Gokarna is not the most happening places in the country however having said that it is surely one of the most beautiful coastal town based in Karnataka. It is one of the holiest places for Hindu. The name is derived from two words Go stands for cow and Karna stands for the ears. There is a mythology story that when Lord Shiva was cursed by Lord Bhrama and sent to the Patalok. Then Lord Shiva appeared from the ears of cow "mother earth" at this place and since then the place is named as Gokarna. People who love to be away from the crowd, can visit the pristine waters of Gokarna and sit at the beach to enjoy the scenic beauty.
I have been to Goa and this time wanted to explore a not so famous place however still it can surprise the visitors with the offerings. After a lot of searches found this hidden gem. Gokarna is just a small town of Karnataka however it is not just a pilgrimage place it has pristine beaches, laid back atmosphere, away from the crowd, enjoy the tranquillity of the beaches with your loved ones. They have also got a rich history and heritage which fascinated me to explore it more. The best part is that it is not only loved by the countrymen however even foreigners are also spending soothing time here. This was it, I made my decision this summer is going to be enjoyed on the lovely beaches of Gokarna. I called my trusted travel agent to make the booking arrangements for me. Then, I started doing my packing as once you are going out can't afford to leave anything important. I picked the hat, glasses, sunscreen, also Kept the DSLR, power bank, torch, and some basic medicines. Carried clothes like T-shirt, shots, and lighter clothes for the warm temperature. Almost everything was ready along with complete booking done right from flights, accommodation, sightseeing, transfers. The next day it was our flight in the morning to the Goa Airport which is the nearest one to Gokarna.
We woke up early to our early morning flight to Goa Airport. We were excited that the flight was on time and we are going to explore an awesome place today. We reached the airport came outpost clearing all the formalities and hired a taxi to the nearest railway station as this is the cheapest and fastest way to reach Gokarna. The train dropped us to the Gokarna station for less than 2 hours. Our cab was waiting at the station, they dropped us to the hotel to relax and get ready for the sightseeing. We first went to the small but important temple of MahaGanpati. The overall temple look is of a south Indian style whereas the shrine Lord Ganesha statue is around 150 years old. The next spot for the journey was Shri Mahabaleshwara Temple, which has made Gokarna a divine place. This temple is a marvel of 4th century CE with the beautiful architecture of Dravidian style on the granite stones. The carvings were just impeccable and we sat there to feel the tranquillity on the premises. Fortunately, we became part of the Pooja offered to Lord Shiva, that moment brought goosebumps to us taking part in the holiness of the Kashi of South India. Now, it was time to hopping in the beaches of Gokarna which are among the best ones in India. The first one was a few meters from the temple, Gokarna beach did find much crowd there however the beach was stunning. Amazing blue water waves, cool breeze calling us to soak in. The chillaxed there for some time and enjoyed the beauty. Then, it was lunchtime so while moving towards Kudle beach we took stop at the Cafe 1987. It was a small cafe yet the food was delicious and this you can add in your must-try list. It is a small restaurant the best part was it was a pure veg restaurant with comfortable seating arrangements and artwork on the wall will attract you towards them. Post that we reached the spectacular Kudle beach before sunset. This beach offers picturesque sights to the travellers. I could experience the solace and tranquillity while walking along the shore of the beach. The sun was going down with red hot colour and the scenic view of the beach covered from rocks by three sides was a truly superb experience. Post enjoying the evening here we went back to the resort.
Today morning we woke up early and got ready to travel to the admire the second height sculpture of Lord Shiva in the world. The mammoth statue of the god is made out of granite and marvellously coloured which shines during the sunlight and in artificial lights during the night. It is called the Murudeshwar, another popular pilgrimage site. The stunning location attracts a lot of tourists while it is covered by the Arabian sea from three sides, the Dravidian architecture of the temple was superb. There is a 20 storied Gopura right in front of the Lord Shiva statue which can be used to take an amazing view of the entire surrounding area and the beautiful sculpture as well. Then, we went to the Murudeshwar beach which was a little lively in comparison to the beaches in Gokarna. We took a boat to take a ride in the ride and enjoyed some other water sports as well like banana ride, parasailing. Then, we took some finger-licking snacks at the beach and people having gala time made the environment more enjoyable. Afterwards, we enjoyed the sunset here and clicked some wonderful pictures before moving back to our resort.
This was the final day of the trip and it was kept all for enjoying the beaches and do lots of fun. We first stepped in the Om beach and no wonder why it has been named after the holy word Om. There two semi-crescent shapes that join resembling the Hindu religious symbol of OM. The deep blue crystal clear water was just gorgeous. The beach was covered with lush greenery giving it a marvellous look along with some rocks at the beach. It was a perfect tourist destination. We did some water activities here and enjoyed walking along the beach feeling the soothing atmosphere around. The next destination was the paradise beach equivalent to its name. It was not easy to reach this beach. Either one need to do the trek from Om beach or take a boat. We choose the easy way and took a boat ride to reach here. The beach is a small yet beautiful beach receives less amount of visitors situated between two rocks. The next beach to be hopped was the Halfmoon beach which is named because of the crescent shape. It is another beach to offer tranquillity to the visitors and we had a lot of fun along with our family members here. Enjoyed the splendid sunset was just like icing on the cake. In the evening we had to travel back as late evening was our flight. this trip was definitely and refreshing one, came to know about the culture, enjoyed the toothsome cuisines of Gokarna, soaked in the pristine beaches of the place. Overall I would rate this place a must-visit and couples, family, friends who want to avoid crowd this is certainly a heaven for them.