Konkan region is one of the best places in India to enjoy monsoon. Ancient temple town of Gokarna comes into this region and it is a perfect place for soaking into some quiet, relaxing moments. While talking about Gokarna, I am talking about not just Gokarna, but also about some nearby beaches, which largely fall into Gokarna as a destination. Gokarna is a temple town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka and is very close to Goa. Gokarna is a small and remote holy town, with four of India’s most secluded and pristine beaches nestled nearby. It draws both pious pilgrims and hedonistic holiday makers with equal enthusiasm. There are many temples in this town and main one among them is the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Gokarna town has its own beach, but that’s not as tempting as other beaches around the town. Town sees heavy rush during many festivals but while monsoon its calm and cosy. Monsoon has its own charm in the region.
Om beach is located 8 km from Gokarna. It derives its name from the two semicircular coves which join to form an inverted symbol of Om. It is the place where you can see many numbers of Hippi Sadhus doing their penance. It is also a major center for water sports activities such as surfing, water skiing, para sailing etc. Om Beach is the most happening beach, and is the only one that’s reachable by car or rickshaw.
The others are around a 20 minute hike away from each other through the hills and over rocks, or a short boat ride away. The last beach, Paradise Beach, is not much more than a tiny protected cove that’s a patch of hippie paradise. Gokarna town has plenty of hotels. Instead, find yourself a basic hut right on the beach. Om and Kudle beaches both have shacks offering accommodations, while places also open on Paradise and Halfmoon beaches during the tourist season from November to March. There are also a few new luxury resorts in the area. But during monsoon, its leisure being here with no rush. But then because of lesser number of tourists, there is also a chance of closed guest houses and restaurants. But then there will be always a better bargain.
Hills surrounding Gokarna are said to be mythological, with stories about them being related to Ramayana. It is also said that this is the are which was called as Kishkindha (किष्किंधा). There is a hill with reference to being as Hanuman’s mother’s place.
The nearest airport is Dabolim, in Goa. From there it’s a four hour drive to Gorkana. Alternatively, trains on the Konkan railway stop at Gokarna Road station, 15 minutes from town, as well as Kumta and Ankola stations, both around 25 kilometers from Gokarna. Gokarna is also well connected by bus from major cities such as Madgaon in Goa, and Mangalore and Bangalore in Karnataka. Om beach is another 8 kms from the Gokarna town.