The temple town of Karnataka, Gokarna offers something beyond the temples, the beaches and the nature, Gokarna is a spiritual experience. There are two sights to Gokarna, one where you find the Hindu pilgrims visiting the the Shiva temple, that is claimed to be the original image of the god -the lingam, other ongoing religious festivities, cows roaming aimlessly around the city , Brahmins sipping chai on the front yard, not Brahmins per say but few looked more like Russians adorning saffron garments with a sikha (long tuft, or lock of hair, left on top or on the back of the shave), old houses, street shops, narrow gullies in a chaotic setting, and the other, well, imagine you are in the 70s era, a clean empty beach, beautiful water surrounded by thick greenery, few cottages here and there, hippies all around and you find calmness in the sounds of the waves crashing.
Daily 1 to 4 buses operate from Bangalore. It is a 12 hour overnight journey from Bangalore to Gokarna. The experience taking the overnight sleeper bus, is a cautionary tale. Once your bus reaches the zig-zag hill roads, you will find yourself grabbing on to the window or to your fellow traveller because you are slipping from your bed. The roads are bouncy, driven by too-expert of a bus driver that can’t seem to catch a break.
After a 12-13 hours of bouncy ride, we arrived in Gokarna town early morning at 6. The ambience and the aroma of the town was different, it felt like we took a time capsule to an ancient place. Since I was more enthusiastic to stay on the ever so famous Kudle beach, we got hold of an auto, and reached a place from where you have to walk on foot to reach our hotel.
Driving rough through the narrow round-about gullies, honking at the every cow, goat and humans, our driver finally dropped us off at the stopping point. Walk was a descent amidst thick jungles with your backpack. You start to hear faint sounds of the waves and you know you are finally reaching. After couple of minutes walking down, we see the beauty. Magnificent sea surrounded by hills. What a sight! Our walk didn’t end still. We had to walk on foot till we reach our hotel on the beach. You can opt for either staying in cottages (more of a cottage without floors and open air bathrooms under the trees) or the Gokarna International Hotel.