A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna!

Tripoto
20th Dec 2018

Oh Kumta! You Beauty!

Photo of A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna! by akanksha siwach

It was that Christmasy Month of December in Pune when the house smelt of freshly baked plum cakes and exuded all the Xmas Cheer! Tee and I were making the most of this vacation ( read eating all that Pune street food and Christmas goodies). We were to plan a two day trip that involved wee bit of trekking for we've always loved exploring places on foot and also because how could we justify all that sinful indulgence in Vada Pavs, Dhabelis and what nott! So we planned this really offbeat trek in Maharashtra and were shit excited about it buttttt like always found something else that seemed to be kind of new and justtttt a lil more attractive than the itinerary we’d made..Tee's reaction was like…’Beach Trek’ Why on earth in this terrible weather?!!..

‘Why Not?’ I retorted! And so began stalking of random instagrammers and bloggers who had visited the places and done the Kumta Gokarna trek! It didn't come as a surprise to Tee though for he knew i love the ‘self Inflicted Pain Theory’ a bit too much for his liking.The trek wasn't as offbeat as the one we had planned earlier yet it was something that we'd never done before. And so we set out on a volvo bus to Kumta, carrying just a backpack but truck loads of excitement with us!

Day 1 : Kumta

Life On A Beach

Photo of Gokarna, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

10 hours later,the coconut trees dotted along the roads greeted us with the sun rising over the Aghanashini River. Fishermen boats pranced around on its still waters and i wished to tell the driver to drop me off there itself. A little later we were at the bus stop in Kumta, welcomed by this cutest little furry fellow who stretched his hand out to say Hello! Could the trip start off any better!

when your trip starts with a cutie like this welcoming you!

Photo of Kumta, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

Sucker for all quaint and quiet places, Tee did an excellent job in finding out The Five Mile Beach Resort, for our one day stay at Kumta. This gorgeous tent by the beach side had both the comfort and basic luxuries and at the same time gave one the camping feels for it was perched on the shimmering white sand of the Kadle Beach.

The Five Mile Beach Resort ...Our Tent by the beach at Kadle

Photo of Kadle Beach, Karnataka by akanksha siwach

The bed faced the ocean...a little far away and one could listen to the humming of waves all day long. We ordered breakfast and decided to go lie down at the beach till it arrived. Fishermen were returning to their homes from an all night fishing work and many had their dogs accompanying them. Countryside struggles were quite real!

My Frame That Defines Happiness!

Photo of Kadle Beach, Karnataka by akanksha siwach

We booked a scooter for 500 bucks for today as we wanted to drive around and explore the the contours of this side of the country. The plan was to drive up to Yana ( about 30kms away from the Kumta town) and stop by at one of the fishermen villages around Aghanashini River. We raced along the pristine palms, the coastal sun charing us with all its might but we never complained for the drive around the countryside was so therapeutic. On our way to Yana Caves, we stopped at this fishermen village called Tandakuli.

At The Tandakuli Village...The Aghanashinni River

Photo of Aghanashini River, Bilgi, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

One could see the fishermen in the middle of the river with their boats, digging the riverbed for mud. An old man stood under the comforting shade of Palms and cooked in his open kitchen. I was surprised to know that he belonged to Jharkhand and was here with many others in the village from his state for labour work. Lack of job opportunities and paucity of money displaced him and many others to a state that they now call their home. Lakshman Chaudhary might have been broken financially but he like most of the villagers i've come across in the country was very kind and warm and asked us to have lunch with them! I was tempted to sit back in his open kitchen and indulge in their simple feast but we had a long way to go. We took an hour and a half to reach the caves.

Lakshman Choudhary making his lunch in his open kitchen!

Photo of A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna! by akanksha siwach

The route offered some beautiful vistas of a coastal countryside. The villages this side of the town were spick and span and the roads hugged by forests on either sides,unusually quiet that didn't know of traffic were flawlessly maintained. It was only towards the end of the drive, the climb up to the caves after turning left from the Mattighatta Road that the tarred road gave way to some ditches and potholes making the last part of the ride bumpy and swingy! It actually makes a good route to hike as well with fresh air of the forests along with the natures melody.

Roads like these!

