Which place strikes your mind when I ask you about the beaches in India? Goa!! Right? Or, on the other hand possibly the clean shorelines of Kerala. With pretty much one and a half month left for the New Year eve, you should be occupied with arranging your vacation goals. I know Goa is bit costly and a significant number of you are tragic as you can’t manage the cost of it. Have you heard about Gokarna Karnataka?
Yoga session at Gokarna Karnataka
In the state of Karnataka, Gokarna is a holy place beside excellent beaches, which have been a magnet for those sightseers with a low budget who are searching for a calm place with a good atmosphere. Feel like bathing in ocean water, watching the sunset on the horizons, meeting new individuals, enjoying late night parties and appreciating the delicious food, Gokarna is a place to be at.
Beautiful sunset at Kudle Beach Gokarna Karnataka
The name Gokarna means Ear of Cow, and it is believed that the god Shiva emerged here from the ear of a cow. Gokarna, a paradise for those who are looking for a quiet place where they can relax in the sea and at the same time know the local culture.
Kudle to Om Beach Route
It is a small town approximately fifty kilometers south of Goa, formed by a large beach with palm trees several kilometers long, and a series of small crescent-shaped beaches to the south.
Enjoy every moment in life
How to reach Gokarna Karnataka?
The least expensive and a perfect way to reach Gokarna is by means of the railway. Gokarna road is the closest railway station and lies at a distance of around 8 kms from the main Gokarna city. However, being a small station it is not well connected with the major Indian cities. It is however accessible by rail from Madgaon, Karwar, Kumta, Ankola, and Mangalore. All these stations are well connected to major Indian cities via rail. For train bookings visit IRCTC.
Trains between Madgaon and Gokarna
When you reach Gokarna Road railway station, follow the Railway Station Road for around 1 km (10-12 min stroll), to the point that you reach the Gokarna Road. From here, you will get a bus (INR 10) to reach the main town. You can also opt for a shared auto/taxi which is available from just outside the station.
If you prefer bus over the railway, you can find direct buses for Gokarna from the major cities like Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hubballi, Pune, and Mangalore. If arriving from Goa, you can take a local bus from Madgaon to Karwar, and after that another bus to reach Gokarna. For bus bookings check out MakeMyTrip, RedBus, and Travelyaari.
Getting around Gokarna Karnataka
Strolling is an ideal way to explore the Gokarna town. The main attraction of the town is an original picture of Lord Shiva’s linga (Atmalinga). Additionally popular are the 4 beaches situated towards the south. From Gokarna beach, you can reach Kudle beach in about a 25-minutes’ walk. Om beach is an additional 20-minute walk from Kudle beach. Another 40 min stroll from Om beach will take you to Paradise beach.
If you are uncomfortable walking, you can take a bike/activa on rent (INR 300-400/day).
Places to explore in Gokarna
My journey to Gokarna Karnataka
On my 5 days’ excursion to explore few places in the state of Karnataka and Goa, I had clubbed my visit to Goa, Hampi, Mullayanagiri trek, Jhari waterfalls and Belur with Gokarna. A trip to Gokarna can additionally be clubbed with the close by Udupi, Badami, Agumbe, Murudeshwar and Jog Falls.
Foreign tourist at Kudle Beach Gokarna
I took the Maru Sagar express to reach Gokarna from Madgaon, Goa. The train just takes around 1 hour 30 min to cover the distance of 133 kms between the two stations and the route is exceptionally picturesque.
Amazing view of sunset at Kudle Beach
On reaching Gokarna I started walking down the streets, the place was religious and peaceful. My first stop was at Gokarna Beach. This beach is typically the most jammed beach in Gokarna since it is the nearest from the Mahabaleshwar Temple.
Gokarna Beach Karnataka
One needs to truly trek and not stroll, to come to the beach in Gokarna as the town is situated alongside the hills. After 30 minutes of hiking along the hills with some spectacular view of the ocean in the background, I made it to Kudle Beach. It is one of the happening tourist’s spots. Next day, I explored the other two beaches – OM beach and Paradise Beach.
