Gokarna is a lovely town in Karnataka surrounded by the hills of the Western Ghats. In Sanskrit, the term is referred to as Cow’s ear. The beautiful beaches and the ancient temples are the major attraction of this place. A huge number of devotees flock this place throughout the year. The picturesque landscapes and the amazing hills draw many tourists to Gokarna.
Being a renowned temple town, it is connected with several popular epics and legends of Hindu mythology. The beaches are mostly secluded and unexplored. People visit the beaches to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Some popular tourist places in Gokarna are Lalgulli Falls, Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Mahabaleshwara Temple, Gokarna Beach and much more. The presence of various ancient temples has made Gokarna a famous pilgrimage spot.
Furthermore, there are several fabulous beach resorts that make Gokarna an exciting holiday destination for tourists. No matter, you wish to backpack with your friends or looking for a hideaway with your family, Gokarna is the perfect choice to enjoy your vacation in India.
Reasons Why People Love to Visit Gokarna Tourist Places
1. Om Beach
This real-life beach gives a complete heavenly ambiance for its tourists. Om Beach is located on the shoreline of the Arabian Sea. It is also similar to the auspicious sign of Om which makes it even more well-known. You will find various shacks which are open 24 hours. They sell mouthwatering seafood. It is a great beach to have fun and indulge in thrilling activities like a jet ski. The beach remains less crowded and attracts the visitors with its revitalizing ambiance.
Activities popular in Om Beach: Beach side trekking, jet skiing, bumper boat ride, dolphin spotting, fishing and banana boat rides.
Distance: It is about 6 kilometers from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand.
2. Kudle Beach
Kudle Beach is a very popular trekking beach in Gokarna. The entire beach is surrounded by lining of coconut trees which make this beach looks even more beautiful. The adjoining serebe landscapes also make the beach attractive. You can trek on the nearby hillocks or you can just bask in the sun and spend your time leisurely. Morning walks and evening walks are very common on this beach.
Activities popular in Kudle Beach: Surfing, yoga, trekking, etc.
Distance: Kudle Beach is located 6 kilometers from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand.
3. Mahabaleshwara Temple
Mahabaleshwara Temple is quite similar to that of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, in terms of popularity. It has a Dravidian style of architecture where the interior carvings are similar to the labyrinths. Vedic verses are written on the carvings and the major deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. There is a huge linga here which is worshipped and the celebration of Mahashivaratri is celebrated here in a spellbinding manner.
Timings: The temple is open on all days of the week from 6.00 am to 12.30 pm and from 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm.
Distance: Mahabaleshwara Temple is located close to the Gokarna Bus Main Stand. It is approximately 600 meters from the bus stand.
4. Gokarna Beach
Gokarna beach is the best beach in Karnataka with blue waters and slushy land kissing each other. The entire place faces the Arabian Sea and the cool breeze blowing across makes it a favorable place of visit. Popular DJ Nights are held over here. It is a great place to party, clubbing and indulging in beach activities. This beach should definitely not be missed while going to Gokarna temple. It is considered auspicious to take a bath in this beach before visiting the Lord Shiva temple complex. It is recommended to visit the best during the Shivratri festival as it remains resplendent. This beach does not have plenty of cafes and shacks but remains crowded at times.
Distance: Gokarna Beach is about one kilometer from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand.
5. Bhadrakali Temple
Bhadrakali temple is a popular place of worship in Gokarna which has a complete Dravidian style of architecture. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati or Goddess Uma. Paintings on different avatars of Lord Shiva is highlighted over here. Avatars of Goddess Durga and God Ganesha and Vishnu are also shown over here. The best time to visit this shrine is during Navaratri. It is a great sight to behold during this time.
Timings: The Bhadrakali Temple is open on all days from 5.00 am to 12.00 pm and again 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
Distance: It is located 650 meters from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand.