Photo of A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna! by akanksha siwach

YANA CAVES And VIBHUTI FALLS

The Bhaireshwara Shikhara

Photo of Yana Caves, Yana, Karnataka by akanksha siwach

Yana Caves are located at the Yana Village in the Sahyadri Mountain ranges of Kumta district. The two rock outcrops known as Bhairaveshwara Shikhara (Shiva) and Mohini Shikhara (the female avatar of Vishnu) respectively are made up of black Karst Limestone. The legend has a very interesting story about how the rocks turned black after Bhasmasura who was granted a boon from Lord Shiva was burnt by his own hand. There's a temple at the entrance of the caves. Owing to its religious significance, the pilgrims visit this place on Maha Shivratri. While this place was devoid of tourists but due to the weekend, a whole lot of students hung around that day. Small streamlets gushed around as you descended from the second caves. One would find more locals than tourists here for the place has both geographical and religious significance.

Mohini Shikhara!

Photo of Yana Caves, Yana, Karnataka by akanksha siwach

Now if only i'd visited places like these back in the day in seventh grade, stalactites and stalagmites would have been much easier to comprehend.

Monkeying around these beautiful rocky beings...

Photo of Yana, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach
Photo of Yana Caves, Yana, Karnataka by akanksha siwach

It is said that the water that flows from these caves goes on to become VIBHUTI FALLS and later merges with Aghanashini river downstream. Vibhuti Falls is yet another scenic destination and would take an hour and a half drive from Yana Caves.Vibhuti has now found its way on popular instagram feeds and tags but little do we all know that the north Kannada district is known as The Waterfalls Paradise with almost ten to twenty falls in a span of 30kms. I shall list some of them at the end of the post.

My lil oasis...

Photo of Vibhooti Falls, Mattighatta Road, Achave, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

The Beach Trek….Starting from Kumta Beach

at the very outset of the trek

Photo of Gokarna, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

We decided to walk through the beaches of Kumta on the other half of the day for we had a long trek to do tomorrow as well. So the agenda for the early evening, after getting back from Yana was to cover up beaches that laid before Kadle Beach….which would be Kumta Beach...Vannalli Beach and Mangodlu beach.

It was difficult to decide which one of them had a better sunset but the Kumta Beach offered one of the most beautiful ones i've ever witnessed( even in Andamans, Pondicherry or Goa). Kumta is a Muslim dominated town with most of the people being fishermen and farmers.

the sunset hour

Photo of Kumta Beach, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

So the thing about Kumta beach is that when you get there, youd find the waves all receded and the sun hiding behind this small little hillock. Climb up to that hillock right away to watch the sun drown into the ocean. It looked hugeee and the ocean breeze on the top felt soothing. The sky was a pretty pink and orange and crimson...a blend of all my favorite colors at once. A little further ahead on another small raised piece of land is a viewpoint with benches which seemed to be swamped with people who had come to see the sunset. I found our spot much more peaceful where we sat for almost an hour.

Photo of Kumta Beach, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

A few mins of walk from here would take you to the Vannalli Beach which is quite neat and clean and has tons of boats docked along the shore...probably one of the cleanest in Kumta. Here again one would find benches along the roadside..makes an ideal place to sit after your evening walk.

Photo of Vannalli Beach, Karnataka by akanksha siwach

Climb the hill at the end of the beach here to proceed further up to Mangodlu beach, a virgin beach cut off as compared to others. Perfect for a dip after that tiring walk. Yet another climb to a hilltop shall get you to Kadle Beach that was our home for the evening. We had the best dinner on this trip at 5th mile resort with a typical Konkan preparation. The following morning awaited some misadventures and an early morning start of the hike to Gokarna through some forest gump and hurricane trails!

Best Dinner Ever!

Photo of A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna! by akanksha siwach

Day 2...KUMTA TO GOKARNA TREK

For the first time in my life i was up and ready before Tee. This walking along the beaches and climbing the hillocks around was a good trailer for the rest of the hike. We started of around 6 am, the air had a slight nip in it and the only sound we heard from our room was of the cascading waves kissing the shore. It was still dark but we decided to leave nonetheless for the plan was to cover up as much distance as possible before the sun showed up. Beach Hopping found an all new meaning today! Never did we think of hiking through umpteen virgin as well as touristy beaches.

6 am scenes.

