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About Gokarna

Gokarna is a city located in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, and is etymologically translated to ‘cow’s ear.’ According to popular mythological belief, it is the place where Lord Shiva emerged from the incarnation of Mother Earth in the form of a cow. Interspersed with ancient temples, the town is home to one of the oldest temples since time immemorial known as Mahabaleshwar, enshrined with Lord Shiva. The town is about 59 km from Karwar, 483 km from Bengaluru, and 238 km from Mangalore.

Furthermore, the rustic outlook of the town has attracted the attention of a lot of travelers and foreigners. There are several beaches, pilgrimage sights, and waterfalls that are reverberating tourist attractions. In fact, the town is situated around the River Aghanashini, which is considered to be deemed and sacred site for devotees.

However, due to the recent tourist influx, the town attracts both adrenaline seekers and those looking for spiritual solace. It is the town of golden beaches named after the way they are shaped like Om Beach and Half Moon Beach. Paradise Beach does no injustice to its name! The tall palm trees, serene waves of the ocean gushing towards the rocks, and the evenings spent watching the sun melting into the ocean add a surrealistic appeal to the place.

Apart from beaches, there is the Mahabaleshwar Temple that attracts many devotees and saints. Yana is another dainty town located in the vicinity of Gokarna, whose lavish surroundings and rocky terrain is perfect for activities like cycling and trekking. Mountaineering is another popular sport.

The serene beaches pose as perfect sites for watersport activities like surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and jet skiing. If you want to indulge in watersport activities, then the best time to visit the place is post-monsoon, from September to December. Winters in Gokarna are flamboyant, with a mildly cold climate and lush green surroundings. Summers in Gokarna are hot and humid, followed by the showers that cool the surroundings down with heavy rainfall.

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Gokarna FAQ's

Which are the best trekking trails In Gokarna?

1. Paradise Beach to Half Moon Beach: The serene views and the quiet surroundings of Paradise and Half Moon Beach make this trek one of the most peaceful treks. The trek is comparatively easier than the other ones in Gokarna and is best done during the morning or before sunset.

2. Kudle Beach to Om Beach:
Kudle Beach and Om Beach have a tiny hill in the middle which you can trek on for some of the most stunning panoramic views of the ocean. Try and finish this trek during the sunset to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunset from the top of the hill.

3. Half Moon Beach to Om Beach:
The trek between the Half Moon beach and Om beach is great for devouring the beautiful views of the coastal town of Gokarna. Stop at one of the shacks to taste the seafood delicacies around Om beach to take a refreshing break from the trek.

4. Paradise Beach to Belekan Beach:
The trek from Paradise beach to Belekan beach is one of the most beautiful and relaxing ones. The quiet beaches and secluded areas during the trek will surely calm you down.

Which are the famous places to visit in Gokarna?

If you are a devotee, adrenaline seeker, or somebody looking for solace and peace, Gokarna is the perfect place for you. Here are some of the famous attractions of Gokarna.

1. Om BeachOm Beach, located in Gokarna, has a spiritual significance as the beach matches the symbol 'Om.' You can see the unison of two diverse pieces of land here that have a semi-crescent shape that gives it a distinct identity.

The sand granules of this beach are extremely delicate, and the rocks are equally astounding. Also, fishermen boats are present throughout the shores, who organize the fishing activity for tourists in the deep sea. You can also try here other adventurous activities like dolphin spotting, banana boat ride, and jet-skiing.

Location: Gokarna, Karnataka 581326.

2. Nirvana BeachSecluded from the scores of crowds and offering solace to those seeking to unwind by the coastline makes Nirvana Beach a must-visit place in Gokarna. This is one of the offbeat places in the town where one can dive into the cool blue waters and enjoy a refreshing getaway. Experiencing the sunset and sunrise from this beach is absolute bliss.

Location: Gokarna, Karnataka 581351.
Timing: 4 AM- 6:30 PM.

3. Half Moon BeachThis popular tourist attraction in Gokarna is reminiscent of the shape of a half-moon. It is considered to be a paradise for those looking to enjoy adventurous activities like beach trekking.  The beach is recognized for its clear sparkling sands against the crystalline blue waters.

