The numerous Gokarna places are known all across the country for their presentation of the rich and elegant culture of South India. Snuggled amidst tall coconut and palm trees with the ocean acting as the backdrop, this temple town is also at the centre of quite a few popular Indian legends and epics related to the Hindu mythology.
Of the many Gokarna tourist places, the beaches here are the most popular. Still quite untouched and extremely idyllic, these beaches are frequented by those who wish to escape from the busy city life. Moreover, the presence of old temples also makes Gokarna a famous centre of pilgrimage. There are many tourist attractions and places to visit in Gokarna, and all of them tend to surprise the tourists at some point or the other during their visit. This is the best place to be, if you are in search of a quiet, peaceful time, with, or without others.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Gokarna:
Brace yourself for a scenic getaway with a trip to Om Beach when you are in Gokarna. One of the most picturesque attractions in Gokarna, Om Beach is known for its serene landscape. Om Beach is a wonderful respite for adventure junkies who love to exult in the thrill of various water activities.
One of the most splendid features of this beach is that it is shaped like the symbol ‘Om’ and attracts scores of crowds who wish to relax and unwind. Although the beach is unparalleled in natural ch beauty among sightseeing places in Gokarna, it is relatively less crowded and charms the visitors with its rejuvenating ambience. It is also the starting point of the Gokarna Beach trek.
For those who are fond of photography and loves to indulge in laid-back strolls, Om Beach is one place that will go down the memory lanes forever.
Location: Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: October to March is the most preferred time to visit Om Beach.
Activities: The most popular activities at Om Beach are banana boat rides, dolphin spotting, fishing, bumper boat ride, jet skiing and beachside trekking.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is approximately 6 kilometres from the bus station.
Shaped like a perfect ‘C’, Kudle Beach is one of the most beautiful Gokarna tourist places that you’l ever come across. Flanked by coconut trees, Kudle Beach is a wonderful retreat for the lovers of peace and quiet.
The sheer beauty and simplicity of the beach is a breathtaking surprise and people visit this beach to enjoy the serene surroundings. Kudle Beach is most famous for offering a spectacular sunset and sunrise in Gokarna.
Attracting scores of tourists, mostly foreigners and backpackers, Kudle Beach is a beach haven to enjoy a leisurely stroll or indulge in some enterprising ventures like swimming, surfing and beach trekking in Gokarna.
There are also many beach shacks and makeshift bamboo huts where people can spend the night on the beach and appreciate the wonder of glistening waters in the light of the moon.
Location: Kudle Beach, Gokarna
Best Time to visit: November to February is the best time to visit Kudle Beach.
Timings: It is advisable to visit the beach from 4 am to 6:30 pm.
Activities: Trekking, yoga, surfing etc.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is about 6 kilometres away from the bus station.
Listed as one of the most attractive sightseeing places in Gokarna, Half Moon Beach boasts of beautiful surroundings. The beach derives its name based on its shape like a half moon.
Half Moon Beach is known for its clean sparkling sands against the transparent blue waters. Mostly famous for foreign travellers and backpackers, Half Moon Beach is a great place to relax and unwind.
Half Moon Beach can be visited by a hike from Om Beach which is a thrilling enterprise. Away from all the crowds, this beach is a wonderful destination to indulge in some fun activities as well as indulge in enjoying some mouth-watering food available at the beach shacks nearby.
This beach is an idyllic escape from the noise of the city or enjoys some classic beach activities like sunbathing or swimming.
Location: Half Moon Beach, Gokarna
Best Time to visit: The ideal time to pay a visit to the Half Moon Beach is between October and March
Timings: Tourists can visit here any time from 6 am to 6 pm.
Activities: Swimming, canoeing, paddle boats, paintball, camping, and cabins
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: Half Moon Beach is located approximately 5 kilometres away from the bus station in Gokarna.
Also renowned as the Full Moon Beach, Paradise Beach is a great spot to relax away from all the civilization in the realm of nature. It a splendid place for those interested in camping and relaxing seeing the blue waves of the ocean crash against the rocks on the white sands. Swimming is one of the most surreal activities which you can indulge in after taking due precautions of safety from the strong currents of the ocean.
