When it comes to choosing a honeymoon destination in South India, you will be spoiled for choice since there are plenty of attractions in the coastal areas. Choosing Gokarna as a destination for a post-wedding trip will offer newlywed couples a memorable experience altogether. This temple town, in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district, steeped in the religious landscape of south India is a pilgrimage center of the Hindus. Besides that, millions of visitors from across the globe travel to Gokarna for a retreat or as a weekend getaway including newlyweds.
The town has its own beach used for pilgrims besides other virgin beaches namely Kudle, Om, Paradise, and Half-Moon, all facing the shorelines of the Arabian Sea. Most of the tourists with a strong desire to travel long and far come here to explore the virgin beaches. Unlike anywhere in South India, the beaches in Gokarna are perfect to travel on foot and worth exploring through various water-sport activities.
Besides beachside trekking, Gokarna offers plenty of water-sports including parasailing, banana boat ride, scuba diving, and snorkeling. For those on a post-wedding trip, this temple town is one worth experienced firsthand. A honeymooner will be in love with their spouse but also will fall in love with the holiday destination in South India. Adventure seekers travel from Gokarna to the wilderness of Kumta and across to the Yana caves, so your honeymoon will be full of adventure as well.
Aside from temples, the landscape of Gokarna see-saws everything from coconut palm trees and the pristine beaches rounding off a destination, which is perfect to spend timeouts with the spouse. The best time to visit Gokarna is following the recession of South Indian monsoon and late March, which is when sightseers partake in popular tourist activities along the beachside.
Where to find accommodation is one that tends to puzzle visitors to the temple town, but you have plenty of choices there also, including everything from budget cottages in Gokarna to luxury Gokarna beach resorts. When the tourist season is at its peak, it is best to advance book a Gokarna cottage, so that you can enjoy all the benefits including meditation and yoga, full body massage, and above all, unparallel views to the shorelines of the Arabian Sea.
Gokarna is well known for its harmonic beauty and divine ambience. This natural getaway has something in store for everyone, such as temples and other divine places for elderly people, romantic escapes for couples, trekking and water sports for kids and the adventurous sort, wondrous sculptures for architecture enthusiasts, etc. All in all, this sleepy little village is a good combo package for everyone.
If you are wondering about accommodation, there are many budget hotels in Gokarna that will provide you a pleasant stay. However, you must consider some factors before choosing one of these hotels to make your stay more comfortable. Some of them are listed below.
Most budget hotels have the provision of online booking nowadays. Try and book online at least a month prior to the trip, as this will save you a few bucks. However, if you are traveling during peak time, it is better to call the hotel a day before you arrive, and confirm reservations. Have a backup plan in case of emergencies.
Try and choose rooms with a padlock on the outside. Additionally, carry a small lock for yourselves for extra security, especially if you’re leaving valuable things inside. Do not forget to lock any balcony doors also, as there is high monkey population in some areas of Gokarna.
Taxes and Payment
While booking your room, make sure that the rent is inclusive of all taxes. Some hotels in Gokarna provide transportation facilities as well. Make sure they are not charging extra without telling you; otherwise, choosing budget hotels in Gokarna would be meaningless.
As Gokarna is a coastal town, there are chances you’ll get poor reception for your mobile over here. In such cases, you cannot do things like check your reservation status, browse details about the places you want to visit, etc. Besides, it will be hard to communicate with outside world as well. To avoid this, make sure that you are checking in at a hotel that has Wi-Fi facility.
Most hotels in Gokarna have rooftop restaurants and are famous for their seafood. However, if you want to save your bucks more, you can choose a street shop that serves decent food and helps you savor the authentic flavors of Gokarna.
To make it more affordable, most people ignore expected blackouts that are common in many budget hotels. Instead, choose a hotel that has inverter facilities. Saving bucks at the cost of utmost discomfort during a pleasure trip does not make any sense.
Try to choose hotels with the best washroom facilities. Most hotels will have western toilets instead of the squat type; so pick the right one if you are particular about it. Besides, check the availability of hot water also. All these details will be provided on their website.
Gokarna is one of the scenic and harmonic places in South India, which is sure to make you fall head over heels in love with it. If you are planning a trip to this charming nature weekend gateway, try choosing cottages in Gokarna rather than hotel rooms. This is one of the best ways to indulge in the enchanting nature over here. Some of the main reasons for choosing cottages in Gokarna over the hotel rooms here, are listed below.
One of the main factors that stop people from choosing luxurious hotel rooms in Gokarna is the budget. Spending a huge amount for luxury confined within the four walls of a room where there is nothing special to see or do, is a sheer waste of money. On top of that, you would be spending relatively less time in your room as well.
There is a huge difference in the rent for a hotel and cottage. Furthermore, cottages in Gokarna provide you almost all the facilities of a good kitchen, whereas you have to rely on room service or other restaurants for your food in hotel rooms. You can also save money by cooking food for yourselves, and can also enjoy the cooking experience with your loved ones.
