Gokarna-The silent Goa

Gokarna-The silent Goa

“If travel is God, Gokarna is my temple

If travel is water, Gokarna is my beach

If travel is food, Gokarna is my cafe

If travel is life, Gokarna is my soul

A peaceful beach destination in India visited more by foreign tourists from different countries and less explored by Indians.

Gokarna is a small town in Uttara Kannada district of the state of Karnataka in India. The meaning of Gokarna is “Cow’s Ear” . Gokarna is a temple town and a holiday destination with Shiva Temples, blue seas, clean sands and trees all around. Kannada is the main language spoken here; Konkani and English are spoken too. 

The drive that leads to Gokarna is scenic, with the rocky mountains and Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. Gokarna is known for the beaches and has five main beaches; Gokarna beach, Om beach, Kudle beach, Paradise beach and Half moon beach.

From capital of all states and union territories of India:

  1. Hyderabad – 642 km
  2. Itanagar – 3,317 Km
  3. Dispur – 3,080 Km
  4. Patna – 2,140 Km
  5. Raipur – 1,427 Km
  6. Panaji – 164 Km
  7. Gandhinagar – 1,216 Km
  8. Chandigarh – 2,326 Km
  9. Shimla – 2,425 Km
  10. Srinagar – 2,840 Km
  11. Jammu – 2,611 Km
  12. Ranchi – 2,017 Km
  13. Bengaluru – 485 Km
  14. Thiruvananthapuram – 835 Km
  15. Bhopal – 1,332 Km
  16. Mumbai – 685 Km
  17. Imphal – 3,555 Km
  18. Shillong – 3,164 Km
  19. Aizawl – 3,536 Km
  20. Kohima – 3,424 Km
  21. Bhubaneswar – 1,687 Km
  22. Jaipur – 1,727 Km
  23. Gangtok – 2,711 Km
  24. Chennai – 839 km
  25. Agartala – 3,617 Km
  26. Lucknow – 1931 Km
  27. Dehradun – 2,348 Km
  28. Kolkata – 2,127 Km
  29. Port Blair – Not accessible by road
  30. Silvassa – 838 Km
  31. Daman – 842 Km
  32. Delhi – 1,991 Km
  33. Kavaratti – Not accessible by road
  34. Pondicherry – 802 Km

Gokarna is for the people who love sitting on the beach and watching the sunset, enjoy water sports, play Frisbee and feel the calm and peaceful atmosphere around having some food and drinks at the shacks on the beaches.

Three days are enough to visit all the spots in Gokarna.  

November to January are the best months to visit Gokarna as these are the winter months in India. In summer Gokarna is too hot and in rainy season you are not allowed to go into the waters.

Budget traveler : INR 5,000-7000* for 3 days

Average traveler : INR 10000-12000* for 3 days

Luxury traveler : INR 23000-25000* for 3 days

*Excluding transport costs to and from Gokarna

You can reach Gokarna by rail or by road;

Nearest railway station : Gokarna road and Ankola

Nearest Airport : Dabolim Airport, Goa (140 Km from Gokarna)

HosteLavie,Gokarna

HosteLaVie

Budget travelerZostelHoasteLaVie or shacks at Om beach and Kudle beach (INR 400-700/night)

Average traveler : Sanskruti Resort or Namaste Cafe (INR 2,000-2,500/night)

Luxury travelerKudle Beach View Resort (INR 5,500-6,000/night)

Apart from the above there are many other hostels, guest houses, hotels and resorts to choose from. 

» ♣ GOKARNA BEACH ♣ «

Gokarna Beach

            This beach is located in Gokarna town and is mostly taken by the locals. No shacks are available on this beach. This is the beach where you will see the locals enjoying their time with their friends and families. You will find some local shops outside the beach selling some religious stuffs as there are temples around the beach. You will rarely find any foreigners out in this beach.

Gokarna Beach

THINGS TO DO: 

Sit, have coconut water and just enjoy the locals enjoying.

TIPS:

» Don’t spend much time out here as this beach is very crowded due to the locals occupying it.
» This beach is at walking distance from Kudle beach and also there is a long way to reach. So, be careful to take the shorter way to reach here from Kudle beach.

 

» ♣ OM BEACH ♣ «

Om Beach

                   The best of all the 5 beaches. The reason behind it’s name is that when you see the beach from the top it is shaped as the sacred symbol. It’s the most happening beach with most of the foreigners around. It has the most famous cafe of Gokarna, Namaste cafe where you will get different type of cuisines. 

Om beach has two sides, one where all the water sports are done and has more public and the other side where you will only see foreigners having fun by swimming, playing Frisbee, taking sunbath, doing yoga and exercise. There are many shacks on this beach with cafes and they also provide rooms to stay at a nominal charge. I recommend Namaste cafe and Garden cafe to have delicious food on this beach. The shacks on the beaches charge approx 300 to 400 rupees per night stay and are mostly occupied by the foreigners.

