Gokarna is a small holy town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. The name Gokarna is interpreted as cow's ear. As per Hindu mythology Lord Rudra underwent pernance and emerged from the ear of a cow named Prithvi, synonym for Mother Earth and hence the name Gokarna. Gokarna is placed at the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers Gangavali and Aghanashini.
Visiting Gokarna could have a dual purpose as it is a holiday destination as well as a beautiful temple town. Gokarna is also famous as a Mukti Sthal, a place where Hindus come to perform rites after the death of one's relative. The account of Gokarna is in many mythological scriptures as well.
Around the town are a wide number of beaches which visitors keep on thronging in large numbers each day. Gokarna has a mention in the Srimad Bhagavada Purana for being the home of two brothers Gokarna and Dhundhakari. Gokarna is richly abundant in coconut and palm trees, blue seas and clean sands.
CONNECTIVITY TO GOKARNA:
Gokarna is coonected to the nearest railhead Ankola which is 25 km away. The nearest airport is in Dabolim Airport which is nearly 140 km from Gokarna.
KSRTC buses connect Gokarna to various cities around. Madgaon (125 km), Mangalore (225 km), Dabolim (140 km) and Bangalore (475 km) are all well connected to Gokarna by KSRTC.
ATTRACTIONS IN GOKARNA:
-Gokarna Beach is close to Gokarna town and can be accessed by road. One can get to view the winding path that leads up to it. For nature lovers this beach serves as an ideal destination for nature lovers. One can take a dip in the ravishing beach waters for loads of fun and excitement.
-Half Moon Beach is a small and stunning beach near Gokarna. Half Moon Beach and Om Beach are separated by a cliff. Activities that can be undertaken at this beach include Volleyball, Canoes, Paintball, Paddleboats, Camping etc. The beauty of the beach is extremely enticing.
-At just 21 minutes walk from Gokarna is the Kudle Beach. In order to reach Kudle one has to take a conduit that begins on the south side of the Ganpati temple.
It is a white long sandy beach bordered by palm trees. Around this beach there are huts and eating places.
-Om beach is shaped in the form of Om and visit to this beach provides for mental and spiritual fulfillment. There are some basic huts and chai shops to eat at.
Surfing, skeeing and banana boat cruises are available under the supervision of an instructor. Many pilgrims visit Om beach on a holiday.
-Paradise beach is located near Gokarna and is meant for sun bathing and swimming. It can be reached by boat or forest trekking. Open restaurant with sea food facility is available at this beach along with Barbeque. It is an ideal beach for spending leisure time. It is also known as full moon beach. It is ideal for swimming but water sports are not available here.
-Mahabaleshwar Temple: also known as Kashi of the South. Hindus come here for the purpose of performing death rites of ancestors here.
-Another attraction is a sea coast town Kumta near Gokarna.
Some of the temples of religious importance include Mahabaleshwar Temple, Maha Ganpati temple, Bhadrakali temple, Varadraj Temple, and Venkataramana Temple.
Visiting Gokarna is an ideal pursuit of religious importance along with enjoying the placid and tranquill environment pervading across the beaches. The enervating sight of golden sand shining against the amber rays of the Sun is highly mesmerizing and breathtaking.