
Gokarna is a prime destination for
vacationers because of its five beautiful beaches. This coastal town,
surrounded by beaches and the blue sea and coconut groves, is an enchanting
place for beach lovers. There are five beaches in Gokarna - Kudlee Beach, Gokarna
Beach, Om Beach, Half-Moon Beach and Paradise Beach.
Beach lies near the temple and it is a place where pilgrims gather in huge
numbers. Kudlee Beach is the largest of the five beaches, but it is a dangerous
spot for taking a swim. Om Beach is unique and it is shaped like the holy
symbol of Om.
forms a sort of natural pool where it is safe to take bath and it is the most
popular tourist spot, surrounded by many resorts that tourists can stay in. The
Half-Moon Beach and Paradise Beach are more difficult to reach.
Monsoon trip to Gokarna
If you are planning a visit to Gokarna
during the monsoon, it would be better to stick to visiting the many wonderful
temples around this town and the easily accessible beaches. If you do not plan
on any activities like swimming during your stay and just want to enjoy the
beauty of the place, you can get an off-season discount in the many resorts in
Gokarna on your Gokarna tours from Bangalore.
Gokarna is a
charming place with its white sands, the sea and the surrounding fields and
temples. Just plan your monsoon trip well to avoid the hazards posed by the
rain and enjoy a wonderful vacation.