Hotel rooms may become suffocating or confined after few days. Otherwise, you will have to choose deluxe rooms, which will be really expensive. Cottages in Gokarna, on the other hand, are very spacious, and are comparatively less expensive. Moreover, these will give you a rustic and homely atmosphere that includes a separate bedroom, bigger washrooms, reading area, play area, etc.
The cottages in Gokarna near the beaches are the best, as they offer a decent view and let you pamper yourselves with all that quiet. Other than this, most couples find cottages here romantic, and a good gateway to rekindle their romance. The chilling breeze and melodious atmosphere in Gokarna add to the romantic effect.
Most people enjoy almost every luxury in their home. There is nothing more hotel rooms in Gokarna can offer to you. So, instead of staying in a similar setting, step out of your comfort zone and choose amazing cottages in Gokarna, where you can feel nature and grow more connected with it.
Besides, Gokarna is famous for its scenic beauty and charismatic nature; so what’s better than getting to step into this pleasant nature and enjoy some peace of mind?
One of the best parts of visiting a town like Gokarna is finding accommodation facing the shorelines of the Arabian Sea. There are plenty of small shacks, lodges, and hotels in and around the environs of the four main beaches in Gokarna namely Om, Kudle, Half-Moon, and Paradise.
What has been a favorite spot for pilgrimage over the years has become one of the popular tourist destinations made famous by the Mahabaleshwar Temple and the beaches. Now that foreigners throng it, Gokarna has become a tourist spot that is equally laidback and less commercial to Goa.
Renting out a budget hotel or a cottage is amongst the two popular choices for finding stay in Gokarna. One can literally listen to the sound of serene waves across the sandy rock formations, feel the wind blow, and engage in beachside activities that provide inner peace when staying in Gokarna beach hotels. Not to mention getting a taste of the seafood, practicing yoga, getting an Ayurvedic massage, setting alight bonfire, or enjoying the nightlife in Gokarna at one’s own comfort. The hippies that came to Gokarna in the past decades find it nothing less than nirvana, so what’s not to like?
Gokarna welcomes the southwest Monsoon starting June until August each year, and after that, the climate turns relatively sunny and dry. The ideal time visit this town in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district is following the recession of the South Indian monsoon by October and until March. It is also that time in the year, when the climate in Gokarna stays relatively warm around 30 degree Celsius temperature on an average. The summer vacations in South India starting April until May is often hot and humid than that, with average temperature ranging up to upper thirties.
The demand for beachside shacks in Gokarna tends to increase starting December until February based on where you choose to stay and the seasons of the year you make the trip. It is said that Kudle beach and Om beach have the most number of permanent cottages in Gokarna, while small huts in Half-Moon and Paradise beaches tends to stay open starting November till March or when tourists arrive in large numbers. It is always best to advance book budget Gokarna beach hotels if you are planning to visit the temple town anytime soon.
Gokarna has been a popular tourist destination since the 1970’s and 80’s, which was when hippies came to this place in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district in large numbers only to settle here thereafter. Many people find their way into the temple town as a weekend getaway, more or less.
When walking through the small, narrow alleys and streets in Gokarna with the sacred cows alongside you can see vendors selling miscellaneous articles on either side of the street. It is often a tourist activity to buy small idols of Lord Shiva, rudraksha prayer beads, and other paraphernalia related to Hindu religion when in the temple town.
Gokarna is also popularly known as a hippie’s paradise. Nowhere the hippie culture reflects more in Gokarna as in the streets and alleys. People make sure to visit the Hippies and the Halakkis in person and listen to their migration tales when they reach Gokarna on holiday. Some even get inspired by their tales only to stay back and lead a bohemian life albeit short lived. A glimpse of the laidback lives can be experienced in the cottages in Gokarna.
The temple town also has an indigenous population of the Halakkis. The majority of the tribal people in South India’s Uttara Kannada district can be spotted in the surroundings of the Mahabaleshwar temple. The Halakkis in Gokarna sells curios, flower, and vegetables on the streets. You can identify them from the traditional attire and unique jewelry.
The fishermen on Kudle and Om beach show an eagerness to take tourists on a catamaran ride after fishing. However, you still have to bargain hard to venture ahead into the Arabian Sea. The boat ride from one beach in Gokarna to the other is sure to leave you excited and it is best experienced. The temple town has several cottages, cafes and hotels all lined up along the two main beaches.
A beach trek is a must when staying in a Gokarna resort much like tasting a seafood dish like a Tuna sandwich in a beachside cafe. The salty blue waters of the Arabian Sea offer a sense of refreshment unlike no other city in South India. The secluded beaches are the reason why the Hippies came exploring the temple town just like millions of visitors from the world over even in this day and age.
