India is a land of art and can be considered as an entire circle where you can perceive rich cultures, different diversity of foods, music, dance, languages, and many more.
India has the most bewitching destinations where you can relinquish yourself in the beauty of the land. Among these, there’s a place in the Southern part of India which is Gokarna, situated in Karnataka.
With its pristine beaches and magnificent terrains, Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage village in Karnataka and a newly established center for beach enthusiasts and hippies. Located on the seashore of Karwar, every year Gokarna welcomes crowds of travelers from all over the world in search of peace and relaxation. The other beautiful beaches Kudle beach and Om Beach are a different contrast to life inside the town.
If you are gawking for a magnificent blue paradise on earth, a peaceful, quiet destination for your holiday Gokarna will be the best to explore. So, let’s discover things to do in Gokarna.
1. History Behind Gokarna
Before reaching out to things to do in Gokarna let’s learn about the history of Gokarna. In Sanskrit, Gokarna implies a cow’s ear. According to one of the Hindu Epics, Lord Shiva originated from the ear of a cow in Gokarna. It is situated at the union of two rivers Gangavali and Aghanashini which is shaped like an ear.
It is mentioned in the Shimada Bhagavata Purana that Gokarna is the home of the brothers Gokarna and Dhundhakari.
As our legend said that Lord Shiva gave Atmalinga to the Ravana which was a very powerful weapon. Who also informed him that it would stay eternally where it was positioned first on land
While Ravana was executing a ritual, Lord Ganesha came cloaked as a little boy and placed it in Gokarna. Ravana found out that he had been misled by the Gods to keep Ravana from getting a weapon as fierce as the Atmalinga.
Ravana tries to remove it, bringing about throwing away the covers of the Linga to Surathkal, Dhareshwar, Gunavanteshwar, Murudeshwar, and Shejjeshwar temples. Gokarna is inferred as one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centers.
Know more about Gokarna:- Gokarna
Before initiating your journey, learn things to do in Gokarna. Gokarna is best known for its secluded peaceful beaches. So, let’s begin our journey to Gokarna with some beautiful beaches and look out for things to do in Gokarna.
2. Om Beach
Om beach is known for its spiritual being as it is shaped in the form of the sacred syllable Om. Alike the symbol beach is calm and peaceful. The name of the beach attains from the shape of the beach as it is shaped by two semi-crescents joined together.
The view of the beach during the sunset will always be reminisced by the one who captures it with naked eyes.
There are also a lot of water sports activities that can be experienced.
The best time to visit Om beach is from October to March as the temperature of that time is pleasant weather.
Things to do at Om Beach
If you love experiencing different water sports activities then Om beach will be one of the best destinations to experience some thrilling water sports. So, here are some things to do in Gokarna, Om Beach.
3. Banana Boat Rides:-
Banana boat rides are one of the most trending water sports at Om beach.
Banana boat rides can be ideally got a kick out during the favorable wind and mandate the presence of clear water for an unforgettable experience. It is mainly relished by groups who travel to Om beach together.
4. Dolphin Spotting:-
For the nature lover, this will be a great experience to spot dolphins. Dolphins are quite smart they recognize human voices quite quickly, so you need to be alert while spotting dolphins.
5. Beachside Trekking:-
Gokarna is set on hilly terrain so it serves as a great ideal trekking spot. The most memorable walk you could experience along the lashing waves.
6. Kudle Beach
Kudle beach is one of the most explored beaches of Gokarna and can be reached with a short trek from Om beach.
A perfect hermit, this beach devotes the extensively silent and tranquil aura to admiring a sunset, a trek along the shore, or solely sitting and seeing the last lingering tides.
Usually, nobody is found on Kudle beach, except for the peak months from November to February, when it is thronged by foreign travelers and vagabonds who choose Kudle beach for their peaceable trips
So, give a glimpse at what things to do in Gokarna, Kudle Beach.
Things to Do at Kudle Beach:-
You can submerge yourself in watching the most mesmerizing sunset at the shore of Kudle beach.
Kudle Beach is also exemplary for beach trekking. Trekkers can hike for a long unrestrained range, acknowledging the pure panorama of hills on three sides and the sea surpassing to the edge.
