Places to visit in Gokarna

A perfect retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, Gokarna has one of the most peaceful beaches to visit like Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Nirvana Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise Beach. Gokarna is also the home to a very famous 4th-century Hindu temple- Mahabaleshwar Temple. Read on to know more places to visit and things to do in this tropical paradise.

How to reach Gokarna-


By air-

The nearest airport to Gokarna is Dabolim airport in Goa. From there, you can travel by taxi, bus or train. Although traveling by road is suggested.

By train-

Gokarna railway station is called Gokarna Road which is not well connected by the major cities. Another railway station is Ankola which is well connected by the major cities but is far away from the Gokarna city. You can travel to Gokarna city from the station by catching an auto from the auto stand outside Gokarna Road. You can also catch a bus for Gokarna city from the bus stand present about 3 km away from Gokarna Road. 

By road-

Gokarna is well connected by road with all the nearby major cities like Mangalore, Bangalore, and Goa. Buses are easily available from these cities.

Best time to visit-


October to March is the best time to visit Gokarna as the weather is perfect to spend the entire day on the beach.

Places to visit-


1. Kudle Beach-

 

 

 

Entry fee– None

Transport– 13 km away from Gokarna road. Autos are available from the station to the beach. From the dropping point, the beach is downhill which is a walk of about 7- 10 minutes.

Time– Open 24 hours

Kudle beach is one of the best beaches in Gokarna and a must visit. The beach has several restaurants lined up and most of them have their resorts, hotels, and shacks at the back. Although, I would suggest you book one room in advance in case you’re there for a long weekend. The only rooms available easily for you if you do not book in advance would be shacks which are small rooms made of straw which have a barely functional (sometimes non functional) fan in a corner and a mat on the muddy floor for you to sleep with the mosquitoes and a common bathroom for the entire resort. The best thing about Kudle beach is the availability of these rooms on the beach itself. All the cafes serve continental, local food and alcohol at very cheap prices. Another thing you can enjoy on Kudle beach is surfing. Surfboards are available for rent at some cafes on the beach itself.

2. Om Beach-

 

 

Entry fee– None

Transport– A small trek from the Kudle beach leads to Om beach. Take the stairs at the end of Kudle beach and you will end up on a road. Climb the mountain you see across the road and you will find directions for Om beach written on the ground itself as you move along

Time– Open 24 hours

Om beach is the best place to visit in Gokarna to watch a sunset. The name of the beach is due to its shape which looks like the sign ‘Om’ when seen from a distant, aerial view. Some of the best things to do in Gokarna is to play water sports at Om beach. The best water sport available there is the banana ride.

3. Yoga-

Another great thing you can do in Gokarna is Yoga. There are many affiliated Yoga centers present in Gokarna like Shree Hari Yoga, Namaste Yoga Farm, Gokarna Yoga Garden, etc. where you can spend your days in peace practicing and learning yoga.

4. Mahabaleshwar temple-

 

Entry fee– None

Transport– You can walk from Kudle beach or Om beach to the temple if it’s not too hot as its only 2 km away. Or you can take an auto from the beach which is easily available at the dropping points.

Time– The darshan timings are 6 am to 12:30 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm.

Tip– Wear jeans or trousers which cover your legs till the toes or you won’t be allowed inside the temple.

Mahabaleshwar temple is a great place to visit in Gokarna. The Mahabaleshwar temple is famous for its Dravidian architecture and the 6 ft tall statue of Atma Linga installed on Shaligrama Peetha, a black stone. The main deity of the temple is the 1500-year-old statue of Lord Shiva. Near to the Mahabaleshwar Temple is the Maha Ganpati temple dedicated to Lord Ganpati and has a 5 ft tall statue of Ganpati with folded hands.

5. Nirvana Beach-

 

Image Credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBW_n-zvrcA

Entry fee– None

Transport– Take a ferry boat from Om Beach

Time– Open 24 hours

Nirvana Beach is situated in Kumta. The beach is extremely peaceful and quiet. You might come across some people here and there otherwise, its mostly never crowded. Also, if you expect to see bioluminescent phytoplankton at night here, you might have to go back disappointed as it is an extremely rare phenomenon here. Nirvana beach does not have a decent place to spend the night, so it is better to go back to Gokarna if you don’t plan on camping on the beach for the night.

6. Flea Market-

Entry fee– None

Transport– The flea market is present on the road outside Mahabaleshwar temple

Time– Opens at about 9 am to 9 pm (approx.)

The flea market near the Mahabaleshwar temple is a vivacious yet small market where you will find all the things you need in a temple and some very aesthetic notebooks and crafts for you to buy. At the end of the market is a restaurant called Prerna Cold Drinks which serve some very tasty shakes and ice creams.

7. Half moon beach-

 

Image Credits: https://metrosaga.com/half-moon-beach-is-the-secret-beauty-of-gokarna/

Entry fee– None

Transport– 10-minute trek from Om Beach

Time– Open 24 hours

Half moon beach is rocky and has lots of different sea shells for you to collect as souvenirs. The beach is usually quiet as not many people come to visit it. Shacks and tents are available for stay at this beach usually from November to February.

8. Paradise Beach-

Entry fee– None

Transport– Take a motorboat from Half Moon beach or Om beach.

Time– Open 24 hours

One of the best places to visit in Gokarna is Paradise beach. It is a perfect beach to relax in solace, away from the crowds of Kudle and Om beach. This beach is a bit difficult to reach and very less explored. Not many people come here except for a few foreigners. The beach is not suitable for spending a night at as it does not have any shacks or rooms. The only shacks you will find here are abandoned and camping in your own temporary tents is the only way to spend a night at this beach.

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