I have been to Gokarna last week during my road trip to Goa. It was just a visit to halt and take a rest for a while because i was driving from Mangalore and had to drive till Goa. This was my second visit to Gokarna and I will definitely make a trip exclusively to Gokarna very soon.
I found Gokarna is a similar place like Kovalam in Kerala. Exception in the case of Mahabaleshwara Temple. Gokarna, is a very touristic small town centered around temples with pilgrims coming throughout the year and tourists -indians, russians and europeans – coming from december to february for the beaches. The name Gokarna, means cow’s ear (go=cow karna=ear) in Sanskrit and is based on Hindu mythology.
Things to see in Gokarna
- Gokarna Beach
- Kudle Beach
- Om Beach
- Half Moon Beach
- Paradise Beach
- Mahabaleshwara Temple
- Maha Ganapati Temple
- Koti Thirtha
- Mirjan Fort
Things to do in Gokarna
- Visit the beautiful beaches
- Do the beach trail trek (The five beaches can be accessed, one after the other. Start from Gokarna Beach up north, and walk across the trail (which will involve some asking around, some serendipity and some inevitable getting lost) to Kudle, and similarly on to Om, Halfmoon and Paradise.)
- Yoga Classes (Can mostly be found on Kudle beach. Look for Gokarna Yoga Garden behind Rock Namaste Café: Mysore (Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa) and pilates classes.)
- Swimming: Kudle and Om Beaches are reasonably clean (in season), but ask locally about swimming, as the currents can be very strong. Life guards are there at most beaches, however.
- Visit during Shiva Ratri (February-March) festival. (The celebrations are a tremendous sight to watch as thousands of pilgrims descend on the town.)
How to reach Gokarna?
By Train: Gokarna is accessible by rail from Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Mangalore and Madgaon
Bus Bus: From Bangalore, there are daily 1-4 buses (depending on the day of travel) operating. It is a 12 hour overnight journey from Bangalore to Gokarna. The experience taking the overnight sleeper was described as “being driven in a bouncy castle driven by the wicked witch of the west” – beware.
If arriving from Goa, you can take a local bus from Madgaon or Canacona to Karwar, then catch another bus to Gokarna. Coming down to Kumta is good option because one can easily catch buses to different places (especially Mangalore) as it is well connected.
Private buses also operate to/from Hampi/Hospet. You can book online ticket to Gokarna from any one of the operator’s websites (RedBus, Travelyarri).
For more details about Gokarna, Visit TripAdvisor