What makes Gokarna the second-best destination after Goa in South-West India? To find out, I have visited Gokarna in the offseason, just to See the different Gokarna than anyone else's mentioned in any of the blogs I have found on Google.
One of my college friends invited me to be a part of his office colleagues' trip to Gokarna.Thanks to all the friends on the trip for the sporty, enthusiastic and happy time. This is going to be stamped in my memory for the rest of life. Hope, you feel the same about the trip and travelling with me. Hopefully, we can plan for another one shortly. After staying for 6 years in Karnataka and travel extensively, I had not seen the pristine beaches of Gokarna, I rarely visited any place in the monsoon. So I have decided to go with them only to satisfy my goal of enjoying the beaches and see the places in monsoon.
My last-minute inclusion in the trip forced my friends, to carry a Binbag to accommodate an extra seat for the whole journey. We started from Bangalore by Friday night in a Force Traveller. I knew 2 out of 12 people on the trip, but surprisingly there was no awkwardness. We have decided to change the destination with the suggestion from Driver. We planned to go to Jog Falls, The Second Largest Plunge waterfall in India falling from a height of 253 Km. The falls made of Saravati River, which descends in form of 4 distinct falls Raja, Rani, Rover, and Rocket pour continuously in one stream to the base.
Wow!!What a beauty!! These are an initial couple of words in everyone's' mouth after observing magnificent Jog Falls. Our decision to change the destination and go for Jog Falls proved right at first sight of the falls. One can visit the base of the fall through 1400 staircase, but we have not visited due to the closure of the staircase on a particular day due to recent floods in North Karnataka. The best time to visit Jog Falls is From August to October during the rainy season in India and for any Falls for that matter.
Next stop is to Yana Caves. Yana Caves is such untouched and hidden gem in the jungles of Western Ghats. Trekking to such unexplored and little talked about places makes you feel fulfilled. The two rock hillocks, known as Bhairevashwara Shikara and Mohini Shikara surrounded by thick forests and streams, rise sharply of about 100 meters. Trekking to caves in Monsoon is the best adventure thing one can attend. Either side of the trekking path is filled with thick forest.
The Trekking path is full of mud and we started the trek in rain without any trekking shoes and raincoats. With the addition to our ignorance about the place, we have encountered with blood-sucking leeches. We are fully drenched in rain and careful steps to be safe from leaches makes it adventurous. Steps started after we have passed the Bhairavi temple.
One needs to remove the shoes to enter the cave as the cave is part of the temple. With no surprise, the steps are more slippery and difficult to climb than the path. Rock formation at the cave is unique. The cave is not that huge, it will take 15-20 minutes to walk past the caves. Overall the experience is unique. Thick forest, rain-affected trekking path, bloodsucking leeches, water streams along the way will make the journey memorable. If you want to have a reference to the place, Please watch a video. It is a well-summarised video of yana Caves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmiXNGPoNg4.
I would suggest carrying a raincoat, waterproof trekking shoe, Worm repellant for leeches or a small packet of salt.
We headed to Gokarna after that. We have reached the beach resort of Gokarna beach by 5:00 PM. Gokarna beaches are famous for breathtaking sunsets. But we are unlucky enough to miss the sunset due to abundance of black clouds. Though there was so much light to play at the beach we decided not to because of tiredness.
Beaches are not clean because of the recent flood in the western ghats. We had dinner at the resort and went for a stroll along the beach. just walking on the beach without any worries and listen to the new friends about their travel experience and sharing the aspiration to travel the world. The people we meet during the travel will have at least one thing in common is their love for travel with the hundreds of different things. That is what makes me say Yes for this trip with 10 strangers.
We have planned to go to Temple in the morning before 8:00 AM so that we will be able to visit all the beaches and spent time in every beach of Gokarna, But due to the obvious reason of tiredness and late-night talking with friends, we cancelled the visit to Mahabaleswar temple as a group. The Mahabaleswar temple is a 4th-century Dravidian style architecture facing West. I am excited about the temple because of the story of Ramayana attached to this. I have visited to temple alone by a walk along the beach. All the Male devotee need to remove the upper clothes to enter the temple. I have observed this kind of tradition in all the Shankaracharya administered temple. After Darshan and Puja, I came back to Resort. I have decided to take the different route just to explore the local custom and way leaving of the western coastal line of India. It is very fulfilling for me to see the simple life in the villages after a long time.
Gokarna Beaches are known for its idyllic beaches and pristine waters, but due to the flood water flushing into the sea, we are not able to see such beauty. We have decided to visit OM beach. Name of the beach came from the resemblance of the shape of the beach to the Hindi Letter OM. This is the most happening beach among the 4 beaches in Gokarna. Waters are rather unclean. We had our breakfast at the beach hotel and left after spending some time on the rocks.
We headed to Kudle Beach, It is famous for the Yoga Classes. It was peaceful. We walked on the beach. We have decided not to visit the other two beaches due to lack of time.
We headed to Murudeshwar temple. The ancient temple is famous for the World's second-tallest Shiva statue 123 Ft & Tallest temple tower 249ft of Murudeshwar Temple.
We have visited the temple in the afternoon. Visit the 18th Floor of the Temple tower to see the bird view is awesome. Though the view is narrowed due to the architecture, We got a very good view of the Shiva statue from the top.
We have visited the cave museum inside the temple. It depicts the story of Ravana bringing Atmalingam from Kailash and connection between the Mahabaleswar temple in Gokarna and Murudeshwar Temple.
After the Temple Darshan, we had our lunch in the nearby Hotel. After Lunch, we have spent time at Murudeshwar beach. Some of our group members had taken the bath on the beach. Finally, we have seen Sunset on the beach. View of such a huge Shiva statue facing the beach is unique. We have started our journey back to Bangalore and reached safely.
Most of these beautiful photos captured by my friends. I am Happy that, the trip is successful with the help of Enthusiast travellers. Hopefully, we all manage to get time to travel again and will get time to create memories to cherish forever in our lives, Till then keep dreaming about the beautiful world we are living in.