One can reach this beach after a small hiking adventure from the Half Moon Beach in Gokarna. It can also be reached via a motor boat. This beach was once a popular hotspot for trading weed and many foreigners flocked here. However, now all the commercial activities are prohibited here. There are also not much of water sports, but tourists can bask in the serene surroundings and relax and unwind at Paradise Beach.
Location: Paradise Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: Paradise Beach is best to visit from the month of October to March for tourists.
Timings: The beach can be visited from the time of sunrise to sunset every day.
Activities: Camping, swimming,
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is around 8 kilometres away from the bus station.
Namaste Café is one of the most eminent attractions in Gokarna located on Om Beach. This beach front restaurant offers an ideal space for tourists who want to dwell on the splendid views of the sea with a spectacular plate of food on their tables.
Whether you fancy a quiet stroll to feel the sands on the beach or wish to relax in picturesque vistas, Namaste Café is the place to be. This serene property offers a lot of stay options where you can just relax and unwind in Gokarna. It offers unrestricted access to the beach and is an ideal pick for backpackers and budget travellers.
The café also offers exotic dishes to get you in the beach bumming mood along with offering compact rooms to make your stay pleasant in Gokarna.
Location: Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: Tourists can visit Namaste Café anytime throughout the year.
Entry fee: A room at Namaste Café costs INR 1080/ USD
Timings: The check in time is 1 pm while the check out time is 11 am.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: The distance between the two places is 6.3 kilometres.
Gokarna beach is amongst the popular places to visit in Gokarna for many reasons. It is the main beach that is located close to Mahabaleshwar Temple and frequented by the tourists who visit here.
It is considered holy to take a dip in the waters by the Gokarna Beach before visiting the temple complex and worship Lord Shiva. This beautiful beach is a must visit for nature lovers and offers a scenic retreat for all the tourists in Gokarna. It also boasts of stunning beach stays where people can spend some quality time with nature in Gokarna.
The most amazing time to visit the beach is during the festival of Shivratri when it is the most resplendent. Though there aren’t many shacks or cafes here but this beach is one of the most crowded places in Gokarna at times.
However, tourists can always visit Gokarna Beach during the time of sunrise to enjoy a laid-back stroll with a beautiful scenery in front of the eyes.
Location: Gokarna Beach Road, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: October to March is the best time to visit Gokarna Beach.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is approximately one kilometre away from the bus station in Gokarna.
Mirjan Fort is a majestic masterpiece of architecture that one can find standing gloriously on the banks of Aghanashini river. The fort has many historical events associated with it which makes it a delight for history buffs in Gokarna.
It is believed to be built under the patronage of Queen Chennabharadevi, famously known as pepper queen of India in the 16th century. This fort which was once an important centre the spice trade was later captured by the British who used it for their armoury.
It is encompassed by a mesmerising landscape and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. This magnificent fort in Mirjan speaks of the great history of the region and housed some intriguing artefacts like Chinese Porcelain, clay tablets with Islamic inscriptions and gold coins attributed to Portuguese Viceroy Conde De Sarzedas that were excavated by ASI in 2001.
Location: Mirjan Fort, talluk, Mirjan Fort Road, Mirjan, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: The fort can be visited throughout the year by tourists. However, the monsoon months are preferred to witness the breathtaking greenery around the fort.
Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm are the visiting hours at Mirjan Fort
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is 22 kilometres away from Gokarna bus station.
One of the most sacred places to visit in Gokarna, Koti Tirtha is a popular man-made tank that holds great reverence among the locals and tourists.
This tank is encompassed by beautiful temples all around and used for ritual bathing and immersing idols. As per one popular legend in Gokarna, Koti Tirtha is believed to be the origin of a thousand springs.
Koti Tirtha is situated close to the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple and attracts pilgrims who visit the temple to perform rituals and pay respect to the ancestors.
This sacred pond is used by devotees to take a bath and offers a quaint spiritual ambience for all those who seek a religious rendezvous.
Location: Koti Teertha, Kotiteertha, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: It can be visited throughout the year.
Timings: The timings to visit here are from 12:00 am to 12:00 pm
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is just 700 metres from the bus station in Gokarna.