Away from the huge crowd, the beach is a pleasant spot to enjoy some of the fun activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling.  You can also enjoy scrumptious food at the cafes and beach shacks located nearby.

Location: Gokarna, Karnataka 581326.
Timing: 12 hours from 6 am to 6 pm.

4. Paradise BeachThe beach is an ideal place to spend your night gazing at the stars and moon and trying activities like canoeing and jet-skiing. There is a freshwater well at the beach, which makes lodging a great choice for adventurers. The water currents at the beach are believed to be very strong, and it is not an appropriate spot for swimming.

Location: Patong's Beach Road, Gokarna.
Timing: 9AM-6PM.

5. Mirjan FortThe Mirjan Fort is flanked by the shores of the Agnanishi River and is loaded with large roofs and bastions. There are four main approaches to the fort, each of which is laid out by steps built out of laterite stone. It is sprinkled with several wells linked to the channel. You can walk through the history of Gokarna by visiting this beach.

Location: talluk, Mirjan Fort Road, Mirjan, Karnataka 581333.

6. Koti TirthaKoti Tirtha is located close to Mahabaleshwar Temple and is considered to be a spiritual stopover as the tourists take a dip in the pond before visiting the religious places in the area. This popular and sacred man-made tank holds great reverence amongst the locals and tourists alike, as it is known to purify their souls by washing away their sins.

Location: Kotiteertha, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326.
Timings: From 12 am to 12 pm.

7. Mahabaleshwara TempleLocated on the Kothi Teertha Road in Gokarna, this 4th-century temple has a 1500-year-old deity of Lord Shiva. There is a popular belief that the deity will bestow immense blessings on devotees who just get a glimpse of it. This popular tourist attraction is a beautiful masterpiece of Dravidian art and culture for tourists to appreciate.

Location:Koti Tirtha Rd, Kotiteertha, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326.
Timings: 6 am to 12:30 pm and 5 pm to 8:30 pm.

Checkout these Gokarna Tour Packages for your next trip.

What are the best things to do in Gokarna?

There are innumerable adventurous and serene activities in Gokarna for all visitors who walk in here –

1. Scuba Diving: Owing to the rich coastline of Gokarna, scuba diving here is a must and offers you a chance to witness sea animals like sea cucumbers and clownfishes! After being given the basic training by a divemaster, you are taken by a boat to witness the underwater world.

Location: Om Beach, Kudle Beach, and the diving site close to Murudeshwar.
Entry Fee/Price (Only if applicable): around 5000 INR per person.

2. Dolphin Spotting in GokarnaThe tropical weather and sparkling waters are ideal for an exciting dolphin spotting trip in Gokarna. Om Beach is one of the best sites to witness the dolphins playing around and jumping in the water.

Timing: 10 am to 3 pm.
Entry Fee/Price (Only if applicable): Rs 500 per person.

3. Jet Skiing: Enjoy a fun session of jet skiing with your friends and family at the beautiful Om Beach that is embraced with the soothing currents of the Arabian Sea. Grab your life jacket and get ready to create some everlasting memories as you cruise through the waves while enjoying this activity.

Timing: 10-15 minutes per session.
Entry Fee/Price (Only if applicable): around 1000 INR per person.

4. Fishing in Gokarna: One can experience the joy of fishing at the pristine Om Beach and Kundle Beach in Gokarna, where the water is ideal for enjoying this activity. If you're inexperienced, then the local fishermen will also assist you in knowing about the tidbits of this activity. The activity is around an hour-long, and the prices vary depending on the mediator.

Timing: The activity begins around 10 am.

5. Banana Boat Ride in Gokarna: This 10 to 15-minute mini-adventure will be a fun-filled experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. Hold on tight as the boats take you away from the shoreline and then bring you back towards the shore. Both experienced as well as novices can enjoy this jovial water-based activity, and a guide is always there to assist you.

Entry Fee/Price (Only if applicable): 700 INR to 1000 INR per.

