One of the most popular beaches in Gokarna, Gokarna Beach recently gained fame for being a surfing site. It is also famous for its scenic trekking excursion one can take from here.
Located in close proximity to the Mahabaleshwara Temple, the Gokarna Beach is also known as the place where pilgrims first come to take a dip before visiting the temple. You can also visit the other beaches of the region, like Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach, Om Beach as well as Kudle Beach from here.
This beach gives off some of the most beautiful sights of the ocean and the surrounding hillocks. Some of the adventure activities you can engage in Gokarna Beach include surfing, jet skiing, snorkeling as well as trekking.
Gokarna Beach is several kilometres long and is situated at the edge of the temple town. It has recently gained popularity as a go-to beach destination owing to its beautiful stretches of sand and pristine locations. Gokarna beaches were rarely frequented by the locals until foreign tourists started thronging the seaside. Soon, many locals opened stores selling souvenirs, unique cafes and beach shacks. Walking along the coastline here is unique as you will come across many cafes and shacks and this is a place where the hippie culture of Gokarna is at.
It is quite popular with pilgrims who come to the town to seek the blessings of Shiva, Indian groups and with foreign tourists as well. The muddy uphill roads with forest cover on both sides provide for more than a reason to go for a hike or a family picnic. The steep rocks in the shallow sea allow rock climbing for the adventure junkies. Bird and animal life is plenty around the serene beaches. While in Gokarna Beach, taking a crash course in Yoga is also a great way to spend the mornings.
HOW TO REACH GOKARNA BEACH
The nearest airport is Dabolim, in Goa. From there it's a four hour drive south to Gorkana. Alternatively, trains on the Konkan railway stop at Gokarna Road station, 15 minutes from town. There are railway stations at Kumta and Ankola, both about 25 kilometers (16 miles) from Gokarna, as well. Gokarna is also connected by bus from major cities such as Madgaon in Goa, and Mangalore and Bangalore in Karnataka.
BEST TIME TO VISIT GOKARNA BEACH
Gokarna experiences the southwest monsoon from June to August, following which the weather becomes dry and sunny. The best time to visit Gokarna is from October until March, when the weather is warm and pleasant with temperatures averaging 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). April and May are hot summer months, and the temperature easily reaches 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) then. It becomes very humid too.
ACTIVITIES TO DO IN GOKARNA BEACH
SURFING- If you haven't already, you can try your hand at the surfing, which can be quite easily pursued here. The wave here is perfect for both beginners and advanced surfers, and you can easily hire all sorts of surfing gear such as surfboards, wetsuits, flippers and even kayaks. Surfing school by the name of 'Cocopelli Surf School' offers some really good lessons that can last over a few hours to a few days according to your preference. You can safely pursue surfing under their guidance and who knows, you might turn out to be the next Mick Fanning!
TREK- Gokarna beach is an unlikely destination for a trekking adventure. The trek route begins in Bangalore and is a 7 - 10 kilometres hike before you reach the final destination. The trek will take you through a number of beaches such as Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach, Rock Climbing, Dolphin's Point, Om Beach and Kudle Beach. The highlight of the trek is its scenic beauty, with gentle hills surrounding the beaches as you make your way through the trail. You can also trek up to the Mirjan Fort, which is another attraction worth visiting. The trek is spread over a period of two days, and you can get package deals to ease your travel.
SHOPPING- Undoubtedly, shopping is one of the most looked forward to activities pursued in any destination, and if you are in Gokarna you will have quite a few items to choose from. The main market area is great for shopping as there are bags, purses, idols, trinkets, souvenirs and other items like jewellery, clothes and accessories available at reasonable prices. Local artefacts are also there which include both abstract and religious. Trendy backpacks are a favourite among the tourists. You can also grab a few religious souvenirs such as prayer beads and idols of various Gods and Goddesses. Most shops have similar items, so it is a good idea to check around for the prices before you actually buy something.
In addition to surfing, a number of other activities are available here for you to try out. Start your day with some Yoga, which will not only refresh your mind but also renew your spirit. A number of resorts offer Yoga classes overlooking the sparkling blue sea, but you can always do your own thing whilst enjoying the serene environment. You can also explore the waters for what they are by the means of a banana boat which is often attached to a jet ski and pushes you right into the waves! Worry not, it's all in good fun and you will have you wanting to go for Round 2! You can also acquaint yourself with the underwater life by means of snorkelling, where you can get a good look at all the fish that call the Arabian Sea their home.