Bangalore · India · Karnartaka

Gokarna: How to reach and what to do

The moment it came to my notice that 26th January is on Thursday, I decided to take Friday off and go for a trip. As I was planning for a solo trip for long I thought this might be a good time for it, and it was either Gokarna or Varkala. After some googling and considering the availability of home stay I decided to head towards Gokarna .

Gokarna, a small town less than a hundred kilometers south from Goa. The beaches of Gokarna are filled with guesthouses and homestays, it is also a pilgrimage site for Hindus. With the music of the waves, serene oceans, mouthwatering food,  beach hikes, this place has all the charm to please a traveler’s soul. Gokarna is a major pit stop on the traveller circuit, where peak season starts after mansson from around October to April, although I would recommend not to visit during summers as its gets really humid after February.

Reaching Gokarna:

Road – There are 2 ways to reach Gokarna by road, via Goa- Distance between Goa to Gokarna is around 150 KM another Via Bangalore-Distance between Bangalore and Gokarna is around 500 km. If you are travelling from Mumbai or Pune you can come Via Goa or Belagavi. Gokarna is well connected via bus from all the major places nearby.

Air – The nearest airport is in Dabolim in Goa, which is 140 kms away from Gokarna.

Rail- The nearest railway station is located in Ankola which is about 20 kilometers away from the region. You can easily get a taxi, auto from the railway station till your final destination.

Where to Stay:

Gokarna has a variety of options when it comes to stay ranging from huts, hotels homestays, hostels to tents. There are a lot of shacks on Kudle beach which also have hut with them, which in my view is the best place to stay. Zostel another option which is at a beautiful hill top and sea facing location, was at a walking distance from the Main Gokarna Beach and Kudle Beach. Though there are a lot of options to stay I suggest you to head to the famous Kudle beach for the beachfront shack stay. The huts will cost you anything between 500-700 rs per day with the view of beach, and you can easily cover all the beaches on your foot and also enjoy the jamming sessions which usually takes place at Kudle beach after sunset.

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Kudle Beach with Shacks on the right

Where to Eat:

There are a lot of cafes serving Mexican, Israeli and Indian delicacies. You can fill on their tempting seafood dishes here overlooking the Arabian sea. There are a lot of cafes around Kudle beach and Gokarna beach, visit Namaste Cafe on Om beach, Prema restaurant on Gokarna beach. There are cafes on all the beaches, even Paradise beach and half moon beach which are the most secluded beach hosts an Omelet Shop.

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Shack at Kudle Beach

Sight Seeing:

The best way to experience the beauty of Gokarna is to walk around the town and hike around the beaches. There are 5 main beaches in Gokarna, Gokarna Beach where you can find many practicing Yoga, Kudle Beach famous for its sunset and the jamming sessions after sunset you can also see hippies making  ornaments and selling them here. Om beach which in the shape of OM is another major attraction. Half Moon beach, this one is quite secluded and has only one food joint, Paradise Beach which is by far the not so spoilt beach in this town. The best way to spend time in Half Moon and Paradise beach is to make your tents and spend a night grazing the stars, listening to the music of waves. You can easily hike around all the beaches in Gokarna make sure to do it at least one side as the views are so mesmerizing that the rewards surpasses the effort. You can go to Gokarna town and pick up those dhoti pants, kurtas, colorful skirts, bags, handmade ornaments and a lot more. There are a lot of places around Gokana, you can visit Jog Falls which is around 100 KM from Gokarna, enjoy scuba diving in Murdeshwar which is around 70KM.

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An effort to capture the beauty of sunset at Kudle Beach

Must Do’s:

  • Enjoy the Jamming session on Kudle Beach after sunset
  • Swin in Arabian sea at Paradise or Half Moon beach
  • Hike along the beaches
  • Savour the seafood on the shacks of Kudle Beach
  • Practice Yoga by the beach
  • Spend a night on Paradise Beach grazing the stars
  • Pamper yourself with a Massage
  • Go shopping
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Half Moon Beach
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Yoga at Gokarna beach

I was travelling from Bangalore to Gokarna and the best way is either to drive or take an overnight bus to Gokarna. I would highly recommend this place if you want to enjoy a peaceful yet fun filled vacation. The place is very thinly populated and equipped with very basic facilities. Gokarna is a kind of place you will fall in love with on the very first day and would be worth visiting again and again if you get pulled down by jamming sessions at Kudle Beach and yes don’t forget to carry a torch, jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses and bedsheet with you.

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