6. Beach Trekking and CampingOne can set up tents and trek up to and from the number of exotic beaches of Gokarna for an authentic experience. You can also mingle with the locals while trekking through the popular beaches like Om Paradise Beach and Nirvana Beach.

These beaches have long stretches of sand that are an absolute delight for the trekking enthusiasts. The beaches of Gokarna are so famous that it is often called the beach town of Karnataka. This is the reason that most of the tourists and trekkers also enjoy camping close to these beaches.

7. Shopping: If you’re in Gokarna then shopping at the Flea market should be the most preferred activity to stock up souvenirs for your family. Gift items like artificial jewelry, magazines, and a range of fancy products that will coil up your memories in Gokarna can be bought from here. However, without good bargaining skills, it is generally not very much possible to crack a fair deal in the Flea Market.

Also Checkout: Nightlife In Gokarna

What are the best adventure activities to do in Gokarna?

You can enjoy a variety of adventure sports in Gokarna and have the best moments of your life.

1. Jet Skiing: Getting on a motorbike and moving it around in the waters never gets boring at the famous Gokarna beaches. It is advised that the noobs take a guide with them for some initial help.

2. Snorkeling: There is no shortage of snorkeling sites in Gokarna, for a fun and leisure experience. The Gokarna water is claimed to be rip tide free and very suitable for this activity. An entirely different world awaits for you as you take a plunge into the deep waters of Om Beach.

3. River Rafting: The clean white waters of the Uttara Kannada region are ideal for a river rafting adventure. This is one of the most sought after adventurous activities due to good weather, high-intensity tides, and several agencies present here. While bobbing down the water rushing through the deep gorges, you're up for limitless adventure and fun.

4. Scuba DivingAll the water sports lovers should once try Scuba diving at Gokarna which is much cheaper and easier as compared to other famous beach destinations. Netrani Island is the best location for scuba diving as you can see a large variety of marine life.

What is the best time to visit Gokarna?

March to October is considered to be the best time to visit Gokarna due to the pleasant weather and temperature that ranges around 32 degrees Celsius. This time is also ideal for enjoying most of the adventurous activities in the beaches of Gokarna as the tides are low.

What can I buy in Gokarna?

You can buy a variety of different things in Gokarna such as:

-Incense sticks
-Brass lamps
-Picture frames
-Prayer beads
-Psychedelic T-shirts
-Hippie clothes
-Musical instruments
-Homemade soaps

Is Gokarna beach safe?

Yes, Gokarna beach is extremely safe as it is always brimming with the crowd, and it has many lifeguards who'll take care of your safety. There is a constant patrolling on the beach so that you stay extremely safe while enjoying water-based activities at this beach.

How many days are enough for Gokarna?

Two days are enough to have an enthralling tour of Gokarna. You can reserve day one to witness the beaches and enjoy water based activities. On the second day, you can shop for souvenirs at flea markets, and you can have a tour of the temples.

Which are the best water sports to do in Gokarna?

Gokarna has one of the most loved beaches across India, where you can try some of the crazy water sports.

1. Banana Boat Ride:
This water sport is the best of all as it is full of thrill and gives you a memorable experience which you never imagined. The sharp twist and turn of the boat upside-down will give you a unique experience. Two of the most loved beaches, the Om beach, and the Gokarna beach, are ideal to try this water sports activity.

2. Scuba Diving:
Explore the underwater sea beauties as you dive into the famous beaches of Gokarna. This adventure activity can be experienced at the Om beach, Gokarna Beach, or Kudle Beach. You'll also witness a varied range of corals as well as beautiful sea flowers while trying this activity.

3. Parasailing:
The exciting sport involves two major components – a big parachute and a quick speedboat. Considered to be the most thrilling beach sports activity, it gives you the bird's eye view of the coastlines of Gokarna. A strong rope is attached to the parachute at one end and the speed boat on the other end into which you are securely harnessed.

Which are the best places for shopping in Gokarna?

Splurging in the local Gokarna markets is a sheer delight. Get ready to bargain to get a good price though.

1. Street shopping:
Small local shops carry trinkets and interesting products for you to purchase.
2. Temple shopping: While the loca shops share quite a variety of products, shops around the temples sell more religious souvenirs like the statues, spices, flowers and incense sticks etc.