6. Half Moon Beach
This C shaped beach is a very quaint beach which is surrounded by greenery on all sides. Since it is not much crowded compared to the other beaches, Half Moon Beach is still intact in its serenity and tranquility. This place is popular for its scenic beauty and glistening sandy shores. It serves as a perfect hideaway spot from the busy city life and remains favorable for various beach activities. It is a thrilling experience to hike from the Om Beach to Half Moon Beach.
Activities popular in Half Moon Beach: Cabins, camping, paintball, paddle boats, canoeing, and swimming.
Timings: It is best to visit Half Moon Beach between the timings of 6.00 am and 6.00 pm.
Distance: It is located around 5 kilometers from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand.
7. Koti Tirtha
Gokarna is a very religious place with lots of temples surrounding it. It mainly refers to the Ganges of Gokarna. Koti Tirtha is basically a holy reservoir which is located in Gokarna. Since the waters over here are considered to be sacred, people usually come here to take a dip in the water. Whenever they come to visit any temple, they take a dip over here. The Aarti in early morning or evening is a beautiful sight to behold.
Timings: Koti Tirtha can be visited all through the year from 12.00 am to 12.00 pm.
Distance: Koti Tirtha temple is located 700 meters from the main bus stand in Gokarna.
8. Paradise beach
Paradise beach is perfectly set amidst lush green surroundings and has a very calm ambiance. It is a simple divine place which is amidst beautiful hillock. You will get a glimpse of the true aspect of nature from here. It is like a beautiful haven where you can spend hours just strolling along the beaches. The sunset looks simply mesmerizing from this beach. You can visit this beach by hiking from the popular Half Moon Beach. You can reach this beach via motorboat. Paradise Beach remained as a hub for trading weed. Several foreigners would gather here. As all the commercial activities are banned, it is no more a hotspot for trading activities.
Activities popular in Paradise Beach: Swimming and camping.
Distance: Paradise Beach is about 8 kilometers from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand.
9. Shopping in Kumta
Kumta is a beautiful coastal town which is popular for the Hindu shrines. Most of the shrines here are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Marathas used to rule this place before Britishers overtook and annexed to their rule. The lovely beach over here also makes it a popular tourist attraction. If you visit Gokarna, you can easily visit Kumta within a short time as it will be completely worth it. Kumta is popular for betel nut, coconut and cashew nut. Moreover, the handicrafts are also famous as they are purchased from Mahalasa. Ensure to purchase Sahyadri cashew as it is the most popular brand.
Distance: It takes about 50 minutes to reach Kumta from the Gokarna Bus Stand. The distance between Kumta and Gokarna is 33 kilometers.
If you are an absolute nature lover, you will surely love this place. Yaana is a small hill town located amidst the Sahyadri ranges. The picturesque landscape of this place is its major attraction. The place is completely surrounded by emerald green surroundings on all sides. It is a great choice for activities like trekking as there are various small hills where you can try this adventure. You can even do avifauna if you enjoy it. It is a beauteous place where you can enjoy lavishly.
Activities popular in Yaana: Bird watching and trekking.
Distance: It takes approximately 1 hour to reach Yaana from the Gokarna Bus Stand. The distance between Yaana and Gokarna is 46 kilometers.
11. Mirjan Fort
Mirjan Fort has witnessed a lot of bloody battles and witnessed the glory of various dynasties for many years. It is one of the must-visit destinations in Gokarna. It is located close to the NH 17. The fort spreads up to 4 hectares of land. The entire fort has been constructed by laterite stones. If you reach the top of the fort, you can get a breathtaking view of the entire nearby place. Many people even go here for their pre-wedding photo shoot as it is a great place for photography too.
Timings: Mirjan Fort is perfect to visit between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm.
Distance: It is approximately 22 kilometers from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand.
