Gokarna , Karnataka
Kannada, Konkani, Tulu, Hindi & English
Gokarna is a small beach side town in the Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka. It is mainly believed to be a temple town with the main temple being Kotitheertha, which houses what is believed to be the original image of Lord Shiva’s atmalinga (the cosmic pillar of fire). There are also a number of other temples in this town, making it a place of holy importance. Gokarna is also one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centres. However, with influx of tourists, the town is no longer just a centre of pilgrimage. Since it a coastal area, there are a lot of beaches around which are now used by tourists. It is a laid-back town with temples and beaches and a lot of tourists visit in order to seek peace, making it more of a holiday destination. A few must visit places here include Mahabaleshwara Temple, Mirjan Fort, Gokarna Beach and Kudle Beach. You can also enjoy beach treks and seafood. Another highlight is the annual Shivaratri festival which is celebrated with great enthusiasm.
Gokarana, the land of spirituality and stunning sea shores. It is usually teeming with devotees rather than tourists. So one might find the temples crowded and not the beaches; nevertheless this quiet sleepy town has its own aura in its pleasing silence. Surrounded by Palm trees and colourful Tropical fruit and flower trees the town is laid back and has a rustic nature that attracts young Western tourists. It has countless undiscovered coves, irregular cliffs and beautiful sunrises. The name Gokarna literally translates to cow’s ear, where the mystical legends of Lord Shiva made their everlasting abode.
It is here where the most revered shrines of Lord Shiva exists, the Temple of Mahabhaleshwar, and it is said that the this sanctuary was built on the Atamalinga which demon King Ravana was unable to retrieve. Here travelers can witness maximum enthusiasm during the festival of Mahashivratri where followers from all over the country gather and seek divinity and blessings of Lord Shiva. Besides stretching out on the ivory beaches of Gokarna, tourists can also admire the intricate structural wonders of the huge chariot in “Maha Ganapathy Temple” of Gokarna. For a rather quaint time a visit to Mahabaleswara temple and the Maha Ganapati temple will create a perfect serene atmosphere to relinquish your worries. Travelers can also visit the shrines of Bhadrakali, Tamra Gauri and Venkataramana.
The magnificent beaches like Kuddle Beach, Half-Moon Beach, and the Paradise Beach give an international reputation for Gokarna Town. Coconut trees and blue seas decorate the beaches and are bound to leave you mesmerized. Namaste Cafe is also widely famous. The waves and the surf is what makes Gorkarna such a popular destination. However, the swimming can be quite dangerous in strong currents.
The pristine beaches of Gokarna are heaven for travelers who consider solitary as a luxury. Here long walks leaves a traveler with profound moments, so whether one is contemplating or idly watching the sun set, it is an experience so tranquil that it needs no tourist brochure. The boundless beach of Gokarna, the ‘OM Shaped’ Beach of Om, the most secluded shore of Paradise beach for all the recluses and Half Moon Beach where one can enjoy snacks and sunsets, savoring moments sitting in a shack which brings a swift rush of happiness. We bet you won’t experience that feeling sitting on a leather couch in a posh restaurant.
You need to GET OUTSIDE, get to Gokarna. So this time when you’re done dating your hectic schedules, don’t say let’s go to Goa! Yell it’s time to get those crocs to the coasts of Gokarna. For a vacation of solitude and isolated peace visit Gorkana and experience the culture, Gorkarna has to offer.
Nearest airport: Goa – 140 km
Nearest Railway Station: Ankola – 20 km
Best time to Visit: October - March