Karnataka might have great places to see but a town that is often overlooked, when it comes to tourism, is Gokarna. The sleepy coastal town has all the right setting and places for a fine holiday in the South of India.
Ideal for those who love spending time at the beach and those who love spiritual excursions, Gokarna should be on top of your travel list. If you do plan a trip and are wondering where to start your trip from, start with the best places to visit in Gokarna.
Popular Tourist Places To Visit In Gokarna (Beaches)
1. Kudle Beach
The first thing one will notice about the Kudle Beach is the unique C shaped layout. The beach is a haven of activity with many outdoor enthusiasts often visiting the place.
Popular activities to enjoy at the beach are trekking, yoga, surfing, swimming and meditation. There are a few shacks on the beach that open from 4 am in the morning. They’re a great spot to relax and unwind.
Make sure you visit the beach to watch the breathtaking sunset.
2. Om Beach
The Om Beach should be one of the top places to visit on your trip to Gokarna. The pristine beach has a stunning backdrop and an ambience that is ideal for relaxing. During the tourist season, you can enjoy boat rides to exotic nearby locations. Those who feel adventurous can try their hands at kayaking or jet skiing.
There are good options for accommodations near Om Beach, in case you are looking to spend stay overnight at the beach.
3. Half Moon Beach
The best way to get to the Half Moon Beach is to walk from Om Beach. Shaped like a half moon, the beach is lined with beach shacks. A great place to laze around and unwind, the sea at the Half Moon Beach is safe to swim and you can play some sports on the white sandy shores.
During the tourist season from October to March, you will find tourists sunbathing by the beach. Don’t forget to try the delicious food served at the beach shack on the Half Moon Beach.
4. Paradise Beach
Located a few miles away from the Half Moon Beach, the Paradise Beach is as breathtaking as its neighbour. Previously a hub of commercial activity, today the beach is a preferred choice for tourists who love the laid-back life. There is a lack of activity at the beach, so go only to experience the cool sea breeze and glimpses of the gorgeous landscape. You can enjoy a few boat rides at Paradise Beach during the tourist season as well.
5. Gokarna Beach
This beach is located close to the commercial hub in Gokarna. So, it is no surprise that this beach is often crowded, when compared to the other beaches we have listed here. Swimming at the beach is safe, but don’t try and venture too deep into the sea.
For the best tourist experience, visit the beach during the Shivratri festival. The entire beach is full of colour and fun.
Transport to the beach is easily available so getting to the beach is not a problem.
6. Nirvana Beach
The complete opposite of the Gokarna Beach, Nirvana is peaceful, calm and stunning. Great for unwinding, the beach is a fresh respite from the crowds and noise of the city. Most tourists who come here visit to spend some quiet time in the lap of nature. The beach shore is an ideal spot for a picnic and a fun day out in the sun.
It is pretty easy to get to Nirvana Beach from Gokarna, it is about 10 kilometres away and you have to get to the beach by ferry.
7. Baada Beach
To get to Baada Beach you need to trek from Kirki to Gokarna. A scenic beach, Baada is one of the cleanest beaches in Gokarna. The exceptional feature of the Baada beach is that it is surrounded by hills on both sides. A gorgeous sight to see, Baada Beach is a lovely place to visit for those who love to bask in nature and relax on pristine sands.
8. Small Hell beach
The Small Hell beach is Gokarna is yet another quaint little beach that is surrounded by a beautiful natural backdrop. This beach is a great place to relax in the company of a white seashore and deep blue sea. During the tourist season, the Small Hell beach is a haven for adventure sports. There are many water sports that tourists can enjoy at the Small Hell beach.
9. Belekan Beach
The Belekan Beach is a remote beach in Gokarna. To get to the beach, you need to take a boat from the Gokarna beach. The Belekan is a great place to enjoy water sports and outdoor games like volleyball and frisbee.
Since the Belekan Beach is secluded, it is recommended that you don’t stay back too late at the beach, getting back would be a problem as boats depart by 6 pm.
10. Alvekodi Beach
Located in the Alvekodi village, the Alvekodi beach is a must visit spot for anyone that likes excursions and nature trails. To visit the beach you need to pass through fields and the village. The captivating beach is great for relaxing and unwinding and you can have a lot of fun touring around the place. Make sure to walk to the lighthouse that is located at the end of the beach.
Places to see in Gokarna (Temples)
11. Mahabaleshwar Temple
The Mahabaleshwara Temple dates back to the 4th century and is one of the top tourist sites in Gokarna. The temple is a fine example of Dravidian architecture with beautiful inscriptions and carvings on the walls of the temple. The temple is famous for housing an old Shiva Linga that is called the Atma Linga by locals.
We suggest that you go in the morning when the temple is less crowded.
12. Maha Ganapati Temple
As the name suggests, the Maha Ganapati Temple was built in honour of Lord Ganesha. Legend has it that Lord Ganesha tricked Ravana into dropping a Shiv Lingam at this site, this is why the temple was constructed here. Surrounded by beautiful scenes, the temple is a joy to visit. The ambience is soothing and the sites around breathtaking. A must visit for every tourist who comes to Gokarna, it is best to come to the temple during the Ganesha festival that is held between August and September.
13. Koti Tirtha
The Koti Tirtha is an important tourist attraction for pilgrims. It is believed to be the starting point of a thousand springs. This man-made tank is used for ritual bathing and immersion of idols during festivals. There are many gorgeous temples around the Koti Tirtha that are worth visiting.
14. Bhadrakali Temple
The Bhadrakali Temple is dedicated to Goddess Uma who is considered to be the protector of Gokarna. Legend has it that it was on the request of Lord Vishnu that Devi Uma resided here after she was abandoned by Ravana.
Drop by at the temple to pay respect to Goddess Uma and to enjoy a few moments of silence. For a great cultural experience, visit the temple when special prayers are held, it is a great experience.
15. Tamra Gauri Temple
While visiting the Tamra Gauri Temple do not forget to check out the ornate work on the walls and the beautiful two-armed statue of Goddess Parvathi at the entrance.
The highlight of the temple is that the main idol is considered to be miraculous. If a devotee prayer with faith, he or she is granted whatever they wish for.
The best time to visit the temple is during Diwali. The ambience and atmosphere are very festive.
Gokarna is well known for its beaches and temples and we have listed down the best of both. Whether you love to visit spiritual places, observe great artwork, relax at the beach or want to try adventure sports, you can do it all at Gokarna.