THINGS TO DO:

» Water sports like Jet ski, Banana ride, Ferry ride
» Viewing sunset is a must here
» Play Frisbee
» Do have your meal with the beach view
» Beach trek to half moon beach

 

 TIPS:

» Sit at the other side of the Om beach to avoid the crowd and have some silent space for yourself.
» If you don’t have your vehicle then don’t stay there till long time, as at night the Auto rickshaw persons literally double their charges.

Om Beach

 

» ♣ KUDLE BEACH ♣ «

Kudle beach

The other happening beach with lots of cafe options and shacks to stay. The distance between Om beach and Kudle beach is approximately 3 Km. You will see lots of people taking a morning walk here and doing yoga in the morning. There are no water sports here but still a beach to die for. Come here, walk barefooted on the sand and just feel the breeze in the morning. 

Near to the beach there are various hotels and resorts to stay, so people stay at Kudle and go to OM beach everyday where there are less options to stay. The Auto rickshaw persons will charge you INR 250 to Kudle beach from Gokarna railway station for a 13 KM journey and the taxi will charge you INR 350.

Kudle Beach

 THINGS TO DO:

» Go for a morning walk barefooted
» Try different foods from different cafes
» Have a view of the sunrise

TIPS:

» If you are at Gokarna city then take a walk till Kudle beach and don’t go for Auto as it’s on a walking distance.

Kudle Beach

» ♣ HALF MOON & PARADISE BEACH ♣ «

Paradise Beach

             These two beaches are not reachable by road. One has to by trekking or go by a ferry. The trek is quite tricky and one has to be very careful while walking as the trek takes you through jungle and one may loose the way. First you will reach Half moon beach and then further ahead the Paradise beach. 

             The way to Half moon beach is manageable but the way to Paradise beach is a bit dangerous. One has to be a good walker to go to Paradise beach by trekking. You will get food at Half moon beach but you will get nothing at Paradise beach. You can take a ferry ride from Half moon beach till Om beach. The ferry will show you the Paradise beach from a distance and will drop you at OM beach for INR 300 per person.

THINGS TO DO:

» Beach trek from OM beach till Half moon beach
» Ferry ride from Half moon beach to OM beach

Half moon Beach

 TIPS:

» Beach trek is a must to do as it gives a stunning view.
» It can be tiring, so carry water with you.
» Be careful while walking as the trek can be dangerous.
» Return on a ferry as it is also an experience in itself.
» The last ferry runs at 7:30 PM, so don’t be late in returning otherwise you will be stuck.

 

» ♣ VIBHOOTI FALLS ♣ «

The best picture of mother nature is seen here with a waterfall surrounded by trees, a rainbow and small fishes tickling your feet inside the water. Vibhooti falls is 47 KM from Gokarna and I insist you to go on your private vehicle as the way to reach is amazing. There would be a entry fees of INR 5 and also a Parking charge of INR 5. You will have to walk for a small distance to reach at the falls from the parking area. Take a dip into the pond and feel the cold water and the touch of the fishes. Don’t miss out this place, just go.

THINGS TO DO:

» Take a dip into the pond to feel the cold water and the fishes tickling your feet
» It’s a worthy place to click some pictures, so click pictures of the nature at it’s best

TIPS:

» Go on your vehicle as the way is amazing; download the way on google maps as there will be no network on the way.
» Carry extra pair of clothes as the clothes will get wet in the water; there is a changing room there.
» Don’t go near the waterfall if you don’t know to swim well as the water is deep near the waterfall.

 

» ♣ YANA CAVES ♣ «

Yana Caves

This cave is huge. You will not believe your eyes when you will see the structure of this cave. This place is approximately 10 Km from Vibhooti falls and the way is quite treacherous. You will have to walk some distance from the parking area to reach this cave. There is a temple there which will take you through the cave. You have to walk barefooted in the cave as the footwear is prohibited there. There are narrow paths to walk on in the caves with rats making noises and you will be amazed to see the structure of this cave.

TIPS: 

» Way towards caves is treacherous so be careful while driving.
» As footwear are not allowed walk carefully as there are small stones that can hurt you.

 

» ♣ MIRJAN FORT ♣ «

This historic fort is of another level altogether. The fort is so vast in it’s area. You have to go there while you are returning to Gokarna from Yana caves which is at a distance of 28 Km and it will come on the way to Gokarna. Amazingly built up with great architecture.

TIPS:

» The fort closes at 6 PM, so reach there before it closes for entry.

