Women in India now enjoy more freedom, as the country’s rapid transformation has given them a new role. It is not a rare sight to see women traveling solo to places of interest across the country. The growth of tourism across all the major locales of the country has made many women pack their backpacks and embark on a journey alone.
Gokarna, with its spiritual ambiance, historical background, and thriving hippie culture, is the right place for women to travel without a companion. In fact, Gokarna has so much to offer to a lone traveler, from its age-old temples to the spectacular beaches that are not found anywhere else in the country. Besides all this, Gokarna is a safer place for a woman to travel to and enjoy the beauty of its various attractions.
The small “temple town” in Karnataka is a budget-friendly place with lots of restaurants, hotels, and shops, but rather less when compared to other prominent beach destinations in India. Regardless, the following are some key reasons that make Gokarna a women-friendly place to make a solo trip.
Safe and Affordable Stay
Independent women backpacking across the temple town of Gokarna can stay at different options whether a home stay or a hotel. Cottages in Gokarna are a great alternative to stay safe and without spending much. A woman traveling alone can find several affordable guesthouses, hotels, and even a tent to hire, so that she can stay comfortably and explore Gokarna in its entirety at the same time.
Good Transportation Facilities
The most remarkable advantage of Gokarna is that it is well connected by both rail and road. Independently traveling women can easily get in and around Gokarna due to its excellent transport facilities. For those coming from afar, the nearest airport is located in Dabolim, Goa, at a distance of around 140 kilometers. Besides, most cellular operators provide good coverage in and around Gokarna, which allows women traveling alone to remain well connected to the internet.
Gokarna is renowned for its exceptional cuisine, which is a rare mixture from different parts of the country. There are several restaurants offering a combination of cuisines from different countries. There are shacks along its famous beaches that offer a good selection of drinks. Those from different parts of the country can easily find the cuisine of their liking in the various restaurants and cafes in Gokarna.
The coastal area is rife with plenty of beaches lined up with beachside cottages in Gokarna, and tourists often find themselves confused with the plethora of shacks situated in and around Kudle beach. There is a perception among visitors that Half Moon beach, Om beach, and Paradise beach are trendier than the Kudle. It is most likely because of Kudle beach in Gokarna is easier to reach, or that there are only little things to do when it comes to nightlife there. However, what works in favor of visitors to Kudle is that the joints there still have the most number of beach bums.
If you can find a café in around the said beach selling Nutella pancakes, it is worth the try, especially for those who remain concerned about excess sugar intake. If you are non-vegetarian, though, it is best to seek out beach bum joints in Gokarna selling Prawns Chilli recipe and calamari rings.
The temple town is not only a small knot on top of the hillside, but also a spiritual delight. When you visit Gokarna during the Maha Shivaratri Festival, for instance, you can see a sight of hundreds of men with a dreadlock hairstyle and ochre color dhotis leading a chariot procession or a ‘ratha yatra’ along the premises of the Mahabaleshwar Temple, and waiting for several others to draw ropes for the chariot to move forward. It is also that time of the year, when the street sellers in Gokarna get the most sales of the religious paraphernalia including everything from ‘Om’ printed bags to graffiti arts and prayer beads.
If you spot a sales stop in the markets in this town offering permanent tattoos, pants for practice yoga, and so forth, it will come in handy when you choose to occupy a beachside cottage in Gokarna. This way, no one will be able to tell apart the difference between a hippie with religious beliefs and the anonymous tourist to have fallen in love with Gokarna and its traditions.
Another customary practice in the town is spending nights around the bonfire, and that allows tourists to meet and communicate with different people from different countries, cultures, and races. In short, staying at one of the beachside cottages in Gokarna opens a whole new chapter of ways to relax and rejuvenate.
Beach destinations seem too much noisy and crowded especially during the onset of tourist seasons. If you were thinking of a place, where you could enjoy the oceanic backdrops without the rush, Gokarna is the right spot to be.
The place is unlike any other chiefly due to the spiritual ambiance that surrounds it and the rich legacy traceable to the periods from the great Puranas and Itihasa. You will find here a place with lots of historic temples and splendid beaches unlike any other beach destinations in India.
The Magnificent Beaches
Free-spirited individuals would talk only about one special aspect of Gokarna, its beaches. This small temple town located west of Karnataka has some of the most incredible beaches in the entire country. Suffused in a spiritual atmosphere, the beaches here even have their own religious connotations. For instance, the famous Om Beach has a natural shape that forms the beach in the shape of the sacred syllable Om.
Shacks and Restaurants
Gokarna is the place to go on an exploration with the taste buds due to the good cuisine offered here. You can enjoy tasty seafood among the several eateries located along its famous beaches. If you are a vegetarian, this temple town has a lot to offer in the form of a rich and flavoring vegan diet that you can sumptuously feed yourself.
Some of the hotels like the Namaste Café near the Om Beach have an incredible menu featuring various types of cuisine. The Elephant View restaurant in the Kudle Beach has various delicious offerings along with drinks. Another top restaurant, the Prema’s, which is located near the Gokarna Beach, is the ideal place to check out if you wish to enjoy some exceptional South Indian and North Indian cuisine.
Though Gokarna has many good hotels, it is best that you consider staying in its resorts and cottages. Staying at any of the Gokarna beach resorts gives you a relaxing experience while visiting the place. Besides, the cottages in Gokarna are the perfect places to enjoy the beach, and are a boon for those who are on a budget.
You can even stay on a homestay if you want to experience the place at its best. Several homestays and cottages in Gokarna near the Om Beach and Kudle Beach have good facilities and well-maintained washrooms that can give you a comfortable stay in close proximity to these beaches.
