Gokarna is a small, quaint, sleepy, slow-paced town in Karnataka. Famous for its many temples, it was a Hindu pilgrimage centre for a long time. But now is has also become known to travellers as a peaceful beach holiday destination. There are plenty of places close to Gokarna, which makes it an even more preferred destination. Travellers like to drive to places Dandeli, Yana and Karwar that are around 50 -100 kms from Gokarna. Murudeshwar, round 55 kms from Gokarna is another place famous for its gigantic Shiva statue, the second largest statue in India.
That’s right. Gokarna is situated amongst the hills and the beaches are literally on the other side of the hills. Therefore one has to trek and not walk on the beaches. You literally got to climb and descend along the hilly rocks from one beach to another – which is where all the fun and excitement lies. There are 5 major beaches in Gokarna – Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, OM beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise beach.
Yoga and massage
It’s a perfect spot for some early morning or evening sessions of yoga on the beach. You can enrol in classes at various resorts like the Namaste Yoga Farm or the Swarswara Resort that offer beginner level as well as senior level courses. Once you’ve done your work out, head for the traditional Kerala Ayurvedic treatments where you can opt of a regular full body massage or go specific based on your preferences.
Be it the shacks on the beaches or good local restaurants, you’ll get everything from Italian pastas to Indian Thalis. Try eating Israeli bread, pasta, Indian thalis and the home made ice-creams at Prema restaurant. It’s a simple, shabby looking place but offers lip-smacking food. Namaste Cafe at Om beach is another gem. The food here comes with the view of the Arabian Sea. Soak up the beauty of this place with a glass of wine.
Little joys of life
Being a beach destination, Gokarna offers many water sports. If you’re an adventure junkie and want to get your adrenaline going, opt from parasailing, banana boat rides, snorkeling or kayaking on Om beach. However, these might be available only in season. Also, try lying on the beach at night with millions of stars twinkling overhead.
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Gokarna beaches are quite different what with rocky surfaces and hillocks. It is bound to excite the shutterbug in you. Like everywhere else, Gokarna has a special feel to its sunrise and sunsets. So don’t forget to capture those moments while lounging on the beach.
Walk through the town
Gokarna is so tiny, the length and breadth of it can be covered by foot. And like they say, you experience a place the best on foot. So walk around, take gorgeous pictures, and take some souvenirs back with you.