5 things to do in Gokarna
There is certain tranquility and peace in the air at Gokarna and one cannot but help experience it. The simplest suggestion here is to sit out at Night on the beach, taking the sound of the lashing waves while gazing up at the clear night sky full of Stars
Sunset at the Kudle Beach
Gokarna - a small temple town in Karnataka, that has blossomed into a lovely beach get-away - not just for the Indians but for the foreigners as well.
Along the same coast as the famous Goa and Karwar, Gokarna offers its visitorsunspoilt beaches contained by gorgeous cliffs – away from the crowd and yet, not too isolated.
With the Arabian Sea, the green cliffs, a bit of history and varied flavors, Gokarna is a perfect holiday destination for people traveling solo, couples and families. While there is plenty to do there, here are 5 things that I would recommend that you do while you are at Gokarna:
1) Explore the Beaches
OM Beach, Gokarna
The five popular beaches in Gokarna include – Gokarna Beach, Kudle Beach, OM Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise beach. Gokarna beach is located within the town itself and is quite popular with the localities. This beach hosts the famous Shivarathri festival during the month of February. Though Gokarna beach is central, it is Kudle beach and OM beach that steal the limelight when it comes to travelers and tourists.
Kudle beach with its rocky terrain and its shacks is a perfect place to experience Sunset over the Rocks while the OM beach is a perfect picture of serenity with its beach shaped like the Hindu symbol of OM.
Both these beaches have plenty of good resorts, home-stays and food joints and thus, are quite popular with the tourists. Both these beaches offer plenty of water sports like Banana Boat Rides, Boating, Snorkeling and Kayaking.
Beach trekking is a very popular activity - especially since the beaches are not connected seamlessly. Though next to each other, one has to trek across the hillocks that surround each beach to reach another.
The thrill of walking across from one beach to another, with sight of spectacular waves lashing on the very cliffs and rocks that you are walking on is honestly, a unique experience for any traveler visiting Gokarna.
2) Experience the Tranquility
Beautiful Evening out at the Kudle Beach
There is certain tranquility and peace in the air at Gokarna and one cannot but help experience it. The simplest suggestion here is to sit out at Night on the beach, taking the sound of the lashing waves while gazing up at the clear night sky full of Stars.
If that is not serene enough, then try out some Yoga on the beach along with the several others who practice here. There are several yoga ashrams along the Kudle beach and OM beach that train people. Every resort in Gokarna offers yoga facilities and it sure, is a different experience on the beach by the sea.
With tons of Ayurvedic centers, another way to soothen your nerves and relax are the Ayurvedic Spa treatments. Try a full body massage or a small foot rub at any of the shacks and resorts along the beaches.
3) Become a Foodie
Prema Restaurant, Gokarna
Get your taste buds alive by trying out the various food options in Gokarna . A caveat though - Some of the food joints and shacks being quite deceiving at the first glance.
One definite place to visit is the Prema restaurant on the main Gokarna beach. At the first glance as in the picture, you might just dismiss it as a road-side local restaurant but if you have not entered here, you really have missed something.
From local food to Italian, Middle Eastern and Continental, this small place offers you a variety – with each dish cooked as authentically as one would expect in a specialty restaurant. And that is not all – a definite must try are their exotic drinks like Kombucha and the mouth-watering home-made ice creams.
Prema is not the only option. You can try out the various dishes at the shacks on OM Beach and Kudle beach as well.
If you are looking at a slightly up-market food place, every resort offers you one. Of course, the most popular one is the Namaste Café on the OM beach – a perfect place for any time of the day, especially evening with its candlelight and the little sea mist carried by the breeze along the beach.
4) Get the Shutterbug out in you
Gokarna offers its visitors some really picturesque spots – be it the sunset that sets its golden glow over the water and the rocks to the gorgeous falls of waves that rise up and lash over the cliffs and the rocks. With its various vantage points owing the cliffs, one can spot different colors of the sea all at one time. The unique landscape is a definite inspiration for most to get out your cameras and start capturing the sights. One can spend hours behind the lens while attempting to capture every motion, every angle and every color in this lovely town.
5) Soak in a bit of History
Gokarna is and has been a temple town. The name Gokarna has an interesting legend attached to it. Gokarna means Cow’s Ear.
While the town is so shaped so as to resemble the Cow’s ear, legend has it that sacred Atmalinga of Shiva was accidently placed here by Ravana, the King of Lanka. This is shaped like the Cow’s ear and hence, the name Gokarna.
The famed temple of Mahabaleshwara has some interesting stories attached to it, besides of course, the 1500 year old deity within the temple. Other than this temple, one can even visit the Ganapati temple, the AadiGokarneshwara temple and the Kotiteertha – each with some history attached to this town.
Here are some useful tips for visiting Gokarna:
-The nearest Airport to Gokarna is Goa. The same is 100kms from Gokarna
-There are regular buses available to this town from Bengaluru as well as Mangalore.
-September to April is the best season to enjoy Gokarna