If you’re looking for offbeat places to visit in Gokarna, then you should add Nirvana Beach to your itinerary for the trip. This beach is secluded from the throngs of crowds and offers recluse to those who wish to have some beach time to enjoy the peace and quiet.
People here can dive into the cool blue waters and enjoy a refreshing getaway.
One of the gorgeous features of this beach is the beautiful stretch that makes it an absolute delight for watching the sunset and sunrise. It is quite isolated and one can look forward to have a great time with friends and family whether it’s for a picnic or other fun activities on the beach.
With beautiful surroundings and its tranquil setting, Nirvana Beach is one of the most serene places you will see in Gokarna.
Location: Nirvana Beach, Kumta, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: The ideal time to visit this beach in Gokarna is from November to February.
Activities: Swimming, picnicking etc.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: The distance between the two places is approximately 10 kilometres via a ferry.
If you’re looking for the religious places to visit in Gokarna, then Bhadrakali Temple should definitely be on your list. Dedicated to Goddess Uma who is the main deity, this temple is a popular pilgrimage centre.
It is a popular legend which says that when a demon known as Vetrasur seized control of the three lokas, the trinity of Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva created a female warrior called Durge. She was given various powers by the gods to defeat the demon and after that Lord Shiva re-christened her as Bhadrakali.
She was sent to Gokarna and now believed to be known as the protector of the town. Another legend associated with the temple says that Lord Cishnuto requested the goddess to stay in Gokarna after Ravana abandoned her.
Location: Sri Bhadrakali Temple, Main Rd, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: The temple can be visited any time throughout the year in Gokarna
Timings: Bhadrakali Temple is open from 5:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is just 650 metres (approximately 8 minutes) away from the bus station in Gokarna.
Showcasing the brilliance of the classic Dravidian architecture, Mahabaleshwara Temple is one of the must visit Gokarna tourist places. The 4th century temple in Gokarna is most famous for its Shiva Linga known as Atma Linga that is worshipped here and also known as Dakshin Kashi, often being paralleled to the Shiva Temple at Varanasi.
This major temple in Gokarna has a 1500-year-old deity that is carved stone of Lord Shiva. If you’re seeking a spiritual retreat, Mahabaleshwara Temple in Gokarna will refresh your soul and offer a peaceful retreat with the Almighty.
According to one popular legend, it is believed that the deity of the temple will bestow immense blessings to devotees to those who just get a glimpse of it. For fans of art and culture too, Mahabaleshwara Temple is a beautiful masterpiece for the tourists to appreciate.
Location: Koti Teertha Road, Kotiteertha, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: The temple can be visited anytime throughout the year.
Timings: It is open from 6:00 am to 12:30 pm and then from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is just 600 metres away from the bus station in Gokarna.
Known as one of the best Gokarna places to visit and the cleanest beach in town, Baada Beach is a place you should definitely visit when you are here for a holiday. In order to reach Baada Beach, one has to partake an exciting beach trek from Kirki to Gokarna.
Surrounded by hills on both sides, this beach is quite peaceful, somewhere you can escape to for some solitude and rejuvenation. It also offers stunning views of the sunset. So, you can spend some quality time sitting on the rocks while capturing the beautiful sights here.
Location: Baad Beach, Gudeangadi, Kumta, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: The ideal time to visit Baada Beach is from November to February.
Activities: Trekking is one of the most preferred activities at Baada Beach.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is 16 kilometres away from the bus station that involves a ferry route.
Shiva Cave is a fascinating place to visit on your visit to Gokarna that is not much popular among tourists yet. Consisting of a Shiva Lingam, Shiva Cave is an interesting place that people should visit.
With its dark interiors, tourists are advised to carry a torch inside when they are visiting here. It is also home to many bats and has an interesting legend associated with it.
With its beautiful surroundings, Shiva Cave is an amazing place to visit for everyone. There is a Shiva Temple where devotees come to seek fulfilment of their wishes.
Location: Gokarna Kudle Road, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: November to February is the best time to visit Shiva Cave in Gokarna
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is approximately 5.5 kilometres away from the Gokarna Bus Stand.
One of the most Gokarna tourist places for nature lovers, Lalgulli Falls is a mind-blowing natural creation. It is located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka and draws in scores of tourists every year to witness its picturesque ambience and peaceful setting. The waterfall is surrounded by verdant greenery that adds to the beauty of this place.
