Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.
This is about my trip to Gokarna in early October 2014 with my friends from Pune. And Wow! I returned totally mesmerized. This trip left a long-lasting impression of refreshment, peace and calmness upon me. Now, that my friend Ankit and I are going to start our photography venture named Focal-Experts Studios, I am taking this occasion to showcase beautiful photographs from Gokarna and our travel itinerary in Gokarna.
Why Gokarna is a lovely holiday destination?
Because Gokarna is a heaven for beach lovers. So, If you are seekings a laid-back life, serenity, isolation from cluttered city and deep divine place to chill on the western coast of India, Gokarna is the perfect place. The Sun, the sand and the serenity you feel on the seashores of Gokarna should be best experienced by yourself. It is a holiday destination ideal for young and family crowd alike. I am extremely fond of beaches. After my first trip to Gokarna, I wish to visit there again and again. I have seen some travellers from other countries staying for months there. True nature, greenery on the hillside, feel of small Indian town and sands so perfect to lay your feet on in any season. Simplicity and laid-back life of typical small Indian town are one of the reasons this beach-beauty is loved by hippies. Every traveller shall feel like home here.
As Gokarna does not have any dance clubs and the people’s rush all over the place, Surely, Gokarna makes you feel like your pleasant beach-home. Truly. It is the place still not known to many and isn’t commercialized as Goa. So, Gokarna is a budget-friendly holiday destination. Keep reading to know more about Gokarna: A serene Goa. It is gaining popularity nowadays, and It won’t be wrong to say it will attract a whole lot of travellers here. So, before it gets transformed into a crowdy place you should be get-set going upon an upcoming holiday plan.
Where is Gokarna Located?
Gokarna is a town in the north-western region of Karnataka state, India. It is approximately 200 km south of Goa.
Languages Used :
The main languages spoken in Gokarna are English, Hindi and Kannada. Since a lot of travellers from European countries visit here, English is also used for communication.
Here is the description of our 3 days stay in Gokarna. I will try to be as detailed as possible in the hope of helping you to plan your itinerary.
Here we go :
We started from Pune in a Karnataka state transport bus till Kumta town, but you could also get Airavat’s luxury bus from Pune which will drop you till Kumta or Bhatkal.
Day 1, Morning 7 AM, Reached Kumta:
From Kumta town, Gokarna is 30 KMs with high availability of buses.
After reaching Gokarna, we immediately booked guest house near the Gokarna bus depot.
Afternoon:- We went to the beach named Gokarna beach, which is located near the famous Mahabaleshwar temple and the town area. This beach is long enough but the water is muddy to play for a long while. You could chill and enjoy the sights surrounding you and just feel the pleasant breeze.
We spent the entire evening on the beach and just hanged around the markets of accessories & clothes. This beach has got lanes flooded with shops of cloth, ornaments, fashion accessories and other Indian traditional wear shops. The rates do not differ much from other markets of Pune city.
Sunset from this beach is truly mesmerizing. You can’t afford to miss that.
Day 2, To Murudeshwara, our road trip day:
It is 80 KMs to the south from Gokarna. We went on rented bikes. The roads are super smooth which surely gives you a joy of riding. Murudeshwar temple has mythological importance. The 123-feet statue of Lord Shiva is breathtakingly giant, below it is the cave & temple is located. You would roam around the circumference around the statue which highlights the beauty & depth of the western coast. Unending sea view from a height is a not-to-miss view from Murudeshwar’s Shiva statue. Also, along shallow beach adds more fun to the spiritual experience. Clean water, but with a lot of crowds. We reached back to Gokarna in the evening. We came back exhausted but a lot of zeal inside us by this round trip. What an eventful day and fast-paced day it was. Bike rent was Rs 400/- per bike for 24 hours. We used bikes like Dio, Discover and Activa. The last section of my blog covers more details.
This place and the view from it is truly ecstatic. Image credits: wikipedia.org
This place has a blend of India’s divine mythology and enjoyment at the beachside.
Day 3, The main attractions – Om beach and Kudle beach:
What a mistake we did, started exploring the most beautiful and serene beach on our last day of the trip. Kudle beach is worth spending an entire day. It has many shacks lined up. Shallow and clean water. The beach is located surrounded by hills on three sides. Nothing will be more pleasant for you if you would just wish to take a walk on long beach. It pulls a good amount of urban crowd as opposed to the local crowd on the Gokarna town beach(has long beach but little play area).
Moving on to the Om-beach, it’s beautiful but has wild waves. So, its dangerous to play in that kind of water. Moreover, it has less walking area. Om beach is strategically located near the Half-moon and Paradise beach which can only be visited using a ferry. Those are untouched and really small beaches. Sure, the trek from another side of the hill will drop you near those two beaches. A boat-ride is worth to see Paradise and Half-moon beach.
It was exciting to watch the game of how tides played back and forth with such a wild power in them, so here is the video we shot at Om beach:-
Following are the details you will need if you are planning to visit.
Food options consist of South-Indian dishes in major. You should be willing to take the time out and search for a good lunch/dinner offering place. Breakfast and snacks places offer regular breakfast dishes. Food market shuts down around 10 PM, so make a note of this. We got late and hence were left without any option to eat. Booze shops are located behind the bus depot of Gokarna.
We stayed at Shashtri’s guest house with decent rooms with no option of room service. The rate was 500/- per room per day in October-2014. But there are lots of other lodges and hotels to stay, so, even if you visit during the main season of September to January, you will never run out of options. If you want to keep it low-budget choose a reasonable place for your stay, as you will be roaming outside all day long. Phone number of Shashtri’s guest house is:- 08386257131 and bikes for a rent phone number is:- 09739528919.
My 2-cents :
Gokarna is a must-visit place. The west Maharashtra and Karnataka crowd can easily explore more of it in just 3 days. You should definitely go to Kudle beach or Om beach on the very first day. Those beaches are just adorable and give you excellent options for chilling out. If you like it here more, you could skip Murudeshwara to spend more time in Gokarna. Also, there is a well-known port, naval base and beach in the town named Karwar not very far from Gokarna. You can visit there and come back in a day. If you are planning for an extended holiday, you could visit Goa on your way back. There are a lot of trains operating from Gokarna to Goa, and from Goa, you could easily find trains towards Pune. We did the same.
Here is the photo shot from the train on our way back.
Outskirts of Gokarna town.
Have a great and fun-filling holiday. Don’t forget to let me know how it went for you.
You can directly post specific queries in the comments if you wish to know more details, I would be more than happy to share it with you.
Happy travelling. 🙂
Here is a photo of Ankit and me. I am on the right.