Gokarna, the name of this town is derived from the two states that border it- Goa & Karnataka. It has the sand and waves of Goa and the sacred Hindu devotion of Karnataka. Previously, it was a pilgrimage place for all the Shiva devotees. It was just a decade ago that people started coming to this place for vacations.
It is always the little things that bring us the most joy. Gokarna is full of those little things. I’m going to list down all that you can do at Gokarna and have the most memorable weekend getaway.
1. The palm tree-lined coasts, the sound of the waves and the wind by the seaside – it is a soothing feeling after a busy week.
2. Beach Treks are a new form of trekking.
3. Your mind does feel relaxed, but you can get massages there too, to loosen up the muscles and joints.
4. Shiva temples to give you an insight into Hindu religion and history.
5. For fitness lovers, you would get the best experience of a beach-side run or yoga.
6. Water sports adventures to pump up your adrenaline.
How to get to Gokarna?
By flight: The closest airport is the Dabolim airport, Goa. You could also come to Bangalore and route to Gokarna by road.
By train: The closest railway station is about 20 km away from Gokarna- Ankola. Trains connecting major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai cross this place.
By Road: Both regular and luxury buses take you to Gokarna. KSRTC buses from big cities in Karnataka go to Gokarna. Buses are available from Goa as well.
Or you can enjoy a road trip from Bangalore or Goa to Gokarna as well if you love driving.
Where to stay?
You have a wide variety of options like:
Tent and camp stay
Beach stay cottages
Things you can do at Gokarna:
Stretching out and basking in the sun, I don’t have to mention that. What else can you do at the beach?
Watch the sunrise: this is a delightful sight, and the early morning time is devoid of the noise of the town. The birds chirping and the waves hitting the seashore is all you can hear.
Meditation: As the beaches do not have much crowd, you can choose to meditate here, probably during sunrise or sunset.
Yoga: Yoga at the beach is something we all secretly fancy, even if we are not regular yoga doers. Well, fulfil this fantasy of yours here.
Night strolls by the beach: This is a must, to stargaze lying on the sand. Another reason why I insist on this is that you can see how the stars shine on the water and reflect on the droplets like pearls and diamonds. This kind of sight is less seen on full moon days as there are fewer stars visible in the sky. This is seen at the Nirvana beach at Gokarna.
Camping at the beach: While the chill sea breeze blows at night, you can have a campfire, have a drink and relax while you stargaze.
The beaches in Gokarna are:
1. Gokarna beach
2. Om beach- the seashore is shaped like the letter Om.
3. Half-moon beach
4. Paradise beach
5. Kudle beach
Beach treks are an enjoyable experience as you have rocks and mountains on one side and the sea on the other. Gokarna is known for these beach treks. The trek route here is popularly called the “Golden Route”. It is undoubtedly an adventurous experience. The trek route trails to approximately 10 km. The route includes the Kudle beach, Om beach, Half-moon beach and Paradise beach. The trek ends at a cliff called Dolphin point from where you can see dolphins toss in and out of the sea. It is such a visual delight.
If you love water sports then you will love Gokarna. The banana boat ride is something that Gokarna is mostly famous for. You can enjoy it at Om beach. They charge approximately is 300 per person for the boat ride.
The statue of Shiva:
The tall statue of Shiva is at Murudeshwar, which is about 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Gokarna. It is the second-largest Shiva statue in the world. It is worth a visit. It is a place of pilgrimage too.
I am a vegetarian so I never search for seafood but Seafood lovers will definitely enjoy the food here. They have a huge variety of seafood here.
Souvenirs, massages and tattoos:
Shopping here is fun. You could buy local handicraft or take countless photos as souvenirs from here, or you could collect seashells and keep them as a memory of spending a fantastic time at this beach town. The adults who come here, love having a massage done for them, while the young people love getting tattooed.
Get your bags packed for an adventurous weekend getaway at the calm and serene Gokarna.