Gokarna, popularly known as temple town is located in the Kumta taluk of Uttara Karnataka. The city is about 484 kms from Bangalore city. The main attraction of this town is the Mahabaleshwar Temple, which houses the Atmalinga. The meaning of the word ‘Gokarna’ is “Cow’s Ear”. This sacred place is located between the Gangavali and Agnashini river mouth and it is named for the ear-shaped meeting of two rivers.
The city is one of the rare places of the country that are holy pilgrimage centers which also attract leisure tourists with equal ease. The beautiful temples and the attractive beaches here make the place a prominent tourist destination. The city is also famous for its beaches. Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Gokarna Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise Beach are the five main beaches of the city. Each of these beaches has their own specialties. Gokarna Beach is the most crowded beach, due to its close proximity to the Mahabaleshwar Temple. The largest of these five beaches, is the Kudle Beach, where the peak tourist season time is from November to February. If you are interested in surfing, then Om Beach will be the best choice. Here, you can see the natural formation of the holy Om symbol. The curve of the symbol forms a pool which is a safe bathing area for even non-swimmers.
Half Moon Beach is another beautiful about twenty minute walks from Om Beach. You have to take the path around a hillock to reach there. The shape of the beach resembles the shape of a half moon, and hence the name.
Paradise Beach is another beautiful rocky beach, but it is not ideal for swimming as waves constantly crash violently on the rocky shores. There are many small shacks providing accommodation along with many small shops and modern eateries.
Beach trekking is the main tourist activity in this town. Because of the humid conditions of the shore, these trekking trails from the Belekhan Village and can end it at Kudle Beach, if not vise versa. You can enjoy the scenic beach side walk, can climb the boulders and cross several beautiful beaches.
Every morning in the town fills your mind with sacredness and spirituality. The small shacks and eateries here offer its visitors many delicious local cuisines, mainly sea food dishes. You will also get to taste some fresh caught fish like Pomfret and Kingfish. There are also many small eateries serving snacks like bhelpuri and authentic South Indian dishes.
Holiday Seaside Villas and Beach house rentals in the city provide all the required amenities for the travellers in budget rates. But during the peak season, ie; from October to March, the rates may vary. So it is best to do prior bookings in these holiday rental accommodations.
Gokarna is easily accessible by road and rail transport. The nearest railway station is Gokarna Road which is about 6 km away from the town. The other nearby railway stations are Ankola, Kumta, Karwar and Madgaon. The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport in Goa which is about 140 km away. You can take a taxi from the airport to reach Gokarna.