13 Top Places to Visit in Gokarna, Karnataka

Places to visit in Gokarna
Places to visit in Gokarna

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Gokarna is a small and remote holy town, with four of India’s most secluded and pristine beaches nestled nearby. It draws both pious pilgrims and hedonistic holiday makers with equal enthusiasm. Travel to Gokarna to get a feel for what God was like in its heyday, although time is limited as developers are already seeing the potential of this area and commercialization is setting in, these are the places to visit in Gokarna.

Places to visit in Gokarna is the following:

1. Mahabaleshwar Temple

1. Om Beach

If there is anything more popular than Gokarna in Gokarna, it has to be Om Beach. It is a 6 km drive over the hills with impressive views from Gokarna town to Om beach.

The road winds its way past the open grasslands and ends where the expansive Arabian Sea frames itself with long sandy stretches and rocky outcrops. Renowned for its Om shaped appearance, this beach is a favorite of travelers, backpackers, and hippies.

Om Beach
Om Beach

Though geographically it is two coves adjacent to each other, the inverted Om design is why it is popular for. The aerial sight of the beach from one of the hills shows the Om sign quite wonderfully. This is one the best place to visit in august. It is a very long beach with rocks jutting out and serenity at its best.

Climb any of those rocks and gaze at the gorgeous Arabian Sea in oblivion as the sun sets down the horizon. Alternately, one can take an adventurous catamaran ride to those salty waters with any of the fishermen.

2. Mahabaleshwar Temple

The main temple is dedicated to Shiva and his lingam but is famous for the legend of Ravana. Ravana strongly wanted Shiva’s lingam and implored him enough to convince him.

The other gods disagreed, therefore, Shiva gave him the lingam provided he planted it forever in the first point where he would have supported it even for a second. The point, after Ganesha’s intervention, is in the center of the temple despite Ravana’s intention to take him elsewhere. This is one of the places to visit in Gokarna.

Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar Temple

Near the Mahabaleswara is Kotirtha, the large cistern used by pilgrims for puja and Brahmins for daily ablutions. The point, after Ganesha’s intervention, is in the center of the temple despite Ravana’s intention to take him elsewhere. Near the Mahabaleswara is Kotirtha, the large cistern used by pilgrims for puja and Brahmins for daily ablutions.

3. Kudle Beach

The most beautiful beach in Gokarna. To get there you have to go hiking so unthinkable to drag suitcases. It is one of the last hippie outposts in India, dotted with small resorts offering simple and basic rooms and a series of restaurants where you can also drink beer.

Kudle Beach

Often lacking hot water and just as often light. At sunset, it is easy to see Westerners doing yoga and tai chi or listening to impromptu music with local drums. In the evening the only entertainment is walking on the beach and socializing with those you meet. This is one of the popular place to visit in Gokarna at night to hangout with your friends.

4. Gokarna Beach

Though the main beach of Gokarna is not the most preferred one by tourists, it is a must-visit for pilgrims. As per the religious customs, pilgrims are expected to visit the Mahabaleshwar Temple only after a dip in the waters of this beach.

The beach may not look very pretty due to a lot of litter, but an early morning stroll along it can be a refreshing experience. However, it gets crowded and filthy as the day progresses as it is located right behind the Mahabaleshwar Temple.

Gokarna Beach

It’s a part of the Arabian Sea is quite unkempt so swimming here is not recommended. The view is quite better as you move north or towards Kudle Beach, which is less crowded and serene.

The beach lacks any sort of cafes or shacks, but many make-shift shops selling temple paraphernalia pop up during special days like Shivarathri to cater to the needs of the pilgrims.

5. Half Moon Beach

Beaches are splendid but a broad and verdant jungle overlooking a never-ending stretch of Arabian Ocean is ecstatic. This beach is such awareness where you get to fit into place in myriads of activities like swimming, kayaking, paddle boats, trekking, camping, etc. 

Half Moon Beach

Half-moon is individual of the beaches in Gokarna which you can also pace up to it in a scenic trek starting from Gokarna beach and cover the famous five Gokarna beaches in one go.

This beach derives its name from the shape of it which resembles a half-moon. Most excellent time to visit is from November to March. Activities and Water Sports are swimming, kayaking, paddle boats, trekking.

6. Koti Tirtha

Visited by many tourists, this place has colorful temples spread over 6 acres of land. Some devotees prefer having a dip in the pond before entering the temple.