12. Maha Ganapati Temple
Maha Ganapati temple is a very popular divine place in Gokarna. Before entering the Mahabaleshwar temple, one should definitely visit the Maha Ganapati temple. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple has a legend attached to it about Ravana. When the Atmalinga was being carried away by Ravana, he was lured by Lord Ganesha and it was taken away from him. It was believed that as per Lord Shiva’s command everyone should visit this temple first or else no prayers will be fruitful.
Timings: Maha Ganapati Temple is open on all days of the week. It is open from 5.00 am to 12.00 pm and then 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
Distance: Maha Ganapati Temple is around 5 kilometers far from the main bus stand.
13. Café 1987
Though there are several cool café shops in Gokarna, Café 1987 is always a hot spot. It is popular due to great food and wonderful ambiance. It is the best place to enjoy a delicious breakfast with family and friends. Café 1987 is situated on the Kudle Hilltop. You can enjoy Indian, European and Asian cuisine at this restaurant. If you are looking to dine in at a place with pleasing vibes and awesome décor, you need to consider Café 1987. It is a fabulous spot to host family dinners, birthday parties and other functions for children.
Timings: Café 1987 is open on all days from 8.00 am to 11.00 pm.
Distance: The distance between Gokarna Bus Main Stand and Café 1987 is around 6 kilometers.
14. Nirvana Beach
If you are looking for a nearby destination to visit from Gokarna, Nirvana Beach should be added to your itinerary. It remains peaceful without much crowd and provides sufficient lone time to people who are looking for some quiet and serene atmosphere. It has a gorgeous stretch that serves as an absolute charm for witnessing the sunrise and sunset. People can take a dive into soothing blue waters to enjoy this fascinating getaway.
Activities popular in Nirvana Beach: Picnicking, swimming, etc.
Distance: The distance between Gokarna Bus Stand and Nirvana Beach is 10 Kilometres.
15. Baada Beach
Baada Beach is praised as the cleanest beach in Gokarna. It is an amazing place to visit all throughout the year. It can be reached by trekking from Kirki, which the entire experience would remain adventurous as well as enjoyable. It has hills on both sides and offers a refreshing halt from other Gokarna’s sightseeing places. The captivating beauty of the beach due to the arrangement of rocks on various sides is breath-taking.
Activities popular in Baada Beach: Trekking.
Distance: It is approximately 16 kilometers from the Gokarna Bus Main Stand which includes a ferry route.
16. Shiva Cave
Being a fabulous place of visit in Gokarna, Shiva Cave consists of Shiva Lingam. It is not much popular among tourists but it is an interesting place you should include in your Gokarna itinerary. It has dark interiors all around and you are requested to carry a torch during your visit. It houses tens and hundreds of bats and has a curious myth connected with it. Shiva Caves attracts all age groups with its lovely surroundings. It also houses a Shiva temple visited by devotees to seek blessings and fulfilment of wishes.
Distance: Shiva Cave is about 5.5 kilometers from the Main Gokarna Bus Stand.
17. Namaste Café
Namaste Café is a popular attraction in Gokarna situated on the Om Beach. It is a beachfront restaurant that offers perfect relaxation space and mouth-watering dishes for tourists. The tourists can enjoy relishing food admiring the impressive sea views. If you wish to relax amidst picturesque vistas or fancy a quiet wander to enjoy the beach sands, you need to stop at Namaste Café. It is a serene and peaceful property that provides comfortable stay options in Gokarna. It is the perfect pick for budget travelers and backpackers.
Distance: It is located on Om Beach. The distance between Banglegudda and Gokarna Bus Stand is 6.3 kilometers.
Entry fee: They charge around INR 1080 per room per night. Timings for check at 1.00 pm and check out 11.00 am.
18. Mahalasa Temple
Mahalasa Temple is the sacred and auspicious place to visit in Gokarna. It is renowned which you should not visit to include in your Gokarna trip itinerary. The other name of this temple is Shri Mahalasa Siddhivinayaka Temple. It can be easily reached from the Gokarna Bus Stand. The temple was constructed more than 150 years ago and houses Shri Siddhivinayak idol. It is recommended to visit the temple during special festivals like Shravana Sankashti, Ashwin Shashti and Ganesh Chaturthi as the celebrations will be performed in a very grand manner.
