Gokarna is a coastal city situated in northern Karnataka in the Uttar Kannada district. Literally translated, it means a “cow’s ear”. This is the place where Lord Shiva is believed to have taken the form of a cow and visited Earth.
This location is accessible from all major cities such as Bangalore (483 km), Karwar (93 km) and Mangalore (283 km). This place has some of the cleanest and the most beautiful beaches of India. The beaches are filled with golden sand and pristine, crystalline waters.
This place has a rich history and an even richer culture. The temples, old architectural structures and the beaches add an element of adventure and call to the adventurer inside everyone of us. If you are a peace loving person and are tired of crowded beaches, now is the best time to visit Gokarna, Karnataka.
Now you might be very much interested in visiting Gokarna, but don’t know what to do there or what to see or where to visit. Don’t worry, we got your back. With us, you will know what the best places in Gokarna are and the best time to visit Gokarna.
Best Beaches in Gokarna
1. Om Beach
This beach gets its name from the Sanskrit alphabet “OM” which it is shaped like. It has many water sports that you can try. There are also many photogenic spots all along the beach that provide the best backgrounds for your new post.
There are many ways to reach Om beach, like by road, by ferries or even by hiking. We suggest that you try the last option, hiking. Many routes lead to this beach. You can enjoy the view from the hiking routes and just appreciate the natural beauty.
2. Kudale Beach
Kudale Beach is situated at the southern part of Gokarna and is an excellent place for swimming, chilling and sunbathing. The beach is nestled between two hillocks which makes the sea a bit more placid.
Kudale beach also offers a lot of shacks and cafes. The cafes don’t have an elaborate menu, but whatever they serve, it’s the best! You can also book a sea-facing shack for your living accommodation, which comes at a very low and affordable price. There is also an excellent flea market from where you can buy some souvenirs at a very reasonable price.
3. Gokarna Beach
This is the longest beach of Gokarna and situated in the North part of Gokarna. The Mahabaleshwara Swami temple is located near the beach and the devotees that visit the temple have a dip in the sea at this beach, believing that it will cleanse them.
There are many things to do at Gokarna beach. The beach has good connectivity and isn’t very far away from the Gokarna Bus station. The best thing that the Gokarna beach offers is the Cocopelli surfing school. It is one of the best institutes to learn surfing from. Also the Yoga sessions that are offered here help you meditate and make you feel relaxed. You can play beach games too as this beach is vast and spacious.
4. Half-moon Beach
This beach gets its name from the crescent shape it gets from the lush, green hills that enclose it. It is an untouched beach and you will rarely see anyone as it is very sparsely crowded. The sea is very clear and nearly transparent and the beaches are very clean too because of the absence of any urbanization.
Since there is no development or human encroachment in this area, this place is perfect for a quiet walk or just for chilling with a beverage of your choice.
Also, a word of caution. The waters get very deep even at a close distance from the beach, so exercise caution when venturing in the sea. Also, the waves are very strong, so it is advisable to stay close to the land. It is a great place to relax during the course of the Gokarna beach trek.
5. Honey Beach
If you are looking for a good place to stay at, without the interference of any outsiders, Honey beach is for you. It is accessible only to the people who own the exclusive rights to the property. The beach is very clean and spotless because of this exclusiveness. If you are thinking about privacy, this is a great place and now is a good time to visit Gokarna.
The Honey beach is accessible through many modes of transport. It is about 12 kms from the Gokarna Bus Station and you can get a local bus that takes you to the village where this beach is located. The people who own the property there can also send their private vehicles for pick up and drop services.
What to do in Gokarna
1. Mahabaleshwara Swamy Temple
The Dravidian style built temple is the main attraction of Gokarna for the devotees. It’s Shiva lingam is one of the most revered in all of India. It can be seen by the devotees only once in 40 years.
It is very close to the Gokarna bus stop and is easily accessible. The temple is open everyday from 6 A.M to 12:30 P.M and from 5:30 P.M to 8 P.M. You should visit this place once to check out its structure and designs.
2. Night stroll on Nirvana Beach
The famous Nirvana beach is a bit far from the Gokarna bus stop, but can be accessed by public or private transportation. The beach is famous for its glowing poly planktons, which shimmer in the night sea to give you an unforgettable sight to behold at.
3. Beach Camping
Another amazing activity to do in Gokarna is beach camping. Imagine a calm, serene environment with no sound other than the waves rushing to the shore and receding back. This experience can be gained only at the beach camping organised at specific beaches. The sky too is very clear during the nights, thus you can do stargazing and awaken the inner astronomist in you.
Now, the question arises, “When is the best time to visit Gokarna?” The best time to visit Gokarna is from somewhere around October start to March end, as the humidity is very low during this period. The best time to visit Gokarna beach would be in October and mid-November because of less heat and also because crowds start increasing from November end.
Do you know any more of the secluded beaches that are dotted all around Gokarna and other activities one can do? Let us know in the comments section.