Discover Gokarna2019-01-24T10:35:23+00:00

Discover Gokarna

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Gokarna, at its very heart, is idyllic and laid-back. Courted by the Arabian sea on one hand and the Western Ghats on the other, Gokarna is nothing short of a picture of perfection. Soft, unblemished sands laze on its Konkan coast while lively rivers like Kalli, Sharavathi, Gangavalli and Aghanashini hurtle from hills, meander and find their way home to the Arabian Sea. Around Gokarna, the landscapes seem to dramatically veer from densely forested hills to cliffs to an unending ocean pursued by soft sand beaches freckled with rocks. Quaint villages, temples and a sparse population add to Gokarna’s charm.

Its People

Like Gokarna, like its people. As serene and comforting Gokarna is, it is in the warm hospitality and genuine smiles of its people you find home. The locals are unobtrusive and hold visitors in high regard. Speaking everything from Kannada to Marathi to Konkani to Hindi and even Tulu, languages isn’t where the potpourri ends. The mix of cultures evolves into a rich cuisine that feels like Gokarna hospitality – fills your stomach and warms you heart.

But beyond the temples and beaches, Gokarna lives on in the two streets that run through the town. It lives in the first rays of the sun that sees fishermen haul the day’s first catch to the shore, in the chants that reverberate through temple walls as priests perform their morning rites. It blazes with life as tourists pick out and nuzzle into their spot on the beach for the day. It lives in golden, pink and purple sunsets that streak the horizon day after glorious day. It resonates with the squeal of someone trying surfing for the first time in their life.

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Ankola

Ankola is a town set a little more than 9 km away from Red Earth Gokarna. Temples, beaches, scenic Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea is all that Ankola shares in common with Gokarna. This quaint town offers green paddy fields, fragrant mango groves that bear the local speciality – kari ishaad, and an opportunity to get to know the local tribes – Halakki Gowdas.

Ankola is flanked by schools alongside temples – which may explain the near-perfect 90% literacy rate. Ankola is a story of progress – but this is just one among the many stories it hides so well in its bosom.

Red Earth is a Gokarna beach resort that sits on our private Honey Beach – midway to Ankola from Gokarna. Culture, wilderness, beaches blend into one sweet symphony here.

Beaches

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True to its name, this beach is shaped like the sacred symbol of Hinduism – ॐ. Facing the Arabian Sea, this Gokarna beach radiates easy charm. We recommend you try out water sports like parasailing, surfing and water skiing here.

Behind the majestic Mahabaleshwar Temple, the waves rise and ebb gently on the Gokarna beach. The halo of Dakshina Kashi brings pilgrim rush throughout the day. We recommend an early morning walk instead, to experience the beach in all its quaint charm.

Secluded, hidden and beautiful beyond your wildest imagination. This rocky paradise is accessible only via a boat ride or a 20-minute trek from Half Moon beach. Stretching over 150 metres, Paradise is peppered with rocks on the fringe and soft white sand in the middle. While strong currents make it a dangerous swim, we urge you sleep over. For at night, you are privy to a rare show, something that none of the other beaches in Karnataka offer. At night, the bioluminescent phytoplankton glimmers on the water making for an enthralling show.

While the crowds take to Om beach, slink away to Half Moon beach – we urge you! A 20-minute – and sometimes challenging – hike from Om beach will bring you to a rocky coastline lined with a couple of shacks. Schedule your excursion right and you might just catch the most beautiful sunset of your life. Oh, and given this place is often filled with hippies, make this a solo or a friends-only trip on your list of places to visit in Gokarna.

If a day at the beach means more than just quiet meditation, head to Kudle. A place so warm and full of life, you won’t notice the hours slip by. Generally less crowded than the Om beach and Gokarna main beach, add this to your itinerary of places to visit in Gokarna. Here you can unwind with good food from one of the many shacks, restaurants and cafes on the Kudle beach. Tuck into some local cuisine as you drink in views of an unending coastline.

If you want seclusion – by that we mean, complete seclusion – head to the Honey Beach. Miles of pristine soft sand runs undisturbed along the Arabian sea coastline. The only sound around is the wind whooshing and waves crashing. When chasing complete isolation, rush to Honey beach and then check into Red Earth Gokarna!

Temples

Dakshina Kashi. One of the 7 places of salvation in Karnataka. While Mahabaleshwar is a lot of things, it is known most prominently for giving Gokarna its name. After all, this is the site where Ravana conceded defeat to the Gods and let go of the powerful Atmalinga. After this incident, Mahabaleshwar earned a reputation of being “all-powerful”. As pious devotees and pilgrims throng the temple, Mahabaleshwar continues to radiate an all-powerful aura over Gokarna.

Lord Ganapathy played a central role in the requisition of Atmalinga from Ravana. To this day, the devotees offer prayers to a black idol of Ganesha in the temple before heading to any other temple. Maha Ganapati temple is located just a few metres away from the Mahabaleshwar temple.

Set 1 km away from the town of Gokarna, the Bhadrakali temple is a Dravidian masterpiece. While many different legends surround this architectural beauty, they all agree to this, Bhadrakali or Goddess Uma is Gokarna’s guardian. On your visit to Gokarna, remember to pay homage to its fierce guardian: Bhadrakali.

One of the many temples to flank the holy pond, Kotiteertha, the Kalbhairava has an interesting history. This is the site where Kala Bhairav – a ferocious manifestation of Shiva – is said to have found peace after beheading Brahma. Realizing its spiritual prowess, Bhairava decided to settle down in Gokarna. Today the town remains a promising haven for those seeking peace. In Gokarna, you will find peace and much more.

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Treks

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You’re out of breath but you made it. Take two. The sun blazes above you. Shielding, you walk the last 100 yards and hold yourself. Your heart’s pounding away but you barely notice as you breathe in the mountain air. You made it.

Conquering heights at Gokarna is one of the best laid plans. With Western Ghats about 4kms away, plan a day’s worth and ride into the forests on the Yellapur, Sirsi or Joida stretches on your bike. You will be rewarded with fresh forest air and pristine locals – almost completely untouched. And just like that, you’d have found your piece of paradise in Gokarna!

Getting Here

Gokarna is the perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mangalore. Enjoy a pleasant day’s drive to Gokarna or take a train and alight at the Ankola railway station. For people flying down to the beach town, your most convenient stop is either the Hubli airport in Karnataka or Dabolim in Goa.

When to travel?

October – March: This is perhaps the best period to travel to Gokarna. With an average temperature of 32 degrees celsius, Gokarna will welcome you with warm and pleasant weather.

April – May: The hottest months for Gokarna, expect the temperature to reach upto 38 degrees celsius. Weather will get hot and humid during these months.

June – August: Gokarna experiences monsoon in these months. With temperature averaging around 24 degrees celsius, the waters become unsafe for swimming or any sort of water sports.

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