Vacations are meant to be relaxed and fun. If you agree, this relatively unexplored beach destination will interest you. Here are some essential facts about the beautiful beach town of Gokarna, in Karnataka.
If the idea of a holiday for you is to just chill with friends, soak in the beach and just wander around aimlessly, head to this small and remote town of Gokarna, in Karnataka.
Even though it is located in close proximity to party capital of India – Goa, Gokarna is complete opposite of it with its most secluded and pristine beaches.
This relatively unknown beach destination is rather much popular among the hedonistic travelers from overseas.
Gokarna is located in the state of Karnataka, an hour south of the Goa border. The nearest metro city is Bangalore, which is about 450 kilometers away. The main Gokarna town is accessible by bus and train, however, the beaches are located a little farther away, shunting it from the local population.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is Dabolim, in Goa. From there it is just anhours journey, which can be completed in the comfort of a car. Trains are also available from Mumbai and Bangalore. If travelling from Bangalore, state transport buses are very comfortable and drop you in the town after an overnight trip. After reaching the main town, hire an auto rickshaw to reach Kuddle beach or Om beach, where modest accommodations are available near the beach.
Things to Do
Trek, walk and trek! That’s what you will be doing if you are in Gokarna. Although, Gokarna is listed as a religious place because it is believed to house the original image of Lord Shiva’s lingam, the destination offers much more than that. The main Gokarna beach, in the town, is unimpressive with heavy dose of local population and filth. Move about 4-5 kilometres away from the city towards Kuddle beach and you will experience the heaven of Gokarna it is most visited for by the foreigners. In Gokarna, Om Beach is the most happening beach, and is the only one that’s reachable by car or rickshaw. Kuddle Beach, Half Moon beach, Paradise beach and Nirvana beach, all can be reached only by trekking, which by the way are easy ones. If you are the adventurous kinds, go solo kayaking or boating across the sea to reach the beaches.
Home Away From Home
The main town of Gokarna has plenty of hotels to stay, but most of them, are not worth your cash. Instead, head to Om beach or Kuddle beach to find some basic, youthful huts and shacks, right on the beach. Paradise beach and halfmoon beaches do not have any options to stay. Namaste Café and Nirvana guest house are the best places to stay on Om Beach. Beach accommodation is difficult to find in peak tourist season between December and January. However, there are no or limited option for online booking. Many people would just hang a hammock under a shade and spend their entire days lodged there.
If Goa is your idea of partying, Golarna will disappoint you. But if you enjoy bonfires, impromptu jam sessions on the beach, Gokarna will enthrall you. Since it is a holy town, parties are larger than life parties are rave parties are frowned upon and kept in check by the police. However, beach parties do happen in Gokarna, maybe not with the opulence of Goa.
You have nothing else but your own two legs to rely on for transport in Gokarna. So don’t forget to carry comfortable footwear and clothing. If you are visiting for the first time, do not venture out on the beach alone at night, because the current may turn rough. While Gokarna is a very safe town, make sureyou understand the trekking routes from a local, to avoid getting lost. Lastly, Beaches in Gokarna, except the main beach, are frequented by foreigners, who might be a treat for the underexposed Indian eyes, but please do not ogle or stare. Afterall, they are guests in our country looking for some fun their own way.
The best time to visit Gokarna is between October and March for a sun-kissed holiday, however, it is accessible the whole year round.
If you enjoy beach monsoons, Gokarna will be an ideal holiday destination.