No wonder I am writing after a long time. I haven’t had the chance for a long time to write. That doesn’t mean I didn’t travel for such a long time. I travelled to quite a few destinations and somehow I did manage to start travelling in the South Of India. And I feel so very blessed.
Gokarna no more a hidden secret to alot of travellers and tourists. Be it national or international, everyone has a clue about Gokarna now. So it was a long weekend and somehow I got lucky to get a straight 3 day off for Dusshera, weekend and Gandhi Jayanti. As I was commuting back from work a thought just strike me about leaving for Gokarna the very same night.
Improptu plans are something I specialise in, its always been the case and hopefully it always will. I honestly don’t find any harm in the same. I came back from work packed a pair of clothes. And accordingly planned on leaving. I checked the trains, a few guest houses, weather, etc. I wanted to do this trip on a much more cheaper version so I really wanted to cut the costs wherever I could.
My train was scheduled at 03:40 hours from a station in the Mumbai Suburbs. Thankfully the train was on time and then I managed to board.
I mentioned budget trip so I travelled in the general class. I had heard alot of stories about not getting a vacant place to sit neither stand in general. I felt like giving it a try possibly I got lucky that morning and I found myself a seat too. No wonder you cannot sleep but then a seat at a cheaper rate is what matters the most.
Konkan Railways is a journey which I encourage each one of you to take atleast once in your lifetime. The tunnels, the tracks, the waterbodies, the bridges, the picturesque views, the stations, the lush greenery is worth a shot. No wonder the stations aren’t really well developed and you may hardly find alot of options to eat but it’s okay. Thankfully the route for my train was through Konkan, Goa and Karnataka. It was a 13 hour sleepless journey and I finally reached Gokarna.
Gokarna Road is the prime station where you get down and proceed towards your destination.
Once at Gokarna Road Station you have options of Auto Rickshaws and State Transport Buses to reach the destination. Auto Rickshaws are mostly private and can charge you anywhere between 400-600. If you travel by state buses they charge about ₹10 till the Gokarna Bus Stand.
Gokarna Bus Stand is very well connected to all of the beaches and you can head to the beaches by a rickshaw. There are primarily four beaches in Gokarna. The Om Beach, the Kudle Beach, The Gokarna Beach and the Paradise or Half Moon Beach. To get to Om Beach the Rickshaws would charged you somewhere around 200 look for someone to share the ride and it comes to 50 or 100.
I personally found the Om Beach much exciting there are a few shacks around where in you can lay and enjoy your beer. There is Namaste Cafe as soon as you get down the stairs. I found this cafe quite satisfying the food here is pretty delicious and the seafood is a must try. A pint of beer costs between 150-200. The cafe has its own guest house so the rest of the people are made to wait in the queue as first preference is given to their own guesthouse members. After a few 100 metres there is another Dolphin Cafe I loved their coffee which was for about ₹25.
Apparently the day I arrived Gokarna it was already 19:00 hours and it was absolutely dark. Fortunately all the guesthouses were sold out. I was left with the only option to rest at the beach, not sure about you guys but that was more then exciting to me. So there are few benches which are placed by the shore. Trust me it’s perfectly fine to sleep on the benches too not even a single person bothered to ask. Incase you are carrying your tents ⛺️ you can even set it up wherever you like. The weather thankfully cooperated with me and I was perfectly alright.
Waking up at 05.30 am was an amazing view and by 06.30 it had already started raining I had a shelter by then.
It rained for about 3 hours straight which made the weather a bit cold. I started walking towards the next Kudle Beach. So you have to climb the stairs again and then you have to trek upon the concrete roads. Hitchhike is the perfect option. Since Kudle Beach is about 1.5 kms from Gokarna.
To head to Kudle just follow the concrete trail and then the uneven trail. Kudle Beach is quite compared to the other beaches. There are few good cafes and shacks here too. The most famous one is The Ganga Cafe.
You can spend some time out here and then start moving towards Gokarna which is less then a kilometre walk on your way you also have The Zostel Gokarna which is soldout most of the times.
So before you arrive at the Gokarna beach you have two famous temples here. The Mahabaleshwar Temple and The Maha Ganpati Temple. Trust me I am not a religious person at all. Honestly visiting the temples in South India is an experience within itself. I don’t mind trying anything in the universe. So eventually stood in the queue for almost 2 hours just to have a feel about it. The visit to both the places, It was an experience too. The Mahabaleshwar Temple also serves Mahaprasad which is again the traditional Kannada cuisine. Some rice, hot Sambar, A pinch of Ocean Salt, some Buttermilk and a sweet dish.
The food was delicious and absolutely neat and clean.
After my lunch I headed to the Gokarna Beach settled down for a while. The Gokarna Beach is too mainstream like the rest of the beaches with alot of crowd. They also have options of a few water rides at Gokarna Beach. You can spend some time here and then you can gradually proceed for Half Moon Beach or Paradise Beach.
I had to charge my phone as I hadnt for 2 good days. Just walking along the roads I came across Koti Tirtha, A man made tank, Koti Tirtha is considered to be extremely sacred and is used for ritual bathing and immersing idols. The tank is surrounded by temples on all sides.
Once done you are through with the destination and then you may proceed for Gokarna Bus Stand. And then from there a straight bus to Madanreri the Gokarna Road Railway Station.
To break down the costs.
Vasai Road station to Gokarna Road station fare ₹206, general.
Gokarna Road Railway station to Gokarna Bus Stand. ₹10, state buses.
Gokarna Bus stand to Om Beach ₹100, auto rickshaw.
Gokarna Bus Stand to Gokarna Road railway Station, ₹10 bus.
Gokarna Road to Thane station, ₹206 general ticket fare.
The rest depending upon the food cost incurred.
Quick facts :
Local languages are Kannada, Tullu, Konkani however due to the tourist movements people are still willing to speak in Hindi with you and they happily accept you.
Best time to visit is during the winter months of October to February. The cool climate is great for sightseeing and you can explore all the beaches and temples and take your time with it.
Clothing: Pack some cotton clothes if you plan to visit during summer. In winter, light woollen clothes are a must to keep warm as the weather can get quite chilly.
Moving around: Walking is the best way to explore this small town. Taxis, rickshaws and buses are spotted quite regularly and you can get a taxi/rickshaw to take you from one place to another in 100-150 rupees after a bit of bargaining.
For any queries please drop in a message in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.
Keep Travelling !!
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