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Tourist Places To Visit In Gokarna
In recent times, Gokarna has gained reputation as a popular tourist destination. It is a conservative Hindu pilgrimage town, home to several temples. Apart from its rich cultural heritage, Gokarna has some beautiful beaches defining its coastline and hills alongside. It is a place to explore at leisure, taking time to enjoy the beauty and magic of this blissful coastal area. Some of the most coveted tourist places to visit in Gokarna include the Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, Om beach, Bhadrakali temple and Kumta.
Close to the Gokarna town, Gokarna beach is one of the five beaches with no dearth of scenic beauty. It is bound by rocky mountains and the Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. The beach is quiet, peaceful and a favourite among travelers.
A white sandy beach bordered by palm trees, Kudle beach is absolutely gorgeous. It is a twenty minute walk from Gokarna and can also be reached in shorter time by using a car or bike. The sweeping sands and sea make for one hell of a view and hence make Kudle beach a romantic getaway.
Shaped like the auspicious Hindu religious symbol ‘Om’ this is another beautiful beach further along the coast from Kudle. It can be reached by auto. It has both expensive and cheap accommodations available and several restaurants.
Furthest from the town, Paradise beach is one of the most scenic but uninhabited beaches. It is accessible only by boat or by trekking through the forest. It is great for sunbathing and swimming though no water sports are available.
Half Moon Beach
Though stunning, this is a lesser-known beach. It is separated from the Om beach by a cliff. Facilities are limited but a few nights here can be an experience to savor. Popular activities like Volleyball, Paintball, Paddle boats etc are available here.
Located close to the Maha Ganapati Temple, the Mahabaleshwar Temple is considered to be as pious as the Shiva temple at Varanasi (Kashi) in North India. It is therefore also known as Dakshin Kasi temple (South Kashi). Constructed by Mayurasharma of Kadamba dynasty the temple was built in Dravidian style of architecture. It is one of the seven Muktishetras (places of salvation) where Hindus come to perform obsequies for their departed.
Maha Ganapati Temple
This is another renowned religious shrine in Gokarna dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Inside the sanctum there is 1.3 meters high black stone Ganapati idol. Lord Ganesha was blessed with the honor of first worship and thus worshippers pray here first before proceeding towards Mahabaleshwar Temple.
Located 1 kilometer from Gokarna, Bhadrakali Temple was built in honor of Goddess Uma. According to the legends, Lord Vishnu requested Uma to reside in Gokarna after she was abandoned by Ravana. Today she is worshipped as Goddess Bhadrakali and draws large number of devotees.
This is a sea coast town near Gokarna. It is famous for its beach, temples, banana cultivation and sandalwood carvings. The coastal town makes for a relaxing beach holiday, coupled with some insight into the culture of this place and its food habits. You will find some great sandalwood souvenirs here to take back home.
Yana is a hillstation locate in the Sahyadri Hills of Karnataka's northern terrain. It is a quaint little town that is perfect for an idyllic holiday, tucked as it is between rich forests and lakes. The place is known for its limestone monoliths, wildlife, adventure activities and temples that draw pilgrims almost all year round. Visit the Mohini Peak and Bhairaveshwara Peak that hold religious significance with respect to Parvati and Shiva. Trekking up to the peaks is both an adventure as well as a pilgrimage. You will also enjoy a day at the Yana village, with its small huts and rustic rural setup.
These natural waterfalls in Gokarna bring peace and solitude to the tourists who come visit it. They are just as beautiful, which doesn’t hurt the eye either. Families pick Lalguli Falls for a leisurely picnic, while friend groups flock here to enjoy the greenery and take a dip in the pool. You can also go river rafting in Kali River at the base of these waterfalls. Bird watchers find a hoard of birds here, from local to migratory. There is a Hanuman Temple nearby too where tourists visit to worship and pay their respects.
Located 11 km from Gokarna, Mirjan Fort is a 16th Century cultural extravaganza that tells tales of Karnataka’s past. It is believed that Queen Chennabhairadevi built this fort and ruled over it for over 54 long years. With Agnanishi River flowing close by, the fort looks grand and otherworldly. Equipped with wells, bastions, high ceilings, moats and a strong defence system, this fort is worth seeing for its architecture.
Namaste Café on Om Beach is Gokarna’s star attraction. The gorgeous views coupled with great food makes you want to just stay there. Rooms are also available, with an average tariff of Rs. 1080 per night and sea facing rooms. Backpackers and wanderers are found in hordes at this cafe because of the affordable food, lodging, views and the unrestricted access to the main beach from this cafe.
A man-made reservoir and sacred tank, Koti Tirtha is surrounded by temples. The idols are bathed in this tank, making this water holy. A legend says that Koti Tirtha was so holy that a thousand springs sprung from it. Tourists and locals visit the temples and then sit by the tank to enjoy the peace. Pitru-poojan or the rituals of ancestors are also performed on its banks. Dips in the water are also quite religiously coveted.
One of the nicest, cleanest and hence the prettiest beaches around — the Baada Beach is quite a refreshing change from your usual seaside shenanigans. Why? Because you reach here only after a long trek from Kirki to Gokarna. The beach sits right between two hills and hence is a rocky delight, covered in fresh lush green trees almost all year round. Winter is the best season to trek down here, especially the span between December and February.
Nirvana Beach is exactly like its name suggests — bliss. It is bliss in solitude due to its aloof location. The recluses prefer to come here and chill, enjoy the sound of nature away from the crowds. The sea water is pristine blue, inviting you for a dive. The sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous here, making you want to lie back on the sand and see the sky change colours. If you want some activity, then swimming is also allowed here. The best way to reach Nirvana beach is by ferry.
Among the beaches and cafes of Gokarna, here’s a cave that is ripe with mystery, history as well as sanctity. It is not very famous, but a great spot to explore nonetheless. A Shivling is established inside the cave and you will need to take a torch along to guide your way as there is no natural or artificial light. Bats may also flock from time to time, so be aware. But if you are determined and want to experience something unique then go for it full guns blazing!