Beaches in Gokarna

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This post has been published in Club Mahindra blog. This is my 3rd post on Gokarna. Here’s my 2nd post and 1st post.

About Gokarna: An ancient beach town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, Gokarna has great religious significance as well. The town has 5 beaches – Gokarna, Kudle, OM, Half Moon and Paradise – in that order and with hills between the beaches. As such, it offers extremely good opportunity for beach treks. None of these beach treks surpass 30 minutes duration and provide exotic views of the sea from the hillocks. World seems to have stopped when you are here – beach hop, lay on the beach, jog, walk, eat at beach cafes, buy, drink, dance, write – do whatever but don’t rush. This is a place that rewards laziness. All these make Gokarna a great two day weekend getaway from Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai and Pune during Oct-Apr.

 

Carefool at OM Beach

Carefool at OM Beach

 

Each beach in Gokarna is a lazy man’s paradise. Stay and eat at a beach side hack/cafe/hotel/resort. Lie on the  beach – on a bed-sheet with a hat over your face to avoid sun/eye-contact, or with the sun scorching your back. Or, read a book lying on a towel and in your bare minimum. And the best part, wear almost anything that you want (just that you have to wear something) – barmudas with sleepers, Alibaba pants and top, or a skirt of any shape and size.

There are five beaches in Gokarna – Gokarna, Kudle, Om, Half Moon and Paradise, in that order.

 

Gokarna Beach at Dusk

Gokarna Beach at Dusk

 

Gokarna Beach – It lies close to the town and is frequented by locals and tourists alike. The beach is close to the Mahabaleshwar Temple, a very old Lord Shiva temple that has an associated legend as well. At the beach, you can spot families, young and elderly couples, single and group travellers. It goes without saying – several fast food joints and the groundnut/balloon sellers adorn the shoreline. In the vicinity, you will find plenty of hotels, food joints and garments/puja shops. A word of caution here for tourists:  Avoid wearing skimpy clothes in the area. Since the ancient temple is nearby, this part of Gokarna is more of a pilgrim town than a beach town. You wouldn’t want to be an eye-sore for the locals just for your choice of clothes.

 

Kudle Beach

Kudle Beach

Kudle Beach – Is mostly frequented by foreigners and is almost a kilometer long, pretty wide as well. This gives you ample space to engage in the usual beach games, bonfires etc. Rocks, and plenty of them, adorn the sea shore. You’d find foreign tourists (mostly, but some Indians as well) staying in the shacks – sleeping, eating, drinking and reading.  I spotted the “Shantaram” being read atleast atleast thrice! King Fish delicacies are very tasty and are reasonably priced, in fact cheaper than most restaurants in Bangalore. The eateries play continental/Israeli music all the time. You could also beach trek from Kudle to Mahabaleshwar Temple.

OM Beach

OM Beach

OM Beach – This beach is around 20 minutes of an auto ride from the Gokarna bus stand. Certainly the best of the five Gokarna beaches, the beach derives its name from the Hindu religious symbol – OM, since its shape resembles that of the symbol. The ‘OM’ shape is pretty evident when you see the beach from the hillocks on the either side. However, the right side gives a better view than the left. Consequently, the picture you take would be mirror image of the OM symbol. The beach is the longest among the five beaches and is frequented by Indian and foreign tourists alike. You can stay at the Namaste Café which overlooks the OM Beach, or at any of the several shacks that are scattered around the beach. There is also the Swaswara resort as well, a hundred odd meters away from Om beach. There are three equidistant rocky patches at the beach. Two things you shouldn’t miss at OM – sitting atop each rock patch and the morning jog.

Half Moon Beach - Panorama

Half Moon Beach - Panorama

Half Moon Beach – It’s a tiny beach and can be reached by beach trekking from Om, or by paying INR 200 on a ferry boat. But the ferry ride wouldn’t allow you to spend much time at the beach. The beach has huge rocks as well. There’s a hut and you may as well get some food there. Once here lose yourself and merge with the tranquil surroundings.

Paradise Beach – The fifth and the last beach in the series, and it befits its name. You have to beach trek for about 20 min from Half Moon beach to reach Paradise beach. There are a couple of beach cafes as well.

Tips…

  1. Be careful while swimming, as the sea is shallow at some places and there are several cases of death due to drowning reported every year here.
  2. As usual, bargain hard with the sellers – beads sellers, clothes and accessories sellers, musical instruments sellers etc.
  3. Take mosquito repellent and a bed-sheet with you.
  4. Try beach trek – there are at least four options. If you can’t beach trek at all, you can see the beaches on a ferry boat – at INR 200 per head.
  5. Take your swimwear with you – there aren’t too many beaches in India where you can wear them without being ogled. So, don’t miss this opportunity.
  6. Don’t wear bikini at the Gokarna Beach – this may offend the local people and the police. But you may wear them at the other four beaches.
  7. Don’t miss the morning jog at OM beach.
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11 Responses to “Beaches in Gokarna”

  1. Trinity Says:

    “Swaswara resort WARNING!”

    has horrible customers service.

    The person at receptions place doesn’t have manners how to talk or address customers.

    May be that is for what she is paid for? hehe

    The resort is just OVER PRICED just build to cash Euro’s of Europeans.

    And any Indian enquiring there is treated like cheaply as their pricing are in Euro’s.

    It hurts to see such a BAD resort in a Holy Place Like in Gokarna.

    And the funny thing is they have yoga and ayurveda though they don’t know the real essence of the same.

    Wann spoil your holoday exp go to swaswara. YES

    Swaswara HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED.

    On the other had you will find good accommodations facilities starting with rs 200 , 4 USD in the gokarna city and people with good manners.

  2. camille Says:

    hello
    does anyone have an email for namaste cafe? i would like to book in advance.
    are there any other beach huts to stay at on om beach, for US$20 or less? thanks

  3. Bipasha Says:

    Nice blog. Like the concept.

    Would be going to Gokarna soon and have booked cottages at Namaste Cafe. Any idea how is it? Also, would you recommend driving down or taking the bus

  4. Catherine Bardrick Says:

    Can never resist a great beach!!

  5. Marc Says:

    Wow, some great beaches there. I particularly like the shot of OM Beach. Also like the concept of doing weekend travels and then reporting on them on your blog. Great idea!

    • Kalyan Banerjee Says:

      @ Marc: Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving such wonderful comments.Gokarna Beaches are really wonderful. I suggest when you visit India, keep this place in your itinerary.
      I’m going through your photoblog right now. I haven’t been to Amsterdam yet, but its a treat to watch Amsterdam through your lens. I’ve bookmarked your photoblog and would comment there now.
      Cheers!

  6. meetsudeshna Says:

    Great now that the pics are center aligned

  7. Kalyan Banerjee Says:

    @Rahi: Thanks for dropping by and commenting here. I can understand how you feel. I had similar experiences too. I was in Roorkee (Uttaranchal) for 4 long years yet didn’t visit Gangotri when my friends did. And now, I live just too far to do the trip in a weekend. But, I plan to visit there as soon as I can.

    Hope you get a chance to visit Gokarna – the beauty will ensure that you visit it again.

  8. Rahi Says:

    that was quite an informative post on gokarna. when i was in pune, i missed out on two opportunities to visit the place, and still ruing abt the loss. ur information will be much helpful for tourists visiting the place.


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