Gokarna is one of the best tourist destinations in South India. This beautiful coastal town has something in store for everyone; be they adventure seekers, pilgrims, shopaholics, or architecture lovers.
There are many beach resorts and budget hotels in Gokarna that are sure to take you by surprise with their wondrously low rates and opulent facilities. However, there are many factors that you must consider while choosing Gokarna beach resorts or any other hotels here. Some of them are given below.
Distance to your Destinations
The first thing you must consider while choosing a resort is its distance to the destinations that you want to visit. For this, you must make a list of all the places that you want to visit in Gokarna; try to choose fewer places if you are planning a weekend trip. Besides, there may be many unexpected challenges on your trip, especially while traveling long distances; so plan accordingly.
While hunting for resorts you must consider all these places on your list; that is the destinations from starting to end and choose a resort, which is at minimum distance from all these places. However, Gokarna is a small town and almost all the tourist attractions are at an accessible distance. So, choose a resort that will come in the center point of these places.
Budget is one of the main factors that you must watch out for while choosing resorts in Gokarna. There are many high-end resorts as well as budget hotels in Gokarna. So, choose any of these top-notch resorts for a luxurious stay.
Similarly, if you want an affordable stay, you can choose any budget hotels here. Additionally, try to have food from affordable street shops that you can see almost everywhere in Gokarna. Otherwise, make sure that the resort you choose provides the best food for affordable rates. Try to choose traditional food at Gokarna like seafood, Gokarna thali meals, etc, as it is very cheap here.
Once you decide your budget, the next step is to choose a resort that provides maximum facilities with that budget. Gokarna is a place that is famous for its beaches, so try to choose any beach resorts here so that you can enjoy your evenings embracing the cool breeze and waves from the sea.
Some resorts will also provide water sports, campfires, beach parties, etc for their customers. Besides, check for the complimentary options that they provide. Most of the resorts offer free buffet breakfast, doctor call facilities, personal coffee machine and hairdryer, free room services, etc as complimentary gifts, to ensure a pleasant stay for their customers.
When someone says beaches in India, one of the first things to come to mind is Gokarna. This city in Karnataka is well known for its sightseeing spots and idyllic beaches. Gokarna is a place to be if you like watching the sunset, bathing in the ocean, meeting new people, or enjoying delicious food. It is located fifty kilometers south of Goa, and you can rent cottages in Gokarna for a relaxing stay there. But how exactly do you get there?
Getting to Gokarna
The cheapest and perhaps the most appealing way to get to Gokarna is by rail. The closest train station is Gokarna Road, which is around 8 km from the main Gokarna city. However, being a small station, it isn’t connected to the major Indian cities. The only places from where Gokarna Road is accessible are Madgaon, Karwar, Kumta, Ankola, and Mangalore. These stations are well connected to the major Indian cities through rail.
Madgaon and Gokarna
You can take the Maru Sagar express to reach Gokarna from Madgaon, Goa. After you reach Gokarna Road railway station, follow the road for about 1 km (10-minute walk), up until the point where you reach the Gokarna Road. From there, you can catch a bus and get to the main town. There is also the option of shared auto/taxi from right outside the train station.
If you are not taking the train to Gokarna, there are buses from the major cities such as Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hubballi, Pune, and Mangalore. If you get there from Goa, you can take a local bus from Madgaon to Karwar, and then catch another bus to reach Gokarna. Bus and Gokarna beach hotels bookings can be done online on most major travel websites.
Once you are in Gokarna town, strolling is easily one of the favorite ways to get around. The main attraction of the town is an original picture of the Athmalinga, or Lord Shiva’s linga. Other than that, you will also get to hit the 4 beaches towards the south of the town.
Gokarna Beach is usually jam-packed with people visiting the nearby Mahabaleshwar Temple. Kudle beach is about a 25-minute walk from Gokarna beach. Om beach is another 20-minute walk from there. If you are want more, you can hit the Paradise beach after a 40 minute stroll. All of this walking may not be what you are looking for, in which case, you can hire a two-wheeler for INR 300-400/day.
Gokarna is situated at the meeting point of River Kali and the Arabian Sea in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district. Beachside trekking is one of the to-do things in this South Indian town, which is made famous by the Mahabaleshwar Temple.
The temple town has age-old traditions that continue to attract visitors from across the world. If you want some inner peace when in Gokarna, try any of the below things to do to make your trip worthwhile.
Practice Beachside Yoga
The Half Moon Beach is one of the most visited virgin beaches in Gokarna. It resembles a lagoon to the naked eye than just a beach and has only a few shacks and restaurants when compared to other beaches in the temple town. This makes it ideal for practicing meditation and yoga.
The perfect time to find inner peace in Half Moon Beach is during sunrise or sunset. Other than that, even Gokarna beach resorts provide the space to practice yoga against the serene shorelines of the Arabian Sea.
