Gokarna is a Small Town yet a Touristic One positioned with Temples and Beautiful Beaches around it. Being a pilgrimage traditional spot, Gokarna invites a number of people from around the world. The town is famous among Hindu pioneers as Gokarna has one of only a handful few Shiva’s blessed sanctuaries with what is asserted to be a unique picture of the god (a lingam) known as Atmalingam.
Gokarna – The Pilgrimage Town of Karnataka – Image Source
It is additionally the town hosts a few Religious festivals, and some of them signify a decent feeling of dramaturgy. The most well-known is the bright “Shivaratri” celebration toward the end of February. In the event, the town gets crowded as a huge no. of Shiva Devotees reach here and celebrate the Vivid Shades of Shivaratri Festival. Gokarna is the perfect mixture of Serenity and Divinity at its best.
A Scenic View of Gokarna Town and Coast – Image Source
The town is also popular for its Pristine Sandy Beaches with long stretches of Palm Trees near the Coast. Gokarna is home to some of the Most Popular Beaches in India which includes the Gokarna Beach, Om Beach, Half-Moon Beach Paradise Beach and Kudle Beach.
Places to Visit in Gokarna
Gokarna offers something to everyone whether you are on Pilgrim Trip or Finding Solace on the Serene Beaches of the Town. Here are some Must Visit Places in and around Gokarna.
Temples in Gokarna
Gokarna is a Major Pilgrim Destination for the Shiva Devotees from around the South India. There are no. of beautiful Temples in and around the town which adds a Unique charm to this Beautiful Destination.
Also, See – Most Famous Temples in India
The major tourist attraction for the Pilgrims visiting the town is Mahabaleshwara Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is home to one of the most powerful Lingams – The Atmalingam. The story of the temple came back 1500 years when Ravana performed a Strong Penance to Please Lord Shiva and wanted the Atmalingam in reward of his Penance. There are some other different stories also associated with the presence of Atmalingam in Gokarna.
Every year many devotees came here to seek blessings of Lord Shiva and festivals like Shivratri is celebrated in a grand way in the Mahabaleshwara temple.
Mahaganpati temple is another popular pilgrim place in Gokarna where devotees seek blessings of Lord Ganesha. Mahaganpati temple is one of the few temples of Ganesha where the idol of Lord Ganesha is positioned in Standing position rather than Sitting Position. One other thing that makes this idol different is that the idol has only two arms of Ganesha rather than usual Four arms idol of Ganesha all over the country.
Other interesting temples to include during your visit to Gokarna are – Bhadrakali Temple, Shri Venkataramana Temple, and Tamra Gauri Temple.
Beautiful Beaches in Gokarna
Gokarna Shoreline is a few kilometers in length and is arranged at the edge of the town. It is very prominent with travelers and Indian gatherings yet less with remote sightseers. Simply the wind and the waves are cleaning this place. The Beaches in Gokarna are one of the best and Most Scenic Beaches in the country. There is a total of 5 beaches near the town having a unique atmosphere and charm.
Gokarna beach is the most popular among the tourists and remains crowded all around the year. One can indulge in a Different kind of Activities here on the beach or do nothing and just feel relaxed in the Cool Atmosphere of the beach. The beach is mostly visited by the tourists who are on a pilgrim tour to the town. For those who are looking for an offbeat experience of the town, they prefer to visit Other Spectacular Beaches near the town.
Also, See – Most Beautiful Beaches in Karnataka
Om Beach is second most popular beach located at a distance of 8km from the town and is famous for Water Sports Activities. The beach has gained its name from the Hindu Religious Symbol – Om. The beach is formed by two semi crescent shapes that resemble the shape of Om. Tourists can find a no. of accommodations on the beach. Don’t forget to enjoy water sports like Kayaking, Banana Boat Rides, and Windsurfing on the beach.
Beach is also popular for its Traditional Yoga and Meditation Centres where folks around the world came to learn this art. Om beach is also free from any restrictions and you can enjoy Camping and Bonfire on the Beach without any Permission.
If you are looking for a Total relaxed vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd, you should head up to half-Moon Beach. The beach is among most Beautiful Beaches in Karnataka and ideal for spending some alone time. The beach has limited accommodation places so look for an accommodation early if you want to stay there for some time. The beach is also suitable for Swimming and for Long Beach Walks.
Also known as Full Moon Beach, Paradise beach is a must visit for a gang of friends looking to party all night. The long stretches of Tropical Almonds and Palm Trees near the beach makes the atmosphere Soothing and Pleasurable. You should Stay at the beach in the night under the glittering stars to forget all the worries of your life.
One has to Hire a boat or Trek for few km into the Forest to reach Paradise Beach. Additionally, Paradise is among the Few Nude Beaches in India where you find Foreigners and few Indian Tourists Sunbathing under the Clear Sky.
The culture of Gokarna is interesting and dazzling. It enlightens us concerning the general population of the place, their way of life and their convictions. Watching the way of life of Gokarna gives you a reasonable thought regarding the conventions and practices that are still trailed by local people. The celebrations, the occasions, the attractions, all mirror the way of life of Gokarna in one way or the other. The Local food served here including the Fish Curries is also Delicious.
Yoga and Meditation
The town is also popular for its Yoga and Meditation centers that offer Classes and Courses to learn the Art. There are Many Resorts that offer Yoga classes amid the lush Greenery of town or on the Beach Fronts. SwaSwara and Namaste Yoga Farm are two popular resorts that offer Yoga Classes and Lessons to its tourists. A large no. of foreign tourists visit Gokarna to learn and practice Yoga in the beautiful surroundings of the town.
Adventure and Watersports
Gokarna is an ideal place to indulge in a different kind of Land and Water based Adventure activities. You can opt for Trekking among the forest to the nearby beaches like Paradise and Halfmoon beach and the nature at its best. Enjoy the Bonfire pitching your tents near Om Beach and Paradise Beach and Cook yourself a Delicious Barbeque.
If you are more of Watersports lover go for Snorkeling, Surfing, Banana Boat Rides and Parasailing, which is available easily on Om Beach and Kudle beach.
How to Reach from Nearby Cities
By Train: Gokarna can be accessed by rail from Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Mangalore, and Madgoan. Mangalore is preferred, though.
By Bus: You can find at least 1-4 buses traveling daily from Bangalore to Gokarna. The 12-hour journey will take overnight at times. If you are planning from Goa, then take a local bus from Madgoan to Karwar, then to Gokarna.
By Air: You can reach Goa, the nearest airport if you are traveling by flight.