Gokarna, better known as a hippie’s paradise is a small coastal temple town on the western coast of India. Situated at a distance of less than 80 Kms from Goa, this beautiful hamlet in Karnataka boasts of some of the most secluded beaches in India.
It is a 10 Km detour from National highway- 17 that takes one to Gokarna. The town consists of the beautiful Mahabaleshwar temple and Gokarna beach. This is the main beach of Gokarna which attracts many pilgrims who take a dip in these waters before entering the temple. Uncontrolled pilgrim visits has made the beach look unclean. The narrow streets with shops on both sides and loitering cows lead to the beach.
A lovely ride of 6 Kms from the town across the hills leads to the famous OM beach. The road abruptly comes to an end at the entrance of the beach. En route to the OM beach one can see the beautiful Kudle beach with greenery surrounding it on three sides. OM beach gets its name from the Hindu Symbol OM. The beach when seen from an aerial angle takes the shape of OM. The beach has rocks jutting out from the waters in many places and these are definitely the best sunset view points. OM beach looks placid and serene with numerous foreign travelers, a couple of fishermen and many cows. It is a long beach with a lot of shacks for the travelers. Namaste Café is the most popular one amongst them.
A light trek of less than 20 minutes from OM beach leads to Kudle beach. The beach which falls on to the north lies between Gokarna beach and OM beach. Kudle beach is also frequented by the travelers and has a lot of shacks and restaurants which serve to the requirements of the visitors. It is less rocky than OM beach and is smaller too in size. One can also reach Kudle beach by trekking from the main Gokarna beach.
The secluded Half moon beach which lies to the south of OM beach is a half an hour trek across the hills. The trek through the hills is a fabulous one with the rocks and sea giving company all the way through. With breathtaking scenery this trek is a photographer’s favorite. Om beach looks stunning from the hills and the view of the expansive Arabian Sea is a visual treat. With hardly any civilization, Half moon beach is the ideal place for beach lovers in search of solitude.
A narrow path further south leads to Paradise beach. The beach is another secluded one with the shacks opening up only during peak season. Both Paradise beach and Half moon beach can be reached only by treks or with the help of boats. The only way to keep one engaged at these beaches is to count the waves and go crab chasing. Now how exciting is that?
Location- Western Karnataka
Nearest Rail Head- Gokarna Railway station (10 Kms), Kumta Railway station (23 Kms)
Nearest Airport- Dabolim airport, Marmagao (150 Kms)
Nearest Towns- Karwar (55 Kms), Bangalore (490 Kms), Panaji (160 Kms)
Accommodation- Namaste café, sunset café. There are also small hotels in Gokarna town.
Best time to visit- October to February