Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Karnataka and a newly discovered hub for beach lovers and hippies, thanks to its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes. Every year, hordes of tourists from all over the world flock to Gokarna, located on the coast of Karwar, in search of purity and relaxation. Out-of-town beaches such as Kudle Beach and Om Beach provide a refreshing contrast to life in town.
The palm-fringed beaches are strewn with foreign tourists, with very few Indians insight. It is not your typical tourist destination. The beaches are designed for a slow, relaxing vacation, and everything on the beach moves at the same slow pace. This is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ place in the country, with coconut and palm trees, the ocean, and clean sands.
Best time to visit: October- march
Top Attractions Gokarna Places to Visit
Om beach is a stunning beach in Gokarna town. This beach, shaped like the symbol ‘Om,’ provides thrill-seekers with a plethora of adventure sports. This beach’s sunset view will be remembered for a lifetime. It is usually lined with shacks on the sides that offer cheap lodging and restaurants with international menus. Om Beach gets its name from its shape, which is made up of two semi-circles joined together. Many visitors come here to see the unique black rock formations. At this beautiful beach, one can see fishermen’s boats, small cafes and eateries, and crows swirling in the sky.
Things to do at Om beach:
- Banana boat ride
- Speed boating
- Dolphin spotting
- Jet skiing
- Beachside trekking
The Atmalinga, a 6-foot-tall Shiva Linga, is worshipped here at the temple. It is a classic example of Dravidian architecture, constructed of white granite. The main deity is a 1500-year-old carved stone Lord Shiva idol in the standing position. The temple is mentioned in Hindu mythologies such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The top of the Atmalinga is the only part of the Linga that devotees can see. However, the entire Atmalinga is shown to devotees during the Aastha Bandana Kumbhahishekam, a festival that occurs every 40 years. Devotees must first take a dip in the Karwar beach, where the temples face, then visit the Mahabaleshwar temple.
Temple Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Dress Code: No jeans, trousers, or shorts.
Yana is a quaint hill station in North Karnataka’s Sahyadri Hills, with a beauty that casts a spell and hills to appeal to the most ardent trekkers. Yana, a small hill station nestled between 2 of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspots, with immense beauty that will enchant any soul who sees it. Yana caves, a little community, is well-known for adventure, wildlife, and religion making it the perfect holiday destination.
Namaste café, located right on the Om beach, is one of Gokarna’s most scenic eateries, serving finger-licking wonderful meals. For anyone visiting Gokarna, this is a must-see attraction. The café is an idyllic setting, and dining with a view is one of the most enjoyable things to do.
Shopping is an absolute delight, and if you know how to bargain, you can get amazing items at rock-bottom prices.
In Gokarna, you can buy souvenirs such as brass lamps, prayer beads, incense sticks, god and goddesses photo frames, and other religious artifacts. Aside from that, you can get some decorative items or jewelry made from seashells. These items are sold by the majority of street vendors.
Kallusakkare, a type of sugar candy with a refreshing taste, is a Gokarna specialty that you must try. Several small stores line Gokarna’s major streets, luring travelers in with their brilliantly colored wares. There are also some shops selling interesting curios that make excellent souvenirs.
Timings: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Paradise Beach is also referred to as ‘Full Moon Beach.’ The Paradise Beach, located in the state of Karnataka, is approximately 150 meters long, with nearly seventy percent of the beach covered in rocks. The rest of the beach is covered in clean white sand. Paradise beach is not accessible by road and must be reached via other beaches, namely Half-moon beach and Om beach.
To get to paradise beach, visitors must charter a motorboat from one of the above-mentioned beaches. During the night, you can frequently see small groups of foreign tourists staying here, camping and cooking their meals. This well’s water is clean and safe to drink.
Witness The Sparkling Phytoplanktons on Paradise Beach. Enjoy a nice night stroll on the beach while dipping your toes in the magnificent sand with stunning and glowing phytoplankton around the campfire.
Best Hotels in Gokarna
Kundle oceanfront resort
- Location: Om Beach Rd, Gokarna
- Ratings: 4.4
- Price: starting from ₹4,000
Ocean beach resort
- Location: Om Beach Rd, Banglegudda, Gokarna
- Ratings: 4.3
- Price: starting from ₹7,700
Arthigamya resort and spa
- Location: Om Beach Road, Kudle Beach Rd, Gokarna
- Ratings: 4.2
- Price: starting from ₹1,500
- Location: Om Beach Road, Gokarna
- Ratings: 4.3
- Price: starting from ₹3,500
- Location: Main Rd, Dandebagh, Gokarna
- Ratings: 4.4
- Price: starting from ₹4,000
Frequently Asked Question
Gokarna is a small temple town situated on the western coast of India, Karwar in the Kumta Taluk of Uttara Kannada district of the Karnataka state.
Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage centre and a newly explored tourist hub for beach lovers and pilgrimages alike. It is set between pristine beaches and marvellous landscapes. Gokarna attracts many tourists who come here in search of relaxation and sanctity. Gokarna is ideal for a slow and ideal holiday setting.
The nearest airport to Gokarna is the Dabolim airport in Goa, which is a three-and-a-half-hour drive away.
The nearest well-connected station is the Ankola Railway Station, which is connected to many major cities.
Gokarna is well connected with the nearby cities by road. One can find direct buses from Mangalore, Goa, Bangalore etc. Direct buses from Delhi are also available.
Even though there is no direct transport connectivity between Gokarna & Hampi. The best way to reach Hampi is to board a bus till Bangalore and then take a bus or cab to Hampi.
Sea food dishes like the Clam Curry, Prawn Masala and the Seer Fish Fry are delightful for the guests, sweet dishes like the Patrode and Todadevu are truly delicious and healthy dishes.
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