Exploring Gokarna – All you need to know

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Introduction

When you think of beaches in India, the first place that strikes your mind is Goa. Goa is the beach destination and a dream for many, and the joke about not being able to make it to a Goa trip because of friends who cancel the plans at the last moments, is common knowledge in India.

Let me tell you, Goa is overrated. It may be popular for its night life, the beaches and the coconut trees, but it doesn’t have the untouched charm that Gokarna has. 

Gokarna has the less explored, less commercialized beaches of Konkan. It is also one of the safest places I have been to, till now. Beaches, night life, great food, Gokarna has it all.

Let’s take a sneak peak into how you can experience the best of Gokarna.

How to reach Gokarna

By Air

The nearest airport to Gokarna is Dabolim, in Goa. From the airport, Gokarna is a 4 hour drive by car.

By Rail

When it comes to train, the nearest junctions are Gokarna Road Station ( that’s around 15 minutes from the town ), the Ankola and Kumta stations ( both close to an hour drive to the town ).

By Road

Gokarna is well connected by bus, from most of the major cities in India. You can also find private tourist buses to Gokarna, almost all year round.

Places to visit

Gokarna can be explored by two ways – by walk or by vehicles. All the beaches in Gokarna are  easily accessible by a range of mountains very close to the beaches. If you are someone who loves trekking and does not mind walking a few kilometres, I would suggest to go for it because it opens up a lot of interesting places and viewpoints in between the beaches, t Dec ex TX and and hat you might not otherwise find when you rent a bike or navigate by car. 

All the beaches in Gokarna are well connected by roads so vehicles can only make your life easier, and not the trip any better.

Let’s explore some of the best beaches in Gokarna.

Gokarna Beach

The main beach is the largest beach in Gokarna, and it’s just around 2.5 kms from the main bus stand of Gokarna. On the way to the beach, you will find a lot of shopping options which honestly took me by surprise. And by shopping, you are not restricted to clothes, you find spices, religious artifacts, copper utensils, jewellery and what not. There is a lot of stuff that you can bring back as a souvenir from Gokarna.

You also find restaurants of various cuisines on the beach. Throughout the stretch of around 4 kms, you can find a restaurant every 200 metres. One such was Christopher Chez, which was of the French cuisine that I visited one day for breakfast. The ambience and the aesthetics of the place was very nice and enjoyable. 

Also, I saw many fishermen starting to the sea for fishing at early hours of the day, around 4 am, who then returned around 7-8 am in the morning. Some of them took their fishes to the market to sell whereas I saw some of them selling it off at the shores itself. 

I also saw fishermen training their sons fishing at near the shores itself that was an interesting sight to watch.

Kudle Beach

Kudle beach can be reached from the main Gokarna beach by climbing up a hill, and then walking for a while till you reach the next hill, and then descending down the hill. 

The downhill is pretty easy as they have steps laid out for the ease of the public, and you can find a lot of yoga training classes on the way to Kudle beach from the Gokarna beach. I also saw many people practising yoga and meditation in the place. 

So, you climb down the hills and there you have Kudle beach. The current of the waves here are stronger, and the beach is prettier. The area of Kudle beach is small but for that small an area, the number of cafes and restaurants and hotels you find there is overwhelming.

Also, the after sunset glow at the Kudle beach is something not to miss.

Om Beach

The coast in the beach is shaped in the form of Om, and thus it gets it name. This is around a 3-4km walk from the Kudle Beach, again through the mountains. Om beach is more commercialized out of all of the beaches in Gokarna, and you can find water sports such as jet skiing.

Namaste Cafe at the Om beach is one of the best places to tickle your taste buds. 

ou could also setup a camp at the top of the mountain in front of the Om/Kudle beach. When I visited, I saw a bunch of people setting up the camp themselves to enjoy the starry night atop. Since camps are not a commercial option in Gokarna yet, you might have to carry your tents yourselves. Check out some of the best tents for camping we have used till now.

Half Moon Beach

The Half moon beach is separated from the Om beach by a cliff. You can either trek your way up to the Half moon beach or take a boat from the Om beach. Boats that can carry around 4-5 people cost you somewhere around 400-500 INR. It is the second largest beaches of the trail.

Paradise Beach

Paradise beach is the most secluded beach of all of the other beaches, since it is present at the end of the cost towards the south. You can either reach this from the Kudle beach by trek or through the Belekan beach. Either way, make sure you visit this place because it’s pure beauty that has not been touched by the mainstream crowd.

Where to stay

Gokarna International Beach Resort is one of the best places to stay if you wish to stay at Kudle beach. If you wish to stay at the main Gokarna Beach, Poornima guest house is a good option. They are situated right in front of the beach, and at the end of a long day, you can just sit in the rocking chairs and enjoy the sound of waves crashing into the rocks.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Gokarna would be from August to March, in which the weather is quite pleasant and not so sunny. Gokarna experiences hot summers and southwest monsoons in the interim.

Conclusion

That’s it guys! I hope you enjoy Gokarna as much as I did, and do let me know in the comments of our experience of Gokarna.

Author’s BIO: Mark Bennett is an writer and traveler, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site outdoorily.com.