Which are the best places for scuba diving in Gokarna?

Here are the most popular scuba diving sites in Gokarna.

1. Netrani Island:
This is the ideal site for scuba diving adventure in Gokarna, where you can spot a variety of sea animals like sea cucumbers and rays. If you're a novice in this field, then you can also take the guidance of an instructor before trying this activity.

2. Om Beach:
Brace yourself for the best experience of your life as you enjoy an amazing scuba diving adventure at Om Beach. You'll not only get to explore the underwater world of this beach, but you'll also witness coral reefs and seashells while enjoying this activity.

What is the best local food in Gokarna? Where can I get to try it out?

Due to its religious background, several places serve only vegetarian food. However, its proximity from the sea also makes it possible to access some authentic seafood dishes. You could try the authentic Karnataka dishes or even order in for a complete thali. Some of the local restaurants to try out are as below.

1. Mahalaxmi Restaurant: Backpacker haven known for its Banana pancakes and Indian curries.
2. Prema: A multi cuisine restaurant known for its Icecreams and Italian dishes.
3. Shree Shakti Restaurant: One of the oldest restaurants that has been around for over 3 decades. Its known for its sweet lassi.
4. Dolphin View Restaurant: A vegetarian only restaurant known especially for its Masala Cashew Curry paired best with rice.
5. Namaste Cafe: Seafood lovers should definitely check this out. It is known for its King fish sizzler and other delectable cuisines like mexican and Israeli.

What are the famous pilgrimage spots in Gokarna?

The temples have a significant history surrounding them. While Shiva is the main deity, there are several temples that are a must-visit.

1. Mahabaleshwara: It is a classic example of the beauty of Dravidian architecture. It Faces Karwar city and the Arabian Sea.
2. Koti Tirtha: Man made tank is surrounded by temples and used to immerse the Idols.
3. Maha Ganpati Temple: As per legend, the temple was made to honor boy Ganesha for deceiving Ravana and keeping him from completing his penance.

Gokarna Reviews

Traveller image gallery
Ashish Sarswat
Reviewed: 02 Jan 2024
The trek was amazing. The group was fun too. Jayanth, out trek guide was fun and knowledgeable. Gokarna beaches are must to visit. Bus ride is memorable. Would love to do it again sometime.
Ashish Sarswat
Ashish Sarswat
Ashish Sarswat
Ashish Sarswat
Ashish Sarswat
Ashish Sarswat
(6+)View All
Reviewed: 29 Nov 2023
Nice management with awesome people and beautiful view. A excellent budget trip to enjoy hustle free on weekends.
(3+)View All
Khushboo Goyal
Reviewed: 08 Mar 2023
Nice experience to stay near beach.. go through the trek near beach.. and see the amazing views.
Khushboo Goyal
Khushboo Goyal
Khushboo Goyal
Khushboo Goyal
Khushboo Goyal
Khushboo Goyal
(4+)View All
Bhisham Gandhi
Reviewed: 17 Jun 2016
gokarana is sch a lovely place to be at. Few of my friends planned this trip tp relax after a busy work schedule. beautiful town and i think you get some positive vibes and hippy vibes.. beautiful beach to take a swim with less people, and stay was also very refreshing. the food at the place is dece... Read More
Bhisham Gandhi
Bhisham Gandhi
Bhisham Gandhi
Bhisham Gandhi
Bhisham Gandhi
Bhisham Gandhi
(21+)View All
Saleh Javeed
Reviewed: 21 Mar 2023
Great experience really enjoyed the trip the guide and bus driver were really good we enjoyed a lot with their support as well and the entire group was really good loved the trip a good memorable trip would love to go again in future with such group and guide 
Saleh Javeed
Saleh Javeed
Saleh Javeed
Saleh Javeed
Saleh Javeed
Saleh Javeed
(3+)View All
Surbhi Keshri
Reviewed: 25 Oct 2023
We had very good experience. It was fun and interactive.
surbhi keshri
surbhi keshri
surbhi keshri
surbhi keshri
surbhi keshri
surbhi keshri

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