Trekking alone brings a lot of excitement as you get to discover a lot about the new place, interact with locals and understand their culture and a trekking along the beach is like a cherry on top. Gokarna is in karnataka on the coast of the Arabian Sea and offers one of India’s most unique beach treks. The coastline of Gokarna is unique as it is accompanied with hillsides of the Western Ghats. The trail that encompasses the Gokarna’s beaches is pleasent with the shimmering blue of the sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other. Gokarna Beach trek does not require a guide, arrow marks on rocks and trees make up for the lack of a well-defined trail. Gokarna has 5 beaches each one has its own distinct features, Paradise beach is famous for its unspoilt beauty, so is Half Moon Beach which is in the shape of half moon. Om beach as the name indicates has the shape of the Hindu Holy word OM, Kudle beach famous for its jamming sessions and Gokarna beach where you can find many practicing Yoga in the morning.
There are 2 ways to complete the trek either you start from Paradise beach and hike till Gokarna beach or do the other way around. However I would suggest to start from Paradise beach as you can enjoy the jamming sessions held on Kudle beach after sunset and if you are staying in gokarna town or shacks on Kudle beach it would be easier to reach your hotel/shack after dinner. If you are planning to spend the night in tent it’s better to start from Gokarna beach and spend the night at Paradise beach.
Paradise beach -> Half Moon beach -> OM beach -> Kudle beach -> Gokarna beach
Paradise beach is well secluded from the civilization and is accessible only through foot or ferries. Paradise Beach much like its name will make you feel like you’re in a paradise. Hidden against the cliffs and surrounded by rock formations, coconut trees and the gorgeous ocean, a visit to this beach will sooth your soul. Paradise beach is just around 100 mts long and you will not find more than 20 people at a time on the beach and most of them will be hippies who would have spent the night in Paradise beach itself. There is just a small omelet shop on the beach where you can have your breakfast. This is one of the best beach to spend your time in solace.
Half Moon Beach
From paradise beach start trekking through the coast to Half-Moon beach. Separated by a cliff from Om Beach, Half Moon Beach offers stunning views of the sea. Hiking from Paradise Beach to half moon beach has rocky bouldering terrain at the shore and also deep dense plantations. There are several beautiful bouldering rocks on the way too which make it an even more challenging experience. Half Moon beach is even smaller than paradise beach and will make you feel as if you are on private beach. As the name indicates it is in the shape of half moon, half moon beach is a perfect place for those who are seeking some time to spend alone. There is just one shack at Half Moon beach and is a good spot if you want to take a dive in Arabian Sea.
This is the most popular beach and you would know when you reach here. OM beach is crowded for almost the entire day. The shape of the beach is like the word Om and hence the name. One can either follow the regular route which will directly reach OM beach or can take the offshore side route and hike on the boulders with the gentle sea waves lapping against it. The trail from Half Moon beach to OM beach is a bit slippery and you will have to be extra cautious while taking every step. The panoramic view of the Om beach was scenic and the centre of OM beach goes up to 300-400 meters in the sea.Om beach has a lot of shacks you can take a half here for the lunch spend some leisurely time. Om beach also has some water sports which are active throughout the day but take some rest after lunch and enjoy the watersports in evening and then head towards to Kudle beach for sunset.
Om beach to Kudle beach is around 20-30 mins of Hiking. The stretch is slightly inclined and goes straight towards Kudle Beach. On the sides of the trail there is a lot of wild thorny
plants. Kudle beach is where you will find most of the hippies in the evening. You can see people playing with Frisbee, Volleyball here. Kudle’s gentle waves, swaying palms, white sand and endless blue expanse of sea will leave indelible impressions. It is also the best place to relish the sunset in Gokarna. After the sunset get ready for the my personal favourite jamming session on the kudle beach and head for dinner on the Kudle beach itself. There are a lot of shacks on Kudle beach, savour yourself with the variety of cuisines.
Kudle Beach to Gokarna is another half an hour hike through the cliffs. If you are staying at Kudle beach you can skip this past as there is not much to offer on the trail but if you are staying in Gokarna town you can do the last part of the trek and end you trek on the Gokarna beach. If you had dinner of Kudle beach probably most of the places on gokarna beach will be closed by the time you reach there.
The beach trek along the coastline of Gokarna is mesmerizing and unique in many ways. The sight and sound of waves crashing against rock in a rhythm brings most trekkers to a standstill. The panoramic view of sea from the top of the cliffs will leave you spellbound. The music of jamming session at Kudle beach will be with you several days. Trekking in Gokarna is just one of the many things that will make you fall in love with it.
For directions on how to reach gokarna and what to do you can follow here.