Koti Tirtha
Koti Tirtha

The Shiva Lingam is placed in the center of the pond. The coconut trees give a slight green hue to the pond, creating an amazing atmosphere.

7. Paradise Beach

The best thing about Gokarna was without a doubt our Full Moon experience at Paradise Beach. A small remote cove, which you can only access by foot or by boat.

The days of the full moon (and certainly many others) people gather to spend the night there, sleeping in tents or hammocks among palm trees. Like Mowgli’s.

Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach

The Chechis team (sisters in Hindi) got up in the morning to go to the village of Gokarna to do our survival shopping. Four hammocks, a bag full of fish, fruit, vegetables, anti-mosquito cream and water.

8. Bhdrakali Temple

This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Uma, the wife of Lord Shiva, who is also considered to be the protector of the town. It is located at a distance of 1 kilometer from Gokarna.

Bhdrakali Temple
Bhdrakali Temple

It is said that when the demon Vetrasur conquered the three lokas, the trinity of Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva created a feminine warrior, Durge, who was given all the powers to defeat the demon, after which she was named Bhadrakali by Shiva.

There are two lions and warrior statues in front of the temple that is said to represent the power of Goddess Bhadrakali. You can also read about the mysterious temples in India.

9. Maha Ganpati Temple

Located just a few kilometers away from Mahabaleshwar Temple, Maha Ganapati Temple is a renowned shrine with a 1.3 meter high black stone idol of Lord Ganesha. This temple is usually visited before heading to the main Mahabaleshwar Temple.

Maha Ganpati Temple
Maha Ganpati Temple

It was built in honor of Lord Ganesha for succeeding to take away the Atma Linga from Ravana. The architecture in this temple is something magnificent to witness.

If you are looking for some peaceful time in a tranquil space then this temple is a must-visit.

10. Nirvana Beach

The entrancing environs of Nirvana beach make you feel like you are in an unreal setting. The beach has a very long shoreline and you hardly find fellow travelers around as it is little off the beaten.

If you are traveling to Nirvana beach, you are suggested to carry food and water as there are no such facilities. 

Nirvana Beach
Nirvana Beach

Swimming is a great sport to indulge in but due to the absence of lifeguard and much civilization, you must avoid going deep as the ocean has strong currents. Also, you can visit some of the best places in Gokarna.

11. Shiva Cave

This is one of the places to visit in Gokarna. It is a fascinating place to visit on your visit to Gokarna which is not much popular among tourists yet. Shiva Cave is a motivating place that people should visit. 

With its shady interiors, tourists are advised to hold a torch inside when they are visiting here. It is also home to many bats and has an interesting legend associated with it.

Shiva Cave
Shiva Cave

With its gorgeous surroundings, Shiva Cave is an incredible place to visit for everyone. It is a Shiva Temple where devotees come to seek fulfillment of their wishes. Best Time to visit is November to February is the best time to visit Shiva Cave in Gokarna.

12. Namaste Cafe

For backpackers and budget travelers, Gokarna has always been a less glamorous but equally gorgeous alternative to Goa. It’s also less crowded and easier on the pocket. So, if you plan to explore the seaside retreat’s beaches any time soon, then, Namaste Cafe is ideal to set up base.

Located on Om Beach, the place is a short drive from Gokarna’s main town area {you can easily get an auto ride from the bus station or the town itself.

Namaste Cafe
Namaste Cafe

Namaste Cafe is at one conclusion of Om Beach and is made up of a series of mud-brown cottages that are built on a slant by the beach. What they have on tender are basic, solid rooms with the bare minimum {beds, dresser and a clean bathroom}.

If you are the kind of traveler who needs little else than a clean bed to sleep on while on the road, then, Namaste Cafe is perfect for you.

13. Mahalasa Temple

This temple was built 150 years ago with an idol of Sri Siddhivinayak. It is also known as Shri Mahalasa Siddhivinayak Temple and it is located 10 kilometers away from the main bus station. This is a beautiful temple that needs to be on your must-see list in Gokarna.

Mahalasa Temple
Mahalasa Temple

There are festivals celebrated here that are a treat to watch.The best time to visit is during the festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi and Shravana Sankashti. It is one of the most famous and peaceful places in gokarna where you can visit in two days with your family members.

We hope that we have covered all the Places to Visit in Gokarna, Karnataka.
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13 Top Places to Visit in Gokarna, Karnataka


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