Many people enjoy performing yoga during dawn or dusk at the beach as it contributes to a quiet territory.
7. Paradise Beach:-
Paradise beach is the best beach to encounter. The fourth beach lying across the shore of Gokarna Town, Paradise Beach is also inferred by the name of ‘Full Moon Beach’.
Paradise Beach is about 150 meters in distance and out of this nearly seventy percent of the beach is thoroughly covered in rocks. The ease of the beach is illustrated with clean white sand all over. Not various things to do in Gokarna, paradise beach, and none of the water sports are accessible here but swimming in the still waters here is an incredible kind to rejuvenate your sanity and body.
At nighttime, you can often sight small squads of foreign travelers residing here, camping, and barbecuing their feasts. The accessibility of freshwater wells on the beach gives rise to it as a perfect place for camping.
The tranquil surroundings of the beach appeal as an incredible shot to consume some moment on nature’s lap and discover ease.
8. Half Moon Beach
Half-Moon beach is quite a small beach and less popular so, less crowded and is perfect for the isolated escape. The beach obtained its name from the stunning counterpart that it shows with a half-moon.
It is segregated from Om Beach by a mountain from where visitors are edge to get a remarkable vision of the Arabian Sea.
The half-moon beach is a flawless weekend escape while off all the anxiety and concerns of your active life in a variety of sand, sun, peace, and tides. You can attempt your help at arranging the camp. The blue sea and the dark green hills are set in motion to add to the grace of the terrain and bring about it a photographer’s as well as a nature lover’s celebration.
As the half-moon beach never gets crowded, you can be on your own and can do anything you desire. You can take advantage of volleyball, cricket or football with your group, you can also swim in the blue, read a book by the shore, get a sun-kissed tan and have a bonfire in the evening. You can moreover hike to all the coasts found nearby and you can also experiment with different adventure activities.
Lastly, at the end of the day, you can even sleep under the stars and can experience the stargazing moment of your dreams.
Now let’s worship after digging into blues. Let’s bow down ourselves in front of our beautiful temples. One of the most things to do in Gokarna is to visit various temples.
9. Mahabaleshwar Temple:-
The Mahabaleshwar temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. The length of Shiv Linga here is 6 feet and is inferred as the Atmalinga, which is worshipped here.
The temple was carved using white granite, it is a classic example of the magnificence of Dravidian architecture. Lord Shiva idol is a 1500 years old carved stone in the standing position that depicts the main deity. The temple has also been mentioned in the Hindu Mythology of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The only part of the Linga that is noticeable to devotees is the top of the Atmalinga. But, the festival of the Ashta Bandana Kumbhahishekam occurs once every 40 years, which is when the entire Atmalinga is shown to the devotees.
As per tradition, devotees must first take a dip in the Karwar Beach, where the temple faces, then they should visit the Maha Ganapathi Temple that is opposite the temple before embarking on the Mahabaleshwar temple, and then only explore the Mahabaleshwar Temple.
10. Maha Ganpati Temple:-
As the name suggests Maha Ganpati Temple is devoted to Lord Ganesha, this temple is tracked down near the Mahabaleshwar temple and is very famous among pilgrims who visit Gokarna.
As we all know the legend of Lord Shiva’s blessings to his son Ganesha. So, similarly, at Mahabaleshwar visitors are supposed to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha before visiting the Mahabaleshwar temple.
This temple shows off a picturesque setting and the religious ambiance intensifies the beauty of this temple. According to a famous legend, it is explained that Ganesha fooled Ravana who was holding a Shiva Lingam to drop it here, and hence the temple was created in this place.
This peaceful place is visited by people to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha and explore the incredible architecture of this place. For the history fanatics, this temple is a wonderful stop to appreciate the magnificence of Dravidian architecture.
11. Koti Tirtha:-
Koti Tirtha is one of the holiest places to visit in Gokarna, Koti Tirtha is a traditional man-made tank that holds great affection among the villagers and travelers.
This tank is included in wonderful temples all over the temple and is utilized for ritual bathing and immersing idols. As said by one popular legend in Gokarna, Koti Tirtha is the origin of a thousand springs.
Koti Tirtha is situated close to the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple and attracts pilgrims who visit the temple to accomplish rituals and pay respect to their predecessors.