Volleyball time at Kudle Beach Gokarna
Places to visit in Gokarna Karnataka
Because of the nearness to the well-known Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna Beach is generally crowded. The beach is not clean and therefore not recommended for bathing. I would advise spending more time on the other beaches of Gokarna as they are less crowded and much beautiful.
Kudle Beach is the one I liked the most among all the beaches in Gokarna. You can find such huge numbers of travelers from various parts of the world here, interact with them and learn about their culture. This beach is situated in between Gokarna and Om beach. The sunset view from this beach is breathtaking. There are many stay options available on this beach; also you can pitch your tent here.
Kudle Beach Gokarna Karnataka
Located around 7 kms from the main Gokarna town, Om beach gets its name due to its shape similar to the Hindu Symbol OM(ॐ). You may find many foreign backpackers with tattoos all over their body, singing songs and playing some musical instruments. There are also a lot of sports activities if you visit during the season. This beach is accessible by road.
Om Beach Gokarna
Paradise beach is the last of the Gokarna beaches. There is a lot of chances that you will be the only one on the beach whenever you go; it is pretty much isolated from the crowd. One can either reach Paradise beach by trekking or by taking a ship ride from the Om beach. You can pitch your tent here and stay overnight.
Paradise Beach Gokarna
Mahabaleshwar Temple is the prime fascination of Gokarna. The temple houses the Atmalinga of Lord Shiva. The temple is located just next to the Gokarna Beach which is at a walkable distance from Gokarna bus stand.
In route to Kudle Beach from Gokarna Beach
Stay options at Gokarna Karnataka
It depends on where do you want to stay, whether in the town or nearby a beach. There are many shacks at Kudle and Om beach which provide budget accommodation at price ranging from INR 200 to INR 600 per person. The few I would suggest to check out are:
Sunset Café: At Kudle beach, price: INR 300 – 700, 300 for a basic shack with a common bathroom.
Om Shakti Café: At Paradise beach, price: INR 300/night
Namaste café: OM Beach, Price: INR 400-1000/night.
Apart from these budget stay options; you can pitch your tent at any of the beaches to stay overnight.
My tent at Kudle Beach Gokarna
Food Options at Gokarna Karnataka
The few eat outs options I would suggest are:
Café 1987: Located near to Kudle Beach, it is indeed one of the best cafés to dine in Gokarna. The food options are limited, but everything cooked here is really tasty. The café is strictly vegetarian. One can easily spend hours in this cafe admiring the amazing artwork on the cafe walls.
Namaste Café: Located just at the entrance of OM beach, it is one of the most famous cafés in Gokarna. Food is pretty good, but more importantly, the view from this café is simply breathtaking.
Prema Restaurant: If you want to try a proper Indian meal, Prema restaurant is the place to be at. The restaurant is very popular among the foreign tourists. This restaurant is a pure vegetarian with very reasonable prices.
Cute kid enjoying time in Gokarna
Best time to visit Gokarna
The best time to visit Gokarna is from November until February when the weather is cool and pleasant. During the summers, Gokarna is very hot and humid, so not recommended to visit during that time. During the monsoon months, you won’t be able to enjoy the beaches and go swimming and Gokarna is all about beaches.
Gokarna is mystical, for it leaves you dumbfounded with its excellence and afterward fills you a huge number of words which are not in any case enough to portray half of the magnificence it is. So if you looking to spend your New Year at clean and secluded beaches, Gokarna is waiting to welcome you!!
Looking for other places in Karnataka, which you can club with your visit to Gokarna. Check out these blog posts:
- Badami Caves, a guide to the historic caves of Karnataka
- Jog Falls Karnataka – As you’ve never seen it before
- Hampi, Karnataka – The land with millions of boulders
- Dodda Mane, Agumbe – “Wish I could stay here forever”
Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my blog post on What’s in my Backpack.
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