Gokarna has India’s most beautiful and tucked away beaches all close by. Gokarna is a holy town which is remote and small.
Hence it gets both religious pilgrims and pleasure seeking beach goers. Gokarna is what Goa (known for its golden beaches) once was in its glory years. So make the most as builders and developers already have their targets set.
Location and getting there:
The small town of Gokarna is located an hour away south from the Goa border. It is about 450 km away from Bangalore, which is the capital of the city. Trains of the Konkan Railway route stop at the Gokarna Railway station. The station is 15mins from the town. You can alternatively get down at Ankola or the Kumta Railway stations which are about 25 km from Gokarna.
One can travel by bus from Madgaon in Goa as well as from Mangalore or Bangalore in Karnataka. The cities are well connected by road and traveling by bus can be enjoyable for shorter distances. The airport close by is at Dabolim in Goa. It’s a four hour drive to Gokarna from the airport.
Best time to visit:
From the month of June to August the area experiences the monsoon season. Intense and heavy outpours are felt during this time. From October to March the conditions are pleasant and warm. This time period can be the best to visit this pristine beach paradise. The summer months from April to May are very hot and dry.
Beaches at Gokarna:
There is a beach at Gokarna that is a popular site for pilgrims and families alike. The beaches popular with tourists are a short distance away from here. These are Kudle beach, Paradise Beach, Halfmoon Beach and Om beach. Each of these has their own characteristics and appeal.
Om beach is very hip and happening being the only one which is reachable by rickshaw (public transport) or car. The other nearby beaches is twenty minute hike away over rocks and hills. Even a boat ride can be taken. Paradise beach is a protected tiny cove loved by hippies.
Attractions at the beach:
The beaches are the main draw at Gokarna where people come to relax and soak up the sun. It is also a holy place where sacred Hindu temples are plenty. There is a huge lingam with reference to Lord Shiva in the Mahabaleshwar Temple. In the Ganapati temple huge chariots are present which during the festivals carry a Shiva idol throughout the city and people throw bananas at it for luck. This is during the Shivaratri festival in the month of February and March.
Hotels in Gokarna:
Namaste Cafe provides good accommodation at the Om Beach and is popular amongst the tourists. During the months of December to January vying to the peak traffic finding accommodation can be difficult.
You can even stay in a hut by the beach. Some people are content with a hammock. Om Beach Resort and SwaSwara are luxury resorts. These resorts have yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic centers.