This sacred pond is used by devotees to take a bath and offers a quaint religious ambiance for all those who strive for a religious meeting.
12. Yana Caves:-
Yana Caves are a well-known attraction of Yana Village and are considered to be a must-see site for all wanderers.
These 3 m deep caves are found amidst the evergreen forests of the Sahyadri Mountain Range, Karnataka.
Visitors can relish rock climbing here as Yana Caves are compelled of uniquely-formed black crystalline limestone.
The caves include a Shiva Linga that is called Gangodbhava by locals, which can be discovered at the entrance. This location is popular among travelers for its old temple, rock appearances, mountains, and waterfalls.
Besides, travelers will get the opportunity to see the bronze statue of Chandika, an embodiment of Goddess Durga. Water that passes from the rocks develops a small river called Chandihole, which joins the Aghanashini river at Uppinapattana.
Visitors who are eager in staying at this site are provided with necessary camping equipment.
13. Mirjan Fort:-
One of the best things to do in Gokarna is reach Mirzan Fort if you’re a history enthusiast. Mirzan Fort is located on the banks of River Aghanashini. Mirjan Fort is an imperial reminder of our wonderful history. It is located about 11 km away from the town of Kumta in Karnataka and is dispersed over an area of 4.1 hectares.
The fort is also acknowledged to be a location for many past wars in the 16th and 17th Centuries and was active till 1785. Later, the British seized this fort and utilized it for their armory.
It is adorned with the extraordinary architecture of the bygone era, such as canals, moats, secret passageways, and several other deliberations to strengthen its grounds. The wonderful fort gives the feeling of a historical movie castle all coated with grass and overgrowth.
This long-lived building is built from locally accessible laterite stone. The story tells that this was one of the most crucial places for the Foreign trades in Spices with Dutch, Portuguese and British. It has been announced as a secure monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and has gone through some recent renovations to enhance its value.
In the year 2001, many archaeological craters were also administered by the organization that disclosed several laterite hierarchies relating to the medieval era.
Further antiquarian discoveries such as gold coins associated with Portuguese Viceroy Conde De Sarzedas have also been found along with cannon balls, Chinese porcelain, and clay tablets with Islamic inscriptions.
As it’s been told that there was a hidden treasure in the fort complex that was later stolen by the Britishers. Settled down amidst the idyllic surrounding this historical monument is a lost fortune in the tourism landscape of the country. Each year on independence day, the Indian flag is hoisted on the fort.
How can you reach Mirjan Fort?
You can track down Mirjan Fort at a distance of 11 km from Kumta, 22 km from Gokarna, 31 km from Honavar, 59 km from Karwar, and 56 km from Murudeshwar. You can take a bus or rent a private car from any of these cities.
14. Namaste Cafe:-
We went on all of the things to do in Gokarna except eating. You can find a lot of delicious vegetarian cuisines and sea foods at Gokarna. Namaste Cafe is one of the most scenic cafes in Gokarna and offers finger-licking delightful food, situated right on Om Beach. If you are in Gokarna, this spot is a must-visit.
Located at one end of the beach, the cafe has a picture-perfect setting, and, munching on the delicious food here with a view is one of the delicious things to do in Gokarna.
15. Gokarna Itinerary: Things to do in Gokarna
Day 1- After arriving at Dabolim airport or Ankola railway station. You can Check-in at the hotel. Rest at the hotel.
Day 2- First you must explore the most famous Om beach of Gokarna, which creates the symbol of Om with its shore. Afterward, visit the Kudle beach another magnificent beach of Gokarna. After that, you can visit the famous Mahabaleshwar temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Before that, you need to visit Maha Ganpati Temple.
Day 3- Then you can visit the Murudeshwar beach and worship at the temple which is located at the beach and you will discover a huge silver idol by the sea.
Lastly, make sure to explore Koti Tirtha which is a very sacred lake for Hindus. You can end your trip by exploring more beautiful beaches of Gokarna like Paradise Beach and many more you will come across while you visit there.
From beaches to temples to forts, the things to do in Gokarna, all of it will concurrently make your travel story truly memorable. The serene yet incredible trip will prevail on the brain for a longer period.
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