Inequalities are the essence of life whether it is monetary and economic status or just popularity levels of places, cuisines etc. If there is one place people pick to holiday in India, it would be Goa at the top of everybody’s mind and this would be true not just for foreign tourists but also domestic travellers. Goa is a great place with amazing beaches, some of them crowded beyond recognition while others still remain pristine. India is blessed with a long coastline on the west as well as the east but somehow the oft-repeated names always get increasingly popular. We wanted to look for a place way lower in the pecking order and the place we came up with was Gokarna. This is a temple town in Uttara Kannada and it’s about 150 kms from Panaji. Apparently the place gets its name from Sanskrit term for cow’s ear and it’s also a very important Hindu pilgrimage town. To call it a poor man’s Goa would be unfair but the place has clear upside potential.
Things to do here:
I have to admit that the count of beaches in Gokarna is clearly outnumbered by Goa, but the ones in Gokarna are second to none in terms of beauty. 5 beaches stand out namely Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, Om beach, Half-moon beach and Paradise beach. The main beach is Gokarna beach vicinity which houses the largest residential settlement in the town. It also has some delicious Udupi restaurants and make sure you try the local cuisine and exotic desserts here especially a weird sounding "gadbad" at the Prema restaurant. The best time to visit this beach and its surrounding areas is the evening time just a couple of hours before sunset. The evening sun falling on the temples here and other street-houses is a visual delight for anyone with photographic keenness. Very old temples and narrow streets and coloured walls of homes make the evening walk fun.