Gokarna Diaries

Photo of Gokarna Diaries 1/4 by Vineetha Vijayananda
Photo of Gokarna Diaries 2/4 by Vineetha Vijayananda
Photo of Gokarna Diaries 3/4 by Vineetha Vijayananda
Sunset at Gokarna
Photo of Gokarna Diaries 4/4 by Vineetha Vijayananda

I was heartbroken when my friends ditched our plan of weekend getaway, but I was not the one to give up. I grabbed the opportunity to do what I always wanted to- travel solo! Looking for a destination was not a big deal. I had decided long ago where I wanted to travel. Gokarna it was. It's a small coastal town in North Western part of Karnataka, pretty close to Goa. I immediately booked an 'Airavat' from Bangalore to Gokarna without a second thought. Ah! I was going to realize my dream in few days. I was excited beyond measure.

As the journey, I started a conversation with my co passenger who happened to be a Gokarna localite. To my luck, she helped with the accommodation with just a few phone calls.
At first, Gokarna seemed like Benaras- the narrow lanes, the people, even the cows- I found a startling similarity. The hippies reminded me of old Goa too. But once I started to go around the small town, I discovered a whole new world.

I started exploring Gokarna by foot. With just a camera as my partner, I felt rejuvenated. The first stop was the Mahabaleshwara temple which is an abode of Lord Shiva. The queue was not long and I decided to offer prayer to the Lord. The temple babus having realized I was a tourist offered me a back-door entry into the temple. I declined politely. Typical India! Once I was done with the darshan, I went around the town clicking pictures and hogging on some local food.
My next stop was the Om beach, one of the famous beaches here. Being on a shoe-string budget, I decided to walk all the way to the beach which I would later realize to be a bad one. The scorching sun did not take a pity on me. At one point when I could no longer go ahead I asked for lift to which an elderly man agreed. YAY!! The not-so-fun ride on his two-wheeler was long enough to for my legs to gain strength. I thanked the stranger and headed towards the beach. It was crowded to my disappointment. I sat under a shady tree and started observing people, something I never get bored of. I walked across the beach and met a few like-minded individuals over a cup of coffee. The sunset was brilliant. I was at peace.

I kick started day two by hiring a two wheeler and humming the jingle from an ad- 'why should boys have all the fun'. I made my way to a local restaurant for breakfast where I met this really cool Frenchman who knew so much more about Hinduism than I did. I was taken by surprise! The beach beaconed me and I decided to go beach-hopping. Kudli which is another beach is frequented by travelers. I had a super expensive meal which was not worth the money I paid. For the rest of the day which was only about two hours I spent my time swinging on a hammock in a beach side cafe reading a book on my Kindle. Bliss! Sheer bliss.

There was a smile of contentment on my face as I was heading home.

one of the popular beaches in Gokarna
Photo of Kudle Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326, India by Vineetha Vijayananda
Most touristy beach in Gokarna
Photo of Om Beach, Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326 by Vineetha Vijayananda

Sunset at Gokarna

Photo of Om Beach, Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326 by Vineetha Vijayananda
A very famous temple, abode of Lord Shiva