Replete with significant shrines and pristine beaches, Gokarna is a charming town in Karnataka that is known for its religious bent, virgin beauty and laid back vibes. Also famous as Gokarn, the temple town of the state is where a great deluge of devotees flock annually to seek salvation and pay homage. Known for its impressive shoreline, travelers can catch a sight of golden sand beaches dotted with palm trees and jaw dropping vistas of sunrise and sunset in this beautiful beach destination. In all, Gokarna is the perfect blend of many memorable experiences making it a stunning holiday destination where unwinding and finding solace is a sure thing.
Best Time to Visit Gokarna Karnataka
The best time to visit Gokarna would be from the months of October to March. During this time of the year, the overall weather is very pleasant with average temperatures ranging up to 25-30 degrees. November to February are the months when this pristine holiday destination is visited by a large number of foreign tourists.
History of Gokarna
The word Gokarna means cow’s ears. As per the legends, it is believed that Lord Shiva had emerged from a cow’s ear. Yes, that is how the legend goes! However, here, the cow is being referred to as Mother Earth. This exact geographical point is believed to be situated at the confluence of the Gangavali and Agnashini rivers.
Gokarna has also been mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana as home to the brothers Gokarna and Dhundhakari.
Another short anecdote states that once Lord Brahma sat in immense tapa to redeem himself from the curse of Lord Shiva. It was then, Lord Shiva appeared before him, arising out of the ears of a cow. And, ever since, the place is known as Gokarna.
If one more mythological statement is to be believed then, the sixth Avatar of Lord Vishnu, Lord Parshurama had created this impressive region spreading from Gokarna to Kanyakumari.
Best Places to Visit in Gokarna
Gokarna is very famous among tourists and locals. It is one of the best places to visit in Karnataka. Here's the list of the best tourist places to visit in Gokarna.
1. Mahabaleshwara Temple
Epitome of Dravidian architecture, this Shiva temple in Gokarna is one of the top attractions for pilgrims who consider it as sacred as Kashi. The temple houses 6 feet tall Shiva Linga worshipped as the Atmalinga and Lord Shiva idol in the standing position which is about 1500 years old.
2. Om Beach
Gokarna is an incredible destination majorly famous for its beaches. And shaped as two semi-crescents joining with each other, Om Beach is an unskippable travel getaway to explore. This beautiful beach destination is an attraction for hundreds of tourists from all over the world.
3. Kudle Beach
A few minutes away from Om Beach, Kudle Beach is all about chilling out with friends, parents, or your better half. The presence of kiosks and eateries nearby makes it all the more fun to spend time here.
4. Gokarna Beach
It is nice to feel the soothing sand beneath your feet and warm air ruffling your hair. And this is exactly what Gokarna Beach promises to the tourists.
5. Paradise Beach
Also known as Plage Paradiso, this beach is located at Chunnambar which is near the town of Pondicherry. It is a little isolated and to reach here you might need to take ferries.
6. Half Moon Beach
Away from hustle and bustle, Half Moon beach is the best place to bask in the lap of nature. Catch the breathtaking view of the azure sea while camping near the classical village huts dotted around the Half Moon beach shore.
7. Yana Caves
Famous for adventure, wildlife and religion, Yana caves is the perfect getaway destination for trekkers, hikers and adventure seekers. These caves are located at a distance of about 27km away from the temple town.
How To Reach Gokarna
Gokarn or Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town situated on the coast of Karwar in Karnataka which is well connected through all modes of transportation.
If you wish to reach Gokarna by air then the nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa which is well connected with both domestic as well as international cities. After deboarding at the airport, you will have to travel via road by public transportation like a cab or a bus depending on your budget.
Distance from Dabolim Airport (GOI). 145km
Gokarna has its own railway station with the name of Gokarna Road, however, not every train stops at this station. So if you are planning to reach Gokarna via railways then the nearest and well connected railway station is located in Ankola. After you deboard at the station, you will need to board a cab or a bus to reach your respective destination.
Distance from Ankola Junction. 20km
You can reach Gokarna by direct buses from all the cities like Goa, Bangalore, Mangalore, Pune, Delhi etc. You can also hire a private cab or drive your own vehicle depending on your comfort and convenience.
Distance from Delhi. 2,024.9 km via Mumbai-Agra National Highway
FAQs Related to Gokarna Karnataka
Q. Why is Gokarna famous?
Ans. Gokarna is famous for its very significant Mahabaleshwara Temple and breathtaking beaches that are untouched and less explored.
Q. What are the best things to do in Gokarna?
Ans. Being a beach destination, there are a plethora of thrilling water sports activities such as scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, snorkeling etc that keep the travelers entertained. Also, solace seekers and pilgrims like paying homage at the temples of Gokarna that are epitome of Dravidian architecture.
Q. Is Gokarna better than Goa?
Ans. If you are looking for a solace and laid back beach vacation then Gokarna would be a better option for you. Its serene environment and virgin beauty is detoxifying and relieves the travelers from all the stress of busy city life.
Q. Is Gokarna near Goa?
Ans. Gokarna is near to Goa as it is about 145 km away and takes barely 3 to 4 hours drive to reach this hidden gem of Karnataka via road. Also, the nearest airbase to Gokarna is in Goa.
Q: Where is Gokarna located?
A: Gokarna is a town in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. It is situated on the Arabian Sea coast and is known for its beaches and temples.
Q: What is the nearest airport to Gokarna?
A: The nearest airport to Gokarna is Goa International Airport (GOI), which is approximately 140 km away. Another nearby airport is Mangalore International Airport (IXE), which is about 240 km away.
Q: How can I get from the airport to Gokarna?
A: There are several transportation options to get from the airport to Gokarna. You can hire a taxi, take a bus, or rent a car. You can also arrange for a private transfer with a local tour operator or hotel.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven Trip planner. Click here