Trekking along the coastal lines has a charm of its own. With the beautiful coastline by the side, hiking along the sea beaches is a different experience altogether. The Konkan coast is quite famous for its landscape, beautiful beaches and the verdant forests. Ankola and Gokarna are two most beautiful beach towns in Karnataka. The Ankola – Gokarna Beach Trek is a weekend trek, but the trek route coincides with the longer Golden route trek (trek between Belekeri to Honnavara).
A leisurely weekend beach trek, this trek is perfect to head out with your family. The trek actually starts from Belekeri, a town about 30 minutes from Ankola and ends at Gokarna. The trek involves walking along the coasts of Arabian Sea crossing a few villages and the hillocks on the way. The beauty of the Konkan coastline is definitely the highlights of the trek.
The trek starts from the coastal village of Belekeri. It is a 30-minute bus ride from Ankola. Try to start early in the morning so that you reach Belekeri within 10 AM. The trek kicks off as you hit the beautiful beach. Keep walking along the Kini Beach. This beach is approximately 4 km long. If you want, you can walk barefoot with the waves splashing over your feet. It is going to be a wonderful experience. The walk continues for a couple of hours while you marvel at the scenic beauty around you and enjoy the serenity of the sea beach. At some patches, you will find rocks where you can sit down for rest. After this you will cross a hillock facing a vast expanse of green paddy fields and reach another coastal hamlet. The village consists of a few fishermen settlement. You will see a large number of boats parked in line which are either ready to venture into the sea or have come back from the sea after their day’s catch. You can see the fishermen with their catches of heaps of sea fishes and other seafood like shrimp, lobsters and mussels. You can have your lunch here.
After lunch, start hiking till you reach a vast expanse of water. This is the place where the river meets the sea. The actual point of river joining the sea is just 25 m, but crossing there can be a bit difficult. You can take the help of the villagers in crossing the waters. Otherwise, you can also ask the help of the villagers to get a boat to ferry toy across the waters.
After this, you will cross another hillock and a few more coastal villages until you come across Belambara village, the largest village in the trek route. The entrance to the Belambara village is through a small beach that can be reached by climbing a number of steps made on a hillock. There is a small stream flowing into the sea. Cross the stream to reach the other side of the beach. Although the stream is a small one, you have to use a rope for crossing it. After crossing the stream, walk along the road until you reach the village. You can camp here for the night.
Start early the next morning from Belambara. You have to cross a hill to reach the next village of Manjugoni. There is a well defined path across the hills that will take you to the village. After Manjugoni, there is another river that you have to cross. Here you will get the help of the fishermen to ferry you across the river. The sea here looks more rough and beautiful. Gokarna is just another hour walk from here.
Gokarna is a beautiful coastal town also known for its temple. If you reach Gokarna in time, visit the temples there. The beaches of Gokarna are also known for its serenity and beauty. You can also visit the beaches around Gokarna.
How to reach Ankola:
Ankola can be reached from both Mumbai and Bangalore. There are direct trains from Mumbai to Ankola. Bus services are also there from both Bangalore and Mumbai. From Ankola, you have to take a bust to reach Belikeri.
Best time for the trek:
Winters are the best time to the trek. You can even do the trek during the monsoon. Summers are best avoidable.