Gokarna is a small town located on the coast of the Arabian Sea; in the district of Uttara Kannada in Karnataka. When you’ve travelled to all the commercial beaches in the country, this is where you must turn to. Famous primarily for its gorgeous temples and beaches, this little town is abuzz with travellers from all over the world throughout the year. Much like any other beach of South India, Gokarna too is covered with banana and coconut trees, precisely the reason for its scenic beauty.
The name Gokarna is derived from Go (cow) and Karna (ears); which proves it has deep mythological significance. Amongst the temples here, you must visit the famous Mahabaleswara temple, which is a renowned Shiva temple; Maha Ganapathy temple and Uma Maheshwari temple.
Once you’re done exploring the Dravidian architecture of these temples; head to the beaches Gokarna is so famous for. Especially these four beaches surrounded by palm trees and white sand: Kudle beach, Paradise beach, Half-Moon beach and Om beach. The best time to visit them is from October to March when it’s nice and cool for you to stay outdoors all day long.
Gokarna isn’t a densely populated town; its nearest connection is Goa to its north and the city of Bangalore located roughly around 275 miles to its east. For those looking at convenient air-travel, Dabolim in Goa is the nearest airport. From Dabolim, travel enthusiasts can either take a train or simply hire a cab to reach Gokarna in 4 hours.
Although travellers can have a field day in the natural habitat Gokarna has to offer, there are a host of hotels and resorts for those who cannot do without them. For those who seek adventure, small huts are available in vicinity of the beach itself. In case the huts are not vacant, a little hammock is a rather interesting albeit temporary alternative to make your experience a complete one.
The local food at Gokarna is absolutely delicious and is available at rather reasonable rates in quaint cafes or restaurants dotting the town. Then there’s this culture of yoga and meditation happening on the beaches; a must for you to enrol if you need some calm back into your life. You can also go for local shopping or enjoy your time with friends around a bonfire, sipping a drink and watching the waves crash against the shore.