Get an Ayurvedic Message
Ayurveda is a system of medicine, the origins of which trace back to the Atharva Veda. It has been part of India’s spiritual culture for as long as anyone can remember. In fact, even modern medicine would agree that relaxing massage with warm oil across the body or an Ayurvedic head massage rejuvenates the body and mind unlike few of forms of exercises.
It is perfect if you want to reduce weight, stress, blood cholesterol levels, and find harmony in life. If you are in Gokarna, do get yourselves an oil massage that takes cues from Ayurveda.
Taste Local Delicacies
There is no retreat anywhere in the world without tasting local food, and Gokarna is perfect for that. After all, who could resist when given an array of choices involving everything from seafood to coconut Upma, or a Goa-style fish curry to a lobster meal.
When on a weekend getaway in this laidback town, eating exquisite food is the only norm for people coming from different parts of the world. The seafood here is simply mouth-watering; and even vegans do not have be disappointed, as there are lots of places in Gokarna that have Italian pasta or an Indian-style Thali meal on their menu. Jump into any local food joints and you will know if it is worth the hype.
Gokarna is one of the best tourist spots in South India where serenity meets harmony. Gokarna is also one of the best pilgrimage destinations for Hindus. Other than this spiritual side, Gokarna is also exciting and adventurous. The pleasant nature of the town and tranquil beaches adds to it. There is a wide variety of water sports in Gokarna, which is sure to give you an adrenaline rush. Below are some of the best and exciting water activities in Gokarna.
Surfing at Cocopelli Surf School
This is the only surf school in Gokarna that is affiliated with the International Surfing Association (ISA) and all the instructors here are also ISA certified. Here, you can start your surfing lessons from Gokarna main beach under the guidance of experienced surfers. The cool and pleasant waves of the beach will provide enough oxygen for you while padding.
The best time to visit Cocopelli Surf School to start your surfing classes is from October to May. They will provide a full surfing kit that includes surfing board, guards, wetsuits, and flippers. Additionally, the school also offers various surf trips along the Indian coastlines.
Dolphin Spotting in Karwar
Karwar is regarded as one of the green cities of India that promotes eco-tourism. This beautiful town is famous for their various water sports like snorkeling, banana boat ride, kayaking, etc. One of the main and unique attractions here is the dolphin spotting,
Dolphin spotting is one of the best things to do in Gokarna, especially if there are small kids with you. You can also see them jumping out of the water if you are lucky. What’s more, there is no special season for dolphin spotting; it is available throughout the year.
Scuba Diving in Netrani Island
Netrani is a beautiful island in Murudeshwar, which is at an accessible distance from Gokarna. This heart shaped island, which is also known as the pigeon island, astonishes tourists with tranquil waters and picturesque views, which add to the charm of the trip.
This is one of the best places to enjoy reasonable scuba diving. Here, you can observe the magical aquatic life by going deep into the shallow and crystal clear water. Additionally, you will get all the gears required for your diving and you will be supervised by the best and certified scuba diving professionals here.
En route Kumta beach to Gokarna beach, people pass through more than 15 beaches on foot. If you need to explore a different path of South India, take the trekking adventure that is unlike the other forms of hiking.
The journey starts at Kumta beach, and en route, you can stop by beaches namely Vannalli, Kadle, Paradise, Nirvana, Half-Moon, and Om Beach. Obviously, it ends at Gokarna, the town made famous by the Mahabaleshwar Temple and its serene beachside views.
It is a long trek between the two towns in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district. Note that it is a two-day trip, which covers around 15 to 20 kilometers in all including some off the beaten paths, and some with no shops. That is one of the reasons why participating trekkers carry with them water, and backpack food. Regardless, pack light in order to keep the trek going without much interruption except for a want to stop to enjoy the scenery.
The perfect time to take the beach trek from Kumta to Gokarna tends to be following the recession of the South Indian monsoon from November until February. If you can walk long, this adventure is worth the wait and is suitable especially if you have fitness.
Trekkers alternate the paths from the beaches to the hill spots en route the long trial and continue the walk via picturesque beaches that one may come across in all of South India. Note that most of such scenic beaches unexplored by regular tourists cannot be accessed by roadways, which makes the trekking all the more worthwhile. Besides, it is a delight for those with interest in landscape photography.
With each step, trekkers will take in the sound of tidal ways that crash onto the rocks and enjoy the sandy rock formations on the beaches alongside the hill spots. If that sounds like your day, certainly there is more fun on the cards while trekking from Kumta to Gokarna such as camping on the beach.
If you have a loved one with you in the crew, consider stopping by any of the beaches and light a bonfire against the shorelines of the Arabian Sea. Once you reach the destination, stay in any of the cottages in Gokarna, explore the temple town, and enjoy a perfect retreat overall.