Gokarna Travel Guide
* There are a handful of local restaurants and dhabas in the town
proper (including a couple of good options at the end of the main road
where it hits Gokarna Beach).
* Excellent local restaurants on the right just before the arch
that leads into the main street. Incredibly cheap all-you-can-eat
thalis, just don't drink the regular water though; buy yourself some
bottled water. Street food is good, particularly the little fried pies
and bhel puri. And don't forget to enjoy fish (pomfret, kingfish, seer
being the popular ones) served fried, roasted or curried; as you like
* All the beaches have basic accommodation and beach shacks (in
season) serving food and drink.
* In Namaste cafe at Om beach you can get Mexican, Israeli and
Indian food. Don't forget to taste delicious sea food like Prawn Masala
and King Fish Sizzler. Some Nepali people also run a really good
restaurant from a straw and bamboo hut on Kudlee beach.
The small shops in the town sell religious items, psychedelic T-shirts,
Trance music CDs etc.
Malas (prayer beads), incense, cheap jewelry and religious
paraphernalia are sold in dozens of stalls along the main road and
gathered around temple entrances
Get There and Around
get there and around
Gokarna is about 453 km from Bangalore, 240 km north of Mangalore and
about 59 km from Karwar. It is between the Gangavali and Agnashini
rivers and situated along the Karwar coast by the Arabian Sea. It is
near the college towns Suratkal and Manipal.
Gokarna can be reached by buses and maxicabs from Kumta (36 km), Ankola
(25km) and Karwar (59km) on National Highway 17( NH-17 ). Karnataka
State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) also runs long-journey buses
from many cities like Goa, Bangalore and Mangalore. Private buses
(Vijayanand Roadlines - VRL, Sugama, Sea Bird, etc.) operate night
journeys from the capital city of Bangalore to Gokarna daily. It can be
reached by train Konkan Railway on the Mumbai to Mangalore route. The
railway station is 6km away from the town.
Places to visit
places to visit
* Mahabaleshwar Temple (Maha: great, bal: strength) is a famous
Shiva Temple and it houses the atmalinga. Named so after Ravana
referred to the linga's great strength. Till the government handed over
the temple to a public trust, all the public of Gokarna - supposed to
be the office bearers of the temple - were managing the temple.[2
It is situated at the western end of the main street. The main deity
here is two-armed, standing and at least 1500 years old. The idol of
Lord Ganesha also is ancient. In the sanctuary is a stone linga,
encased in brass, placed on a coiled stone serpent. The floor of the
hall in front has an intricate engraving of a giant tortoise.
* Maha Ganapathi Temple built in honour of the boy Ganapathi, who
deceived the demon Ravana.
* Uma Maheshwari Temple
* Bhadrakali Temple
* Varadaraj Temple
* Tamra-Gauri Temple
* Shanmuka Temple
* Venkataramana Temple
* Kotitheertha is a man-made tank that is used for immersion of
idols and ritual bathing. It is surrounded by temples.
* Shivaratri festival is celebrated here with great enthusiasm.
Each year, a team builds up two great temple chariots which are used
during the Shivaratri festival. The two great temple chariots lead a
procession through the town's narrow streets, while priests and
pilgrims chant hymns in praise of Shiva. More than a hundred people are
needed to pull the chariots with thick ropes while priests conduct
religious ceremonies inside. During the four day Shivaratri festival,
the small town of Gokarna is visited by up to 20,000 pilgrims.
The drive up the winding path that leads to Gokarna is scenic, with the
rocky mountains and Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on
Gokarna is also famous for its beautiful beaches and landscapes. The
main beaches in Gokarna are the Gokarna beach, Kudle Beach, Om Beach,
Half moon Beach and Paradise Beach (also known as Full moon). The
Gokarna beach forms the coast of the town while the other four beaches
lie to the south of Gokarna. Kudle and Om are around 6 km from Gokarna
town along a muddy hill; they are accessible by rickshaw or foot. Half
moon and Paradise are beyond Om beach and are accessible only by foot
or boat. Om beach is named so because it is shaped like the auspicious
ॐ [Om] symbol. Om beach is the only naturally Om shaped beach. Two
other beaches - Paradise and Half Moon - are smaller and remote
Gokarna is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of the Karnataka
state, India. It is a Hindu pilgrimage centre as well as a tourist
destination in India. Gokarna is a temple town and is referred to in a
number of Hindu historical literature pieces. The main deity is Lord
Mahabhaleshwara a form of Hindu GOD Shiva. Around the town lie a number
of beaches and these serve as a major attraction for travellers.
The earliest history of the city is not known. It is an established
fact that Mayurvarma of the Kadamba kings brought Brahmins from
Ahicchatra. It was a center for India's traditional and ancient Ganja
Culture. A sect of Brahmins fled from the Gomantak to
escape forcible conversions by the Portuguese and British and settled
in and around Gokarna in the 15th century. It was part of the Sodhe and
Vijayanagar kingdoms. Later, when the Konkan region - including Goa -
was occupied by the Portuguese, it became part of their rule. A few
temples were destroyed by the Portuguese in 1714 and then rebuilt later
in the 18th century and also under the supervision of Guru H. H.
Shrimat Anandashram Swamiji in 1928.