Talk about beach destinations in India, and most of us will only discuss about Goa. For the Indian youth, it’s a must-and-should to visit Goa before marital life kicks in. But, ask any foreigner about beach destinations in India, and you’ll be shocked to find a majority of them answering, “Gokarna.”
Gokarna is a quaint little beach town that falls on the west coast of India in the state of Karnataka. The word “Gokarna” translates to “cow’s ear.” Originally a Hindu pilgrimage center, Gokarna has recently emerged as a popular tourist destination for offbeat travelers. This beautiful town is around 550 kilometers from the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru. And, we recommend that you travel by road, as the journey to this destination is one of the most scenic ones you’ll ever get to see. The best time to visit this place would be from September to April. This beautiful and secluded beach destination has a list of attractions that every traveler can drool over. However, we bring to you an exclusive list of the seven best things you can do with your gang of friends in Gokarna. Get reading about it.
One of the major attractions of Gokarna is its beaches. Are you thinking, “what’s so special about its beaches?” Well, they are very natural and are untouched by the human population. You can call these beaches as nomad beaches. The beaches are amidst hills, and one can easily trek from one beach to another. Here you get to soak in the sun, enjoy the beach waves, and also you get to enjoy the scenic views whenever you’re atop one of the hills.
The major beaches of Gokarna are Kudle beach, Gokarna beach, Om beach, Paradise beach, and Half Moon beach.
- Pay A Visit To The Temples
Since Gokarna is originally a temple town, this place houses some of the oldest and the most architecturally inspiring temples. The most famous one is the Mahabaleshwar Temple, which lies in the heart of the town. This temple is the abode of the athma linga.
Visiting this temple will give you a very holistic feeling. The other holy places of interest include—Ganapati temple, Aadi Gokarneshwara, Koti Teertha, etc. All of these temples are in close proximity to each other.
- Explore The Foodie Side Of You
With the numerous shacks that serve everything right from English breakfasts to Desi food, the foodie inside you will definitely sprout out. We recommend heading to Prema restaurant, it’s a small eatery with a shabby board. But, don’t underestimate its appearance. This restaurant has everything, right from Persian breads to pastas and the typical South Indian thalis. You’ll also find plenty of stores that offer handmade ice creams and the most famous Indian sundae, Gadbad!
The serene nomad beaches of Gokarna make it a wonderful place for peace lovers, especially for the yogic souls. Imagine performing the asanas on a less crowded beach, while the salty breeze from the ocean touches your face. There are plenty of yoga farms and institutions in Gokarna, where one can seek admission and learn yoga. During sunsets, you’ll find plenty of people (most of them being the foreigners) practicing yoga by the beachside.
- Become The Shutterbug You’ve Always Wanted To Be
If you own a high-end camera and haven’t really gone about clicking pictures owing to the fear of drawing the attention of passers-by, then Gokarna is the place for you to unleash the photographer side of you. The sunsets here are very dramatic and heavily Instagram worthy. The rocky surfaces of the hills and beaches will help you capture some really amazing shots. Trust us, you’ll get postcard-worthy pictures here.
There’s no road to paradise beach. One needs to trek from Kudle to Om, then Om to Half Moon, and then to Paradise beach. Out of all the beaches of Gokarna, the Paradise beach is the most uninhabited one. Trekkers and backpacker travelers usually trek to Paradise beach and camp there. You’ll have to go camp there to live the experience of sleeping under a star-studded sky.
- Night Stroll To Catch The Sight Of Phytoplanktons
Nirvana beach is where one can spot the phytoplanktons. Post dinner, take a stroll along the Nirvana beach to witness this wonder, which can also be regarded as an experience of a lifetime.
There are plenty of resorts, hotels, and beachside shacks where one can look for accommodation. Few hostels have also opened up there. And, oh yes! Carry sufficient sunscreen, since the temperature there is soaring for most of the year. We hope this readymade itinerary will help you explore this beach town better. Is there any other must-do thing in Gokarna? Let us know in the comments section below.