January 2018 -The long weekend of 26th January was coming up and Goa being too crowded, I decided to give this offbeat place called Gokarna a chance. My friend also wanted to accompany me on this trip of 3 days. Redbus told me direct buses are available till Gokarna from Pune since I stay in Pune, so the only thing left to do was looking for a hotel/hostel which is not that costly. Our first choice was Zostel but it was already full and none of the other available options were really attracting us as we wanted something close to the beach. So we decided to take a leap of faith and find a place after reaching Gokarna.
Gokarna? Where and Why?
Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka formed by few connected beaches and can easily be covered by walking or on bikes.
In India when we hear the word "beach", the first place that comes to our mind is Goa. But if you are looking for a cheaper, quieter and more serene alternative then head to Gokarna. These are also the reasons why you will find a lot of foreigners there. The best part about Gokarna is that most of the main beaches ( Kudle, Om, Half Moon, Paradise) are connected so if you start walking from Kudle beach you can reach Paradise within 3-4 hours. That might seem a bit long to you but trust me the views and scenery that you get along the way makes it absolutely worthwhile.
How to reach?
If you are taking a flight then Goa airport is the closest and from there you can reach Gokarna by bus or car in 2 hours.
If you are taking a train then closest station is Gokarna Road (8 km away from the main city) but it being a small station is not well connected from major Indian cities. However, Gokarna is connected by rail from Karwar, Ankola, Hubli, Mangalore, Kumta and Margao.
You can get direct buses from Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune to name some major cities.
We boarded a sleeper bus from Pune at around 8pm that reached Gokarna at around 6am.
Took an auto from Gokarna bus stand which we shared with two other girls and reached Kudle beach. Now we had the task of looking for a hotel. Since it was early morning and most places were closed, so we decided to wait till 8 and then start searching.