Mirjan Fort

Mirjan Fort

Other than the above spots there are various temples to visit; Mahabaleshwara temple and Mahaganpati temple are well known temples among all.

There are three options to roam around this town; Auto, Taxi or hire a two wheeler. The best of all is hiring the two wheeler, the reason being the cost and the travelling experience. Auto is quite expensive here and the Auto persons take undue advantage of the situation. 

So, I strongly recommend to go for two wheeler which are available at a price of INR 400-500 per day. The drive in itself is an wonderful experience as the scenic beauty which comes along the drive is amazing. There are various shops from where you can get two wheeler on hire but I would recommend City Cycle as they drop the vehicle for you on one call at the location where you are. You can view the contact number of City Cycle in contact details section below. 

Namaste Cafe

Namaste cafe

You will be tired of eating variety of delicious food here but the options will never end. Hundreds of cafes on the beaches and off the beaches too. If you are a non vegetarian then obviously you have few more option than the vegans. A lot of sea food options are available at the cafes here. For vegans there are lot of amazing cafes serving delicious Pizzas, Burgers and Sandwiches along with warm Israeli coffee. 

Among these hundreds of cafes I would recommend the Namaste cafe in Om beach, the Garden cafe in Om beach and La Pizzeria in Kudle beach. Just relax sitting in this cafe and enjoy the pleasant beaches.

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Food comes as an inclusive package along with travel. Eating different varieties of mouth watering food has to be in your bucket list. The food at the cafes on the beaches of Gokarna comes along with this awesome beach view which makes the eating experience even more amazing. Sit at the cafe and enjoy the food and the view🍔🏖️#gokarna #ombeach #beachshack #food #burger #beach #foodonbeach #gardencafe #beachlove #taste #shack #tastyfood #beachview #tripotocommunity #travel #travelgram #foodtraveller #travelnomad #bagpacking #explore #exploreworld #explorefood #wanderlust #tlow #traveladdict #travelphotography #travelblogger #traveltoindia #india #loveforfood @tripotocommunity @outlooktraveller @thelandofwanderlust

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Shopping can’t be missed in Gokarna. With religious items to hippie stuffs to unique musical instruments, you will get it all here in Gokarna. Walk on the streets and you will get shops in a line to buy something for yourself or for your friends and family. 

Try some of the musical instruments in the shops like Ukulele, Drums, Guitar and many more. Don’t shy from bargaining as in Gokarna you can increase your bargaining power. You will also find people selling some kind of necklace on all the beaches, you can try that too.

»♣ All costs involved for a 3 day stay in Gokarna ♣«

» Auto from Gokarna station to Kudle beach  INR 250

» Hostel INR 1,500 (INR 500/night)

» Two wheeler on rent INR 1,500 (INR 500/day)

» Petrol INR 500

» Boat ride from Half moon beach to Om beach INR 300

» Three time meal INR 2,700 (INR 900/day)

» Bus from Gokarna bus stand to Gokarna railway station INR 15

 *Total cost INR 6,765 for 3 days

»♣ Contact details to avail few useful services ♣«

Hostel » HosteLaVie » +919902414342

Two wheeler hire » City cycle » +918277424387

» Hotel charges are quite high here, so better go for hostel option. Zostel and HosteLaVie at Kudle beach road are the best which will offer a stay for INR 400-700/night. This will also give a opportunity to interact with the fellow travelers.

» Go for street shopping at Gokarna main market. You will get variety of items especially musical instruments at a reasonable price.

» If possible share a auto with the fellow traveler as auto charges are high. This will reduce your cost.

» Talk to the foreigners as much as possible as they are very friendly and will not mind your company.

» If possible stay at the shacks in the beaches as it is cheaper and will give you a beach view all the time.

» Carry your water with you as water on the beaches are sold at a higher rate.

 

» Find the way which is shorter to go to Gokarna beach otherwise you will end up taking the longer way.

» Fill up your petrol while going towards Vibhooti falls and Yana caves as there are no petrol pumps out there. You can get struck there.

» Rent a two wheeler as the auto charges are very high in Gokarna.

» While returning to Gokarna railway station, take a bus from Gokarna bus stand as it will cost you just INR 10

If not Gokarna then you can visit the destinations in India which can be a alternative to Gokarna and which will give you the similar kind of positive vibes. Pondicherry, GoaVizagKovalamKochiAlleppey and Rameshwaram are equally amazing.

If you have some travel time in spare then you can visit GoaHampi and Murudeshwar which will offer you different types of experiences altogether. 

My final conclusion about Gokarna is that those people who need time for themselves must visit this place. Gokarna being a less explored destination will give you a pleasant experience. Amazing sunset at the beaches with delicious food gives you immense pleasure of travelling in India.

“Travel is a goal which has to be achieved with someone or with no one”

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