Lalgulli Falls is a popular place for people coming along with their families or friends to picnic at the waterfall. Tourists at Lalgulli Falls can also partake in a number of thrilling activities like trekking, river rafting and other water sports at River Kali.
The natural beauty of Lalgulli Falls is also blessed with a number of birds making it a delight for bird-watchers. When visiting this place, tourists can also pay a visit to a Hanuman Temple that is located near the hill.
Location: Lalguli Falls, Lalguli, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: October to December is the best time to visit Lalgulli Falls.
Timings: The waterfall can be visited any day of the week from 8 am to 7 pm.
Distance from Bus Station (Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda, Gokarna): The distance between the two places is approximately 90 kilometres.
One of the most famous religious Gokarna tourist places is the Mahalasa Temple. It is one place that you should most definitely not miss out on when on a trip to Gokarna. Also known as Shri Mahalasa Siddhivinayaka Temple, it is easily accessible from the main bus station in town.
Built almost 150 years ago, the temple has an idol of Shri Siddhivinayak, or Lord Ganesha, installed here. It is said that the best time to visit this ancient yet religiously important temple is during Ganesh Chaturthi, Ashwin Shashti and Shravana Sankashti when locals here celebrate Lord Ganesha with opulence and grandeur.
Location: Gokarna Road, Madangeri, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: Any time throughout the year is good for visiting Mahalasa Temple in Gokarna.
Timings: It is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is around 10 kilometres away from the Gokarna Bus Stand.
Another one of the famous Gokarna tourist places with religious significance is the Uppin Ganpati Temple. Also known as Vinayakar Temple, this beautiful temple has one of the most stunning architectures in Gokarna.
Formerly, this temple used to be dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is after the statue of Ganesha was brought here from Kumta, that the temple started to be dedicated to Lord Ganesh. The temple also has a main hall in addition to an arch. It also offers stunning vistas of the surrounding lush green areas.
Location: Uppin Ganapati, Kumta
Best Time to visit: Tourists can visit the temple throughout the year.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: The distance between the two places is approximately 35 kilometres.
One of the most popular places to visit in Gokarna, Maha Ganpati Temple draws in a number of pilgrims every day. It is located near the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple and dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
This temple boasts of a picturesque setting and the spiritual ambience accentuates the beauty of this temple. According to a popular legend, it is said that Ganesha tricked Ravana who was carrying a Shiva Lingam to drop it here and thus the temple was built on this place.
This serene place is visited by people to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha and wonder at the wonderful architecture of this place. For the history buffs, this temple is a great visit to appreciate the beauty of Dravidian architecture.
If you are seeking some refreshing time in the company of religion, then Maha Ganpati Temple is one of the must-visits in Gokarna.
Location: Ganapati Temple, Gangavali Road, Nadumaskeri, Gokarna, Karnataka
Best Time to visit: The most ideal time to visit the temple is from the month of August to December.
Timings: The temple can be visited any day of the week. The timings are 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda: It is approximately 5 kilometres away from the bus station in Gokarna.
Flanking the shores of Karnataka lies Murudeshwar Temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. This temple is nestled on a small hill called Kanduka and is surrounded by the Arabian sea from all the three sides. Murudeshwar temple showcases a contemporary work of architecture, and the main entrance of the temple which is also known as “Gopuram” stands at around 123 feets.
The Gopuram is guarded by two elephant statues. Another glorious structure in this temple is the huge idol of Shiva. This idol is the second largest statue of Shiva across the world and often fascinates the devotees towards it. A 237.5 feet tall Gopuram is located at the entrance and is also known as the Raja Gopuram.
The whole temple is lined with the most detailed and intricate carvings depicting Lord Shiva giving the teachings of the Geeta to Arjuna and Ravana, giving Atma Lingan to Lord Ganesha. A small temple devoted especially to Sri Rameshwara is also located at the backyard of the temple.
You can also have a glimpse of the shrine of Shaneeshwara placed close to the idol of Shiva. Murudeshwar Temple is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. This place especially gets jam packed during Maha Shivaratri when thousands of people from across the world visit this place to enjoy the celebration to the core.