Distance: It is approximately 10 kilometers from the main Gokarna Bus Stand.
Timings: It is recommended to visit the temple between 6.00 am and 9.00 pm.
19. Uppin Ganpati Temple
It is a beautiful temple, which is also referred to as Vinayakar Temple. Ensure to add this wonderful place in your Gokarna vacation. This temple is devoted to Lord Ganesha and he is the main deity of this temple. This popular temple houses an arch and main hall which tourists can witness during their visit.
Distance: The distance between Banglegudda, Gokarna and Gokarna Bus Stand is around 35 kilometers.
Timings: It is open all throughout the year and can be visited from 6.00 am to 9.00 pm.
20. Lalgudi Falls
If you are a passionate nature lover, you would surely enjoy visiting Lalgudi Falls in Gokarna. It is a mind-blowing natural wonder set amidst a picturesque and peaceful setting. It is situated in Karnataka- Uttara Kannada District. Lalgudi Waterfalls is enclosed by lush greenery which adds more elegance to this place. It is a popular picnic spot for families, students, and corporates. The tourists can spend time by indulging in water sports activities along the waterfalls. There is also a Hanuman temple located close to the hill.
Activities popular in Lalgudi Falls: River rafting, trekking, and various other water sports activities.
Distance: The distance between Lalgudi Falls and Gokarna Bus Stand is around 90 kilometers.
Timings: It can be visited all throughout the year from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm.
21. Cocopelli Surf School
Cocopelli Surf School is the only and fist surf institute in Gokarna that is recognized by International Surfing Association. The instructors in this school are ISA-Certified. It is the best spot to enjoy a relaxing and exciting vacation. It is recommended to visit this school from October to May as it is the best time for beginners to learn surfing. If you wish to lean a new adventurous activity during your trip, it is best to learn this skill.
Distance: It takes around just 8 minutes to reach the Cocopelli Surf School from Gokarna Main Bus Stand.
22. SwaSwara Resort
With giving importance to Yoga and Ayurveda, the SwaSwara Resort is one of the famous resorts in Gokarna. It aims to completely satisfy the guests with various vacation packages that are completely designed in perfection. The location and setting of the resort look like as it situated on a private charming island enclosed by greenery and water. The vibes around the resort refresh your mind and heart and offer a feeling of wellness and positivity. Most people confuse whether it is a spa or self-healing ashram but this resort is more than that.
Activities popular in SwaSwara resort: Spa, meditation and yoga, Ayurveda treatments, nature walk, boat cruises, and bird watching.
23. Gokarna Forest Resort
Occupying a portion of 188-hectare forest, Gokarna Forest Resort served as a hunting resort for the Nepali noble family. At present, the gunshots are replaced by the flying golf balls. This resort has around18 holes golf ground. The resort is popular for the golf course, beautiful atmosphere and surroundings. It offers sheer opulence and luxury making you feel like staying at the dreamland. This is a world-famous resort and has been used for various international film shoots.
Activities popular in Gokarna Forest Resort: Swimming pool, golf, mountain biking, horse riding, forest walking, and bird watching.
24. Anshi National Park
Situated on the way to Karwar road, Anshi National Park is surrounded by a thick jungle. It is considered one of the most vulnerable parks in India. It houses more 197 unique species of birds. It is a lovely place for people who love bird watching. It does not have proper walking ways or well-organized safaris. However, you can explore the lovely surroundings on own by walk. People planning to stay at this park should get approval from the Dandeli Forest Department as they arrange tented accommodation, house, and dormitories as per requirement.
Distance: Anshi National Park is 8 kilometres from the Gokarna railway station. It can be easily reached by auto rickshaw or taxi.
The glistening beaches and the pristine shrines make Gokarna an enchanting destination for traveling with friends or family.