Gokarna is considered as the epitome of natural beauty and serenity in South India. This natural gateway is an ideal escape from the bustling city life, and the stressful and busy life. Gokarna has something in store for everyone including nature lovers, architecture enthusiasts, devotees, adrenaline junkies, etc.
Most people think that it will affect the quality of their holiday if they choose any affordable stay. However, it is better to choose any budget hotels in Gokarna rather than some high-end resorts. This will offer you a pleasant and comfortable stay at an affordable cost. There are even many other advantages of choosing these affordable cottages in Gokarna.
You can save your bucks to a great extent if you choose a budget hotel. That is, you can stay for seven days in a low-priced hotel at the same expense that you would have to spend for a two-day stay at any high-priced one. You can also utilize this money to explore many other beautiful places in Gokarna and make your trip more memorable and exciting.
You can spend the savings that you got from booking rooms in low budget hotels on other things such as funfairs, food, drinks, etc. This will help you to create more beautiful memories than with any high-end and posh resorts. Furthermore, you will only need to spend just a few hours in your room, as Gokarna is more of an outdoor place. Hence, it is a sheer waste to spend big amounts for a luxury of mere hours.
Choosing budget hotels does not mean that you will have to compromise on the services. Most of the budget hotels in Gokarna offer amenities like TV, morning breakfast, tea and coffee machines, bars, etc. Some of these hotels also provide facilities like swimming pools and spa for their customers.
Food in budget hotels is very reasonably priced. This will save you from spending a lion share of your holiday expenses on snacks and beverages. Additionally, most of these hotels provide complimentary breakfast as well. However, do not forget to try the special thali meals and seafood when in Gokarna.
Better Room Area
With the same money that you spend on a small room in any five-star hotels, you can choose a super deluxe room in budget-friendly hotel in Gokarna. Furthermore, try to choose hotel rooms that will allow you to have the benefit of a stunning sea view as that would surely take your stay to the next level.
Tourists in Gokarna on picnic mood can take up numerous beachside activities along the Om beach in particular. Find stay in one of the cottages in Gokarna along the beach that forms the shape of the Om symbol from Hindu mythology. A beachside shack in this in the temple town gives you an opportunity to enjoy surfing, boat rides, scuba diving, parasailing, etc., among other things.
Even getting sightings of the dolphin surfacing from the aquamarine waters of the Arabian Sea and getting breathtaking sunset views will be quite pleasurable to tourists. A laidback attitude is a must-have when it comes to exploring the beaches in Gokarna by foot. Venture ahead into the blue ocean for more sightseeing activities along the Om beach.
This is amongst the few beaches in South India to give views to the sight of dolphins surfacing from underwater in perfect harmony. The guides from beachside cottages in Gokarna take guests to the Arabian Sea and catches this favorite pastime activity this side of people watching along the Om beach. As and when they spot the dolphins flit in and out of the bluish water, tourists tend to take out of their cameras to capture the gorgeous sight.
A Boat Ride
The favorable wind conditions and the clear blue waters make a perfect beach to try a ride in a recreational boat that is best towed by a ‘helmsman’. The location is replete with coconut grove trees lined up along the beachside shacks, which makes it one of the most trending activities for those to have visited Gokarna. Lifeguards are available for ensuring the safety of the passengers on a boat ride, but ensure that you find the best driver to propel the boat forth with precaution.
Tourists in Gokarna can challenge themselves for a ride to the Arabian on a boat, drop a fishhook into the deep ocean, and try their luck in catching fish. It is an entirely different activity since the boat is completely different onboard with a handful of people only. Just as you keep yourselves engaged in fishing off the coastline of the Om beach, do not forget to soak in the beauty or the vastness of the ocean right in front of your eyes.
Even those with a yearning to travel long distances visit Gokarna, the temple town in Karnataka. If there is wanderlust in you, visit the land of Mahabaleshwar Temple and virgin beaches in South India. The pilgrimage center has to offer visitors more than just places for swimming, hiking, shopping, and eating seafood, or even practicing yoga during the quiet hours.
A trip to the Vibhooti Falls
If you want some inner peace or places for photography, ask around and the natives will surely suggest travel bugs to explore the small waterfalls along the way to Yana Caves. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yana village. Most of the visitors to Gokarna make it a point to visit this attraction to spend peaceful timeouts right in nature’s lap.
Strolling the Sandy Kudle Beach
Amongst the main virgin beaches in Gokarna, Kudle is a favorite of all the beach bums. It is an ideal setting for all beachside activities including volleyball, people watching, and snorkeling close to the beach. To the beachside, there are many beach resorts and shacks offering serene views to the shorelines of the Arabian Sea and perfect retreat opportunities.
Staying at Cottages in Gokarna
Finding a budget place to stay is of prime concern for most visitors to the temple town. If you happen to find affordable accommodation in any of the beachside shacks, it is best to advance book one soon after your arrival. Of course, staying in the beachside will offer you easy conveyance in and around Gokarna or comfortable boat rides to the ocean, not to mention staying up at night to sleep under the sky.
Enjoying Beach Trek and Seafood
The beach trek in Gokarna starts early in the morning from Kudle beach and prolongs to Om, Half Moon, and Paradise beaches before trekkers return to their respective havens. The best way to enjoy a beach trek is to find the navigation or a guide who knows the roster of both sunset and sunrise and the pace with which to walk in order to reach a particular beach to catch the sunset.
When it comes to gourmet food, you have the option of tasting an Indian Thali meal or vegetarian pasta in a restaurant or the budget cottage you chose to stay in. In fact, there are many shacks, which offer Italian, Mexican, and Chinese food in Gokarna, so you can pick the menu according to your personal taste.
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 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.