Photo of Kadle Beach, Karnataka by akanksha siwach

The cool breeze courtesy the ocean waves felt so comforting! Colorful boats dawned the shore, crabs crawled their way through the wet shimmering sand and the sun, struggled to rise up, changing the hues of the sky, creating all the orange magic. While we walked soaking in all this beauty around us, there was one not so pretty sight that i must mention of! This ritual seemed to be peculiar to this place for i had never witnessed it in Andamans or even Goa. A row of fishermen were often seen pooping on the beach, calculatively placing themselves in such a way that the waves do the necessary cleaning up for them! One had to be careful of not walking into them or even stepping on to the pile of not so pleasant human dung :P

Fishermen coming back from work...

Photo of Kumta, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

Walking on the dry sand wasn't easy. We walked a total of about 6 kms until we reached The Nirvana Beach. We decided to stop by at one of the lodgings by the beach for our breakfast, called Nirvana Nature.This place screamed QUIRK! Bright colorful tree houses, hammocks and beach beds laid under the thick cover of trees, thatched and mud walled huts for stays and small lil ponds adorned with lotus and tiny boats! Though most of them had no ACs and one had to use common washrooms but the place exuded the warmth and magic that would instantly make you fall in love with it. We gobbled down two heavy parathas, listening to constant chattering of these young college kids on the side, a trailer of the GOSSIP GIRL SEASON 8 ;) Not judging..all in good humor though.

Photo of A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna! by akanksha siwach

Nirvana was the last beach on this stretch and one now had to start climbing the Nirvana Cliff, a small hillock again which flaunts these old fort ruins of Kagal Fort. A road down below ran parallel to the hillock and is a shorter and easier route to the River Jetty. But the trails always seemed more tempting and so we stuck around the road less taken for how could we avoid the adventure that awaited us( read taking wrong trails)

Photo of Heaven Beach, Αμμουδάρα, Ηράκλειο, Greece by akanksha siwach

After climbing quite some distance, a trail descended down on right towards The Heaven Beach. We decided to carry on straight for the map we followed showed no route from Heaven beach to the Aghanashini River Jetty. Dense bushes guarded the trail from either sides but there were no tall trees to give us a respite from the sun. One could now see the river on the left and Gokarna on its other side. Then why were we going towards right. Not just going...climbing!

Photo of Gokarna, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

We decided to get down and go in the direction of the river until we reached this stone boundary wall that was being built there. The sun was fierce by now and i was bathing in my own sweat! I told Tee to go find out the trail ahead for i needed a break from the sun! I crashed under a tree, lying down on the mud, listening to the birds chirping and just nothingness around. The silence was often interrupted by the sound of the jetty somewhere in the distance. It seemed so close yet we couldn't find a trail that went down towards it. Tee came back asking me to follow him in the same direction. He had apparently found out the trail which was actually a washed out piece of land that eventually disappeared into a steep downfall!

Photo of A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna! by akanksha siwach

Gosh! This meant we were to climb up to the patch where i laid down, all over again! If only i could murder this boy! All the blogs instructed to go to Heaven beach but my stubborn husband wanted to explore. And so we decided to take the first route instead where we went in the opposite direction of the river.After reaching the hill top one could now see a narrow trail going down towards a construction site where a cow was tied outside in the verandah of the house that was being constructed. Sooner we reached the road that lead to the village with the jetty! Phew!

Photo of Aghanashini, Karnataka, India by akanksha siwach

The jetty can even take your two wheelers along. We paid all of 20 bucks each to get on the other side...The side we'd call home for two days...GOKARNA!!

TO BE CONTD in the next post on Gokarna!!

Photo of A Beachyyy Little Fling With Kumta and Gokarna! by akanksha siwach

Things to do in Kumta

1. Beach Hopping....Already given the various beaches on the post. My favorite sunset point would be Kumta Beach.

2. Ride up to Yana Caves and Vibhuti Falls...beautiful countryside roads...Details given in the post.

3. Check out the Mirjan Fort and its ruins. Just 12 kms from the Kumta Town.

4, Keladi and Ikkeri...If you have enough time on your hands and are a history buff, check out these two towns for all the historical temples and museum charm it offers.

5. Some falls around Kumta are....Muregar Falls, Vibhuti Falls, Bennehole Falls, Unchalli Falls, Shivganga Falls etc.

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