It was valentines last year when Daaku (Chaavi’s Husband and co traveller) told Chaavi Gautam of his wish to go to a place like Goa, just quieter. And, guess where they landed up? Gokarna, a small town in the North of Karnataka. Here is her report…
We packed in our most comfortable shoes and decided to go beach trekking. Around 517 km from Bangalore and easily accessible from any other region via train to Gokarna station or a flight to Dabolim (Goa); Gokarna’s rocky cliffs and pristine beaches are unlike any other.
If, like us, the travellers make use of the unique offer to trek from one beach to another, there is much to look forward to.
As you begin exploring the town, you will find yourself at Gokarna beach which is right next to the Mahabaleshwar temple. However, the beach is almost always jam packed. Pilgrims take a dip in the water before heading to the temple and offer prayers.
While you should visit the Mahabaleshwar temple to witness the 1500 years old Shivling; the beach can be skipped. It is crowded and does desperately need a clean up.
You can take autos, bikes and boat rides to the next beach, but we wanted to enjoy listening to the waters and birds chirping while we walk through the greens to reach the shore.
After a calm 30 minute trek (not stroll!), we reached Kudle beach. The mood at this beach is fun and lively. It is right for those who are looking to play volleyball on the beach or splash water on each other. You will also find people practicing yoga or strumming a guitar to their favourite song over a chilled beer. There are many accommodation options and cafes here. No doubt, this was one of our favourite beaches.
Seven kms from the city lies the Om beach. Named after the shape of the beach (Om), this is a rather known destination in Karnataka. If you are visiting in the right season, you can enjoy the water rides available as well. Get your adrenaline going with kayaking, parasailing, snorkeling and banana rides.
If you looking for a more peaceful holiday, walk to the other side of the Om beach. Shaped like a lagoon, half-moon beach is not only secluded but untouched by commercialisation. There are very limited options to eat, stay and getting there.
As you move ahead to complete the trek, you will reach the last beach on the trail: Paradise beach, the most unspoilt of all 5.
The trek to Half-moon and paradise is tough due to steep ascends and descends. If you’re not into trekking, you can reach these beaches via motor boats available at other beaches.
While the entire trek can take around 3 hours, each of the four beaches is uniquely appealing and deserve a few hours each (at the very least). You can comfortably complete the trek in 2 days. Don’t forget to carry lots of water, hat and sunscreen to fight the heat!
You will also be happy to know that many western tourists visit Gokarna which has made beachwear acceptable. So don’t think twice before putting on that two piece.
We stayed two nights in a hut on Kudle beach and one night on Om beach. It is the perfect way to experience nature, nightlife and peace. The only drawback is the shared bathrooms you need to deal with! While getting your own sleeping bag is advisable, the huts do provide cots with mosquito nets.
Relax on a hammock, read your favorite book, stare at the endless horizons and end your day with the perfect sunset. It is truly beautiful!
Gokarna will also surprise you with excellent food options. For a vegetarian Indian meal, try Prema. It is also popular hangout for western visitors. We also loved Namaste Cafe on Om beach because it serves tasty food alongside a breathtaking view.
If you are planning to visit Gokarna, make it at least 3 day getaway. Away from the hustle bustle of your daily life, this mystical place will leave you dumbfounded with its beauty and serenity.
A traveller at heart, Chhavi (or @Mrs_Daaku) along with Amit Khare (or @daaku) love to travel across India and document their experiences on Mrs. Daaku Studio (mrsdaakustudio.com). Apart from this, she is a freelance tech and marketing writer/blogger and co-founder at Content Writer Guru. You can reach out to her at email@example.com